Dave Humm is the answer to the trivia question of "Who was Bob Devaney's last quarterback and Tom Osborne's first quarterback." I first came into contact with Dave when I was doing interviews to promote a fund raiser for an ambulance in Western, NE in 2004. I do most of the interviews over the phone but I was going to be in Las Vegas and asked Dave if we could do the interview in person while I was in town. To my surprise he denied my request. When I asked why he said he didnít like people to see him in his current condition in a wheelchair and wanted to be remembered more for his playing days. I respected his privacy and we did the interview over the phone.
After the interview Dave and I kept in touch by email and phone. Next to Vince Ferragamo, Dave was Momís favorite Husker quarterback. They had many long conversations on the phone and reminisced about Daveís playing days in the 70s and the current Husker team.
Dave is a former player that I pay a signing fee for autographs to resell. I approached him about signing Nebraska logo footballs and he invited me to bring them to his house. What an honor to be invited to his house when he hadnít allowed former Raider and Husker teammates to visit for many years. My wife Donna and I got that honor and have been to his house on future visits.
Because of his Multiple Sclerosis he has had ongoing health challenges for 24 years. In August of 2011 he developed pneumonia and was hospitalized and spent time in rehab centers for several months. He now requires daily home health care that is not covered by insurance. When I approached Dave about organizing a fund raiser to raise money by directing HuskerMax visitors to send him money to a PayPal account he again refused. He didnít want a handout.
I rephrased the proposition to help cover his medical bills by organizing a non-profit organization modeled after Mike Ditkaís Gridiron Greats for former NFL players in financial need due to circumstances beyond their control. I introduced Dave to the administrators at Gridiron Greats and they have helped him financially but not near enough to cover his home health costs. After considering my proposal Dave agreed to lend his name to support the proposed non-profit and become one of the first recipients.
Once I got Daveís permission my next phone call was to someone that I knew could help me make that happen. That person was Jerry Murtaugh. I explained to Jerry what Daveís financial stress situation was due to his medical bills and Jerry took about two seconds to say yes. That was in January of 2012. The non-profit has been legally formed with the help of Tim Clare, a Lincoln attorney and the son of team physician Pat Clare. They have a board of directors that includes Jerry and six former Husker players representing many sports. The non-profit has the support of Tom Osborne and the University and has the name of Husker Greats.
The only other college foundation to support former players that I am aware of is associated with the University of Alabama. What is unique about this foundation is that it is not just for UN-Lincoln athletes. It is available to any letter winner from any university or college in Nebraska. We are all huge Husker fans and a lot of us, myself included, went to school somewhere besides Lincoln while rooting for the Huskers. Dave Humm will be the first recipient but future recipients could be from UNL, UNK, UNO, Chadron State, Wayne State, Peru State, etc. if there is a need. This is truly a foundation for athletes the entire state of Nebraska thanks to efforts so far of a small group of former Husker athletes.
Please do your part by making a donation to help a former Husker or Loper or Bobcat or whoever the mascot is and give back a little to all the great sports memories made in the state of Nebraska. The web site is Huskergreatsfoundation.org. Do the right thing and make a donation today.