10 Year Member
I have been a Husker fan since 1965 ,the only game I got to see each year was the Oklahoma game. It’s hard for me to believe I can hear every game on the radio today. I watch the game with the sound off and listen to Greg and Matt. They’re usually a play behind( I get all kinds of grief for this from my wife) but it’s the best way for me . For a VERY long time ( unbelievable today) it was really difficult to get a score on a Saturday afternoon. I am proud I NEVER went to the DARK side( living in Pennsylvania) and rooted for Penn State.Occasionally I'll see, hear or smell something that brings back memories from the past. I'm not always blessed with perfect memories of things that happened in the last few years, sometimes not the last few days either, but I can recall with clarity that is sometimes disturbing things that are completely amazing to me from years ago.
Recently my youngest was home from school and happened to be up early Sunday morning watching an old Nebraska game on YouTube, only half paying attention while he did some homework. The game was an early season 1977 contest against Alabama. He was facing me and I couldn't see the screen on his laptop, but I could hear the audio of Keith Jackson and man did it bring back memories.
My family moved to Colorado from Nebraska in 1972. Cable TV didn't exist, so it was usually one local and one national game a weekend. That was all, so most Saturdays I listened to the Nebraska game on the radio. Coloradan's for Nebraska had some affiliation to the broadcasts that I don't think I ever really understood, but I'm quite positive I owe them a great debt for keeping me tied to Nebraska football for the decade between my arrival in enemy territory and the advent of cable TV and greatly enhanced access to Husker football. Every week I'd look through the TV guide looking for 'Nebraska' on Saturday's, usually to be disappointed except for one non conference game a year and two or three Big 8 games if I was lucky, so it was mostly radio broadcasts. I'd spend Saturday mornings making sure I'd taken care of all I needed to to be allowed to spend the three hours by the radio instead of working on something for my folks. Breakfast, chores, Nebraska football. I'd get chills running up and down my spine when I'd hear 'Nebraska Football is on the air!'
The play by play descriptions were only enhanced by my over active imagination to paint a picture I couldn't see. Lyle or his successors setting the stage, calling out the lineups, describing the formations, I lived for it all. Descriptions of their uniforms and those of the opponents, the crowd, the sky and weather, the sounds caught by the mikes that helped complete the picture were always part of my Saturdays.
Phrases like this from '76 still bounce around my memory to this day:
'Huskers in their home scarlet jerseys and cream pants in front of another sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. NU with the football at their own 20, driving North to South, right to left, against the wind. I formation from the left hashmark, Ferragamo under center, Craig in the slot to the left, Malito split out to wide side'
The names I'll never forget. Ferragamo, Curtis Craig, Dave Butterfield, Chuck Malito, Andra Franklin, Tom Sorley, Richard Berns, Jeff Quinn, Junior Miller, Steve Damkroger, Tim Hager, IM Hipp, Jarvis Redwine and so many more. The games I recall like they were yesterday. The '76 loss to Iowa State and an early morning radio broadcast of the Hawaii road game. The '77 obliteration Oklahoma put on Nebraska that cost me a quarter bet to a school buddy. The '78 heartbreak against Missouri after finally getting the monkey off our backs the week before. I sat many a Saturday in the upstairs family room in front of my dad's old Telefunken, tuned into Husker football, rooting for the Big Red to win the day.
I can see it all like it happened yesterday. From the time I was 7 or 8 until my early 30's, I attended, watched on TV or listened to almost every Nebraska football game played. I'd say better than 75% of the games were radio broadcasts until the mid '80's and while I'm glad I can see them all now, I'll admit I miss the simpler times of 'Husker Football is on the air!'.
I was pissed when we had a few High School football games my junior and senior years on Saturday and not Friday night. I took the radio with me when I started working in construction and listened to the games as best I could, sometimes not so well when we were out in a field in the mountains or on the plains.
Times change and things move on, but I'll never forget those Saturday afternoons. I tried to explain it to my youngest while he studied and the '77 NU-Alabama game played in the background, but it just wasn't the same for him and isn't for his generation. They've always had video. They've always seen it, not heard it and imagined it. He'll never know what it was like to hear Lyle call a play, a score or a Husker victory. I remember it like it was last Saturday.