Akron At Nebraska Cancelled

Excited Husker fans were ready for the 2018 season, but the weather had other plans

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Akron At Nebraska Cancelled

Husker fans wave their phone flashlights with the beat of the music while waiting out the weather delay.

Husker fans wave their phone flashlights with the beat of the music while waiting out the weather delay.

Husker fans wave their phone flashlights with the beat of the music while waiting out the weather delay.

Husker fans wave their phone flashlights with the beat of the music while waiting out the weather delay.

Tenley Wright, Staff Writer

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A dark and gloomy overcast crept closer and closer towards the heart of Lincoln, Neb. It brought threats of heavy rain, stadium-shaking thunder and bright bolts of lightning. Instead of focusing on the storm brewing outside stadium doors, Husker football fans anxiously waited for the beginning of a new era they had dubbed ‘The Frost Advisory.”

On Saturday, about 90,000 fans packed Memorial Stadium for its 363rd consecutive sellout. Everyone was on the edge of their seats ready to witness what was in store. Before the long-awaited tunnel walk, the fans kicked off a historic game day tradition, the Husker Power chant. The newly installed LED lights flashed along with the crowd as they yelled with all their might. As the shouting and cheering slowly wound down, bright red fireworks lit up the cloudy sky. The video screens turned on and Tom Osborne, a former head coach at Nebraska, appeared.

“Let me tell you a story about a team that dominated college football for three decades,” Osborne said. “It started when Coach Devaney created a spark that ignited a flame in the heart of Lincoln, bringing home back to back National Championships.”

Then former defensive end and Blackshirt Grant Wistrom was shown walking across the field.

“Coach Osborne turned that flame into an inferno,” Wistrom said “Dominating the 90’s winning three National Championships in four years.”

Joel Makovicka, one of Husker football’s most decorated fullbacks, continued the story.

“What fueled that fire?” Makovicka asked. “Innovation. Hard work. Physical football. Wearing our opponents down. Dominating the fourth quarter. Husker Power.”

Cheers grew louder as current Husker players Stanley Morgan Jr. and Jerald Foster took Mackovica’s place on screen.

“The time to reignite that flame is now,” Morgan said.

The screen flashed and Scott Frost, the new head coach,  stood looking into the camera with his arms crossed. The crowd erupted with cheers, fans clapped and cheered for their new coach.

“There is no place like Nebraska,” Frost said. “And at Nebraska, red burns brighter.”

Along with clips of famous Husker games and radio calls being played throughout the stadium, bright red flames danced around the screens.

Finally, a picture of a player dressed in full uniform stood facing the camera. His jersey glowed red with flames. As the player disappeared, the words “Red Burns Brighter” came into view. The screen turned black and the beginning of ‘Sirius,” which has been the tunnel walk song since 1994, rang throughout the stadium. Clips of previous Husker tunnel walks were displayed on the screens. One by one, they flew into view, starting with the oldest and transitioning all the way to last years. “Sirius” was cut off by “Jungle,” a newer song by Jamie N Commons and X Ambassadors.

And then, there they were.

The 2018 Husker football team and their new head coach, Scott Frost, appeared on the video boards, walking to the beat of the music, surrounded by flashing red and blue lights. Everyone reached up and touched the lucky horseshoe that was mounted above the doors of the locker rooms.

Memorial Stadium shook with excitement.

Everyone was on their feet, clapping and cheering, anticipating the beginning of the Frost era. New video boards surrounded the tunnel walk entrance. They shone bright white while the team made their way through the stadium. The players jumped up and down, high-fived fans lining the walkway and yelled into cameras. Coach Frost, however, kept a serious face and focused his attention on the doors leading to the field. Suddenly, the bright white screens were engulfed in red flames. The doors slowly opened and the team ran out onto the field. The cheers got louder as the players flowed out of the gates and ran across Tom Osborne Field.

After winning the coin toss and choosing to receive, they took their place on the field and prepared for battle. Akron kicked off to Nebraska and it sailed through the end zone.

Nebraska was preparing to run their first play when lightning struck near the stadium. Referees stopped the game and sent the teams back to their locker rooms. Fans stayed in their seats, waiting for updates on the game.

A few minutes later, rain began to sprinkle from the sky. As the rain got heavier, a few people rushed to take cover. Fans were informed that each time lightning struck within eight miles of the stadium, the game was delayed 20 more minutes. Music was blasted through the stadium. Fans sang along to songs like “Africa”, “Thunderstruck”, “Purple Rain,” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” The student section led cheers and dances like the “Cupid Shuffle” and the “Jump Around” dance.

After about two hours of singing and dancing in the pouring rain, an alert was displayed on the video boards and announced throughout the stadium. The announcement warned fans of a severe thunderstorm headed towards Lincoln. Fans were ushered out of their seats and into concourse.

The concession stands began to draw crowds and soon ran out of multiple food items like Valentino’s pizza, Runza sandwiches and Fairbury hot dogs.

Once it was announced that the game was canceled, a disappointed sigh came from the crowds. Fans slowly left the stadium and lumbered out into the rain.

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