Call me nostalgic, call me sappy, but I am going to miss this series when Nebraska bolts to the Big 10. Yes, their fans can get annoying. Yes, many of their fans have a condescening nature. And yes, they have never lost a game; only gotten screwed, unlucky, or ran out of time........ But it's a team that we've played almost every year dating back to 1896!
But what I'll miss the most about this game is the atmosphere in the parking lots, and in the stadium before the game. We can say what we want about Husker fans, but the truth is there are a lot of them in the midwest, they travel to see the team, and they make the trip to Ames regardless of how good or bad their team really is. To me, it is one of the best atmospheres we have when they come, and it's too bad they will be gone.
The 2002, 2004, and 2006 games were some of the most fun I went to during my years as a student at Iowa State. Even though we lost in 2006, it was still fun for me.
Now, you may read this as a kiss-ass type of a post, and honestly I know there are some Nebraska fans that will read this and say "duh, of course you'll miss us, we're awesome and anyone is lucky to be graced with our presence at your little football game". But that's not the way I am intending it to come off. With college football, there issomething about a game between two fanbases in neighboring states that make for a good time, especially if both fanbases are engaged with their respective teams.
For better, for worse, for whatever reasons you want to come up with, when Nebraska comes to town, it's one of the most fun weekends of that year in Ames. Unless we can develop a two-way hatred between K-State, Kansas, or Mizzou AND have a ton of their fans come to town for the game, it will be a feeling that is only matched by the Iowa game. Having now only 1 team that we will play regularly in a state that neighbors ours is tough, and honestly it is less fun.
Iowa State will be alright, and it's not like anyone in the athletic department is shedding a tear, sucking their thumb in the fetal position not knowing what to do. In fact, I think adding a conference game and additional TV revenue offsets any of the marginal increases the Nebraska game brought into town. It isn't going to hurt the pocketbook, as much as it will hurt the fan experience. It just means that Cyclone Nation has to grow over these next few years.
Regardless of the outcome in the game (and I hope we can pull another stunner to send the Huskers off in style), I know I'm going to have a blast tomorrow. I wish I could start the tailgating now!
I haven't thought of it much until today, and I still can't believe I'm saying it, but I am going to miss those Huskers, their goofy fans, and their ridicilous mascots that set midwestern stereotypes back decades.