Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska Cornhuskers - History

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Cornhusker Nickname

The nickname "Cornhuskers" was first applied to Nebraska athletic teams at the turn of the century by sports writer Charles "Cy" Sherman of the Nebraska State Journal. Before adopting Sherman's suggestion, Nebraska sports teams were called "The Bugeaters," "Tree Planters," "Nebraskans," "Rattlesnake Boys," "Antelopes" and "Old Gold Knights." Of course, today it is commonly shortened as "Huskers."

Go Big Red!

A cheer. A greeting. A statement of pride for students, alumni and Nebraskans alike. These three words reveal the spirit of Husker athletics. Nebraska football historyNebraska, you'll experience the Big Red school spirit - no matter what sporting event you attend.

Tunnel Walk

Backed by music and a video introduction produced by Husker Vision, the Husker football team is welcomed onto the field with a deafening roar from the fans. The tunnel walk has been ranked among the top traditions in college football. Click here to view the tunnel walk video.

Big Band

Otherwise known as The Pride of All Nebraska, the Cornhusker Marching Band is consistently ranked among the country's best and won the prestigious Sudler Trophy for best college band in 1996.

Hail Varsity (Nebraska Fight Song)

Hail to the team
The stadium rings as everyone sings,
The Scarlet and Cream.
Cheers for a victory, echo our loyalty;
So, on mighty men,
The eyes of the land, upon every hand,
Are looking at you.
Fight on for victory
Hail to the Men of Nebraska U.

The Blackshirts

Nebraska's Blackshirt tradition quickly evolved from a modest beginning. No one seems to know exactly when the concept was formed. But its roots can be traced to George Kelly, the defensive line coach for Bob Devaney's teams from 1962 to 1968. Kelly was the first to assign black pullovers to the top defensive unit during practice. The pullovers were distributed by trainer Paul Schneider. The week before the opening game of the season, Nebraska's first-team defensive players are given black practice jerseys. If two players are listed on the depth chart as sharing the number one position, each is given one of the black mesh jerseys. Second-team defenders wear yellow practice jerseys. The practice jerseys are left in the players' lockers. Opening a locker and finding a black jersey is an emotional experience for most Cornhuskers, and particularly those from Nebraska.

Nebraska-Missouri Bell

Issued to the winner of the Missouri-Nebraska football game ... Originated in 1927. Laid aside in World War II years, and later resurrected in 1947 ... Bell was originally stolen from a church in Seward, Neb., by two Nebraska fraternities (Phi Delta Theta and Delta Tau Delta) who shared the same house ... When each fraternity moved to separate living quarters, they battled for possession of the bell each year in a specified contest athletic or academic ... When in 1927, Missouri proposed a suitable trophy be established for the Nebraska-MU football rivalry, the bell was suggested and adopted - engraved on one side with an "N" and on the other with an "M" ... At Nebraska, the bell is cared for by the the Innocents Society of Nebraska, while the Missouri caretaker is QEBH Society.

Retired Numbers

In over a century of athletics at Nebraska, only 22 players (15 men, 7 women) have had the honor of having their jersey retired. A look at some of Nebraska's finest:

Major Award

No. 60
Tom Novak
Four-Time All-Conference

No. 20
Johnny Rodgers
1972 Heisman/Walter Camp

No. 79
Rich Glover
1972 Outland/Lombardi

No. 50
Dave Rimington
1981, 1982 Lombardi/1982 Outland

No. 30
Mike Rozier
1983 Heisman/Maxwell/Walter Camp

No. 71
Dean Steinkuhler
1983 Outland/Lombardi

No. 75
Larry Jacobson
1971 Outland

No. 75
Will Shields
1992 Outland

No. 34
Trev Alberts
1993 Butkus

No. 74
Zach Wiegert
1994 Outland

No. 15
Tommie Frazier
1995 Johnny Unitas

No. 67
Aaron Taylor
1997 Outland

No. 98
Grant Wistrom
1997 Lombardi

No. 54
Dominic Raiola
2000 Rimington

No. 7
Eric Crouch
2001 Heisman/Walter Camp

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