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The streak continues

04 October 2009
Virginia Tech - Lane Stadium
For as long as I can remember, probably since I was in first or second grade, I've been lucky enough to attend at least one Nebraska football game every year. Even with the move out to Colorado, helped with the extra month of school, I was able to make sure I watched the red balloons released at Memorial Stadium. Even the move out to Connecticut was two weeks into the season so Christi and I could watch a few non-conference games.

This year's game was more or less planned after Christi and I decided to take the job with ESPN and move out east. Once we knew that we were coming out here, our family saw the Virginia Tech game as a nice middle ground, if you will, to meet up. I never really thought about going a year without seeing a game. It won't be the end of the world if when it happens, but it's something fun to try to keep going as long as possible.

Right as we got to Blacksburg, we heard a lot of people saying that the Va Tech AD was trying to reach out to the fans as much as possible to make sure that they treated the incoming Husker fans as well as possible. After coming to Lincoln the year before, he was astonished by how well our fans treat the opposing teams that come in, that he wanted to make sure they returned the favor. And return the favor they did.

I have never been to an away game where I've been treated so well. It really felt like Lincoln was moved out to Blacksburg for a weekend. No matter where we went, we were greeted by people saying, "thanks for making the trip out here" and "we're really glad that you showed up, it's great to see all of your fans out here."

We stayed at the same hotel that the Nebraska team was staying at in Roanoke, and when we met fans there, they might have felt obligated to say nice things since they were obviously outnumbered. But each time that we drove into Blacksburg, it was tough to walk by someone wearing maroon and burnt orange that didn't take a few seconds to stop by and say hi.

On Friday night, we stood outside of a microbrewery for about an hour waiting to see if they would be able to put together a table of 14, and every five to ten minutes, there was another group of Va Tech fans that decided to stop by and ask how far we traveled, what we think of the town so far, etc. We even got talking to one group long enough that they bought us a few flights of beer after we finally got seated. I think it helped since their main "spokesman" was talking to dad about his two daughters at Va Tech. He paused before talking about his oldest daughter saying, "Well ... she's kind of our hippie child, always leaving notes to shut electronics off and letting us know how we can better save the environment. She's a senior majoring in language and international studies, but I'm guessing you really can't relate to that." Ha, thanks to Erica, that might be the reason that we had the free beer sent over to us.

As for the game, it was a ton of fun, besides the final outcome, of course. Lane Stadium only holds around 66,000 fans, but that was just enough to pack in a lot of noise. They did a great job making sure that they were cheering for their team and not against the opposing team. One thing that Christi and I liked was that the stadium had a lot of random landscaping in it that really gave it a nice clean touch. Sitting in the designated away section, we were glad to see the recent graduates, or current students, that took time to carry on in our ridiculous student section kickoff tradition.

All in all, if I'm ever in the area and it's a Saturday with a home game, I'm going to do my best to try to experience that atmosphere one more time. As for continuing the streak next year, I'm not sure if it will happen, but there are a few possibilities.

An away game at Washington would give Christi and I the opportunity to see Erica as well as visit Seattle, a city that we've both wanted to go to. There's also the option of heading home over Thanksgiving and going to the Colorado game. Nebraska doesn't traditionally head out east, but there are talks about a home and home with Syracuse coming up in the next few years. We can only cross our fingers and hope.

Va Tech picture gallery is up.