Football in Nebraska
Football isn’t just a sport. Not in Nebraska. It is a part of Nebraska’s national identity. Football is more than a game to the towns that play it. They are community events – local holidays. Businesses close. People gather. And they cheer. Not just for a win, but for pride. They respect the winner and the loser. For the act of playing the game is always greater than the outcome. As the southwest facade of Memorial Stadium reads, “Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.”
Joe Starita is a professor at the University of Nebraska’s College of Journalism and a Nebraska football aficionado. He explains Nebraska’s football culture:
“You hear this phrase all the time that people in this part of the United States, that people here live close to the land… and it’s true. People in Nebraska do live close to the land. And there’s a very spiritual connection between the people who live on the land and the land itself. Crazy Horse, who we claim as a Nebraskan, when he was bayonetted in the back on the evening of Sept 5, 1877, and was mortally wounded. [His warriors] carried him into the adjutant’s office and put him on a cot in Fort Robinson. He [Crazy Horse] told his warriors to take him off the cot and put him on the ground so he could die on the Earth. And that Earth is a huge part of who and what we are. It not only gives rise to corn and soybeans and all kinds of crops, but in a way, this land that we live close to, also gives rise to football… It’s the DNA of who we are. Look around Nebraska. Do you see any mountains? Do you see any oceans? Do you see any surfers in Chadron hanging ten? No. You see the land. And from this land comes everything that we are. In New York, people talk about going to Broadway; they talk about going to an art museum and seeing this beautiful Rembrant canvas. Well, in Nebraska, that canvas stretches from Scottsbluff to Fall City, and from Niobrara to McCook. It’s one giant canvas that we’re painting on when it comes to football.”
Joe Starita was an investigative reporter and New York bureau chief for The Miami Herald, where one of his stories was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is now a professor at the University of Nebraska’s College of Journalism. Joe has published three books: The Dull Knives of Pine Ridge, I Am A Man and A Day In The Life: The Fans of Memorial Stadium.
Rachel Price is a singer/songwriter from O’Neill, Nebraska. Throughout her two years at South Dakota State University music was on the back burner, and she kept it to YouTube videos and open mic nights. After a producer from Burbank, California stumbled across her YouTube page and invited her to record a four song EP, she decided to pursue a career in music and dive head first into the industry. She has recently moved to Nashville to do so, and has been working on numerous projects since. She continues to make YouTube videos, play shows around the city, and write and record the organic acoustic music that she is so passionate about. If you’d like to hear more of Rachel’s music and keep up with her, here are links to her social media pages: