The Fan Day Experience
LINCOLN — It was well after the 3:30 pm end time, yet Bo Pelini continued to sign autographs. The remaining line wasn’t long, but it was enough to keep the coach in his seat after the gates were closing. He didn’t seem to mind.
With only an hour and a half on a Friday to meet and greet as many fans as possible, coaches and players smiled, took plenty of photographs and signed just about everything possible. Fans showed off their tattoos (a ‘Team Jack’ tattoo shined above all else) and their replica helmets. A teenage girl cried at the sight of quarterback Taylor Martinez, while wide receiver Kenny Bell found himself surrounded by dozens and dozens of fans.
— Taylor Martinez (@TMAG1C) August 2, 2013
It was a hot day thanks to the clouds parting, but no one seemed to mind. Fans chose to instead admire the new Field Turf while they waited and snapped photos with the alternate uniforms for the UCLA game. As the sun beat down, lines got longer but the mood never dropped.
Fan Day is not something unique to just Nebraska. However, it is something unique when you look at the number of fans that show up for it. After the Saturday dates were traded for a Friday afternoon time, many worried fans wouldn’t show. While there may be fewer fans due to the day and time, it’s hardly noticeable. Memorial Stadium was very much red.
The Nebraska video staff had cameras in the hands of players, who captured several hours of raw footage. It was as much about the players’ experience as it was the fans’. And from where I was? It looked like everyone went home a little happier than they arrived.
Even if they kept Pelini at his table a little past closing.