Nebraska's NCAA record 300th consecutive sellout crowd Saturday night at Memorial Stadium for the Louisiana-Lafayette game will focus the spotlight on three important groups:
The family of the late Bob Devaney
The son and the daughter of the late Bob and Phyllis Devaney will attend this weekend's festivities and be introduced to the milestone crowd during the game. Mike Devaney (and his wife, Suzanne) now live in Arizona, and Pat Devaney lives in California. Their father won back-to-back national championships at Nebraska and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He turned Nebraska's football fortunes around in his first year as head coach in 1962. The Huskers had not had a winning season since 1954, but went 9-2 in 1962 and won their first bowl game ever (a 36-34 triumph over Miami in the Gotham Bowl after losing in the 1941 Rose Bowl and the 1956 Orange Bowl).
The players, coaches and staff from the 1962 team
All will be honored at a banquet Friday night at the Wick Center and during pre-game ceremonies Saturday night. Twenty-one members of the 1962 team will return for the weekend festivities - Ernie Bonistall, Curtis Bryan, Dick Callahan, co-captain Dwain Carlson, Dennis Claridge, Larry Donovan, John Kirby, John Koinzan, Noel Martin, Joe McNulty, William Paschall, Tyrone Robertson, Jed Rood, Willie Ross, Lyle Sittler, Maynard Smidt, John Strohmyer, Larry Tomlinson, Douglas Tucker, John Vujevich and Gene Young. Four members of Devaney's first Husker coaching staff also will attend - John Melton (freshman coach), Jim Ross (ends and defensive backs), Carl Selmer (offensive line) and Tom Osborne, Nebraska's athletic director who was a graduate assistant coach at NU in 1962. Devaney died on May 9, 1997, and three other members of his first staff also are deceased - Mike Corgan (offensive backfield), George Kelly (defensive line) and Cletus Fischer (freshman line coach).
Husker fans who have produced sellouts for every game for the last 47 years
The first sellout in the record streak at Memorial Stadium came in Devaney's first year at Nebraska - Homecoming on Nov. 3 against Missouri. It was the Huskers' seventh game that season and fifth at home. Capacity then was only 31,080. In addition to thanking Devaney and the role he played in transforming Nebraska's football program, Osborne sees Saturday night as a tribute to Husker fans for their support over the last 47 years. The Huskers have won 260 of their 299 consecutive sellouts at home, and the total number of fans who have passed through the Memorial Stadium gates during those 299 games is 22,127,996.
The highlight of Saturday night's 300th celebration is the long-awaited throwback uniforms designed by adidas to match those worn by Nebraska in 1962. The Huskers will wear the uniforms as a tribute to the 1962 team, and 93 uniforms are being auctioned to the public as full sets, including pants, jerseys and helmets, on Huskers.com. The auction began in August and will end on Oct. 7. Each uniform available for auction has reached the minimum bid of $500. Replica jerseys and helmets also are on sale through Huskers Authentic.
Husker Fans Asked to Dress Retro but Red
With the football team wearing retro uniforms, Husker fans are also encouraged to join in the fun. They're being asked to dress retro but still wear red to the game. This will be a fun way for fans to join in on the festivities surrounding this landmark event, and add to the traditional spirit of the day. Make your plans now to wear red retro sweaters, jackets, suits, dresses and Husker carnations!
Other Celebration Activities Include:
- 300th sellout logo placements on the field.
- The state capitol will be beaming in red to celebrate the occasion.
- Members of the 1962 team will be signing autographs at the pavilion and will take part in the Husker Sports Marketing pregame radio show from the Pavilion stage.
- Homecoming will also be celebrated on Sept. 26 and the theme this year is "Game On" with many of the floats featuring a 300th theme and retro look.
- Weather permitting, Husker fans have enjoyed flyovers for nearly every game in recent years. The flyover for the 300th sellout promises to be retro as well.
- The Cornhusker Marching band will play songs from the early 60s.
- Video salutes by HuskerVision for the 1962 team and the Devaney family; special video messages to Husker fans from Nebraska celebrities and a special postgame fan tribute video.
- 100-percent biodegradable balloons with the 300th logo on them for Husker scores!
- No celebration is complete without fireworks! Weather permitting, there will be a reason for fans to stay in their seats until the end of the game.
- A commemorative logo, exclusive to adidas,will be usedin official 300th sellout apparel and will be available at the Huskers Authentic Team Store and other Husker retail shops.
- Game tickets, programs and posters have been designed to look like those printed in the early 1960s.
- A commemorative ticket poster print is available at the Huskers Authentic Team Store for $5 each. Each of the 300 ticket stubs were donated to the athletic department by Willis and Fran Regier of Bellevue. All season ticket holders (one per account) received a coupon in the mail for one free print.
- The commission of a Mike Sullivan painting for display in the Osborne Athletic Complex lobby.The painting by the nationally known artist is part of a salute to Husker fans and will be unveiled to fans and media on Thursday, Sept. 24.
- An on-site display featuring memorabilia from the 1960s is available in the West Stadium main entry.
- At the Husker Nation Pavilion, every team picture from 1962 to current will be on display.
- Two 25-foot 300th sellout logos will be painted on the field.
Additional Sellout Streak Notes
- Notre Dame is second in all-time consecutive sellouts with 206, 93 fewer than Nebraska.
- The Huskers are 260-39 during the 299 sellouts to date.The mark includes a 39-24 record against ranked teams.
- Nebraska is 5-0 in the five milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994 (No. 200) and a 44-13 victory over Utah State on Sept. 7, 2002 (No. 250).
- Nebraska will have played 75 different opponents from 35 different states during the 300-game sellout streak.
- Nebraska coaches lost just 39 games in 47 years at home during the streak. Bob Devaney (1962 to 1972, 11 years) posted a 50-9 record; Tom Osborne (1973-1997, 25 years) went 145-16; Frank Solich (1998-2003, 6 years) posted a 38-4 record; Bill Callahan was 19-8 (2004-2007, 4 years); and current head coach Bo Pelini is 6-2 (2009-present).