The Athletic Department, UNL and Big Red Fans can submit Time Capsule items until Nov. 12.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Why Look Back? Letís Plan the Next 50 Years!

By NU Athletic Communications

Randy York’s N-Sider

Forty-four years ago, Jim Croce recorded the song Time in a Bottle, but Nebraska has a better idea to celebrate 50 consecutive years of sellout football crowds at Memorial Stadium ... Time Capsules, and the best thing about them relate to a question we asked ourselves: Why just look back? That, in turn, triggered the only theme that makes sense to us: Let’s plan the next 50 years!

We’ve had 200 scarlet-and-cream time capsules made, and we plan to stuff every one of them with meaningful memories, mementos and memorabilia that describe and define our half-century journey that became an ongoing, unremitting, unrelenting quest to fill every seat in what soon will be a 92,000 capacity stadium.

Our university and athletic department are preparing those time capsules to celebrate Nebraska’s 50 Years of Consecutive Sellouts at Saturday night’s nationally televised home game against Michigan. Our 1962 to 2012 accomplishment covers 323 consecutive home-game sellouts. Your recollections from those games – and predictions for future historic sellouts – must be received by Monday, Nov. 12, to qualify for placement in a vault that will be buried near the East Stadium later this year.

Seeking Your 50-Year Flashbacks, Predictions

Your 50-year flashbacks and your next 50-year predictions won’t be opened until the fall of 2062. That vault, however, would not be complete without Big Red fans submitting their own magic moments from the past 50 years and making their own golden predictions for the next 50 years of consecutive sellouts that will create the opportunity for a Centennial Celebration in the year 2062.

Nebraskans not only are very proud of our past, but also very confident about our future. We only have 1.82 million people in this state, yet over the past 50 years, we’ve sent 24,048,577 fans through those hallowed gates.

There’s a reason why Memorial Stadium archways say: “Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football.” Who else puts a metaphorical Sold Out sign on its ticket office window every game for half a century?

Vision for 2062: 100 Consecutive Sellout Years

How did we do it? You tell us, so we can put it in a time capsule. But, at the same time, let’s do something bigger and even better. Let’s allow the greatest generation to celebrate and honor its 50-year accomplishment, and, at the same time, let’s encourage the next generation to take us beyond where we are, so they can commemorate 100 consecutive years of sellouts in 2062.

Yes, it’s time to dream big and think big, to go confidently and imaginatively, to follow one path yet create another, to catch some new trade winds, to explore and to sail beyond where we’ve already been, to make the improbable probable and the impossible possible and to believe it, then achieve it.

How can that happen? Let The N-Sider boil down the three most important ways:

1) Access and print a 2062 Husker Time Capsule Kids Sheet or pick one up Saturday at the Husker Nation Pavilion beginning at 4 p.m. before Nebraska hosts Michigan for the first time ever at Memorial Stadium.  The Kids Sheet is a great tool for teachers and parents to help their students and children celebrate 50 consecutive years of Nebraska football sellouts. The activity sheet includes opportunities to predict the future of Nebraska football in seven sub-categories: 1) Concessions; 2) Mascots; 3) Ticket prices; 4) Uniforms; 5) Logos; 6) National championships; and 7) Seating capacity. Kids who participate in the Time Capsule experience also get the chance to answer the proverbial question: What do you want to be when you grow up?

2) Big Red fans of all ages will have the opportunity to submit photos, letters, stories, notes, quotes and anecdotes via old-fashioned mail. Use every windmill in your mind, put your best thoughts on paper and mail to: Nebraska Athletic Marketing; Attention: 2062 Time Capsule; One Memorial Stadium; Lincoln, NE, 6855-0153. Our Marketing staff will sort, collect and curate every submission so we can place the most inspirational into time capsules. Open your hearts and minds on everything from your first Husker experience to your most memorable one, but don’t forget to offer up your hopes and thoughts for the future. Let your imagination run rampant. Remember, predictions placed in this vault will survive tornados, floods, even earthquakes.  

3) We haven’t forgotten our IY-Generation Big Red fans. We know our more tech savvy fans will be compelled to use Twitter, and we will collect and curate your tweets on Twitter. Please use our new hash tag – #Huskers2062 . The same rules apply. We encourage tweeters to take your own snapshot of 2012, so you can honor the past 50 years and predict the future for the next 50 years. Tweets should focus on memories and experiences. We’ll collect and curate the best, so they can find a place inside a fan time capsule. Given the emergence of technology and the capability to apply that technology, who thinks Twitter and/or Facebook will still be around 10 years from now, let alone 50 years from now? This is the place to showcase your vision and creativity.

What Goes in Capsules? What Gets Left Out?

Frankly, I’m looking forward to see how many programs, game notes, posters, schedule cards, jerseys, alternate jerseys, gloves, polo shirts, coins and merchandise get in line to become a priority. Who will be the judge and/or jury that will decide what goes in and what gets left out? I don’t want any part of that, but I will support all of it.

Just make sure that the kids out there today appreciate what we’ve already done, so they can take ownership of what must continue in the future. That means the target audience may be eighth grade and under, but to honor the late, great Lyell Bremser, participation should not preclude any man, woman or child who has a good idea or something meaningful to contribute.

We all know how difficult it is to sell out one game, let alone 323 and counting. We will never take that streak for granted because our unprecedented achievement is a daily, weekly, monthly and annual reminder that our fans are second to no other fan base out there. Every fall Saturday, there’s a pilgrimage to Memorial Stadium. We’ve all seen the gates open, watched the tunnel walked and heard the crowd roar. Now it’s up to our youth to carry on our tradition and to make the next 50 years as fast, fun and fashionable as we’ve made the last 50 years.

Empowering Next Generation to Do Its Part

Yes, we’ve been able to shape the past, and now we’re passing the torch so our youth can sculpt the future. To be sure, it takes love, respect, passion and stick-to-it-iveness. Unlike so many other fan bases, Big Red loyalists don’t believe in the “We’re with you, win or tie” mantra. We support, we act and we stand for what our fight song says – We all stick together in all kinds of weather. We all know the way we were, but that’s not what’s important right now. We’re looking ahead more than we’re looking back. We know it’s the only way we can truly empower and inspire the next generation to plan the next 50 years and then execute that half-century like we did.

Just make sure you leave Memorial Stadium in 2062 the way we’re leaving it in 2012 ... SOLD OUT!!! 

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