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This is the story of a native Nebraskan who's a 2007 engineering graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives in Singapore and is finishing up a Fulbright Grant.
That means he's adapting to a new culture, experiencing a different style of learning, engaging with the community, sharing the experience, finding new pathways, changing perspectives, fusing cultures, learning independently and always looking for challenges.
Fulbrighters are innovative in ways we haven't even thought about, so you can imagine what it might have been like for Clayton Miller listening intently to Nebraska's 10-3 upset of Oklahoma on a Sunday morning last fall in Singapore while his Vietnamese roommate was still sleeping.
Miller, a McCook native and a student at the National University of Singapore, was living in a student hostel at the time, so he had no choice but to share a bedroom with another student.
Since the bedroom was the only place that had air-conditioning, and his computer was the only place he could connect to the game via Huskers.com, imagine the roles Miller had to play to hide his excitement and conceal his enthusiasm.
With every pop from a Blackshirt, every stop of a Sooner and every elevated inflection in Greg Sharpe's demonstrative paint-by-voice play-by-play, Miller was reaching an emotional threshold that made him look like a mime on steroids.
He Could Barely Control His Emotions
"I could barely control my outbursts as we went on to win," he said. "I'll never forget the look on my roommate's face when he woke up seeing me do a crazy end zone dance in my pajamas on that Sunday morning. It took me a while to explain what was going on."
That was last year's silent movie in Singapore. This year will be a full-fledged, full-bright action movie where Miller will camp out with other Nebraska football fans to celebrate Red Out Around the World.
Forgive Miller for thinking to heck with a Red Out. This Husker is just happy he now has a place to yell.
The hard-working secretary of the UNL FAN (Friends and Alumni of Nebraska) group in Singapore, Miller is part of the planning committee for 15 fans who gather at private residences or clubhouses three times a year to cheer on the Huskers.
"We intend to ask our members to submit photos of themselves at famous landmarks around Singapore, so we can post them on our website and send them to the Nebraska Alumni Association," he said.
The idea is to have Big Red fans everywhere doing the same thing, showing their support in unique ways, just like these Husker fans in the District of Columbia do on a regular basis in the Nation's Capital. Check the site and while you're there, make sure you see how easy it is to join an alumni chapter or find a Husker watch site.
Now is the time for all good Huskers to put themselves on the world map and join the nearly 14,000 Big Red fans who already have signed up.
Soldiers Keep Track of Big Red in Iraq, Afghanistan
Try it and see what a hoot it is to move your mouse over the world map to discover how many Husker fans have joined the cause and are ready to wave the Nebraska flag. You see 31 in Canada, 27 in Japan, 24 in Iraq, 23 in the United Kingdom, 22 in Germany and 20 in Afghanistan.
And that's just after one week.
Wherever you point, someone seems to have signed in on this collaborative site brought to you by Nebraska Athletics, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska Alumni Association and the Omaha World-Herald.
Of the more than 13,000 Big Red fans who have signed on from the United States, please take a few extra minutes to view the scrolling totals at the bottom of the map. You can't help but notice that nearly 6,200 fans who have signed on live in Nebraska. The other top 10 states are Texas (704), Kansas (614), Colorado (577), Iowa (501), California (461), Missouri (400), Arizona (322), Florida (265) and Illinois (248).
Knowing that more than 500 Husker fans have joined this website from outside America's borders, I pointed my mouse 10 times at random and found seven in Italy, 15 in Australia, six in France, two in Russia, 11 in Sweden, one in Madagascar (my grandkids would enjoy knowing that), four in Brazil, eight in China, six in the Czech Republic and let's go back to where we started ... oh yes, here it is, seven in Singapore.
Looks like Clayton Miller and his group still have a little work to do. Maybe he'll go home and start his favorite DVD that shows Nebraska steamrolling Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. "That game was, by far, my all-time favorite," Miller said. "There's nothing that gets me pumped up more than seeing replays of Tommie Frazier's amazing touchdown run in that game."
Family, Friends, Mexican Food and Tom Osborne
Miller admits that when he relaxes and thinks about home, he sees his family, his friends, Mexican food and Tom Osborne - in that order. "Tom Osborne is not only my favorite Nebraska coach of all time, but one of my favorite people of all time," he said. "Coach Osborne is the ultimate role model for my generation of Nebraskans because we grew up seeing him and his players dominate college football like never before."
Miller isn't the only diehard Husker in Singapore who loves Frazier and Osborne. Alfonsus Karli, the webmaster for Singapore's Nebraska FAN site, says Osborne is his favorite coach "because he's a humble person and his teams have won three national championships." Frazier, Karli said, is his favorite player of all-time because "even though he did not win the Heisman, he led the Huskers' high-octane offense with 1,996 yards and won two national championships."
Sorry, Tommie, but Karli's favorite game of all time was Nebraska's 1997 overtime win at Missouri. He ranks it at the top for three reasons: 1) "It was Tom Osborne's last season with the Huskers; 2) Without Matt Davison's catch, the Huskers would not have been able to claim a fifth national championship; and 3) Davison's catch really was a miracle."
Even though Karli says he was "only" an international student at Nebraska and does not reside here anymore, "the Huskers are always in my heart," he said. "I still follow them through three websites (one newspaper, one TV station and Huskers.com). I know our move to the Big Ten will give us a more competitive environment, and I always believe that Nebraska will win another national championship."
Karli closes with three words that have become his mantra.
"Go Big Red!!!" he says from 9,000 miles away, leaving absolutely no doubt about what color he'll be wearing on Oct. 16.
Voices from Huskers Around the World
Reading this story took me back to when I was living in Sierra Leone, West Africa, from 1983-87. I, too, would get up in the middle of the night to listen to NU football games. Sometimes, it would take me all day Friday listening to my shortwave radio to try and get Armed Forces radio to see what games they were broadcasting that week. This was before computers, and my radio ran on batteries because we didn't have electricity a lot of the time. So I would set my alarm and get up and listen to games, usually starting at 2 or 3 a.m. on Sundays. My friends learned quickly that no matter what else was going on, I would be listening to the Nebraska games. I even took my radio along one time when we were traveling. I had to go out in the hall to listen to the game, so as not to wake my roommates, only to hear our Huskers lose to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome (in 1984). If Nebraska was not on the radio that week, I would try all day Sunday to track down the scores. If not, it was sometimes weeks before mail got to us. How nice it would have been to have computers, so we could get Huskers.com on the Internet back then. Think how much time I would have saved. Go Big Red!!! Lennae Seevers, Omaha, Nebraska
Love the Red Around the World concept. Lately I have been a little hesitant wearing my NU shirts here in Thailand. What the heck... Go Big Red and hope these Thais know the difference between a protester and a die-hard Husker fan. James Anderson, Thailand
I am originally from Omaha, and I have been living deep in the heart of SEC country since 1998. The year I moved here, I found Clemson faithful still living large on the 1982 championship game. It is amazing how mysteriously quiet they have been since the Gator Bowl in 2009. I truly get homesick every fall. The memories of the scent of food from the tailgaters, sounds of the band warming up the masses before the game, people on their Saturday pilgrimage to the Church of the Big Red and the Tunnel Walk giving the Husker Nation their queue that the Big Red Machine is about to hit the field all come rushing back. I plan on making sure that everyone here sees that my "RED" is out on the 16th of October. GO BIG RED!! Garrett Rowley, Charleston, South Carolina
I am a lifelong Nebraskan and die-hard Husker fan and come from a family of the same. My children will be raised in the same love of our team and our game. About four years ago, my employment relocated us to Louisville. Although our house and life are here for now, our home and hearts are in Nebraska. One nice benefit was being able to get HSKRS on our Kentucky plates. We will be flying our Blackshirts flag and donning our Husker clothes with the same whole-hearted pride and dedication that everyone in our great home state will be showing!! GO BIG RED!!! ALL AROUND THE WORLD!! Brenda Lee Finley, Louisville, Kentucky
During the 12 years I worked in Manila prior to 1991, there were numerous occasions in which I was watching the Armed Forces Network over a special antenna at 3 a.m. to cheer the Cornhuskers on to another victory. Since returning to Nebraska, it has been my good fortune to have season tickets in Memorial Stadium and join the throng of fans who root the Huskers on to many more victories. The fans have been there, win or lose, and now we are ready to enjoy another season of Big Red football. Let's celebrate the Red Out and win 'em all. Ron Maas, Bennet, Nebraska
I am retired US Air Force and have traveled the world over but remain a die-hard BIG RED FAN ... always have been and always will be. I can't wait until Oct 16 because I live deep in the heart of Longhorn Country, and I think a Red Out is perfectly timed. Jim Hoffman, Georgetown, Texas
I never cease to be amazed at the lengths Nebraska fans will go to when it comes to Nebraska football. I will admit that I almost ruined a European vacation trying to track down a place to watch a Nebraska-Oklahoma game. Fortunately, we stumbled on to a pub in London and watched the Huskers beat the Sooners with a dozen other Big Red fans who are apparently just as crazy as I am. Tom Hall, Orlando, Florida
Red Out is a great idea. I grew up a mile east of our hallowed ground on R Street. In the '60s, they let us kids hop the fence and watch the game under the end zones. The best game I ever saw in the Big Red House was from the North end zone seats with the "Scoring Explosion" of Gill, Rozier and Fryar against Colorado. It was close at half (Nebraska led, 14-12), then we exploded for something like 50 points (48 actually) in the third quarter and won big (69-19). I'm Red till dead and can't wait to play new rival Iowa. Doug Chambers, Altoona, Iowa
In 1959, I was a Boy Scout from York ushering games at Nebraska, and that same year we moved to Colorado. Forty years later, our son Kevin was a Husker player, and I saw Memorial Stadium for the first time and got to enjoy the Sea of Red. We are one of the lucky ones and will be there for the Red Out - a great idea. Go Big Red. Allan Guse, Longmont, Colorado
We are always wearing red in our house to support the Huskers. Our flags are up, and we're ready to go. Go Big Red Out. Deborah Peschel, Colfax, Washington
My family lived in Nebraska until 1982 when we moved to Miami. We are all die-hard Nebraska fans and were at the Nebraska-Tennessee national championship game as well as the Nebraska-Miami national title game and even traveled to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl win over Clemson. We had a great time, and we will be supporting the RED OUT!! Go Big Red. Donna Blake and Family, Miami, Florida
I have two Texans for Nebraska coming for the Texas game. They have never seen a Husker game. The Red Out is a great idea and will make a special day that much better. Thank you and GO BIG RED!! Gary Denison, Blair, Nebraska
Although I am a University of Tennessee fan in Nebraska on business, I recall the Huskers beating my beloved Vols (with Peyton Manning) in the Orange Bowl. I have always been a Tom Osborne fan and loved to watch his "This is what we are going to do and just try to stop us" style of football. Good luck in the Red Out. A humble Vol, Jeff Herd, Cookeville, Tennessee
I have been a Husker since I started watching games with my then boyfriend in Minnesota in 1968. He was from Omaha and introduced me to the Huskers. I was newly married and so excited watching our first national championship game with a bunch of other fans in Omaha. I now have three degrees from Nebraska and go to as many games as I can. I love Husker football (and all the other Husker sports, men and women)!!! Looking forward to the Red Out, so Go Big Red!!!! Peggy Gerlach, Omaha, Nebraska
I am in the Nebraska Army National Guard, and I will be at drill the weekend of the Texas game. Fortunately, our commander is going to allow us to watch the game, and all Husker fans in our unit will be wearing red for the Red Out and cheering as we BEAT TEXAS!! Michael Iverson, Campbell, Nebraska