REALLY BIG GAME ISN’T UNTIL NEXT YEAR
football fans obsessing over this
year’s game of the century – Ohio State vs. Wisconsin at Camp
Randall on Saturday – may be interested to know there is one group
of fans in Madison that already is obsessing over next year’s game
of the century.
“We should have a ticker counting it down on our website,”
Stewart Price said this week.
It would be counting down to Oct. 1, 2011, when the
University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
come to Camp Randall to play the Badgers in what will be Nebraska’s
football game as a member of the Big
Price, 49, a product line manager with Dean Health Plan, is
president of the Mad City Huskers, a
University of Nebraska athletics
booster club based in Madison.
“If you cut my veins,” Price said, “corn syrup will come
The club formed four years ago when Price moved to Madison from
Louisville, Ky., where he also was president of the local Husker
But it was the announcement earlier this year that Nebraska will
the Big Ten – effective July 1, 2011 – and that the Cornhuskers’
first conference game will be at Camp Randall, that sent the Mad
City Huskers into a tizzy.
“Everyone’s excited,” Price said.
I first heard about the club in September 2007, when I received,
at home, a letter that began:
“Dear Fellow Husker fan: Are you one of the zillions of Nebraska
Cornhusker followers across the country? Do you wish you could be
at all the games in Lincoln on
football Saturday? Would you like to
watch the NU games with other Husker fans right here in
I thought it a little strange, since I have never been a
Nebraska fan, and in fact have been a Badger
football fan long enough to have
suffered through two Dark Ages, one in the 1960s (under John
Coatta) and one in the 1980s (Don Morton).
When I examined the letter, it turned out it was addressed to my
mother, who did attend the
University of Nebraska. Still, by
2007 she was dead seven years, and didn’t really care for
I briefly thought about joining, because while I have never been
a Nebraska fan, I am a connoisseur of unusual athletic nicknames
and love the fact that from 1890 to 1900 Nebraska was not known as
the Cornhuskers. They were the
University of Nebraska
I think the Nebraska Bugeaters is second only to the
University of California-Santa Cruz
There is even throwback Bugeater gear that is popular among
“I have a Bugeater hat,” Price said.
Price grew up in Omaha, Neb., and graduated from the
University of Nebraska in 1985. He
said there are more than 60 chapters of Husker Nation around the
When Price landed here in 2006, he said one of the first things
he did was scope out sports bars to see if there were any pockets
of Cornhusker fans waiting to be organized.
He heard there were some at Babe’s on Schroeder Road, but had
the most luck at the Sports Pub on Bartillion Drive. The club – a
dozen or so people that first year – started meeting there on game
days to watch the Cornhuskers on satellite. Now the number can be
as many as 100. Price said there are some 350 Nebraska alumni
within 50 miles of Madison. He’s expecting a good turnout at the
Sports Pub for Saturday’s big game against Texas.
Of course, it will pale against the hysteria sure to be present
a year from now when it’s Nebraska and Wisconsin at Camp
“Can you imagine the amount of red that’s going to be in that
stadium?” Price said.
His club will help with a pre-game Husker Huddle, which he said
could draw as many as 2,000 Nebraska fans.
Asked for an early prediction on the score, Price grinned.
“Nebraska 27, Wisconsin 24.”He reached into his pocket and handed
over a red “N” decal.”A sticker for your bumper,” he said. “It
detaches easily. In case you feel the need to tear it off.”
Contact Doug Moe at 608-252-6446 or firstname.lastname@example.org