The "Voice from the Grandstand" is a weekly feature with Tom Shatel that allows fans to ask questions or share their thoughts on the latest local sports news. It will be posted every week on Thursday.
Send your submissions anytime to Grandstand@owh.com. Please include your name and hometown.
These submissions have been edited only for spelling, grammar and clarification.
Let's get to the Grandstand:
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I am a college student from Omaha, and although I don’t attend UNL, I found myself in the student section for Saturday night’s game, and a few key things stood out from the situation...
1) The fans in the stadium had very little idea how severe the situation actually was. With little to no cell service, little to no updates being provided by the PA announcer, and no radar ever being shown on the big screen, it was very difficult as a fan to judge the severity of the weather, which obviously ended up being a safety hazard.
2) Another thing that crossed my mind was how a situation like this is not thought about when planning a game. It surprises me that there isn’t a “what if” plan when pertaining to hotels, officials, etc. If bad weather is in the forecast, or just for any sporting event in general, I feel as if there should be a plan in place.
3) The final, and most major thing that I noticed at Memorial Stadium was the energy. Although I am young and have a limited sample size, Saturday night was hands down the most electric crowd I have ever been a part of. The moment Frost and the team entered the field from the tunnel was something that I will never forget. Even during the delay, there was still a buzz going through the stadium, and it was relatively full up until they called the game.
Saturday brought a lot of mixed emotions, with disappointment being the overwhelming one as I will most likely not be able to make it to another game this year, but it also provided me with a memory and a story that will last a long time, and in the end, isn’t that what Husker football is all about? Connor McGonigal, Omaha
Thanks Connor. Appreciate your points. As to No. 1, I wonder if there's a way to have a stadium app for phones where they can relay information about the game or weather, traffic, etc. As for No. 2, I don't see any way to reserve hotel rooms for an "in case of horrible weather during a night game" strategy. I don't know of any hotel — with banquet rooms and full-service kitchen for the team — that would hold that many rooms on a football weekend with slim chance that would ever happen. This was the "perfect storm" in many ways of a bad situation. I'm glad the fans got to see the beginning of the game, the Tunnel Walk entrance, etc. That was very cool.
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We went to a football game and a concert broke out. My son and I were two of the many disappointed fans who traveled to Lincoln Saturday night for the Huskers’ home opener but instead sat in the stands for over two hours in the rain and lightning hoping the game would still get played; listening to music and chatting with fans from around the country about Huskers football. In spite of the weather the mood from all of the fans we spoke with was outstanding. What a change from the past 15 years or so. The lyrics from Dear Old Nebraska U have never rang more true. “We’ll all stick together in all kinds of weather for dear old Nebraska U.” Go Big Red! Scott Livingston, Brandon, South Dakota
Well said, Scott.
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Am I being fair to Tristan Gebbia in thinking his timing of leaving the team is somewhat untoward? I am very supportive of the fact a college player should have the right to transfer, especially considering all the time and hard work these young men are required to give and the millions of dollars reaped off their labors while they only receive a scholarship. If Tristan can be a starter at Oregon State then by all means he should leave. However he did it in a way that was harmful to our new coach and team. They were depending on him as he hadn’t hinted at transferring beforehand. I suspect if he had he would have lost the race on that day. It begs the question, should there be a designated period during the year when transferring would not be allowed? Say start of fall practice until the end of the season? Kipp Webb, Cameron, Montana
I have a problem with the timing of it. But that's the world we live in, too. That sounds like a lame excuse. Unfortunately, we let this stuff slide. Makes you wonder if he was telling his teammates all through fall camp, "Trust me. I'm your leader. I have your back." Anyway, I chalk this up to the coaching change and guys who came to play for a certain coach or scheme. I wish players were able to adjust to a scheme — and be a football player, play football in any scheme — but that's not realistic as kids today are more and more specialized and coached by gurus, select teams, etc. I would also add that as Frost builds his culture, it's likely going to be one that many players will want to stay and be part of, rather than skip out the first time of trouble.
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I wanted to know why Patrick O'Brien has to sit out this year. It seems he meets the requirements for exemption, i.e., coaching change, system change. Tim Kautzman, Elkhorn
Don't know the answer to that, Tim. The rule is applied in a very subjective way, seems to be interpreted differently for each situation. Same would apply to Gebbia, too. But not Noah Vedral, and maybe that's because he followed his coach. I'll check into that, but I'm not sure there is an answer.
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Well we have been season ticket holders for 20 years and my folks since 1963. Last year we cancelled them before the season. I just knew something was wrong with the Bob Diaco hiring and Mark Banker firing over the phone and IMHO no way Mike Riley would do that on his own and must have been forced to so I knew there was something terribly wrong. Didn’t see a single game in person last year. Never have I been so disappointed in our team.
Anyway this year I am excited but haven’t talked my wife into season tickets again. We still donate but live in Coto de Caza, California, so it’s a costly trip for us and our now 10-year-old twins. Luckily for us I have planned a 10-day trip and was always planning on seeing the first two games.
We left the stadium and went to the Cornhusker Hotel and were so excited when Fox ran the ticker that said 10:30 a.m. kickoff. My kids were jumping on the beds. Then it changed and there were tears. We are sad but will be there Saturday and hope to see Frosty take it to the Buffaloes. We are sort of their bugaboo kind of like Texas is ours.
Go Big Red! Stay Frosty! Brian J. Staudenmaier, Coto de Caza, California
Thanks Brian. Good to see you back, and get those tickets back! I think you'll be glad you did.
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I'm a student here at the university. My first game as a student was Mike Riley's first game against BYU and let me tell you, I'd rather have rain and lightning than hail and Mary. This staff is used to this situation. Games were cancelled just last year because of hurricanes. I have full confidence this staff will have these guys ready to play no matter what. The Ra Ra of the Tunnel Walk was cool and all but these players are more about competition now and that's what excites me. I've waited my entire life (born in 1997) for real Husker football, I think I can wait another week. Chris Lantz, Lincoln
Thanks Chris. Love that rain and lightning line.
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Not since the James brothers rode away from the Northfield Bank have we seen such a heist. The University Of Akron rode into Lincoln undefeated and rode out again untouched, unblemished and undefeated. With over a million dollars in their saddle bags? Father Fitz, Scottsdale, Arizona
Not yet, Father. Hard to blame them for going home if they had to stay in dorms with players spread everywhere, plus forecast for Sunday was weird. They haven't got the money yet. Got a feeling they'll have to come back on Dec. 1 to get it.
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We should build a dome over Memorial Stadium and make Colorado pay for it. Making Nebraska Great Again. Don Cunningham
I thought Iowa was paying for it.
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It’s great to start this feature back up again. I was always writing in back in the day. I distinctly remember a particularly scathing one I sent after the ’75 bowl loss to ASU, castigating the new staff, and how they couldn’t win the big one — a LOT of water under the bridge since then, lol. Kevin, Axtell
Thanks Kevin. The Voice was alive and well in the '90s, and there were some interesting weeks back then. We'll try to have some fun, too!
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This is so great! When I was a young man the first thing I read every day was the voice with Wally Provost. Wally and I didn't always agree but he almost always responded to my letters. And the best part of this is now I don't have to write and mail a letter. Can you picture Wally's response if someone had told him that he had an email? Mike Johnson
You can certainly argue with your friendly neighborhood columnist a lot faster!