Published Monday, September 12, 2011 AT 7:57 PM / Updated at 10:13 AM
Pat Hill on NU crowd
Rich Kaipust Omaha World-Herald

You’ve heard opponents say it before, but Fresno State head coach Pat Hill is the latest visitor to Memorial Stadium to voice his appreciation for how his team was treated.

Despite the Bulldogs threatening to pull the upset before eventually falling 42-29, Hill said the crowd Saturday night was “unbelievable.”

“After the game, I’ve never heard so many positive people walking off the field,” Hill said. “Our kids were almost in shock with the type of fans that they have. They were congratulating them on a great game, for playing hard, telling our guys good luck and that’s the type of atmosphere that is great.

“They are intelligent football fans. They appreciate a good football game, they all stayed there at the end and it was a different environment than I’ve ever been in as far as a crowd and people that appreciate the game of football. It was a great atmosphere to play in and I was kind of taken aback walking off the field, because I’ve never heard those kind of positive remarks like that in any game.”

About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at


  1. Mark says:

    Thanks for passing that along Rich. Always like to hear about the good sportsmanship in Memorial Stadium.

    1. skerbater says:

      you must be over 65, old husker fans are too nice.

    2. scott herdt says:

      it goes to show beyond football how Nebraskans are truly a class act how friendly we are someone you dont even know will raise there hand and say hello go big red and hats off to all other nebraskans omly in America

  2. Neal Endacott says:

    Makes me proud to be a husker fan. I wish more stadiums had that kind of atmosphere. Go Big Red!

  3. Brett says:

    Yes! I agree totally with Mark. I just hope the NU fans read stuff like this or hear the feedback that the other teams give them. Go Huskers!

  4. Marv says:

    These stories are great to hear.

  5. Robert says:

    Great state, great football , great people !

  6. HUSKERNATL says:

    I wonder if these are the same fans who complain on the message boards lol

  7. Ron Pfeifer says:

    Fantastic! What a great reflection on the State of Nebraska…!!

  8. Gat says:

    It’s really great reading this sort of thing, but as a younger fan it is kind of a catch-22. This means we don’t really have an intimidating place to play, but as long as we win that is ok. Sometimes I wish we had a rowdier crowd, but I guess that just isn’t who Nebraska is, and in the long run, thats probably a good thing… I suppose.

    1. Husker Always says:

      Hey Gat,

      Good to have the new generation on board. Let me tell you though. Our fan attitude has NOTHING to do with intimidating the other team. It happens on the field. I promise you that in years past, teams did NOT want to come to Lincoln to play and they most definitely felt intimidation. Intimidation by a dominating defense, historic offensive line play and backfields that broke the backs of countless defenses. Oh yeah, and a coach that had an uncanny sense as to when we needed that trick play. A coach that decided instead of winning his first National Championship by going for an easy tie, lost by going for a two point conversion to win the title outright. We have a legacy of doing things the right way! If we can bring that the caliber of play, we’ll have all the intimidation we need. GBR!!!

      1. pistol pete says:

        From the 1991 Washington game until the 1998 Texas game the Huskers never lost a home game. Yes great players had a lot to do with that, in fact most to do with that. But make no mistake, Memorial stadium was loud, rocking and intimidating when the Huskers were in a tough game. See 1994 Colorado.

        What makes me the most proud to be a Nebraskan is that we understand how to give our team as good a home field advantage as there is in the sport, while not being abusive to oposing players, coaches and fans. Sometimes I think we are the only major fan base that gets it.

        Same goes for giving our volleyball team the best home court advantge in the sport while not being jerks to the opponet.

  9. dotbo says:

    I’ll clap for a brilliant performance by an opponent. I’m not clapping for a Husker loss. I hope we don’t simply clap for opponents when they win.

    1. husker says:

      that is the whole point…you most definatley ‘clap’ for the opponent if they beat you. why wouldn’t you? unless you didn’t give it your best effort, and therefore feel as though you deserved to win, in which case you only have yourself to blame, you had better cheer the opponent at the end of a match out of respect for yourself and them

    2. BaconHusker says:


      But wouldn’t it take a brilliant performance to beat our beloved huskers?

  10. Jay says:

    Enough of all the “blue hair” talk at the stadium and how we need to change things. This is the only place where you here this kind of talk and it makes me proud to be a nebraskan.

    1. I agree! And I am proud to be a Husker fan as well, and always will be. We are known for our classy behavior at games. I live in Houston, and a few years ago when the Huskers played the Longhorns, there was a letter in our newspaper from a Longhorn fan that said how amazed they were at how the Husker fans treated them. They beat us that day and our fans clapped at the end of the game in appreciation of good plays on the field.

  11. Anthony Noble says:

    I am surprised that other locations don’t have this kind of atmosphere. It’s entertainment. It’s just schools competing. Fans should respect all that these student athletes need to accomplish to practice, get an education, and have some kind of social life; no matter which school they represent. The visiting fans are guests that appreciate the game. The atmosphere would be lessened without their fans. I just want to see teams play their best with their best athletes. It’s amazing to watch. That said, I usually lose my voice in support of my Huskers. And I seem to be one of the few who do anymore. Ever since they started drowning-out the crowd with the replay boards, the crowd doesn’t seem to know how to cheer. Do you remember Colorado 1992? That was before the crowd relied on the boards to make the noise. The crowd made so much noise in support of the Huskers, that it went beyond sound and into a roar that shook your head. You could feel the vibration in the cement under your feet. Colorado’s quarterbacks could not communicate on the sideline, in the huddle, and at the line of scrimmage. Coach McCartney said that he remembered that crowd more any other, anywhere. THAT is what a home-field advantage is. The boards have destroyed it. After the Huskers score and fire up the crowd, on comes some lame “guess the pizza slice” add before kick-off that totally kills the emotion.

  12. Incorrigible1 says:

    I’ve stood and cheered as opposing, sometimes victorious, teams have exited Memorial Stadium. Few things give me a greater sense of pride than participating in that tradition. Pat Hill hasn’t just fallen off the turnip truck. This guy has been around a fair piece. Those are some damned fine accolades there, folks, that he’s acknowledged to Husker fans. Good luck to the Bulldogs!

    1. kevin says:

      I think you are speaking after a win, would you feel the same way after a loss? I am a true husker fan and in theory I like the idea of cheering for competitive play… are we really that good natured? I think that people tend to believe the best of the situation and, in this case, the cheering for the WINNER Nebraska and thus the loser Freso State. This reality may be present for one, maybe two losses, but will Husker fans truly feel this way after multiple, HOME, losses? If yes, I am not sure that is truly a statement to be appreciated.

      1. Incorrigible1 says:

        Kevin, it’s evident you didn’t comprehend my first sentence.

      2. BaconHusker says:

        We’re not congratulating the team as much as the individual kids. After the game is over, the game is over. Give the kids their due credit

      3. California Husker says:

        You applaud the opposing team whether they beat the Huskers or not. It is called sportsmanship and the lack of sportsmanship is a big degeneration of many so-called fans in this country. Unfortunately, our sports society has become in many cases, not all, a trash talking and taunting one. You give your opponent your best shot, they give you theirs, and you shake hands, win or lose after it is over. Plus, many of today’s fans are not realizing that it is just a game. That is it, a game. The fans cheer and the players compete. So it should be the players and the coaches who enjoy the win or hurt after a loss the most and not the fans. Fans should just go on and move on to the next game. Period.

  13. California Husker says:

    It makes me proud to have grown up in Nebraska. I live in San Diego now, but stories like that one are just what I like to read. That is the type of environment that college sports should have at their stadiums. Football is just a game and it is good to watch a solid competitive football game. Fans should show class. I also like the fact that the schedule is very challenging this year. It should be and that is what makes college football such a great game. Go Huskers! Thank you to Pat Hill and his Fresno State Bulldogs for showing up and giving the Huskers a great battle. Go Big Red!

  14. Bryan says:

    Originally from Florida, then living in Oklahoma as an 9 year old, the first real game I can recall was Dr. Tom’s first victory of the Devil, I mean Barry Switzer and his OU Sooners. I was an instant Husker fan, and most people who know me, would swear I was born in Nebraska( I have a crazy amount of Husker stuff all through at my home, and maybe 15 Husker Hats, 15 T-shirts, etc. etc.) I have been to several Husker road games, and sadly, only one home game. The difference in Nebraska’s home crowd and that of other states, is amazingly different. I have been cussed out, spit at, had stuff thrown at me and that was just at Baylor. Nebraska, Nebraskans, Husker Fans, NEVER, NEVER, Change your hospitality. I was born a Floridian, I will die a HUSKER…… GO BIG RED!!!!!!!!!

  15. Howie Husker says:

    I wish I could have given Derek Carr a round of applause after that game. That kid is going to be a Heisman candidate sometime in his college career and then playing on Sundays after that. I thought he looked better than his big brother.

  16. DC Husker says:

    I only wish we approached game time with as much effort and energy. We seem to save all of our energy for telling the other team ‘thanks for coming out’ and use very little after yelling ‘husker power.’. Memorial is a great place to see a game, as an opponent. It is also however, the most timid crowd of 60K+ I’ve ever been around. And yes, I know it seat 85k…that’s the point.

  17. Tbear says:

    Visiting teams feel too comfortable at our stadium and it seems to bring out their best performances. It wouldn’t surprise me that this is Fresno St. best played game of the year. I would prefer their experience here to be one of misery and “let’s get the hell out of here”!

  18. G says:

    Keep patting yourselves on the back. When your own homegrown players don’t perform to your liking they get treated very poorly by the most fair weathered fans in the country.

    1. History speaks says:

      Look back in the recent history, I point you to Callahan era. You will note this beahvior Coach Hill was elluding too was evident even when the Huskers where losing, and big in some cases. You speak as though you have some axe to grind.

  19. Highdef says:

    … during this Fresno St game, watching the tv cameras pan the crowd, I realized why our home games are so quiet: 2 reasons. One, 78% of the fans really do have blue hair, or, have no hair at all. After taking their blood pressure and arthritis medications, they don’t have the strength to get loud. And two, the rest of the fans all have their heads down, as they text, tweet and twitter every 2.5 minutes. It’s no wonder why opposing teams love comin’ to Lincoln- it’s like playing in a LIBRARY! Let’s face it, Nebraska should have lost this game. And unless the crowd soon turns into the “12th” man, our OFF and DEF aren’t going to win a lot of home games this season.

  20. Highdef says:

    .. 3/4th of the crowd is geriatric, and 1/4th of the crowd has their heads bent down, texting and tweeting and twirping and … well, you get the drift. No wonder other teams love playing in Memorial Stadium… it’s a LIBRARY!

    1. History speaks says:

      I would venture a guess you are one of the most vocal minority that is fearful of a well meant congrats to the opposition. In the end this is just a game and we as fans dont really need to live vicariously through that game.

  21. jay says:

    If we are looking to blame something for the stadium being quiet. How about Huskervision? After the tunnel walk, its all commericals and distractions that actually take away from the game.

  22. John says:

    As far as I know there is no rule that says we can’t yell our lungs out and be as loud as we possibly can during the game and then applaud for the opposing team as they leave the field after the game. As a life long Nebraskan, I am extremely proud of the tradition of applauding for the opposing team as they leave and I think this custom is a great reflection of the people of Nebraska. That being said, I am tired of people telling my sons and I to sit down when we are trying to make as much noise as we can to cheer on the defense and do our little part in maybe disrupting the other team’s offense.

    1. California Husker says:

      I agree with you all of the way. My message to you and your sons is to keep on cheering as loud as you want. Nobody has any business telling you to sit down.

  23. Jeff Seaman says:

    HuskerAlways is absolutely correct. The reason coaches and their teams are intimidated by Nebraska is because of the Huskers’ reputation for 60 minutes of grinding, smash-mouth football, not a few hundred sociopaths with a blood alcohol content of 1.5. I remember Bill McCartney saying as much a few years ago. They hate playing at Nebraska because of the ferociousness of the team, not because some sophmore pukes on himself while screaming epithets at them.

  24. Robert says:

    As a lifelong Nebraska fan raised in Omaha AND a Fresno State alum, I have to say that I was so proud of my Nebraska kin for their hospitality on Saturday. The game on Saturday was my own personla National Championship – Huskers vs. Bulldogs! I can only hope when the San Joaquin Valley opens its arms in 2014 to the thousands of Nebraska fans that will descend upon the Red Wave, we the residents of Fresno can return the same level of respect. I love Nebraska football and miss my home every time I leave the Cornhusker state. Thanks for the best college football experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to come back to Memorial Stadium in 2016.