Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a big football fan. This fact is even stranger when you realize I live in Nebraska, which has one of the most enthusiastic fan bases in college football. But I never realized how enthusiastic some fans are till I got the opportunity to attend a game this weekend.
It was raining and cold as we started out in the morning and my less than enthusiastic attitude was reminding me why I don’t go to many games. But as we drove some 50 miles to the game the rain cleared up. By the time we found a place to park at what seemed a mile from the stadium the weather was merely cold.
Even though the Huskers haven’t had the best record lately a new coach has re-energized the crowd’s hopes for a good season. As a result the stadium continues to be a sellout. The people on the way to the stadium and in the stands are crammed together creating the well known “Sea of Red.” Seats are at a premium and the games have been a straight sell out for years. However this Saturday as my nephew and I were fighting our way through the crowd to our seats in the nosebleed section way up, we noticed an empty seat in the first row on the fifty yard line.
As an unused seat at this perfect location was more than an oddity I asked the gentleman sitting next to the space if the seat was taken.
“No.” he says, “The seat is empty.”
“That’s incredible!” I replied. “Who in there right mind would miss using a seat with such a great view of the field?”
“Well actually the seat is mine.” He answered, “My wife would always sit there but she passed away recently. This is the first game where we haven’t been together in seven seasons.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. for your loss. But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend or relative or even a neighbor to take the seat?”
The man shook his head. “No, they’re all at the funeral.”
Sorry but this story just wouldn’t have worked on April first.