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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: 2011 Fan Day Turns Into a "Thank You" From NU

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

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By Erin Sorensen
“Thanks for coming out today and for being a fan.”
Husker players and coaches were quick to thank the supporters that stood in line to meet them at every table during Nebraska’s 2011 Fan Day. With only an hour and a half on a Friday afternoon, the Cornhuskers did all that they could to make everyone feel both welcomed and appreciated. Many players and coaches stayed beyond the 3:30 P.M. end time to sign last minute autographs including Bo Pelini.
While standing in line, it was clear that moving the annual event to a Friday, versus the usual Saturday schedule, put a strain on many schedules. For those that could make it, many chose to take a day off from work. According to one fan who was sharing his story in line for the quarterbacks’ signatures, he knew it would mean the world to his son to meet Taylor Martinez. In the middle of a muggy August afternoon, that’s exactly what they did.
The date change was unpopular, but it wasn’t a deterrent after all. The lines were so long that in some cases, those in attendance realized it would be impossible to meet every player. Snap decisions had to be made over which players were vital to meet. Last Friday, the coaches, quarterbacks and running backs were the most popular groupings. However, no line offered less than a 20-minute wait making for severely difficult choices.
Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Brandon Kinnie led the pack of wide receivers. For those lucky enough to get through the line, Kinnie even provided a special surprise for fans – his son Julian was on his lap to help sign autographs.
Walking past other tables, positive attitudes and good times were apparent everywhere. Rex Burkhead shook hands and posed for photos. Bo Pelini chose to sign autographs, rain or shine without a tent along with his staff. Jared Crick even ignored coaches’ requests to leave the field as he signed a little boy’s hat. Appreciation for players, coaches and fans seemed to be equal on all sides if not more so by the guys in jerseys and polos.
While the date change was inconvenient for many, the Nebraska Cornhuskers made sure no one left without a “thanks.” The bond between the players was prevalent and that was what ultimately made Fan Day a success. While everyone in attendance would have enjoyed more time with the team, no one could complain that they felt ignored. This day was truly all about the fans.
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