Inspiration Journal

The True Spirit of Nebraska: Sam Foltz Tribute Left Us All In Tears

The True Spirit of Nebraska www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Christy Margritz

I am a corn bred, Husker football loving, Nebraskan girl. If you aren’t familiar with being a born and bred Husker, here are a few things to clue you into Husker Nation.

  1. Everything stops, for the most part, on game day! Most stores are empty and you will be lucky to find a spot at any local sports bar because we are gathered together there or at someone’s house with the television turned to any coverage of pre-game and post-game and then of course the game!
  2. You will spot red everywhere on game day! We not only bleed red, but wear red!
  3. Football Saturdays are not meant for weddings or other events unless you plan it for the bye week or you plan on having a live feed of the game going at the same time.
  4. Our pump up music is Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project. It gives us chills! If you don’t know the song, look up the Nebraska Tunnel Walk on YouTube.
  5. When the team wins, WE win! And when we have a heartbreaking loss, the whole state feels it.

We live and breathe Husker Football. Some may say it is because we have nothing better to do in Nebraska but watch college football. There may be some truth to that, but really it comes down to tradition and legacy. We have been named one of the best places to visit for game day and it comes down to so much more than just our football team, it comes down to the true spirit of Nebraska.

Saturday night we had our season opener and I am not sure there were many dry eyes in the state as we honored one of our own. On July 23rd, Nebraska lost a great man and kicker to a tragic care accident that made us all stop to grieve and pray for those who loved Sam Foltz. During the pre-game we witnessed Drew Brown present the first Sam Foltz Memorial Scholorship by Gerald and Jill Foltz, Sam’s parents, and family. If it wasn’t difficult enough not to watch and not tear up with Sam’s mom, the television turned to the Tunnel Walk. Leading the pack was Drew Brown with Sam’s two young nephews proudly wearing their uncle’s jersey! They ran for him!

Then Nebraska did one of the most honoring things. They took the field for the first punt of the game, one man short. No one stood in the punter position, it was meant for Sam. The crowd erupted as players pointed toward the Heavens, bowed their heads, and paid tribute to their teammate. Thank you Fresno State for declining the penalty and your graciousness you showed during this time!

This is not the first time or the last time you will see this type of spirit from Husker Nation. Remember Team Jack? Or the balloon release for Nick Pasquale, UCLA wide receiver who passed away after being hit by a car in 2013? We are so much more than just college football.

There really is no place like Nebraska.

Image via Fox News Sports – AP

About the author

Christy Margritz

Born and raised in central Nebraska, Christy lives in Kearney with her husband, daughter, son, and two dogs. She is a preschool teacher with a passion for worship. Some of Christy’s favorite things include singing, dancing, watching movies, or reading a good book. Most days you can find her dancing and singing with her daughter and son!

1 Comment

  • Agreed! I loved the statement from the Fresno State coach regarding their decision to decline the penalty:

    ‘If we can’t teach our guys about doing something classy like that then what is college for?’

    I also remember the entire Husker team joining Penn State for a prayer/moment of silence together right when the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal was coming to light. It’s a great reminder of perspective – that football (even though it’s a big deal for a lot of us) isn’t as important as we sometimes like to think it is!