By Randy York
The Nebraska Athletic Department placed 200 time capsules - 100 in each of two vaults - and then buried both Thursday outside Gate 20 – the official entrance into the expanded East Stadium side of Memorial Stadium. Let the record show that Nebraska’s Capital Planning and Construction team lowered the first vault into its underground home, where it will remain for the next 50 years. Both vaults will be opened in the fall of 2062. Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst participated in Thursday’s commemoration.
The East Stadium time capsules honor 50 consecutive years of Nebraska football sellouts, and they serve as motivation for the next generation of Husker fans to compare where they are a half century from now with the way they were in 2012. A wide variety of people and organizations, including fans, coaches, players, athletic department staffers and media members, helped fill the time capsules.
Even though the time capsules inspire future Big Red fans to appreciate and honor Husker football history, some used the occasion to accelerate other expectations. Knowing the time capsules would be loaded with books and special media about football, Mike Babcock, Nebraska’s top football historian, chose to include a book about Nebraska basketball history, thinking, perhaps that the school with the most major college football wins in the last half century may be celebrating new heights on the hardwood in the next 50 years.
The Nebraska men’s basketball staff buried an all-red uniform in its time capsule. To commemorate the Huskers’ first sold-out basketball season in history, NU’s staff also buried a retro jersey and a “Rise to the Occasion” tee-shirt that challenged Husker fans to embrace basketball with the same enthusiasm they give football. Nebraska, of course, sold every seat in the new Pinnacle Bank Arena six months before the opening tip. Some see that as a signal, a sign and a statement that Nebraska wants to be known for its basketball history in the next half century as well as its football history.
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