By Randy York
So what we have here in Nebraska is a mid-July Elite Eight on the Road to the Final Four in Big Red memorabilia … a fan vote Monday and Tuesday between a belt-buckle collection vs. a tunnel mural and a Husker Shrine with footballs vs. a program from Tom Osborne’s first game as a head coach. On Wednesday and Thursday, the voting pits a 1923 season ticket letter vs. a program from a 1924 Husker game, plus an impressive collection of memorabilia vs. an I.M. Hipp jersey that was torn off one of Nebraska’s most fabled walk-ons in the 1979 Orange Bowl.
Only in Nebraska will you find 138,000 Twitter accounts and more than 543,000 Facebook fans having instant access to cast a vote between #HuskerBuckles vs #TunnelMurals and a #HuskerFootballShrine vs #1stProgram. Only in Nebraska would two Modern Era memorabilia collectors go head-to-head, followed by two Osborne Era accumulators who have memorabilia from a quarter century of success that allowed Osborne to average more than 10 wins and fewer than two losses per game over 25 consecutive years.
Only in Nebraska can fans celebrate 125 Seasons of Husker Football with their favorite pieces of memorabilia in a unique contest that sends the Grand Prize winner and another to corporate sideline seats in Memorial Stadium for an 8 p.m. Homecoming Game against Illinois on Sept. 27th, plus a two-night stay a few blocks away at the Downtown Holiday Inn and a Misty’s gift card.
Each Era Will Be Represented in Final Four
Following Final Four survivors in the Modern and Osborne Eras in the first two days of voting will be head-to-head voting Wednesday and Thursday to determine the Devaney and Old School Eras that will solidify each era a spot in the Final Four of Husker memorabilia. So congratulations to all Elite Eight qualifiers – Brett Johnson and Colby Quaif (Modern Era), Myles Frohling and James Herrold (Osborne Era), Doyle Lyon and Scott Butterfield (Old School Era) and Chad Johns and Amanda Badget (Devaney Era).
Johnson has collected belt buckles from his father since 1983. Quaif’s mural features his dad and his two oldest sons as fans and his step-dad who played for the Huskers in 1956. Frohling’s shrine includes game balls from the 1979 and 1994 Orange Bowls, including autographs from both Tom Osborne and Bobby Bowden, plus an Osborne-autographed game ball from the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. Herrold’s program signifies Osborne’s transition from Devaney’s offensive coordinator to his own perch among college football’s elite coaches.
Lyon acquired his 1923 ticket letter via eBay from a seller who had no idea of its historical significance because it represented Nebraska’s first season inside Memorial Stadium. Butterfield’s 1924 program came from Nebraska’s Homecoming Game against Colgate. John’s impressive collection of memorabilia includes pop bottles, glasses, 1966 faculty tickets and a model of Memorial Stadium made from LEGOs. I.M. Hipp’s jersey has a cache all its own. Isaiah Moses Walter Hipp became one of the nation’s hippest names when Nebraska was the only school in the country to respond to and accept the talented South Carolina-based running back’s request to walk on. Badget submitted the jersey owned by her husband.
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