A part-time Cyclone fan


File photo: Iowa State Daily

Nebraska running back Marion Lucky attempts to break a tackle by Iowa State’s Alvin Bowen during Saturday’s game, Sept. 29, 2007, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Lucky ran for 107 yards and one touchdown to help lift the Huskers over the Cyclones 35-17. Photo: Ross LaDue/Iowa State Daily

Stefanie Buhrman

I will let you in on a little secret that is not so secret: I am a huge Nebraska fan. So much so that Ndamukong Suh is my Prince Charming, Bo Pelini is my noble steed, Tom Osborne is my faithful wizard and Bill Callahan is the evil stepfather in my football fairy tale. And let me say, it’s a good thing that the parents got divorced.

When I first accepted my admission into Iowa State, I tried so hard to give my heart to the Cyclones. I watched their rival game in that fall of 2006 and had never felt so torn. I was still wearing my No. 45 Joel Makovicka jersey and sitting on the floor in my basement inconsistently cheering for both teams. But by the end of the game, I knew that I would always bleed Husker red.

So here I am getting my higher education at Iowa State as a Nebraska fan. I get a lot of sass for being a Nebraska fan here. I’ve been called names like “traitor” and other things far less civil.

Several people have asked me why I don’t attend the University of Nebraska. I remind them that my four years at Iowa State are, surprisingly, about my academics and not about athletics and ask if they came to Iowa State for the football team.

Sometimes they say yes, and I worry for them. Not because I think ISU athletics are awful — people like Paul Rhoads and Bill Fennelly have increased my love for Cyclone sports tenfold — but because that is an awful way to make a decision for college if you aren’t an athlete.

Don’t get me wrong, when Iowa State is playing anyone but Nebraska, I hope they do well. In fact, I hope the Cyclones have a near perfect season of the 12-1 sort. But when it comes to that yearly game where my two favorite teams battle each other, I hope Nebraska wins; always.

Does it make me a bad Cyclone? Maybe.

Yet since I’ve been attending Iowa State, I have been to every Nebraska vs. Iowa State game — twice at Memorial Stadium and once at Jack Trice. All three times, I have sat in Cyclone territory, which can be a great time or an awful time.

I also hear a ton about how Nebraska has crappy fans: they are rude and obnoxious, sore losers and sore winners. Yeah, some of them are, but not all of us. Every team is that way, even Iowa State. I witnessed this at the last Iowa State-Nebraska game — yes, the one where Iowa State won, I know, I know — to which I stress: There is a difference between being excited for a win and being a jerk.

I see other fans on campus all the time wearing their favorite Nebraska shirt or hat. I always try to compliment them, letting them know that we are in a special club of Nebraska lovin’ and that they aren’t alone. In fact, even as a group we aren’t alone. I see people everyday wearing an Iowa Hawkeyes shirt, a Texas Longhorns jersey or even a UNI Panthers hat.

When I see these people around campus, I often find myself respecting them a little bit more for not being afraid to show their pride for another school.