To Our Readers
I like football, don't get me wrong, but my wife is an outright college football fanatic -- no, make that maniac. As longtime University of Hawaii Warrior season-ticket buyers, we paid our dues through the last, lean Wagner years and the vonAppen famine -- no fair-weather friends or sunshine patriots here.
Yes, there is
a better way
Mary's football mania was nurtured in the fertile fields and pastures of Nebraska, however, while mine was merely spawned in front of our old black-and-white Silvertone TV. I'll never forget Lindsey Nelson's twangy voiceover -- "It's a beautiful day for college football," he'd always say.
So, while I can sometimes take it or leave it, Mary will always find time to check the Big Red page at omaha.com to get the latest scoop on her beloved Cornhuskers. Since Toniu Fonoti, Junior Tagoa'i and Tony Tata joined starting center Dominic Raiola in Lincoln, she now has four Hawaii Huskers to cheer for, too.
All this is to explain why we were in South Bend, Ind., instead of Aiea last Saturday to watch No. 1 ranked Nebraska play at Notre Dame for the first time since 1947. When a friend called months ago to say he had two tickets and would we like to go, it was a no-brainer -- at least for Mary.
Notre Dame stadium -- the St. Peter's Basilica of college football -- has 80,000 seats. Four thousand were allocated to Nebraska, but reporters estimated there were 30,000 red-shirted Husker fans in the crowd. Tickets have a face value of $36, but scalpers were reportedly getting up to $1,000 for sideline seats.
What was amazing, though, was how smoothly people got into and out of this city of only 102,000. Parking lots were filling up before 9 a.m. for the 1:30 kickoff. Permanent lane signs marked designated routes to stadium lots and parking passes sold in advance avoided traffic jams at the entrances.
The Husker's overtime victory made the trip worthwhile for you-know-whom, but the experience was reassuring to me, too. Stadium traffic jams are avoidable. We've seen it done.
John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 525-8612, fax to 523-8509, send
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.