Student appreciates Husker college football tradition
By Jordan Huesers, NewsNetNebraska
He’s the fan who yells the “Go Big Red” chant as people file up the bridge toward the stadium.
Vibrant and outgoing, Walter Schmidt walks around the Nebraska Cornhusker tailgates in the North Bottoms of Lincoln, Nebraska, like he knows everyone. A senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Schmidt has never missed an opportunity to partake in the ever so popular tailgating tradition. He’s not afraid to strike up a conversation or drink a beer with anyone who is decked out in Husker apparel.
Originally from Boston, Schmidt said there’s nothing quite like the Midwest’s college football season, especially those Husker fans. “Massachusetts does have big universities,” he said. “But they don’t have the college football culture. Even though I don’t really care at all about sports, I think it’s just a great spirit in the whole city.”
For the Nebraska Homecoming game, Schmidt showed his Husker dedication by hopping out of bed at 8:30 a.m. after a long Friday night downtown. He rejuvenated himself with a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin sandwich, grabbed an Uber beer and joined his friends to kick off tailgating for the day.
Schmidt typically goes to the same area in the North Bottoms to tailgate at his friend’s house. Because it is a college student’s house, (tight budgets) there are no hot dogs, cheese dips, crock pots full of chili. Because Schmidt has such an outgoing personality, he has made friends with the families who tailgate next door.
They are all couples over the age of 50 who enjoy spending time talking to Schmidt, feeding him some of their hot salsa with corn chips, and sharing laughs while playing corn hole.
“It brings people together,” he said. “I don’t actually know what’s so fun about drinking and hanging out with people in the morning and during the day. But people look forward to it. People love to go all out and dress up and have adventurous days. I think the best place to tailgate is in the North Bottoms because it’s always all college students, and I always run into people. I am a social butterfly, so.”