Husker tailgater’s lifestyle means fans are family
By: Ashley Wolff, NewsNetNebraska
Larry Chandler Jr. unpacks his red truck covered in Husker magnets and filled to the brim with team paraphernalia and seemingly endless crock pots of food. The sun is still barely peaking over the tall buildings in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska as Chandler, his friends and his family set up their tailgate. It is Husker game day in Nebraska, making it hard to look any direction without seeing a fan wearing red.
As family and friends begin to pile in, Chandler is continuously moving and making sure everything flows absolutely perfectly for his guests. He knows how it works too- he’s been doing this for the last fifteen years. Rebecca Lambries-Connor has known Chandler for the last 30 years and says with a smile on her face, “You won’t see Larry sit down once today. He just keeps on going.”
Chandler explains that this tailgate originated from a friend named Red Harris. Harris started this tailgate with just himself, a buddy, and two parking spots. Slowly two people turned to four, four turned to ten, and now over 150 family and friends rely on this tailgate to support their game day fun.
Harris, who is now suffering from brain cancer, cannot make it to the tailgates as often as he would like too. Yet, he and his wife surprise everyone when they drive into the tailgate parking lot. Friends flock to his car with handshakes and hugs to say hello. “This is really like an extended family we have here,” says Chandler.
Chandler has been a Husker football fan for his entire life. He recalls back to being a kid and listening to the Husker games on the radio while sitting in a hunting blind with his family. He continues, “That’s what being a Husker fan is all about. Spending time with the ones you love.”Hear Larry Chandler Jr. explain more on what it is like to be a Husker fan.
As smoke continues to rise from the grill, more and more people fill the space under the Cornhusker labeled tents with red cups in their hands and smiles on their faces. Some fans play a game of washers as others begin to huddle around the television anticipating kickoff. Chandler is still on his feet, making sure his guests are well fed and enjoying themselves.