Husker football sparks a love story for the Hiebners

Mike (left) and Jen (right) both attended University of Nebraska at Kearney, but first met in Lincoln.

Mike (left) and Jen (right) Hiebner both attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, but first met in Lincoln on game day.

Tucked behind the famous prediction board at Melichar 66, Jen and Mike Hiebner continue a shared lifelong tradition of Nebraska football.

On the back of a new red Ford pickup sits a flat-screen TV among a sea of food. The couple holds one of 50 parking spots at the Philips 66 gas station at 205 N. Ninth St.

“Now that we’re here, we’ll never give it up,” Jen Hiebner said.

Tucked between Barry's Bar & Grill and The Holiday Inn sits Melichar 66. The family-owned filling station is home to hundreds of Husker fans each game day.

Tucked between Barry’s Bar & Grill and The Holiday Inn sits Melichar 66. The family-owned filling station is home to hundreds of Husker fans each game day.

The couple, both of whom work and live in Henderson, Nebraska, with their two young daughters, measure many major milestones by games days:

  • 2007: The pair’s first meeting before the Husker season opener.Listen to how Mike and Jen met
  •  2008: The Hiebner’s gained their spot at Melichar 66.
    • 2013: Jen Hiebner hosted her sister’s bachelorette party at the tailgate for the Northwestern game.

Their tailgate has become a home every Saturday—a gathering place for family and 100 of their closest friends.

Jen Hiebner, who is expecting a new little Husker in coming months, busily sets up food and unloads the beer; only 11 cases today.

“Thirty-nine cases of beer is our record,” Mike Hiebner said.

By 10:30 a.m. friends are already trickling in and beers are being cracked. The first food to be cut into are Jen Hiebner’s famous brownies, which she said are the real reason they get to keep their spot.

Even though they have season tickets now, Jen Hiebner said she loves staying at the tailgate where game day excitement is shared among food and friends.

“You can actually hear the stadium cheer from here.”

 

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