If you ever take time to notice my mug shot with the articles (I hope you don’t spend TOO much time) you can’t miss the ball cap for my alma mater and favorite team. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.

So to celebrate my 100th article on this site, I am going to write about my gameday in Lincoln to open the Big 10 Conference at home, and a player that ALL of you need to know about…if you don’t know already.

First off, this past weekend in Lincoln was a big day. For you non-husker types – – every day that is a football game on the schedule is a big deal. The downtown Lincoln area is packed with a couple hundred thousand people – many who travel from well out of state and far off lands – – known as wherever the visiting team is from.

This Saturday was special. It was the first home Big 10 Conference game for Nebraska. Excitement was in the air. The forecast was for wind and rain. Poncho sales were brisk. I had all the good intentions to provide live “Tweets” from the tailgate and the game for the matter. Unfortunately for me, Verizon, who happens to be the “official” phone of the Huskers somehow cannot provide cell phone service that is worth a darn anywhere near the stadium (and coincidentally worse IN the stadium) on a game day, so no live updates on game day.

Our tailgate was our largest ever, we had the neighbors in the parking lot who bring their mobile brick pizza oven share in the fun to have one seriously large combined tailgate. It was borderline out of control at times, and we were over-run with people as kick off neared. We ran out of beverages well before planned. A thirsty tailgate party is not necessarily a happy tailgate party. …but no uprisings occurred for us on South Stadium drive.

The game was an electric atmosphere. The Buckeyes got off to an early lead, milking half of the first quarter away. The teams traded blows, in the first half Nebraska was not the better team and found themselves in a large hole to start the 2nd half. They promptly got behind by yet another touchdown to trail 27-6 and the outlook for the Cornhuskers seemed bleak.

The defense made a couple of big plays. The Ohio State quarterback, Braxton Miller got injured, the momentum had swung. The crowd was back in it. The defense was playing with more and more confidence and reckless abandon. The offensive line was starting to make better blocks. The passing game was clicking and the running game was churning out on a gutsy performance in the 4th quarter on the legs of a guy wearing #22.

Too many times fans (me included) get too caught up in the wins and losses on the field. Sports provide a lot of excitement for those of us who are fans. At the end of the day we need to remember and reflect that the players that we idolize and that we emmulate and root for are people just like you and me. This is true weather you are talking professional sports or college sports. At the end of the day, there are bigger things than wins and losses on the field of play. But sometimes a player is special both on and off the field, and one Nebraska player deserves special mention in my mind.

For those who have watched or follow Nebraska you know all about Rex Burkhead. He played quite a bit as a true freshman, he was an integral part of the squad last year.

Burkhead is a fan favorite. He is not the biggest guy, not the fastest guy, my guess is if you met him on the street you likely wouldn’t peg him as a Division I football player.

Husker Faithful love this guy. He is scrappy, always play hard, he runs tough. He hands the ball to the official when he scores touchdowns. He smiles alot. He is humble and softspoken in front of the press.

What’s not to like?

There is a lot more to like than most of you know.

Recently Randy York who writes for Huskers.com wrote an insightful article on Rex Burkhead. I would suggest you read it by following this link, and I would encourage you to share it with your friends. 

 I know there are hundreds of similar stories on many college campuses and pro sports towns around the country. The problem is we hear about all the times players get in trouble, or they play poorly, or they say something to the media that they might regret later.

I vividly remember Charles Barkley saying that “I am not a role model” on Nike commercials in my much younger days.

My son is a huge Rex Burkhead fan – mainly because he is 5 1/2 years old and has a Burkhead jersey (#22) . But after reading York’s article I am going continue and try to raise my son in a way so he might grow up to be like Rex…not as a football player, but as a person.

I normally don’t ask people who read my article to forward it on, but in this case I urge you to do so. Spread the story of a nice young college athlete, it doesn’t matter if you are a Nebraska fan or not, but we should all aspire follow the example set for by Rex Burkhead.

Sorry Chuck. I’ll take my chances with guys like number twenty two for the scarlet and cream. He IS a role model.

Until next Time – – – Stay classy Plano Texas!

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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