Most times, when your favorite team moves from its stadium or arena — its home for decades — that move practically drips with nostalgia. You think Ebbets Field. You think the old Boston Garden. You think Rosenblatt.
You do not think the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
This year, the Nebraska basketball team is indeed moving from Devaney, its home for nearly four decades, but you would need a magnifying glass to find the nostalgia.
It’s hard to get nostalgic for a building that looks like a super-sized version of the shed you put up next to your house. And it’s hard to get nostalgic when the Nebraska basketball team has long been a combination of mediocre and unlucky and then, for the past decade, just plain bad.
But here is the thing about sports fans, real diehard sports fans — they just continue to buy a ticket and park themselves in the Devaney Center’s plastic seats. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, then the Nebraska basketball fan is either the most loyal or the most insane creature to wander our city. Maybe both.
And this person is exactly who I’m looking for.
I’m looking for an Omahan who has made the lonely trek down Interstate 80 and braved long, cold winter nights inside Devaney. I’m looking for an Omahan who has lived and died — okay, mostly died — with the Nebraska basketball team through thick and thin — okay, mostly thin. I’m looking for an Omahan who can’t stand Creighton.
I’m looking for a real die-hard, who will be attending the Nebraska-Michigan State game on Feb. 16. I’m looking for a die-hard who will talk to me about the highs and lows, the good and evil, the heartbreak and the hope that has been Nebraska basketball in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (402)444-1064 if you or someone you know fits the bill.