About five weeks ago, Huskermax linked to an auction from CU where they were auctioning off the Big XII banners from their basketball arena. Evidently my wife and I saw the link at the same time and both decided that we wanted to buy the thing for me. Long story short, we didn't bid against one another, but we were the folks who paid $678 for a banner from CU. Guess we're suckers, since the CU banner only went for $400 (OU went for $225), but how many times will I get a chance to get a tie to Nebrasketball and Danny Nee?
During my tenure at Nebraska, my friends and I purchased student season tickets, which were pretty awesome because they were just a punch card for the first couple of years. Swipe your ID, get a hole punched, and off to "40 minutes of heck" (I'm pretty sure only my dorm mates will get that one). We had some great experiences at Devaney, like heckling Chauncey Billups, praying that Tyronn Lue would dunk, being sad that Cookie Belcher left, receiving lame t-shirts like "Kimani is my Ffriend," or taunting Bill Byrne with the taglines "$40 million athletic department budget - Danny Nee is our head coach" and "Hey Bill, if we lose to the Rooskies, can we get a new head coach?" The highlight of my fandom was having a brief video of me and three friends yelling at an official used in a video as an example of "what not to do at Devaney during a game." Yeah, we were young and dumb, but we had a ton of fun. We also went on the road to Iowa State (twice) and K-State (Once. That arena smelled like hog manure.). Email me if you want a funny (to me) story about Marcus Fizer shooting free throws at ISU.
The whole point of this is to demonstrate that while I don't really care all that much about Nebrasketball today (sorry Doc Sadler, but you're no Danny Nee), I do particularly cherish the time in college that I spent at the games with my friends. That's why this banner is kind of special for me - it represents an often overlooked portion of my time at Nebraska, and I also think it will make an awesomely bold statement when I finally hang it up.
Back to the saga of the banner, though. After winning the auction, I got my final bill from CU, which added a $3.50 shipping charge to the bill. What, $678 wasn't enough, vermin? Anyhow, my card run for $681.50, I anxiously awaited the arrival of my banner. I guess you could say I was probably about as excited as the dad in A Christmas Story when the box marked "FRAGILE" arrived (that's Italian for those who don't know). After two weeks, I finally called CU and asked them what was taking so long. The guy said to me, "Oh, it hasn't shipped yet. It's going out today. All packed up." Yeah, right, dude. I'm sure that's what was going on. He told me he'd email me the shipping information, then hung up.
Flash forward four days, and still no email or box. I called the guy again. "Oh, yeah. I'll send it to you. Let me check the tracking number. Yeah, it should be there today. I'm sending you the tracking number." The email shows up and, lo and behold, it's already been delivered! This was the same day I put my new plates on the car, so it was like a doubly-awesome Husker Friday. I arrived home and was greeted by the box sitting on the chaise lounge in the front room. It looked like a third grader had climbed all over it.
Not to worry, though. This thing is fabric, so it will be okay, right? I opened the box, and it looked like the same third-grader had packed it:
The banner was thrown in the bottom with a certificate of authenticity on top, and then some of those air bags were just kind of thrown in there. Note to CU: you're supposed to fill the box with those things, not just put four in and call it a day. Like I said, though, there was a certificate of authenticity, carefully inserted so that its integrity was preserved:
It's creased and has real bits of buffalo, so you know it's good. After taking a good long look at the certificate, I decided that it needs to be framed and displayed with the banner. Let's take a look at the banner itself:
Yeah, it's kind of big. Good thing we have 12' high ceilings in this place! I played around with putting in different places, but didn't hang it because I didn't have the hardware. Here's my favorite place, though I know it won't go there:
That gives you an idea of how big this thing is.
I wish I had hung it, though, because the next day this showed up:
Yeah. Now the house is full of boxes, and for some reason, my wife wants me to unpack before setting up everything else. I'm thinking it will hang adjacent to the entertainment center in the man cave (formerly the sewing studio).
I'm looking for suggestions as to what to do with the banner as well. I'm thinking about having my favorite Nebrasketball team (1996-1997, Belcher, Lue, Mikki Moore, Andy Markowski, Venson Hamilton, Danny Nee) sign it. Bonus because they were the first Big XII Nebraska team. Your thoughts on how I might accomplish this?