I have a lot of pride in my home state. I have noticed lately that I can get defensive when people from other parts of the US speak negatively about Nebraska or have misconceptions about the way of life there. This came to my attention in a big way as the Nebraska Cornhuskers prepared for the game against the Texas Longhorns. I follow football more because it is something of interest to my brother, and out of support for my home team, but I don’t normally get too excited about it. But because I live in Longhorn country now, I had a little more interest in this game.
As you may know, Nebraska played terribly in the game yesterday. It seemed like they could do nothing right. I was embarrassed for my state, and frustrated with how things were going. Finally, I turned off the game because I was getting too intense and anxious about the whole thing. I told myself, seriously, why is this a big deal? It’s just a game!
Well, here’s what I discovered. It had a become more than just a football game to me. For some reason, I guess because I live in Texas, this game was a chance for me to prove to the world that Nebraska is just as good of a state as any other. People do actually live there, they are actually educated and the whole state is not flat (you’d be amazed at some of the things people come up with!). I wanted to humble some of the folks down here who proclaim that they live in the best place on earth. But you know what, I was the one that was humbled. For one, my team was the one that took the beating! But I also realized that I can be proud of where I live without having to prove anything to anyone else. I will always love Nebraska because it’s my home. I have roamed those cornfields and fallen in love with those open spaces. I have gazed across the flatlands and driven through the many hills. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we cross the river and my plane lands in the little airport in Omaha. Maybe my football team didn’t win, and I had to bear the brunt of some teasing down here. But in the long run, it’s okay. Life will go on and I have learned a lesson through it all.