Official Husker Locker Blog
2011 Nov 12
NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Huskers and Penn State Share the Power of Prayer
Something powerful took place in Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, before a single snap was taken. On a beautiful November morning, players from both Nebraska and Penn State joined hands, made a circle on the 50-yard line, and prayed.
Led by Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown, a moment of extreme unity unfolded before a crowd of nearly 108,000 and a national audience. “I pray that this game would be a training ground for what manhood looks like,” Brown said.
His words rang true, as both teams fought a hard, clean game. By the last play, players from both sides were shaking hands and wishing each other well.
Tweets later praised those who were once opponents for the class and respect they were given. It was a shining moment in the wake of a great tragedy. It was more than “We Are Penn State” and “Husker Power.”
During arguably the best press conference during his career as Nebraska’s head man, Bo Pelini respectfully addressed what had happened at Penn State.
As a father himself, Pelini understands how heartbreaking the events that have unfolded are. However, he also recognizes that the young men who stood on the field had nothing to do with the scandal.
On a Saturday that was originally intended to feature Penn State’s famous “White Out,” fans opted to wear blue in support of child abuse victims. It was also the Nittany Lion seniors’ final game in Happy Valley. As the 21 upperclassmen were introduced, their looks were somber.
Tears were welling in their eyes. This is not what any of those athletes had expected their final home game as a Nittany Lion would be like when they first came to Penn State.
It was not the day they were silently promised, with former head coach Joe Paterno leading them out of the tunnel amidst a crowd bathed in white. For those 21 individuals, so much had changed in just one week’s time.
“I pray that this game would be a training ground for what manhood looks like.”
Young men grew up during this game. For those who missed it, it was a grand display of maturity. It may not have been what either team was bargaining for initially, but no one complained. Instead, the teams held hands and prayed together.
“It’s a lot bigger than football. It’s a lot bigger than the NCAA, the Big Ten, or anything else,” Pelini said.
Behind every down of football, a bigger story unfolded. Many switched on ESPN to see how fans and players would react. No one quite expected what would happen.
A group of those ready to begin a new chapter in their lives displayed a fine example of manhood. It was apparent in their actions, their performance, and most importantly their prayer.
“I thought that kneeling down and praying, and both teams coming together, was the right thing to do. Hopefully that in of itself made a statement,” Pelini said.
It did make a statement - one that will be remembered for a long time between Nebraska and Penn State players, fans, and coaches. Today, on a football field that when stripped to its core is no different than any other, a group of boys became men and millions had the privilege of watching.
View raw video of the prayer
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