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Official Husker Locker Blog

2011 Nov 12

NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Huskers and Penn State Share the Power of Prayer

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By HuskerLocker

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By Erin Sorensen

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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Tags: penn state, ron brown, prayer, bo pelini, espn, joe paterno

Comments (5)

Profile image for JamesEBarbush
JamesEBarbush

Thank you Huskers. It is a new day with a new perspective. Beaver Stadium, Nebraska and Penn State, players, coaches, fans, students, victims, countless others, and even all of college football are forever changed because leaders and their followers came together on the 50 yard line and sought God in prayer. Awesome. It is the start of a new era. Let us never forget this turning point in time, and as we go from here, let us respond to the closing words of Ron Brown's prayer, and live a life "that honors God".

– Nov 15, 2011 at 2:50 am

Profile image for HuskerROG
HuskerROG

Erin once again you have hit the nail on the head. Watching on TV I got a lump in my throat and felt calm and releaved at what I was seeing. Ron Brown is a true leader and it is a great person to have as an assistant coach. Tough, respectful, and a true Christian. Thanks again Erin for your perspective. I now have that same feeling after reading this.

– Nov 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

Profile image for huskerhemi
huskerhemi

Total class. It was nice to see the players who have nothing to do with what happened pray for the victims and it was nice to see the PSU fans respond the way they did instead of the way they responded to Joe Pa's firing. I am a transplanted Husker but I bleed HUSKER red. GO BIG RED!

– Nov 13, 2011 at 8:01 am

Profile image for Huskermama89
Huskermama89

If you look in the dictionary, it will say.....

CLASSY/CLASS: having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior; the best of its kind; a division or rating based on grade or quality; the NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS!

If you weren't before, you should be now... who isn't proud of our HUSKERS!!!???? I stand proud... chest out, head held high after today's NU-Penn State game. Thank you for being the kind of example I want my sons to strive to be. I'm proud to be a blood born Nebraskan & BIG RED fan by choice!

– Nov 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Profile image for zourie
zourie

Amen!

– Nov 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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