Nebraska Basketball: A Love Letter To Cornhuskers Fan Jean Peck

By Brandon Cavanaugh
Walter Pitchford
Andy Lyons-Getty Images

If you’re a Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball fan, there’s a good chance you know who Jean Peck is. For those of you not familiar, allow me to introduce you two. Ms. Peck was miffed — no, distraught seems the more appropriate term — at Nebrasketball’s attempt to create a hostile environment at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Vault was tacky, if you will.

She wrote to the Lincoln Journal Star:

I enjoy the pep band and the student Red Zone and the enthusiasm they bring to the games, but I have been disappointed at the last two home games concerning a new practice by the Red Zone. I refer to the loud cheering of “HUSKER POWER” during the introduction of the visiting team.

This seems rude and unsportsmanlike on our part. If other Big Ten teams do this sort of thing, then shame on them.

Nebraska fans have a reputation for being good fans. I would hope that the reputation would not be tarnished.

Oh Jean, you rascal. I appreciate sportsmanship. I truly do. However, I wasn’t chastised for yelling on first, second or third down in Memorial Stadium as a wee tot.

The sort of success that Nebraska achieved on that fateful “No Sit Sunday” against the Wisconsin Badgers wasn’t due to poor sportsmanship, madam. For a shootyhoops team to have a proper home-court advantage, its audience must rattle the opposition from the get-go, hence the chant you don’t care for.

Ms. Peck has been mocked relentlessly following this late February commentary. “Turn up, Jean!” has become just as common as “Go Big Red!” when it comes to scarlet and cream roundball. I have just one thing to say to Jean Peck: thank you.

This has truly been a magical season for a men’s basketball program wallowing in agony. Yes, Tim Miles and his team had contributed to an extent, but there’s also the fans, The Vault and you, Jean. Nebraska will play in the NCAA Tournament, something that couldn’t be said for 16 years. Regardless of if they win or fall to the Baylor Bears, you will always be part of this remarkable year.

You’ve become Nebraska’s lucky rabbit’s foot, its four-leaf clover, its stray eyelash. You realize, of course, you’ll be needed next season and the one after that and so on. Ms. Peck, you aren’t fond of “Husker Power”. So be it.

Here’s the glorious irony: the fans have embraced you as well.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, like his Facebook page and add him to your Google+ network.

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