Many Nebraska Cornhuskers fans have different visions when they can think back of memories while visiting Memorial Stadium. Some remember watching Bob Devaney or Tom Osborne roam the sideline. Others remember the “Viener Slinger”, otherwise known as the hot dog cannon. Almost all Husker fans share one memory in common: the releasing of balloons after the Huskers score their first touchdown.
The balloons have been found as far away as Michigan and Illinois upon being released from Memorial Stadium on a windy day. Early in the 21st century, the balloons were switched to a biodegradable material to due less harm to the environment when they landed.
A tradition dating back to 1940’s, however, has to come to an end, but hopefully just temporarily. Worldwide supplies of Helium are down, and because of it, the university will be using the Helium in more important areas: construction, lab equipment, and hospitals.
With just a few leftover tanks from last season, balloon launching will be much lower this season than in the past. There might be just a few hundred per game in an effort to keep the tradition alive until helium supplies increase.
So what happens when the tanks runs out?
That’s a good question that no one really has an answer to just yet. Hopefully, the supply of helium increases so that the Huskers tradition can continue. Another idea may be to use something instead of helium. I’m no chemist, but I do believe hydrogen could be used instead of helium. Ammonia and methane could also be used, but that would not be very safe.
With this traditions being placed on temporary leave, it begs the question: what is your favorite Husker tradition of all time?
As much as I love balloons, I think mine is definitely the Tunnel Walk.