Nebraska Football Spirit High in 1902

The football game between the Haskell Indian team and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.



The football game between the Haskell Indian team and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.

The University of Nebraska football team was on a winning streak in 1902. Coach W. C. “Bummy” Booth’s team went 9-0 that season and was unscored upon. The Lincoln Trade Review on October 25, 1902, said: “The college spirit has been in evidence in Lincoln the past week. With the football season in full blast, and with the great victory over Minnesota last Saturday [a 6-0 win for Nebraska], the thousands of students in Lincoln have been keyed to a high pitch and their vigorous enthusiasm has been boundless in expression.



“The college spirit is contagious, and it has invaded other walks of life. The professional and business public have felt it. Hundreds of men who have almost forgotten college days and the time when they were boys in their strenuous application to business, have had a reawakening to old times, and they have joined in and enjoyed the rampant enthusiasm. A man who is not touched by student enthusiasm, by the vigor and life to which they give expression, is pretty well over the line into the stage of sans everything.



“This college spirit and enthusiasm, which fills the streets with marching thousands, which rings bells, fires the old cannons, builds bonfires, incidentally runs street cars in the wrong direction, and occasionally drowns the voice of a barnstormer in the theatre when temporary possession is taken, is worth something to Lincoln. It stirs up the steady going and makes the plodding forget for awhile that they are growing old and getting a long way from the days when they had unlimited ambition and a ready stock of ginger.



“When these thousand students turn out and let loose their enthusiasm over a college victory it reaches to the remote corners of every business house and office, stirs up the dust and sets the accumulated cobwebs to swinging, and men move about with something of the old time swing and engage in their business affairs. The college spirit, backed by a football victory, is a great stimulant to a community; a man goes to his business some morning in the same plodding spirit he has been following for weeks and months; he runs into an edition of Mont Pelee [the site in Martinique of a spectacular volcanic eruption in 1902 college enthusiasm and he is touched up with an energy which remains with him a good many days.



“There is no danger of too much of this university enthusiasm, either for the students who create it or for the public upon which it reflects. There is no danger of too much life and exercise in a student body, and there is no danger of too much stirring up of people who too soon forget their old school days, or the life and vigor they had when they first entered business and bucked the line up of resistance which every successful business man has to meet. The college spirit is an asset of Lincoln, and Lincoln life which no figures in dollars and cents can properly measure.” 

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

The Massacre Canyon Oral History and Archeology Project

The Massacre Canyon Oral History and Archeology Project

Lest We Forget:  The Lynching of Will Brown, Omaha’s 1919 Race Riot

Lest We Forget: The Lynching of Will Brown, Omaha’s 1919 Race Riot

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.