Celebrating 20 seasons of Tunnel Walk tradition

By: Bill Schammert

For many Husker fans, there's nothing like that feeling, those goose bumps, the moment the Tunnel Walk starts. 

But, what many may not know, the last time UCLA played the Huskers in Lincoln was the first time HuskerVision showed the Tunnel Walk on the big screen.

The date was September 17th, 1994.  Twenty seasons later, the tradition is synonymous with Husker football.

Kirk Hartman is the executive director of video production with HuskerVision.  He was there when it all started.

“In 1994, some of our administration thought it would be a good idea to bring it to all of our fans, instead of the ones close to the field.  Essentially, it was a man with a camera walking backwards,” he said.

One year and one national championship later, the Tunnel Walk added a graphic; the National Championship trophy exploding out of midfield.

And who can forget, nine days after September 11th, 2001, first responders leading the team onto the field on a Thursday night against Rice.

“A lot of people were hurting from the tragedy, and I think they knew something was going to happen.  That's one of the biggest eruptions I've ever heard,” Hartman said.

In 2006, the Tunnel Walk changed.  With the opening of the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex, the walk moved from south stadium, to the northwest corner.

The 2012 season brought us two symbolic tunnel walks, first Jack Hoffman leading the team onto the field and to a come from behind victory over Wisconsin.

Then, in late November, the tribute to Tom Osborne.

“Fans felt he needed to go out the right way, and it was a no brainer for us.”

It's 20 seasons of chills down your spine, 20 seasons of slapping that lucky horseshoe and 20 seasons of nearly 100,000 screaming fans.

It's 20 seasons of Tunnel Walk tradition.