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Big Red fans danced and drank champagne into the wee hours t

January 2, 1995

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Big Red fans danced and drank champagne into the wee hours this morning to celebrate Nebraska’s Orange Bowl victory, which all but clinched a national championship for the Cornhuskers.

Thousands of people filled the streets in Lincoln, fireworks went off in west Omaha and Cornhusker fans across the state rejoiced in Nebraska’s 24-17 win over Miami.

``They’re having a blast,″ said Sherie Horn, the bartender at the Triangle Bar & Grill in south Omaha on Sunday night. ``They screamed bloody murder every time we scored a touchdown.″

Acting Gov. Kim Robak issued a proclamation late Sunday that congratulated coach Tom Osborne and the Huskers and declared 1995 the Year of Number One Nebraska.

``They’re flipping out,″ Vince Dubois, manager of the Saddle Creek Bar in Omaha, said of the 125 Big Red fans who watched the Orange Bowl there. ``They’re dancing around, cheering and drinking champagne.″

At the Micek Bar in Columbus, the 250 patrons celebrated by playing the Nebraska fight song over the sound system every five minutes, owner Jim Micek said.

``This is the happiest I’ve ever seen this bunch. They usually leave here after New Year all dejected. Not this year,″ Micek said.

In Lincoln, home of the University of Nebraska, the end of the celebration was nowhere in sight.

``There are a lot of people here,″ said Cathy McBride, bartender at the Zoo Bar. ``They’re buying rounds for the house, hugging each other and dancing.″

Jim Higgins, bartender for a private party at Duffy’s Tavern, said the streets of Lincoln were filled with revelers.

``We’ve got thousands of people roaming the streets,″ he said. ``There are people on cars, people yelling. We’re just sitting here staring out the window at them. It’s unbelievable.″

At the White Horse Tavern in Grand Island, the patrons were true believers _ even when Nebraska fell behind Miami in the second half.

``They never gave up on them. They were rooting for them all the way. They’ve followed them all year, and it paid off,″ owner Garry Volles said. ``We’re the national champions.″

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