Fans danced and drank champagne into the early hours today t
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Fans danced and drank champagne into the early hours today to celebrate Nebraska’s Orange Bowl victory, which virtually clinched a national championship for the Cornhuskers.
Thousands of people filled the streets in Lincoln and Omaha, fireworks went off in west Omaha and Cornhuskers fans across the state rejoiced in Nebraska’s 24-17 win over Miami Sundazy night.
Lincoln police said about 1,000 fans also broke into Memorial Stadium, hoping apparently to tear down the goal posts at the Cornhuskers’ home field.
``It was frightening,″ police officer Bill Woodruff told WOWT television. ``I thought some people were going to be hurt. They all went in there and danced around for about five minutes.″
Fans broke through a fence to gain entry to the stadium but found no goal posts. University police had the goal posts put away last week because they were concerned about celebrations after the game at Miami.
``I had a feeling something like that might happen,″ university police Sgt. Bill Manning said.
No one was arrested in the Memorial Stadium incident, but about $1,000 in damage was done to some fences and signs in the stadium, Manning said.
Lincoln police also reported that one man was arrested as the celebration carried on through the night.
``They’re having a blast,″ Sherie Horn, the bartender at the Triangle Bar & Grill in south Omaha, said Sunday night. ``They screamed bloody murder every time we scored a touchdown.″
About 30 people lined up today in front of a Team Spirit store at an Omaha shopping center to pick up shirts and other paraphernalia declaring Nebraska No. 1.
Acting Gov. Kim Robak issued a proclamation late Sunday that congratulated coach Tom Osborne and the Huskers and declared 1995 the Year of No. 1 Nebraska.
A police escort was planned for Nebraska players upon their scheduled arrival today at the Lincoln airport. At least 10,000 people were to be allowed in the Bob Devaney Sports Center to greet the team in a scheduled one-hour celebration.
``They’re flipping out,″ said Vince Dubois, manager of the Saddle Creek Bar in Omaha, of the 125 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,″ MItek said. ``They usually leave here after New Year all dejected. Not this year.″
At Lincoln, the celebration was expected to last a long time.
``There are a lot of people here,″ Cathy McBride, bartender at the Zoo Bar, said. ``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 trailed Miami in the second half.
``They never gave up on them,″ owner Garry Volles said. ``They were rooting for them all the way. They’ve followed them all year, and it paid off.