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What Cold? Husker Fans Heat Up and Celebrate

January 3, 1996

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Never mind the 22-degree temperatures.

All over Lincoln, Cornhusker fans spilled out of their warm houses, where they watched the Nebraska Cornhuskers win a second straight national championship, a 62-24 romp over Florida.

At one party in southeast Lincoln, federal employee Mike Anderson lit several artillery shells left over from the Fourth of July. The loud pop and sparkling fireworks were greeted with cheers from several homes.

Fellow party-goer Steve Merriman said he had been waiting all year for this championship.

``It was awesome,″ he said. ``Nebraska dominated from beginning to end. It’s sort of what we live for here in Nebraska.″

All along Lincoln’s O Street _ the main east-west thoroughfare in the capital city of 200,000 _ people milled about, dancing, clapping, shouting, holding up their index fingers in the No. 1 salute.

Lincoln police officers added 20 patrolmen to the streets, but police Lt. Kent Woodhead said there had been no serious incidents.

Fans at a party in the Omaha suburb of Ralston became bored midway through the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, they had tired of standing and exchanging high-fives.

``It meant much more last year because we hadn’t won it for so long,″ said Tim Schmitz, 26, of Omaha. ``I never expected to be like this.″

Chris Sawers, 28, agreed.

``Last year was much more exciting,″ he said. ``It was better because we were picked to lose then. This year was just a blowout.″

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