This fall, the Nebraska football program will witness its saddest moment since the hiring of Bill Callahan.
The Cornhuskers have had a tradition of releasing red balloons — about 5,000 of them — into the sky following their first touchdown of the game. However, that seven-decade-old rite of passage will come to an end following the season opener against Southern Miss due to a worldwide helium shortage.
This obviously brings up a number of questions.
- If Nebraska wins a game by a score of, say, 9-6, are the balloons released upon victory?
- If the Cornhuskers go without scoring a touchdown and lose, do you keep your balloon until next week?
-If the first touchdown is scored with the Huskers already down like 30-0, how hollow does it feel?
-Has a balloon release ever been overturned by replay?
- WE HAVE A HELIUM SHORTAGE? HOW THE HELL…
I can at least answer the last question, thanks to the Lincoln Journal-Star, which I can also thank for even having this subject to write about in the first place.
According to them, “Hospitals use liquid helium to cool MRI magnets, chemistry labs need it for experiments, the construction industry uses it in welding and it is used to find leaks in air conditioning coils and pipelines.”
The article also states that there is a shortage due to maintenance in overseas plants and a drop in natural gas prices that has affected production. Who knew?
Nebraska has taken the position that releasing so many balloons during a helium shortage is frivolous, which is the position that I assume they have also taken on inhaling it so you can have a funny, high-pitched voice.
Personally, I feel they can make it through the season if they just rationed out the balloons better. After all, there is precedent for releasing only 99 red balloons.