RUSH: I gotta tell you about the trip to Nebraska. It was just a hoot. It was unfortunate the way the game turned out, USC in a rout over the Cornhuskers. We got there, took a bunch of friends with us, stopped in Dallas, my host and hostess and son and daughter; a friend had picked them up and took them in, and we got there about 3:30. We found our way to the Memorial Stadium complex, took a tour of some of the new athletic facilities, then went to this outdoor park. It got chilly up there, 55 or 60 degrees, it was great football weather. We went to this outdoor place where there was this little pre-game tailgate. It was the Tom Osborne center, which is a little patio deck that holds a thousand people. It was pizza. No adult beverages allowed anywhere in the stadium, so it was Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, official sponsor. It didn’t take long, a line formed of people wanting photos. It could not have been nicer. We finished that, went down to the field, and came out to the end zone area where the Huskers take the field. We’re standing there, waiting for the Huskers, and it’s six o’clock. Game time is 7:15; the Huskers hit about 6:11 for the pre-game warm-up.
As I’m standing there, who do I see wearing a bright red Huskers sweatshirt and Huskers cap, but Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas and his wife, and there’s an ABC camera crew following him around. I guess they’re doing a profile on him. He has his memoirs coming out October 1st, My Grandfather’s Son. It’s a powerful book. I guess they’re doing a profile. Ward Connerly was with us. He flew in from Sacramento, so we picked him up at the airport when we got to Lincoln and we drove him in. We were all sandwiched into this van. It was embarrassing for me, by the way, to have to ride in a van, but I didn’t say anything about it. I dutifully got in there and just counted the seconds ’til we got out of the thing. But, at any rate, Ward rode in there with us, and Ward saw Clarence before I did, went up there, and must have spent ten minutes laughing and joking about things. This gigantic swarm of media cameras descended, both video and still, and the flashes are going nuts. Of course, you know, in a situation like that, I can’t hear. I could hear Clarence talking to him, but if somebody shouts my name from the stands or somewhere nearby, I won’t hear it. So somebody was with me and always tapping me on the shoulder when somebody wanted something.
After we finished with Clarence, we walked the length of the end zone to get to the Huskers bench. We didn’t go behind the USC bench because of the spying allegations of the New England Patriots, and we’re obvious Husker fans so we stayed away from the USC bench even though I would have loved to have said hello to Pete Carroll, the coach. So we didn’t go behind their bench. But we were walking, and every five or six steps I’d get the tap on my left shoulder, look up, and the people in the stands are wanting pictures with their cell phones, or giving me thumbs up. I knew, Mr. Snerdley, when I told you last week going out, ‘This is the heartland. This is the pulse of the country. This is where the people who make the country work live.’ And the funniest thing happened. We got to the end of the end zone, were going to make that turn to go along the sideline where the Huskers bench is, and as soon as we make that turn, and we’re in that corner of the stadium, I got another tap on the shoulder. I look up, and there’s a lot of people, 30 or 40, standing up and they’re pointing at me, thumbs up, taking pictures with their cell phones. Then the largest roar I have ever heard erupted, and the whole stadium, whole corner of the stadium where I’m looking, stood up.
Well, naturally, I thought it was for me. I thought they’d all spotted me. Then a split second later, I realized, ‘This can’t be for me.’ I turned around and the Huskers had just come on the field. (Laughing.) We finished the tour, went around the whole stadium. I can’t describe how outgoing and friendly people were. It was just a wonderful time. I got home about 5:30 or six Sunday morning after dropping everybody back in Dallas.