The Husker Elvis' group
is made up of the four
Brew brothers (Larry, Steve, Ron and Gerry). Dressing up in Husker Red
and white Elvis jumpsuits, wigs and capes they show up at Husker games
to cheer on 'Big Red' and promote team spirit. Also know as the 'Brew
Crew' they were born and raised in Alliance, Nebraska. They are
goodwill ambassadors for Husker football and seek to build fan spirit
for the Husker Nation during football games and throughout the year.
Huskerpedia (HP) - Whose idea was it to
start your group?
Elvis (HE) Gerry - Actually, at Tom
Osborne's finale in 1997, Ron and I went down to Miami for the Orange
Bowl. Growing up we were always big Elvis fans and frequently sang
Elvis and did impersonations. Arriving in Miami, we put the Elvis
glasses on, and went to the game the fans just loved it. The Miami fans
loved it, the Nebraska fans loved it, and the Tennessee fans loved it -
it was a hit on all cylinders. It was a joke that took on a life of
it's own. So then we started singing after that, we put the guitars in,
and put the whole mix together.
- So how many games do you do this in a
year - where all four of you get together?
Larry - It varies - two to three regular
season games and we usually do the post-season game. We'd like to do
more but we're kind of spread around the Midwest. I live in Ft.
Collins, CO. Steve in Alliance. Ron in Omaha. Gerry in Madison, Wis.
- I remember the first time I saw you
was at the Fiesta Bowl in 2000 at the Millennium block party. You guys
were really popular then.
Larry - It's taken on a life of it's own
- My three brothers have always been characters. We all live, breath
and love Husker football. I remember the time when Coach Osborne won
his first national championship. It had been such a long drought with
many close calls before Tom won the big one. My father-in-law called me
up two minutes before the game was over and I suddenly realized we were
going to finally win the BIG one. I was so emotionally wound up I
started to cry on the phone. It's truly more than just a game or just a
football team - it's a way of life. It's a sense of identity for us.
We're proud of our state and our roots. Since Husker football is really
the only show in the state - it's the unifying symbol of what we are as
a state - Nebraska football is the tie that binds us together, not just
as us brothers but as a 'state bond'. We are always trying to promote
positive interaction when we go out as Husker Elvis both to Husker fans
as well as our opponents. Elvis recognition is everywhere you go and we
probably get a thousand positive responses for every negative response.
All fans love Elvis and they learn to love our team too, so we're kind
of on a goodwill ambassadorship mission.
Ron - I've read where different fans say
Husker Nation is kind of a fraternity, and others have said football in
Nebraska is a religion. We eat, drink, sleep, breathe, live and love
Husker football. We're die hard fans and I never miss a game if I can
help it. I thought about quitting my job a couple of times when I had
to miss a game. It's interesting because Gerry was the President of a
Fortune 500 company. He was going to come down to Lincoln, we had plans
for the Notre Dame game and his boss said, "Well we're going to have a
meeting - you can't go." Gerry said "I will tender my resignation
before I miss this game" so they rescheduled the meeting. One other
thing I wanted to say is besides Nebraska football games; we've gone to
charitable organizations and fundraisers. We performed at a fundraiser
for a youth group called the Explorers, and we've performed at
retirement homes. We've done individual things as well as a group, so
we're kind of goodwill ambassadors for the team and try to represent
them well, but also to "spread joy throughout the land."
- Which one is the oldest?
Larry - 53 - I live in Ft. Collins,
Colorado and I am a Quality Manager for Hach Water Quality Analysis
- Larry, when was your first Husker game?
Larry - my first Husker game didn't
occur until I was a senior in college. I came to Lincoln with a friend
who had a spare ticket. We went his girlfriend and another girl - that
was back in '72 when I believe Dave Humm was playing, but I have
religiously been listening to the Huskers since 5th grade. It was
Devaney's first year. I would turn on the radio every Saturday
afternoon and listened to the games in our kitchen. As far as I was
concerned the sun rose and set with Nebraska football. Sometimes before
big games I would have trouble sleeping at night. Even now I listen to
the game via Coloradoans for Nebraska radio.
- Steve, how old are you?
Steve - I'm 52 - I'm in train service in
Alliance - my first Husker game was probably when my wife and I flew
out with Ron and his wife - in the 80's - when we played Colorado and
they came back and beat us.
- When Eric Beinimey got the score at
Steve - Yeah - Mickey Joseph
- Who's the next oldest?
Ron - I'm 29 and holding - actually I'm
50. Let me ask you a question - (jokingly)"Is this outfit too much, hey
look at me?" I'm a Manager for Union Pacific Railroad, the largest
railroad in the world - I live in Omaha - I've lived there for about 20
years - we all grew up in Alliance.
- When was your first Husker game?
- I really can't say for sure - I've
slept since then. I remember it had to be in high school - we buddies
and I would work all summer, save our money and then come to Lincoln
for a week's vacation and blow all our money in one week. I remember
waiting until the half-time or fourth quarter when they would let you
in free, we hung out until we got in free and we entered the stadium
Randy Borg took a kickoff return and I think he brought it back for a
touchdown or he had a pretty good return - that was in about '71.
- I'm Gerry - I'm the baby (he's spoiled
too) and I was CEO of the world's largest neuro-surgical instrument
company and I'm semi-retired and I have ownership and CEO of a couple
of biotech companies and a company that does insurance recovery and lot
of other venture investments - I live in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm
actually entertaining a bid run for the Governor of Wisconsin. I've
never had political aspirations but if Schwartzenegger can get elected
then Elvis probably can too.
- So when was your first game?
Gerry - My first game was 1972 and it
was the Colorado game which would have been Johnny Rodgers. I was a
sophomore in high school then. And then of course where we grew up, out
in Alliance, it was very remote and I can remember when Nebraska would
be on TV in the Devaney era. I was in second grade and in 1965 watching
Nebraska and it was the game of the week and you had one game a year
and listening to the Nebraska games up in our tree house from the time
I was five years old - Churchich, when he was quarterback in the 60's,
when Nebraska went to the Sun Bowl in El Paso and the amount of
excitement about that when Nebraska tied USC and all those exciting
games and I can remember the Orange Bowl games in the 60's against
Alabama. Those games as a kid and just being glued to the TV at age 6,
7 8, watching every play and it was so much fun. I think we've gone to
probably 20 different states doing this. It's been a lot of fun - when
we did the National Championship game in L.A., we went out to Vegas and
did Elvis on the strip on New Year's Eve - we got four or five news
clips from that.
had a family reunion in July and we performed
about a 1-1/2 hour show for sisters, family and their friends. They
live on a farm and they invited all their neighbors; we set up a
semi-stage on the front apron of the garage area and everyone sat out
there and did the Huskers cheer.
Larry - We've been trying make the right
connection in Lincoln. As a goodwill gesture we would like to initiate
Bill Callahan into the Husker Elvis brotherhood and sisterhood as
acting president. We have a cute 'swearing in' ceremony that everyone
gets a big laugh out of. Maybe Steve Peterson might be interested in
shaking his pelvis with the Husker Elvises! We'll have to see if there
is any interest in the upcoming football season. Sometimes when we're
downtown, we'll be playing and we'll have contests for little kids -
who can dance and who can give the best Husker cheer, things like that
and then we give them a lei or something like that. I'm always amazed
at how people react, from 8 to 80. It's a lot of fun.
- Tell me more about the other charity
events that you've done. You do a couple a month?
Steve - I probably did a dozen things
this summer - a couple of 80-year old birthday parties, three or four
reunions, class of '59, '63, '74. The other thing we're doing - last
winter there's as a guy in my hometown in Alliance who had Downs
Syndrome his whole life. So they called it a retirement party - he had
worked at McDonald's there for 13 years so they asked me to do a skit
and he had had six months to live and we did the party for him. He had
a ball and then he died nine days later. I've had some church
fundraisers, things like that and Larry has one in Ft. Collins this
fall and in November we're doing one for the local Catholic school,
they're having an auction and the theme is Las Vegas so we're going to
do that. And even in Colorado, we're still a Husker Elvis there. It's
kind of ironic, last fall Larry and Ron went to the Colorado game and
of course those fans are very hostile and I had somebody come up to me
at Sturgis and they said they couldn't believe how well we defanged the
Colorado fans by being classy, by not taking trash, by talking about
the good things of the teams and the Colorado fans loved Elvis. They
couldn't believe how we handled it.
Larry - Yea, while Ron and I were at the
Colorado game, 'Buffalo Chip', their mascot wanted to have his picture
taken with us. So we went over to him. When we first stood by him. It
was funny because everyone in the crowd started cheering for Buffalo
Chip and Elvis. Then they realized which team we were representing and
you could hear them saying, "Wait, those are Husker Elvis'". (Laughter).
Ron - Oh yeah, I went into the bathroom
and there were these young kids in there giving me a bunch of crap, and
I said, "Hey, can't we all just get along". We are over in other
countries fighting, can we try to get along at home here?" And they all
looked at me and backed off. They go, "Hey, we didn't mean anything."
....Or when somebody says something, you say, "Do you kiss your mother
with that mouth?" (Lots of laughter...)We have had some great times.
- We should do some promotional things
for you guys. Let's just start communicating and let me know when you
have something coming up.
(Ceremony) Raise your hands and repeat
after me - I (state your name) do solemnly swear to uphold the
principles set forth in the Husker Elvis handbook, to be of good cheer,
in good seasons and in bad, to laugh and joke, to sing and dance, to
rock and roll, to raise our children and our children's children as
Elvis Presley brotherhood and sisterhood fans, all in good faith, to
the utmost of our ability, we find these virtues to be self-evident, as
Elvis is my witness, so help me Bob. By the power that is invested in
me by Bob Delaney, the King himself, the state of Nebraska, the city of
Memphis, Tennessee, the FBI, the CIA, the CDC, the FDA, the NAACP
(laughter), I proclaim you members of the brotherhood and sisterhood of
the Husker Elvis family. Now you may consummate the vows with the
double bump of the hip or the chest.