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Osborn, crew member honored at game
LINCOLN (AP) — Not everybody was wearing red Saturday at the Notre Dame-Nebraska game.
Lts. Shane Osborn and John Comerford, who were among a crew of 24 that spent 11 days in China last spring after a midair collision, were decked out in their Navy whites as they were honored before the game.
Osborn, a 1996 Nebraska graduate, tossed the coin before he and Comerford took their seats in the student section.
“They offered us the luxury box, but we opted for the student section. That’s where all the fun is,” Osborn said. “That’s what football’s about.”
Osborn has been in Lincoln since Wednesday, speaking with students as well as the football team, and hasn’t had a whole lot of quiet time. He was honored Friday night as the university announced a scholarship award in his name.
Before the game Saturday he and Comerford received a standing ovation at UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s weekly tailgate party.
“This is where I graduated from. This is where I grew up. To be honored in this way, you can’t get much better,” said Osborn, a native of Norfolk. “We’ve had a blast. They’ve taken great care of us.”
Osborn said he was invited back for any game he wanted and he didn’t take long to pick Notre Dame. Perlman’s office gave him two tickets and he invited Comerford, who had never been to Nebraska.
“I’m definitely doing it right on the first visit — going to the big game,” said Comerford, of Pales Verdes, Calif. “I’ve seen nothing but Husker red on everybody.”
Comerford attended the Naval Academy and compared the atmosphere to the Army-Navy game.
“I think the level of excitement compares, but the level of football may not be as good” between Army and Navy, Comerford said.
Osborn said with some of the crew still living abroad and others having been reassigned, it would have been impossible to get all 25 members there.
After the coin toss, Osborn planned to change into his honorary “Blackshirt,” which he received at Nebraska’s football practice Wednesday. The black practice jersey is usually reserved for Husker starters and a few others, but defensive coordinator Craig Bohl made an exception.
“It was awesome. They were very interested in hearing what I had to say,” Osborn said. “It was quite an honor to meet the coaching staff and the team.”