We are now in Week 12 of Husker football season, and Week 12 of our Huskers Throwback Thursday series on KETV. This has been one of my favorite assignments in recent memory, strolling down memory lane with different players representing different eras of Nebraska Football. With each player, I tailor my questions to who they are and what they’re doing now, but I also have a handful of questions I ask in every interview.
What was your favorite moment as a Husker?
Do you have any advice for today’s players?
Who is your favorite Husker on this year’s team?
The vote has been nearly unanimous; Husker alumni LOVE Ameer Abdullah. Their reasons are also similar; not only is he a tremendous player (many hope a Heisman contender!), he’s a great role model and representative for the University and the Nebraska football program.
This week’s Throwback Thursday Husker echoes those sentiments, and also hopes to be thought of as a terrific representative.. in a different way.
Class of 2003, Quarterback Brett Lindstrom
Lindstrom had an unenviable job at Nebraska, playing backup to first Eric Crouch and then to Jammal Lord. You may not have seen him much on the field, but he was always ready when his Huskers needed him, including helping the team get to the title game in 2001.
“Just the experience of going to the national championship game, the Rose Bowl in 2001, was probably one of the greatest experiences I had down there,” Lindstrom told me last week in a brief interview. There’s a reason why it was relatively quick; Lindstrom’s got a jam-packed schedule as Senator-Elect, just voted into the Nebraska Legislature November 4th to represent Northwest Omaha.
Lindstrom still laughs when called ‘Senator’.
“I’m not used to that quite yet,” said Lindstrom. “Got jokes from some of my friends, laying it on pretty thick. I still just like to be called Brett.”
It probably feels good to laugh after several tough years of campaigning. Prior to his run for the District 18 seat, Lindstrom ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in District 2, going up against incumbent Lee Terry in 2012. He lost in the primary. Less than a year later (his son, just 2-weeks old at the time!) Lindstrom announced his bid for the Legislature. In 2012, Lindstrom told me it was his daughter that compelled him to run for public office. He was concerned for her future.
Lindstrom feeding 7-month old Barron while making campaign calls (pic from the Vote Lindstrom Facebook page)
Campaigning also brought Lindstrom back to his Husker roots.
“What’s interesting about the campaign trail, going door to door, I’ve actually run into some old players,” said Lindstrom. “I don’t know who I’ll meet when I go to the door. Lornell McPherson, I played with, he came to the door. Damon Benning, he came to a door. Probably half the doors I went to had a Husker rock, a Husker flag. Obviously it doesn’t hurt when you can go up there and say, ‘I played for the Cornhuskers.’ It at least gives you a shot, people give you an extra second to listen.”
It appears voters heard Lindstrom’s message about his goals for Nebraska. (Listen for yourself in Alex Hoffman’s profile of the District 18 race, or by checking out the KETV ‘In Their Own Words’ section featuring Lindstrom.) He won the election and a ticket to Lincoln in January, one of 17 incoming freshman senators. Lindstrom will represent an estimated 37,000 people from his district.
“There’s a huge responsibility that we have moving forward,” said Lindstrom. “It’s an exciting time. It’s a new start for a lot of us and a new start for the state.”
Lindstrom follows a handful of other Huskers who have entered the political arena. Coach Tom Osborne became a Congressman, Pat Ricketts (Lindstrom’s teammate) just won re-election to the Millard School Board, and Jim Pillen became a University of Nebraska Regent. Lindstrom says he’s surprised more Huskers haven’t become elected representatives.
“I think there’s a lot of correlation between athletics and politics,” said Lindstrom. “The competitiveness of it, the perseverance it takes to go through it, getting knocked down, getting back up.”
Lindstrom’s advice for todays players: staying committed to the team will pay dividends later in life. He hopes that still holds true as a Husker alumni planning to be in Lincoln a lot more for the next four years.
“I thought maybe I could give the University a call and see if I could go use the weight room if I have a little down time at the Capitol, to go workout,” said Lindstrom. “I don’t know if the Capitol has a workout area, I doubt they do! See if I can drop my 40 and get my vertical back up!”
Maybe Lindstrom will be running sprints alongside his favorite Husker representatives, Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell. Maybe they’ll call him ‘Senator Lindstrom’ in the weight room. As this Nebraska representative prepares for a busy four years as a husband, dad, financial advisor and now Senator-Elect, he puts this victory in sports terms.
“It was just nice to come home with a W.”
For more information about #15 Brett Lindstrom, check out his bio via Nebraska Athletics, his professional profile with UBS Financial Services or his campaign website.