Someone Trying to Burst Traditional Red Balloon Release at Nebraska Football Games
Nebraska football is a way of life to many in the Upper Midwest. The Cornhuskers have played in front an NCAA record 347 consecutive sellout crowds at Memorial Stadium - a streak that dates back more than 50 years.
Even longer than that, Nebraska fans have been partaking in a game day tradition that dates back to the 1940's - releasing red balloons when the Huskers score their first touchdown of a game in Lincoln.
That ritual was briefly shelved in 2012 because of a helium shortage, but now one man is trying to let the air out of the balloon release once and for all.
According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Randall Krause of Omaha has gone to court in an attempt to halt the practice altogether. Krause is suing the University of Nebraska, saying the balloon release violates a 1976 federal law governing waste disposal.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court this week, calls the mass balloon release an 'open dumping of solid waste', which is prohibited under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Krause, who wrote the suit himself, says he's concerned the balloons are 'carried away by the wind and forces of nature, (and) can even land in the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean'.
The ribbons which are attached to the balloons are also a concern. Krause calls them, 'a serious threat to wildlife through entanglement.' The suit even goes as far as listing 60 endangered animal species allegedly put in danger due to the balloon release.
Krause also says small children are at danger of eating the popped balloons after they land, and choking or suffocating.
There has been no response from University of Nebraska officials. The Cornhuskers open the 2016 season, at home, with Fresno State, September 3.
You can catch every Nebraska football game - home and away - on ESPN 99.1.