As another season begins it is always important to remember the people who will not be here to enjoy the potential success this season with us fellow Bruin fans. It was nearly one year ago, on September 8th, 2013, when the UCLA family lost one of their family members. Nick Pasquale, or Pacman, as he was known around the football team, was walking home from a friends house during a bye week and was struck by a car that killed him at the scene. He was only 20.
Nick was a walk-on wide receiver from San Clemente and was beloved by all of his teammates. They all praised his hard work on the scout team and noted how he helped them get better as a team everyday. The death of Nick was really tough on all of the Bruins, but they fought through it and were able to come back from 18 down to defeat Nebraska that Saturday 41-21.
The point of this article is not to repeat, or bring back the horrible memories, everyone has of this event in September of last year, but rather to remember just how much Nick made an impact on this team and remembering how great Nebraska was in honoring him when the Bruins visited Lincoln.
Nick was honored by his UCLA teammates by them wearing a “#36” patch on their helmets and attire. That was echoed by Nebraska, who also wore “#36” stickers on their helmets for this game. Not only did the team wear the stickers, but the whole fan base got behind the mourning Bruins. The game started with a moment of silence and seen in the stands were signs that said “Two schools. One team.” and “N #36” in which the Nebraska “N” was written in blue and gold. After the coin toss, in the all red student section, 200 blue and gold balloons were released to the sky in unison in what was a great scene. This all really helped the mourning process for the Bruins and not enough can be said about the class of Nebraska AD, Shawn Eichorst, and head coach, Bo Pelini.
Once again, this article is not to have the fans reminisce about all the bad of that week, but all the good that happened and remind Nebraska that the UCLA family is forever grateful for what they did that day on September 14, 2013.
It is also a message to everyone involved, that with this season starting, Nick is still on everyone’s mind and that he is coming along with us on the journey of this potential storybook season. We also want to let Cornhusker nation know that we are sharing their grief with the news that their beloved 8-year-old fan, Jack Hoffman, learned his cancer returned. Bruin nation thanks you for what you did for us, Nebraska, and we will be with you as you go through this ordeal like you were for there for us.