Bonness family begins new decade of Husker tailgating

By Drew Preston, NewsNetNebraska

At 7:15 a.m., Andy Bonness and his family arrived at their tailgating spot in the Polygon parking lot north of the Lincoln Journal Star. Only two or three groups beat them to the lot.

Andy and Dawn Bonness take a break from preparing breakfast for a photo.

Andy and Dawn Bonness take a break from preparing breakfast for a photo.

By 9 a.m., about 20 people were at the Bonness tailgate, including Andy’s wife Dawn Bonness and daughters Katie and Ella. Their tailgates are always family-centric events.

As with many Nebraska fans, tailgating is an enduring tradition for the Bonness family. Andy and his father have had the same spot at Polygon for 10 years, not to mention the years of various locations before then.

Since the game started in the morning, the Bonnesses were busy preparing breakfast. On the table underneath their tent sat a full spread of pancakes, sausage, potatoes and fruit. The couple schedules their menus at the beginning of the season so they never repeat the food they serve.

Over a griddle of sizzling pancakes, Andy recalled some of his favorite Husker football games.

“My favorite game of all time is the ’96 Fiesta Bowl,” he said. “We actually went down to that.”

While Dana Dymacek– Dawn’s brother– tended the bar and Andy manned the griddle, Miles Dymacek– Dawn and Dana’s father– fiddled away at a golf ball with a knife, sculpting it into a figurine.

Andy and his wife and kids had tickets to watch Nebraska play Southern Miss that morning. While they were in South Stadium, the rest of the family made sure the tailgate went on.

Dana is the bartender every Saturday. It’s been his job at every tailgate for the last three years. He doesn’t think of it as work, though; it’s always a great time.

“Dawn and Andy put on an awesome show.”

Andy Bonness recalls one of his favorite tailgating memories: listen






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