Family continues a half-century long passion for Huskers

From left: Aubrey Fitzke shares his tailgating memories with brother-in-law Steve Knox and  brother Carl Fitzke.

A Husker football tradition between Steve Knox and his two brothers-in-law haven’t missed a single home game since their first tailgate in 1999.

The tailgate has endured three head coaching changes, uncooperative weather and unfavorable outcomes on the field. Those might be reasons for some to quit.

But family keeps them coming back.

Knox and his two brothers-in-law Aubrey and Carl Fitzke began tailgating in a spot near Abel Hall. In 2004, the tailgate moved to the west parking lot of Haymarket Park.

The main reason the tailgating has continued is family.

“We all have a family connection,” Aubrey Fitzke said. “It’s become a larger family. It’s like a family reunion.”


Five years ago, they created the Fitzke flag to commemorate the tailgate.

In fact, the tailgate is known today as the Fitzke Family Tailgate. It comprises four tents and includes a TV, three tables of food and the family’s favorite drink: bloody marys.

Family influenced Knox, whose parents and grandparents began attending games in 1951.

This tailgate isn’t as much about football as it is about family.

“There are few drawbacks. It’s a great experience I get to see friends and family you don’t always get to see,” Aubrey Fitzke said. “It’s a great time to get reconnect.”






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