As a Republican senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel would make predictions about the next Husker game at the end of his weekly conference calls with reporters.
Unsurprisingly, he would predict a Nebraska victory, even when the team was a serious underdog.
Now the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Hagel continues to tout his love for Big Red.
On a trip to South Korea earlier this year, Hagel took questions from some troops and a First Sergeant wanted to get his thoughts on the gridiron.
From the Pentagon transcript (guessing Hagel actually said “re-building year” at the end there):
Q: We are very well aware of what’s happening in the States right now. The question on everyone’s mind — and mine especially — is, who is your college football team?
HAGEL: (Laughter.) Well, I can see why you’re a first sergeant. (Laughter.) Well, born and raised in Nebraska, I don’t have any choice. And I’m sorry if that offends you. But where are you from?
Q: I’m from Ohio, sir.
HAGEL: Ah. Ohio State?
HAGEL: Where’s Lippert? Mark Lippert, my chief of staff, who is the assistant secretary for Asia and the Pacific, is back there hiding somewhere. He probably put you up to this. He’s an Ohio State man through and through.
I — I acknowledge you have a fairly decent team, yeah, this year. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to play us this year.
Q: Roger, sir.
HAGEL: I think it’s the other way around, actually, but — I think we — the Huskers are in another building here. But I’m a strong Nebraska Cornhusker fan.