College Baseball

Why It’s OK To Hate On “Jayskers”

It’s an argument I’ve had a million times: Is it ok to be a fan of BOTH the Nebraska Cornhuskers AND the Creighton Bluejays?

Based on my years of experience trying to convince “Jayskers” otherwise, there is absolutely nothing you can say to sway these two-timing fans. This is America and they are adults, well most of them, so they can cheer for whoever they want. What I do want to take time to argue is that it’s absolutely, undeniably ok to hate on Jayskers.

Before we dive into all reasons why it’s ok to embrace the hate, let me provide a little background on myself. I’m a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) graduate that has lived all across the world due to my dad being in the military. However, I’ve lived most of my life in either western or eastern Nebraska with a six-year stint in Denver, CO thrown in there. Being a social media professional and by being entrenched in the sports media world, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with sports fans and analysts from all parts of the country. Some regional bias will always settle in for anybody that covers sports, but for the most part I believe I’ve done all I could to prevent falling into groupthink and thinking strictly inside the “bubble”.

Personally, I always side with public school students over private school kids and I think Jayskers are on the same level of this guy, but let’s take a look at why it’s perfectly fine for YOU to hate on Nebraska/Creighton hybrid fans. I wanted to do a longform piece on the matter, but I figured I would present this in a list format for quick reading and to make it easier to update as this argument evolves. I plan to update this article based on the comments I receive and will definitely link this in any Facebook, Twitter or message board arguments I have regarding this topic. Since I have this argument on almost a weekly basis, I figured it was easier to write an entire article about it rather than reiterate the same points over and over.

Now let’s get our hate on…

Reason #1: Jayskers Don’t Get A Free Pass

You know that Benedict Arnold guy? The dude that was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but defected to the British Army? Imagine if he decided that he wanted to switch back to the American side once he noticed Uncle Sam was about to kick British ass. I’m sure Americans would welcome him back with open arms and totally ignore that he sided with the bad guys for that brief period of time.

Am I exaggerating the Jaysker phenomenon a bit? Eh, depends on who you ask, but what is often forgotten in the Jaysker debate is that for a certain period of time during the year these hybrid fans root for the enemy. So you root for Nebraska football in the fall and that means I can’t give you crap for liking a RIVAL team during the winter? Yeah, OK. You don’t get a free pass for wanting your cake and eating it to. Deal with the consequences of being a bandwagon fan in nature.

Jaysker

Reason #2: #JayskerLogic Is Shaky, At Best 

Jayskers make a ton of excuses for their flip-flopping:

  • It’s totally fine because Creighton doesn’t have a football team and if they did I would TOTALLY be a Jays football fan!
  • Well, I live in Omaha and Creighton is “Omaha’s team”!
  • There’s no rivalry between the two schools! 

First off, the first excuse is only true if you live in the state of Nebraska bubble. I conducted an informal survey on social media and asked the team over at Off Tackle Empire, a site that covers stories around the B1G conference, about the Jaysker phenomenon and if similar types of fans existed throughout the country. I received a ton of interesting responses, but one example in particular completely debunks the first excuse listed above. I present to you the Reversible Jacket Fan, or fans that root for Indiana Hoosiers basketball and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football. If Jayskers admitted they are only rooting for the teams they do because they win, I (probably) wouldn’t hate on them as much as I do. Instead, I hear so many convoluted answers about “rooting for the state” (more on this later) and roundabout excuses about being somewhat “honorable” in their allegiances.

reversible jacket fan

You’ve seen the billboards. Creighton athletics is supposed to be “Omaha’s team”. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there are more Husker fans in Omaha, but that’s neither or nor there. While technically this statement is right as of this moment, what happens when the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) men’s basketball team becomes eligible for postseason play during the 2017-2018 season? What happens if the UNO Mavericks pull a North Dakota State and start knocking off teams during March Madness? Given that UNO has nearly 100,000 alumni members around the world and a 15,395 total student body compared to Creighton’s 57,765 alumni members and a 7,730 total student body, wouldn’t that technically make UNO “Omaha’s team”? Are we going to have to deal with “Jayskericks” or “Mavjays” in a few years? Yikes. Basically, if you’re going to use the “I’m from Omaha” excuse, you should be liking the Mavericks instead of the Jays, assuming you didn’t go to school at Creighton.

The Nebraska/Creighton rivalry doesn’t exist? See this, this, thisthis, this (see the bolded text on page 8) and…

Reason #3: You Can Root For Things Without Being A Fan Of Things

You’re probably sick of hearing the SEC contingent chant “S-E-C!” over and over, but you definitely have to respect how hardcore they are in terms of their fandom. You’ll NEVER see an Alabama fan rock an Auburn t-shirt and post “War Eagle!” as a their Facebook status, but you might see fans of all the SEC schools root for their conference to dominate everybody else. See, guys. It IS possible to root for another team without going all Justin Bieber with your fandom.

Reason #4: We Sometimes Make TERRIBLE Decisions As A Kid

You know that embarrassing photo your mom likes to pull out when your friends are around? You know, that one photo of you sporting JNCO overalls and a Kid N Play-esque flattop while you unwrap the latest Limp Bizkit CD you’ve been asking for all year? Yeah, we make terrible decisions as a kid so saying you have to stick with Creighton because you grew up watching them when you were younger is a copout. We’re adults, so we can change our minds. Don’t be that guy that can’t make a tough call so he has like 15 groomsmen at his wedding because he didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.

jnco jeans

Reason #5: Nobody Likes That “One Guy” In Your School Project Group 

Anyone that has gone to college knows who that “One Guy” is. You’re in a group of about five people and four of you do all the work, show up for all the meetings and deal with all the stress. Then, that One Guy shows up for the big presentation reading off the notes his team members put together for him and receives the same grade as you.

For those that root for Nebraska 365 days a year, that’s what it’s like dealing with Jayskers. The year-round fans have to deal with all the heartache that you will inevitably experience when you root for an entire university all year. You shouldn’t be surprised when these fans have at least a little resentment towards the flip-flopping Huskers/Jays fans.

I do have to admit though, that I do feel some sort of satisfaction when the Jays basketball fans have to come crawling back to the Big Red once their season ends.

Are There Any Situations Where It’s OK To Be A Jaysker? 

As with most sports debates, there are always exceptions. Before we discuss which Jaysker fans are most acceptable, let’s take a look at the most common types of Jayskers:

Different Types of Jayskers:

  • Husker Football/Creighton everything else/went to school at Creighton
  • Husker Football/Creighton everything else/went to school at UNL (WHAT?!)
  • Husker Football/Creighton everything else/didn’t go to school at either
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/Husker everything else/went to school at Nebraska
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/Husker everything else/went to school at Creighton
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/Husker everything else/didn’t go to either school
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/didn’t go to either school
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/went to school at Nebraska
  • Husker Football/Creighton basketball/went to school at Creighton
  • Husker Football/Creighton & Husker basketball/went to school at Nebraska
  • Husker Football/Creighton & Husker basketball/went to school at Creighton
  • Husker Football/Creighton & Husker basketball/didn’t go to either schol
  • Creighton everything else/Husker basketball/went to school at Nebraska
  • Creighton everything else/Husker basketball/went to school at Creighton
  • Creighton everything else/Husker basketball/didn’t go to either school
  • All Nebraska schools in every sport/went to school at Nebraska
  • All Nebraska schools in every sport/went to school at Creighton
  • All Nebraska schools in every sport/didn’t go to either school 

I’m sure there are more specific examples we could have included above, but I highlighted the most acceptable types of Jayskers. If you want to argue that some of the other types of Jayskers are acceptable, my assumption is that you’re probably not that invested in sports or you have an issue with one or more of the reasons I presented in this article. That said, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic so please leave your feedback in the comments section below.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Steve M

    March 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Jayskers are the absolute worst human beings alive. Be a man and pick a side or stay the hell outta Memorial. We don’t want you, turd merchants staining its good name.

  2. Chelsea

    March 31, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Try Husker everything/Creighton everything, went to undergrad at UNL, went to graduate school at Creighton. I love both of MY teams. People spend way too much time hating.

    • Steve M

      April 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      I hope your daughter gets cancer.

      • Chelsea

        April 2, 2014 at 9:48 am

        Really?.. Rude..

  3. Brian

    April 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Creighton and UNO don’t have football (RIP Mav football) and Nebraska and Creighton don’t have hockey.
    Is it ok to be a Husker football fan, UNO Hockey fan and hope for the sake of conversation that the 3 basketball/baseball teams do well with no rooting favorite?

    • Derek Hernandez

      April 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

      That’s where things start to get tricky. For this article I tried to focus on the most common “Jaysker”: the ones that root for Creighton in basketball and the Huskers in football. Maybe that is something you could dive into since you have some experience with UNO.

  4. Joe

    April 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Based on your list of different types of jayskers, I suppose I’m in the Jaysker category of “Husker Football/Creighton & Husker basketball/went to school at Nebraska.”

    Here’s where you need a little more differentiation though, when you read that middle part, “Creighton & Husker basketball,” it sounds like you are die-hard for both teams and can’t decide who to go for when they do play each other. Here’s how I’m different: it affects me none if Creighton does well or sucks it up (ergo, I don’t actively root for them), it affects me a ton if Nebraska does well or sucks it up (ergo, I actively root for them). I am absolutely elated when Nebraska does well and I am depressed as hell when they suck it up. When they play each other, I am not “on the fence,” I want Nebraska to crush Creighton: That happens once a year in all major sports and those games have no bearing on the remainder of either team’s season. They don’t play in the same conference, so this is the same as us playing a decent non-conference team; we may have to play them again in the tourney/bowl game/CWS, but it doesn’t affect us in conference play.

    With regards to your point about the SEC rooting for their conference, why can’t we root for our state to at least do well? If/when UNO is eligible for post-season play, you’re saying we have to hate them to? They would be in the same boat as creighton – we’d play them once a year in nonconference and it doesn’t affect our season at all. When we do play them, I want Nebraska to crush them, but after that, why is it wrong to want all 3 Nebraska teams to do well?

    If all that puts in me in the non-highlighted category of an acceptable type of “Jayskerick,” then so be it. I really don’t see how I am Benedict Arnold-ing my beloved Big Red.

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