The news of Sam Foltz’s death hit hard on this hot July Sunday. It’s hard to accurately describe how such news affects each of us. I am not friends with Sam Foltz. Despite being from the same home town we have never crossed paths. But as a fan of this team we get to know these players on some level. We know Tommy Armstrong is vocal, playful, even boisterous. We know his best friend Jordan Westercamp is fun loving but far more reserved. We know that Michael Rose-Ivey is a thoughtful, studious, dude. Likewise we knew Sam Foltz to be a punter with a big heart. Whenever Nebraska Football made an appearance for charity, number 27 was there. Today, as news of his death spread the kind words of his teammates are heart wrenching. Each of them, to a man, talk about what a wonderful, kind person he was. Those boys are hurting. As a fan, I hurt for them. I did not lose a great friend today. My grief, if you can call it that, is borrowed. I feel so badly for the Foltz family that will never get to see their son again. As a parent, that very thought is unimaginable. His teammates lose a great friend and comrade. My thoughts are with them. Its going to be very difficult going forward without someone like Sam.
I’ve been a fan of this team since I was a little boy. The only occurrence I can remember similar to this is when Brooke Berringer died in a plane crash in early 1996. This feels much different. I was just a kid when Berringer passed. Knowing the realities of life makes this sharper, more severe. Sam dies far too young, with so much left to give this world. He dies, in a way that any of us could on any given day. That fact alone is a melon scratcher. I would like for each of us to make it a point to remember Sam Foltz. I would like the University to set up some kind of foundation for whatever charity Sam would have liked. I would also like some kind of gesture on opening night. I’m sure that is in the cards. NU hits moments like that out of the park. More than anything I would like for us as fans to have compassion for these players in a time where they really need it. Be mindful of the sorrow each of them is experiencing. This fan base can be extremely passionate. That’s a good thing. But lets also be respectful of the hurt and grief these boys are feeling. Thats the least we can do.
Rest in peace Sam.