"That Easter, Diane and I got married, and in the fall, even though I was a redshirt, Coach Devaney included us on the Sun Bowl trip. We had a great time. I never really thought about quitting again."
Ultimately, Terrio was told he was not going to be a fullback anymore, but a linebacker. "It meant I had to start all over. I'd never played defense in my life, and there were guys around who were bigger and harder nosed than me. But I thought, what the hell." Terrio was laboring on the third team when an assistant coach, John Melton, ordered him to take off his green practice jersey and put on a black one. Black shirts are worn only by the first team at Nebraska. He said he would not forget that day.
Thereafter, the good times far outnumbered the bad for Bob and Diane Terrio. An A student in high school, he breezed through Nebraska's physical-education courses. "I never had to study. I learned to be satisfied with Bs."
His teammates were also his classmates and the friends he socialized with. It was a pleasantly insulated life—hunting and fishing together, drinking, fooling around. Bob and Diane rented a house at the Lincoln Air Base eight miles out of town for $63.95 a month. The water pipes were in the ceiling. There was no money to burn, but they paid their bills. Diane worked as a telephone operator, and they drove a Volkswagen, and the couples they ran with were expert at cut-rate entertainment. Of an evening, the girls would gossip, the guys would play pitch and drink some beer, and then they would all join in for a hot game of charades. "You'd be surprised how wild charades can get," Terrio said.
He said he learned to appreciate Nebraska. He said, most certainly, he learned to appreciate Nebraska football fans.
"People would see you in a place like this and come right up to you. 'Say, you're Bob Terrio. Let me buy you a drink.' 'Hey, Bob. Siddown over here. Want a beer?' " There were stores, he said, that gave players discounts on clothing, and car dealers who would give you a break. "I bought a car for $1,995 and traded it back a year later, and they allowed me $2,300."
George Terrio said he had kind of hoped to have a pro football player in the family.
"No way," said Bob. "I'm a family man." In June, Diane Terrio had produced Robert Ryan Terrio, and Bob Devaney had invited the baby's father to help coach the Nebraska team in the fall while he works on his master's degree. Bob Terrio said it was enough to make a man proud to be a University of Nebraska graduate.
The proprietor of the restaurant came to the table then and, calling Bob by name, ordered drinks for everybody. On the house.
Van Brownson had let his hair grow almost to his shoulders since the football season and wispily down his forehead in the front; he was working on a goatee but had a way to go. He said girls like long hair; "they all tell you so." One, an eye-catching brunette in pants and a halter, was present in the apartment. The apartment was that of his friends, Wortman, Johnson and Cox, but Brownson at the time had the run of it.