Balloons are back for Big Red home games

Exhale. The great Nebraska balloon crisis appears to be over.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the nationwide helium shortage that threatened to end the Cornhuskers' tradition of releasing balloons after the home team's first score at Memorial Stadium has been solved. At least in Lincoln.

Nebraska will now give fans about 2,000 red balloons to release during home games, starting this week against Arkansas State.

“We took another look at the helium inventory issue and how filling our game-day balloons might affect hospital levels of liquid helium, and we found that the risk really was not there like we first understood,” Nebraska associate athletic director Michael Stephens told the paper. “With that understanding and knowing that the helium shortage is being addressed by both the private sector and the federal government, we will continue celebrating the first score of every home game with the release of 2,000 red balloons.”

The Huskers hope to increase the number back to 5,000 balloons when the helium shortage ends, according to the story. It still beats 99 red balloons.

So exhale, Nebraska fans. Just don't inhale, unless you want a squeaky-sounding voice.