Lifetime Husker fan Dack Lambert had been trying to think of a creative way to propose to his girlfriend for months, so when College GameDay announced that they would be coming to Lincoln, he finally knew what he needed to do.
Mackenzie Lambert, Dack’s cousin and a University of Nebraska-Lincoln senior elementary education and early childhood education major, agreed to help Dack with his proposal.
During the live broadcast of ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday, Sept. 28, Mackenzie held a sign that read “Lexi, will you marry me?” on behalf of Dack. While this occurred, Dack proposed to his girlfriend Lexi Goettl in Phoenix, and she said yes.
“I just had a feeling like, oh my gosh, this was it,” Mackenzie said. “Dack saw it, he’s down on a knee, [Lexi’s] saying yes, it’s happening. So, I was kind of freaking out and jumping around, and I just knew it was happening. And it was.”
Mackenzie said the idea came from a family joke about how to propose, but the joke quickly grew into a full plan.
“We kind of took that idea and ran with it,” Dack said. “It kind of just all came into place after that.”
Dack put the plan together with family and friends and said that he and Goettl would watch the GameDay broadcast in Phoenix while Mackenzie would show the proposal sign in Lincoln.
The Lambert family had talked to ESPN before College GameDay, and ESPN said there was no guarantee of being on the main broadcast, but they could guarantee airtime on the Twitter live feed, according to Mackenzie. As a result, Dack’s aunt and uncle would be on the Twitter live feed section holding an identical sign as a backup.
Dack said he rushed to get the engagement ring ready for Goettl while Mackenzie worked to get the signs ready for Saturday.
On Saturday, Dack said once he knew Mackenzie was in position, he woke up Lexi and brought her into the living room around 6:30 a.m. MT, where the TV was paused on a commercial.
Dack said they were surrounded by friends and family when he proposed after Goettl saw the sign during the Scott Frost interview. Goettl accepted the proposal and was shocked, surprised and overjoyed.
“I’m almost in shock,” Dack said. “I’m obviously thrilled that she said yes and that it all worked out, but I’m kind of in shock about how much publicity [we’ve gotten] and how viral it’s gone. It’s kind of amazing, but I’m just, I’m really happy. I’m happy people are wanting to get more information about it and are happy for us. It’s a good feeling to have.”
Since she’s a student teacher in Omaha, Mackenzie said she had to leave Omaha at 3 a.m. with her parents to arrive in the College GameDay lines around 4 a.m. She entered the pit around 6:15 a.m. after a two hour wait, and she began to inch forward.
“I was nervous because our main plan was, it has to get on TV, and then they’ll record it, rewind it, or whatever so that Lexi sees it in person,” Mackenzie said. “So I was just kind of nervous, like, ‘Okay, what if it doesn’t get on TV? What if I don’t get in the pit? What if I don’t get a good spot?’”
Mackenzie said that as she moved forward she explained her story to the fellow GameDay attendees and asked to move to the front for just 10 seconds of TV time.
“Everybody around me was so on board with wanting to help out and wanting the proposal to be seen and wanting it to happen,” she said. “It was really awesome because all of the support around me was just unexpected.”
Mackenzie said she knew she was in the right spot when she could see herself on the jumbotron when the cameras zoomed into Frost for his answers. She said she saw herself and the sign just over Frost’s right shoulder and knew that the sign worked.
This weekend, the engaged couple will come to Nebraska for the Northwestern game on Saturday, Oct. 5, but Dack said it was a coincidence that it happened to be a week after the proposal.
“The fact that it’s a week later and whatever just kind of all fell into place randomly,” he said. “But it’s kind of cool … that after all this went down we can go back and celebrate with family.”
Dack said he hopes that he can celebrate a Husker win during their first game as an engaged couple.
“I don’t know if there’s more of a Husker proposal than this,” Dack said. “I got what I wanted on the proposal, now I’m gonna have to let Lexi plan the wedding.”