I was talking to my dad earlier this fall and he asked me if I was going to make it home any time soon. I told him that with work and everything else going on, I wouldn't be in Iowa until Christmas. He said, "You're not coming home for any Iowa football games?" to which I again explained that it wouldn't really work with my schedule. He replied, "Oh, cuz I have four tickets to the Iowa-Indiana game on October 31st and I thought you'd want to come." Well that changes everything! My attitude changed on the spot, and then I was all about figuring out how I could make it work. And work it did (not without the help of a few wonderful friends who covered a few things for me - Thanks!).
My friends, Clayton and Angela joined me. Kick-off time in Iowa City was at 11 AM, which means we had to leave the twin cities at 3:30. 3:30!!! There are very, very few things I would ever wake up that early for, but Iowa football is one of them. We got to Iowa City, met my dad, and drove over to the game. I just love the atmosphere. I can't really explain it, you just have to be there. The roar of the people, the smell of hamburgers and every other food you can imagine cooking, a sea of black and gold as far as the eye can see, the taste of victory (oh, wait, that comes later :-)). I love everything about it.
Because the game started at 11, we decided to tailgate afterwards, but Clayton took the time we had before the game began to put together his new grill.
Me & Dad in front of historic Kinnick Stadium
Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman trophy winner - the only Hawkeye to ever win the Heisman. He died when his plan went down on a routine flight during World War 2 and the stadium is named after him. (Kinnick is also one of the names I throw around for my dog I will have someday.)
This pretty much sums it up
The team is warming up and the stadium begins to fill. (The crowded part is the student section. They are die hard. They stand outside the gate waiting to get in, and run down the bleachers to get the front row seats. I used to be one of those crazy kids!)
The marching band reinstituted the tigerhawk formation this year. I'm a fan.
The first three quarters were not good. Indiana scored on their first drive, and our offense looked terrible. The Iowa quarterback threw 4 interceptions in the third quarter alone (for a total of five for the game!). By the middle of the third quarter the 70,000 people+ who were in the stadium were stunned silent. We were 8-0, ranked 4th in the country, and were losing to a school that barely even plays football.
Then the 4th quarter started. It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen or experienced. We were a scoring machine. I was jumping up and down, screaming, hugging strangers, singing the fight song - it was amazing.
At the end of the game, I tried to take a picture of my dad and me, but I didn't do very well. If you look closely in the corner, you can see my eye. Mostly just dad.
Then Clayton helped us out and took the picture for me. This much better.
We celebrated and tailgated after the game. Then we did a little shopping that you can only do in Iowa City. The tight end for the Hawkeyes (Tony Moaki) was shopping there too, and Clayton got his picture taken with him. They're a lot bigger standing next to you than they look on the field! :-)
It was a perfect day - and that says a lot when the day began as early as it did. My voice was scratchy for the next couple days and I was exhausted, but it was totally worth it. The Hawkeyes were 9-0 for the first time in school history. The game (well at least the last part of it) was so fun to watch in person, and I got to spend the day with dad and two of my closest friends.