Saturday was the first day of Hawkeye football season. Since kickoff at Kinnick Stadium was scheduled for 11:00 am, tailgating started around 7:00 am.
Sim and I thought briefly about tailgating but were simply too exhausted to get up at 6:00 am. After we slept in and spent some QT with the dogs we checked the score of the game online (we don’t have TV) and decided to go catch the second half at a bar. My students instructed me that bars get incredibly crowded on game days and that you need to arrive before kickoff to get a seat. Although the madness was tempting we decided to stay out of Iowa City this time and drove up to the small town of Solon.
I’m not kidding when I say that nearly EVERYONE was wearing an Iowa t-shirt, whether at the grocery store, out jogging, at the lake, or out BBQing.
We arrived at Patti’s bar & restaurant to a sea of black and gold. We had a great time eating lunch, chatting with local fans, and watching the game. Iowa beat Eastern Illinois 37-7. The cheering was loud and the excitement was contagious.
Since we are now submerged in football country, we’re trying to learn more about the Big Ten conference. The Big Ten is an NCAA Division I conference that now includes 11 schools; 10 in the Midwest and 1 in the East (Penn State, who was most recently added in 1990). And the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers will begin membership in the Fall of 2011.
We’ve been told that the biggest rival games of the season will be played on Saturday, Sep. 11th against Iowa State and Saturday, November 20th against Ohio State. Both of these are homes games, so we might just join in the excitement downtown or at the stadium. Next Saturday’s game begins at 2:36 CST and will be broadcast on ABC.