Just packed the truck and ready for tailgating before the 2016 edition of the Iowa v ISU game! Iowa City is buzzing, sun is out, and looks like another gorgeous day for an electric night game in Kinnick. When I came to Iowa way back in the day (graduated high school from "The" Cedar Falls Tigers in 1977 ; ), Iowa was on the down side of 19 years of losing seasons and under head coach Bob Commings. ISU however, had been doing well and was in the midst of the Earl Bruce era, was ranked nationally and that year would finish 8-4 and second in the "Big 8."
The teams had not played since 1934 and 1977 was the first time they got it back on the schedule after all those years. So lot's of anticipation and excitement. ISU was picked to smoke
Iowa but as those things go, and as this game has proven over and over throughout the years, records and predictions do not matter. ISU showed up that day, which was televised nationally, with "Beat Iowa" printed on the front of their jerseys. I know as a former player that this was not the idea of any of those players. I am sure they would never have done that. But coaches and athletic directors (and donors!) have other ideas and somehow, somewhere, someone, thought that was a good idea. This pic is from that game and shows my good friend Jim Molini (played DE from 1976-80) saying hi to one of his good friends on the ISU team. Jim has always been a great host to folks visiting Iowa City and nice to see him showing this kind of hospitality!
Anyway, you can read up on the game as you want but in the end Iowa won 12-10. I have always loved this pic below as it shows the old scoreboard and just the raw excitement and sheer joy people felt after this win. It was a long time coming and although that year we did not have a winning season, certainly added a spark to everyone's step for quite a while. Gave us hope we could get things turned around, which as is evident by the past 30 years, clearly they did.
So here we sit ready for another edition of this great rivalry. In my letter to George this week I discussed the history of the rivalry, but most importantly, that this was his last chance to play in it. In my last post I spoke of the last time for things, and that is certainly true for George being a senior this year. Every single week is the last of something for him. So we offer constant encouragement to take it in, appreciate it, and do everything he can to make the most of it. This is one of those "windows" that life presents to us. George has clearly stepped through this one and is about done with it. What windows will be presented to him yet this season and after are yet to be seen, but he has worked hard to make the most of this one and we are so excited to share it with him.
But no matter how much he enjoys this experience, he is done at the end of the season (and will graduate in December!) and this window will be shut. Some windows are like that, a specific and finite time frame to take advantage of them. Others are more fluid and continue to be open to us for a longer period of time. Even then, time changes them and the opportunities they present, so we still need to take care to assess them accurately and make intentional choices as to whether to jump through!
So heading off for the game. If you are going cheer for your team loudly, be safe, and have fun. It is a great event for all involved and the state of Iowa. And football is one of those things that has a timelessness to it. If you do not personally know some players or someone on the team, it seems to everyone that the teams just keep showing up, reloading, and playing, year after year, with the names and numbers changing but it is still football. It is a constant that I personally find very comfortable and am so glad to just have the sound of it back on the TV and filling the house. It reminds me to appreciate those things in my life that ground me.
Have a great day, a great season (whatever that is for you), and offer some gratitude for the people and things in your life that make it so wonderful. GO HAWKS!! Get it done!!