Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Football is back

It's always a special time of year when football season kicks off again. A post on Clone Chronicles had me reminiscing about my first college football game I ever attended. I think it might have been a KU game with a church youth group but I also went to some K-State games in junior high with my dad before we got season tickets when I was in high school. I always loved going to college football games. There's just something about the tens of thousands of people wearing the same color and participating in the same traditions they've participated in since they were attending classes there. The NFL is great but college has a certain emotional connection to the past that most pro teams can't emulate.

My first Iowa State game happened on the first Thursday in September of my freshman year. I went to the game with two people I had met in the dorms, Susan S. and Jeremy H. for those of you that will know those people. One of them knew some people tailgating and we threw down a couple of beers in the parking lot with one eye out for the police. After that we headed into the student section, a roiling mass of drunk college kids decked out in red. Our team ended up 4-7 that year but were really close to upsetting two top 15 teams in K-State and Texas and had two other 3 point losses. Darren Davis, Sage Rosenfels, the cursed Mike "You Suck" McKnight. It was still good times.

Just looking back through that schedule I still have memories of the craziness of Kirk Ferentz pushing me after the Iowa game, hearing someone yell updates of the UNLV game at the Yellow House on Stanton party, watching us blow a huge halftime lead against K-State, watching Nebraska kick our ass, eating a turkey sandwich I'd made and sitting in the front row for the Texas game (and later joining in on the "Major Asswipe" chants), listening to part of the KU game at food service. When my friends and I get together we still make the same jokes and singing the same songs we were when we were in college. "The band's drunk!" "Aggie fan!" "DEAR ALMA MATER!" "It's time to climb upon the vic'try wagon. Fight, Iowa State! Fight! Fight!"

That season showed some promise for the football program, but, in the grand scheme of things, was completely forgettable. And, yet, I can recall something about almost every game. Those memories we take from our college days must be part of the college football experience and why people like me keep coming back every year. My five years at Iowa State are actually one of the most successful runs ISU has ever had but they're still tinged with missed field goals, bad calls, close opportunities, and more missed field goals. Despite this I remain optimistic. Hey, we've got a new coach and an experienced QB, Iowa comes to Ames this year...maybe we'll catch a few breaks. Then again, we're still facing the same disadvantages we've always faced and went 2-10 this year but there's plenty of time to worry about that later.

Despite all that I know there will be thousands of fans wearing cardinal and gold showing up 6 hours before kickoff to crack open a beer and light up the grill just like there were for the Indiana State game in 1999 and the many games before that. Go Cyclones!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's this about Ferentz pushing you?


3:33 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

The students rushed the field after we won and as I'm running around I feel this push from the side. I turned around just in time to see Ferentz running through the crowd with some fat cop trying to keep up with him.

It was probably more of a "brushed past me" but the story keeps growing. In 30 years I'll be telling people he punched me in the face and punted my dog off a bridge. That's how they roll.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Just knowing the state that we normally were in during games, he likely did punch you, and likely for good reason. I would pay over $100 for video of this said interaction, and the look on your face when you realized you could tell the "Ferentz Incident" tale to your grandchildren one day.

Good writeup otherwise, got me a little misty-eyed yearnin' for the gridiron battles....

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember after the Indiana State game (also my first ISU game), I went home and drew how to stop option on my whiteboard on my dorm door. We were kicking their ass, and blew a shut out at the very end of the game and it pissed me off.

Anyway, the next day when I woke up, my whiteboard was ripped off my door and on the ground. I'm pretty sure it was a pissed off Jordan Cartsens who took it down. He lived next to Evans and 'Trail.


6:59 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Ha, that's awesome. Carstens was a badass.

Caine House had the best athletes. That year Cessna just had Martin Rancik for a semester and some baseball players that seemed like assholes.

7:45 AM  

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