I like football. Yes, I am a girly-girl. But, strike my first comment – I LOVE football! There’s nothing like cheering on your alma mater or the NFL quarterback who you need to get you 30 Fantasy Football points. The fall air and the leaves and being outside among thousands of other screaming fans is just one of the best times an American can have this time of year!
But, what I’m paying homage to today is… tailgating – the pre-party to the love that is watching live football in person. As an alum of Iowa State University, my husband and I (and friends) are season ticket holders to both the football and the basketball seasons. Yesterday, our beloved Cyclones beat Kansas – not a huge feat this year considering Kansas’ far from stellar record, but exciting nonetheless.
See, the Cyclones aren’t known for winning National Championships or for producing multiple Heisman winners (although we did enjoy our victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes this season), but those of us who went there or who just like the team, really don’t care! We show up for the sport of the game… and for tailgating! Accounts of how tailgating got started differ. One story says that in 1904, fans arriving by rail-car for the Harvard-Yale football game became famished after the long trip. They decided to bring a picnic basket to future games, thus launching the tailgate tradition, according to BigBlueTailgate.com.
Anyway – I’m rambling. My point is that we see our great college friends, Rob and Nicole at our tailgates. And, we’ve made other great friends through tailgating. We sometimes hop tailgating lots to visit people we only see on those blessed days at Jack Trice Stadium. We play games like we were kids again – bags, ladder golf, giant Jenga, flippy cup and don’t forget… beer darts (ashamed to type that). We catch up on what’s going on now, we reminisce about the past and we laugh and laugh and laugh. We aren’t falling down drunk like we once did as coeds, but we get a few good drinks in, cook over a tiny charcoal grill and eat whatever delicious goodies are at hand.
Like I said, the Cyclones don’t always turn up a victory. But, seeing friends come from all around for one common love of competition keeps us coming back!
No matter what team you cheer for, we are all united as tailgaters. If the world worked as one giant tailgate, I think we would all be a lot happier:)
P.S. In addition to tailgating, we also treasure our Cyclone coach – Paul Rhoads. Just had to get that in there.