Hope and I did our first road trip of the fall over I-74 to I-80 to I-35 to Ames to take in the Cyclone game versus UNI.
We were both quite excited. Tailgating has been our annual connection with our college friends for the seven or so years we've been out of school. It hasn't mattered where we've lived - Omaha, Iowa City, Ankeny or now Indianapolis - it's an almost weekly event throughout Autumn where we have the opportunity to get together with friends we don't see most of the year, drink a beer or two early in the morning, and chat with the folks who have had seats next to us for nearly a decade (yet, we still don't know their names).
The day was beautiful and the tailgating worked out well. When we arrived we had about 6 hours or so before game time which turned out to be just about the right amount of time to rotate through our tailgate hubs: Austin's crew, Caleb's friends, Hope's family, Charley & Nicole & family, the Delts, and then back to where we started.
We worked in a little cornhole (a sport that I'm terrible at):
And, see how big our friend's kids had grown over the summer:
As for the football, the mid-week game ten days or so before was bad but it was the first game under a first time head coach so it was excusable. This game, however, was against Northern Iowa - a lower division squad aching for the chance to beat BCS conference team. A loss to UNI would be inexcusable - after all Walden's(1) not our coach, right?
Well, we lost. Bad. We weren't competitive. We're bad. Maybe Dennis Dodd was a tiny bit right.
(1)His two losses to UNI 15 years ago marked the worst of our program