Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Is this heaven?"

One of the reasons that I'm waiting until September to move to Austin instead of right after my lease is up on July 31, is that I really, really, really want to go to one last Iowa Hawkeyes home football game. Here are some reasons why this is a big deal to me (in video form):

First, the Hawkeyes' entrance always gets me going. The team comes out in a bunch, as one group:

After every Iowa touchdown, the crowd does this cheer, that usually goes for a few minutes, until the team kicks off, when the crowd does the whole "key shake" thing that seems to be pretty standard around college football.

Those were both from the Ohio State game this year, which was dubbed the "Gold Bowl", all fans wore their gold apparel. I wasn't able to go to the game (I wasn't going to spend $500 on a ticket), but it was the biggest game in Iowa City since '85, and the atmosphere was amazing. If only we'd won the game. . .

Next up are a couple of songs near and dear to every Hawkeye fan. First, the fight song

And next, the song played after every Iowa victory, "In Heaven There is no Beer" (being performed by the marching band at the Pep Rally before this past season's Alamo Bowl):

And now for a few special moments in recent Hawkeye history. This clip is from last season, in a game that was much closer than expected, that ended with one of the most memorable defensive series ever. Around here, it's known simply as "The Stand". (it's a long video, just a warning)

Here's one that I was in the stands watching with Marin, last season's homecoming game against Purdue

Finally, one of the more emotional games I've ever watched.

and a longer clip (with crappy effects edited in)

A little back-story is required on this one. In December of 2004, a few days after Christmas, my grandma suddenly passed away, kind of shocking the entire family. Everyone traveled to Arkansas for the funeral and visitation, which happened to take place on New Year's Eve. Of course that night, the family was all together, and drank massive amounts of alcohol. The next day was a lazy one for everyone, recovering both from the night and just trying to mentally recuperate from everything. The next day, January 1, 2005, was also the day of Iowa vs LSU in the Capital One Bowl. Knowing that I was going to the U of I and a big Hawkeye fan, everyone encouraged me to watch the game, reassuring me that it wouldn't be inappropriate, grandma would've wanted me to watch it, stuff like that. So here I am, already an emotional wreck, watching a sport and team that can get me worked up even more. At first things were going really well, Iowa was out to a 14-0 lead. But LSU stuck around, chipped away, and eventually took a 25-24 lead with about 40 seconds to play. I thought it was over, especially when the team didn't notice that the clock had started, and they were lining up for the last play of the game, 56-yards away from the end zone. I was crushed, but still, it was just a game, and didn't really matter, the events of the past week had put things into more perspective.

After that final play, I couldn't take it anymore, once Warren Holloway caught the ball and ran in (a senior, playing in the last game of his career, catching the ONLY touchdown pass of his career), I broke down, started crying, jumping around and yelling, not being able to believe what had just happened, and not knowing how to react. (Thinking about it now, and every time I watch the clip [I have it on a DVD], I get teary-eyed, I can't help it) I called my dad, and he just kept yelling, "It's a miracle! I've never seen anything like this!"

That is and probably will always be the most memorable sports moment in my life. Just given the circumstances and everything that we had all gone through, it's something that I will never forget.

I'm proud to be a Hawkeye.


H said...

I'm proud to be a Hawkeye, too.

Not to be nitpicky, though, but the video of the "fight song" is actually a repeat of the video of the "Iowa cheer." I'm all about cheering but this morning I was really looking forward to hearing the fight song and alas, there was none. Fix it, you.

My Capital One Bowl story is quite similar to yours...okay, it's not. I had not lost anyone recently and I was not even able to watch the game because in my crappy apartment at the retirement home I did not have cable and I had to work really, really hard to even be able to hear the game on the TV using the antenna. So finally I shut the damn thing off and listened to the game on the radio. I was getting ready to turn the radio off when The Catch happened, and as you might imagine the experience was not the same as if I had just watched it live. So then I high-tailed it over to my other parents' house and watched the game when it became an ESPN Instant Classic. Yeah, woo.

Hannita said...

That's a sweet story there at the end.

Flenker said...

h - thank you for pointing that out, it is now fixed!

hannita - thanks! :)