I love the black and gold. I had no idea it was an option not to be a Hawkeye fan until I met one lonely Iowa State fan in my kindergarten class. Who are these Cyclones you speak of? Iowa has more than one team? Crazy.
I grew up in a home with the black and gold. We attended Hawkeye parties for both basketball and football. The parents would rotate hosting the parties in their homes, and everyone would bring food. The kids would all play. I preferred to watch the games with the adults, as I was quite a bit older than most of the other kids.
At age six, I thought being a Hawkeye cheerleader was a permanent job, not just for college kids. So that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. I received at least four pom poms for Christmas that year. Guess what colors they were?
Now I had even more fun watching Iowa games, even if the new rules included only cheering during commercials. I guess I was louder than the announcers. A sign of things to come…..
I grew up over two hours away from Iowa City, so it was a big deal for most people I knew to go to an Iowa game in person. It was mostly considered a grown up thing to do. Each year for my birthday, I could pick something to do. One year it was roller skating; another year it was going shopping. During one birthday in high school, I wanted to go to an Iowa basketball game. We went as a family, and that was a pretty big deal.
I attended my first Iowa football game during college, and I have tried to attend one home football game each year. I love tailgating outside of Kinnick, and I love drinking Bloody Marys at 6:00 a.m.
Perhaps my proudest Hawkeye moment was watching the Hawkeyes defeat LSU during the final seconds of the 2005 Capital One Bowl. I watched the game in Lake Jackson, Texas, and was proud my home state showed those southerners who these Hawkeyes in black and gold were.