COLUMN: Good seats, good friends, good football game!

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     A few weeks ago at the Monticello Panther fundraiser golf outing I bid on a pair of Hawkeye football tickets versus North Texas. Along with the tickets came a parking pass and a personalized autographed football by Coach Ferentz.

     When I found out I was the high bidder I was pretty excited. When I found out the tickets were in row one at the 30-yard line behind the Hawkeyes’ bench and included a parking spot right next to Kinnick Stadium, I was ecstatic!

     I asked a good friend of mine to go along and he graciously accepted the offer. He took care of the food and we ventured to Kinnick and had ourselves a little tailgate. We arrived plenty early to avoid traffic and had our pick of parking spots.

     Once we arrived at our seats, I couldn’t believe how close we were to the action. After the offense came off the field the quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends gathered for some one-on-one coaching. We could just about hear everything they were talking about.

     On occasion, coach Ferentz would come over to those groups and offer up some encouragement. I was determined to capture some award winning photos on the field but after looking them over, I will stick to being a fan.

     The game itself was a little nerve-wracking from a fan’s standpoint. The Hawks let two scores slip away in the first quarter and never seemed to quite get on a consistent track.

     Not helping matters were constant delays for replay reviews, confusion at times amongst the referees and all sorts of flags being thrown. I’m guessing it was difficult for either team to really get in a rhythm.

     After halftime the Hawks’ defense seemed to settle in and the offense got themselves headed in the right direction. Being that close to the action was awesome but it didn’t always allow us to see the entire field. I missed the high-stepping antics of Hawkeye running back Akrum Wadley that resulted in a flag and the loss of his touchdown. My opinion: dumb rule.

     All in all it was a great day spent in one of my all-time favorite places. My only disappointment was not getting the courage to ask someone on the sidelines to throw me coach Ferentz’s discarded gum that landed right in front of us. Just think, I could have had his DNA!



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