COLUMN: Tailgating, woeful game, photo

Pete Temple poses with members of the University of Iowa Spirit Squad Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Gary Spellerberg)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Random observations from my first-ever live football game at Kinnick Stadium, my first live Golden Gopher football game in maybe 30 years, and the first Minnesota loss of the season:

     • As a Gopher fan, the tailgating was by far the highlight of the day for me. It’s a great atmosphere, of course, and it was so much fun people-watching, joking with fans from both sides, and having terrific food and refreshments.

     • Then we went into the stadium for the game. When Iowa started out by scoring touchdowns on the two easiest drives in college football history, I was tempted to head back to the tailgating spot.

     It was the kind of start in which, if I were at home, I would have shut the TV off and gone to do something else for a couple of hours before checking to see if things got any better.

     They did get better, but not enough better.

     • Gary and Vicki Spellerberg of Manchester, from whom I purchased my ticket, know how to get the parking thing done. They rent a spot, and park in such a way so that they drive out over the curb onto Melrose Avenue after the game. I was stunned by how quick an exit it was.

     • I Am Hilarious, Part One: We had a group photo taken, by a 20-something woman from a nearby tailgating group. As we were lining up, I said, “So, have you ever taken a photo with a phone before?”

     • Proper things to do during tailgating: talk to the Elvis guy, play bags, and yes, get your photo taken with members of the Iowa Spirit Squad, which you can do if you purchase a 2020 Spirit Squad calendar for $10. I was talked into doing this, so there I was posing with four black-and-gold clad cheer types while wearing my Minnesota hoodie. It was a classic “one of these things is not like the others” situation.

     • Which leads me to I Am Hilarious, Part Two: I asked the Spirit Squad women why my calendar said “2003” on it.

     • I’ll bet I was the only person in Kinnick Stadium wearing both a Minnesota hoodie and a Prairie Meadows cap. I couldn’t find my Gopher cap Saturday morning.

     • Tailgating recipe tip: Add tiny bits of jalapeno to baked beans, which Gary’s brother Eric did. Quite awesome. Gary and Vicki also had an amazing barbecued beef recipe that I don’t know much about, other than it is terrific.

     • It is amazing how long 2:35 can be when you are in the stadium waiting for one of the countless TV timeouts to expire.

     • Iowa fans were justifiably thrilled with the outcome. Me, not so much. But it is our lot in life to spread joy wherever possible. There was plenty of joy in and around Kinnick on Saturday.



Subscriber Login