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Are you ready for some football?

September 13, 2011

It’s September, which means football season is upon us.

In our house, if there’s a football game on somewhere, the tv is usually turned to it. That’s what happens when you have a husband who spent nearly half his life playing football in some form or another. Thursday night, Friday night, most of the day Saturday and Sunday, and Monday night – all football.

We took the kids to the season opener for our local high school football team a few weeks ago. They did okay – at five and nearly three, sitting still isn’t a priority, and the band and announcers were a little too loud, but they said they had fun.

So we decided we’d try our luck with a college football game next.

Last weekend was the annual matchup between Iowa State and Iowa. It’s a big game, and this year it was in Ames, home of my beloved Cyclones. We made it a family affair with me, the hub, the kiddos, my sister, her husband, her three kiddos, my dad and two of his buddies (that are pretty much like family, anyway). The game had an 11am kickoff, which meant we had to get up very early to make the hour drive and find a decent parking spot on campus.

It was a perfect day for a college football game – sunny with a slight breeze. It did get rather warm, but we managed. One nice thing about Jack Trice Stadium in Ames (though this is up for debate by some people) is that it has grass hillsides that make it convenient for families with younger kids to watch the game. And by watch the game, I mean keep an eye on the kids.

Ah, sibling love. The kidlet was extremely excited to wear her cheerleader dress to the game.

The blanket was a nice place to stretch out and relax before the game.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t exactly easy to keep tabs on the game while trying to corral two enthusiastic children. Not to mention, where we were at on the hillsides was optimum for shade (at least until the sun hit high noon) but not exactly optimum to see what was going on down on the field. We had to rely on the reactions of those standing up around us (red shirts cheering = good; black shirts cheering = bad) and what we could hear from the announcers. The kiddos did a good job, though, and I was surprised at how well they tolerated all the noise. The only thing they didn’t like was the flyover right before the game started (I don’t blame them) and being too close to the roving marching band after halftime.

We lasted through the end of the third quarter before my sister and I decided we (and the kids) were ready to leave and get back to the relative cool of her van in the parking lot. The kids could run and throw the football around in the shade back at the tailgating spot and my sister and I could listen to the rest of the game on the radio. It was an exciting finish! After three thrilling overtimes, Iowa State persevered and beat Iowa 44-41. Thankfully, the stress of the three overtimes didn’t send me in to early labor (as I had joked with the hub), but it was definitely a heart-stopping kind of game.

The only bad thing about leaving early was missing all the celebrations on field by the team and the fans. But we (and about 60,000 other people) stayed and tailgated another two hours after the game.

The kiddo declared he liked “the party before and after the football game”

while the kidlet enjoyed hanging out with her cousins and playing (and wearing her cheerleader dress).

I’d say it was a mostly successful attempt at going to a football game, despite the heat and sun during the game. I don’t know if we’ll have a chance to get to many more this season – I’m quickly approaching the time in my pregnancy where I don’t want to venture too far from home, nor get too excited during the games – but there will be other opportunities to go cheer on the Cyclones with the kiddos.

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