Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hawkeyes vs Michigan State from the sidelines...

Last weekend I got a great chance to go to East Lansing and see the Hawkeyes play the MSU Spartans. I have to say, I was more than a little worried heading in there.
We left from Sioux City at 1pm Saturday, stopped by and picked up some people in Iowa City on the way and then flew the rest of the way to Lansing, MI. After landing there, we geared up and went to a pre-game place called The Landshark for some food before the game. Among our entourage was former Hawkeyes John Derby and Jared DeVries. Tailgating with an NFL Defensive End to go root on the Hawkeyes made me feel even more pumped up than I already was.
Around 6pm, we started our way to the stadium. The MSU fans weren't too friendly, but nothing unexpected. We crossed a beautiful campus with trees changing every color as both dusk and gametime neared. Our final approach to the stadium we crossed the famed "Red Cedar River" and entered the grounds of Spartan Stadium.
I had a benefit of a sideline pass, and a great Canon lens borrowed from a friend. My photography skills and then posting the pics on a blog don't do justice to document the game, but I will share what I got. I still ended up with some pretty great pics, and the benefit of watching the whole game literally on the sideline with the players. And now that we all know the outcome, it's one of those games where someday I will reminisce...."I was there"....

The Spartan fans were ready to rock. Not just the jocks, but the Star Wars nerds like myself donned their war gear and showed up to watch The Spartans take on the Undefeated #6 Iowa Hawkeyes.
We started with the ball, (surprise!). The game started like many of our games so far this year, trading punches to the jaw. Holding our ground and weathering the initial rush of emotion from the crowd and home team environment.
To get the crowd pumped up on third downs they play a clip of Leonidas shouting, "SPARTANS! What is your profession?" The crowd responds with an emphatic "Haroo! Haroo! Haroo!" while thrusting their fists in the air as if they were carrying spears like in the movie.
Here's Sparty! Ok, I love Herky, but Sparty is pretty damn cool. He's been in some great commercials and is the first non-athlete to grace the cover of NCAA Football, (Wii edition, 2009). During half time Jon Thorburn and I went upstairs to get some hot chocolate and in a very surreal moment Sparty walked on to the elevator with us. I felt like I was in an ESPN commercial riding up to the Press Box with Sparty.
Adrian Clayborn and the defense showed up to play.
I went to the end zone for some pics for Brandon Wegher returning.

I really like this pic. Brandon Wegher waiting for and wanting the ball while 75,000 Spartan fans cheer against him.

Ummm, sadly this is where I would curl up in the fetal position.

D-Line chomping the bit to feast on some Spartan.
Hunter and Binns

I had to look this guy up. Next man in.
Ferentz and staff watching the D-Line hold MSU to a field goal.

More pics of the offense. I really like the last one just above with CL Rocker in focus. He gave us fits all night, and almost got away with a defensive holding that would have ended the game for The Hawks.

Ballard lays out Cousins just after the throw.

The Defense walking up to the line.....
....while Cousins gets ready to make a play. The stadium was rocking. Chants of "Go Green!...Go White!" back and forth every time a timeout was called or Iowa touched the ball. MSU drives....hook and ladder to Blair White? No! With 1:37 left in the game MSU takes the lead, 13-9 a few plays later with none other than Blair White catching a pass in the end zone.

Stanzi and Vandenburg discussing the play just before the drive down the field.

I grabbed this last pic before I put my camera away so I could just cheer on The Hawks the last few plays of the game. As you know, with goal-to-go, Iowa used every second and down, coverting the 4th down play to Marvin McNutt for the winning touchdown. We went nuts. The crowd went silent. An unbelievable moment. It may not have been the 1985 field goal, or Tate to Holloway, but it was certainly special. An ending every Hawkeye fan will remember for years to come, marking history as The University of Iowa Hawkeyes move to 8-0 for the first time. Ever.
A few more pics below I uploaded to share...with a couple from the end of the game celebration.


A happy Peltgrande after the game. It's great to be a Hawkeye!
Go Hawks!


Abby said...

What an awesome ending!! Great pictures Travis, and what an experience. The Hawks are definitely having an unforgettable season! Thanks for sharing these. Go Hawks!!

Travis said...

Old post man, update and link some new tunes.

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