It is extremely rare that something you anticipate for years actually lives up to the lofty expectations.
And the longer you look forward to it, the less likely it is to exceed those dreams.
But I lucked out in that department this past weekend, and I’ll remember it as long as I live.
In this column last week, I talked about how excited I was to finally get to cover a football game at Kinnick Stadium after spending a majority of my life attending games there as an Iowa fan.
I’m here to tell you that it was every bit as cool as I could have ever imagined. Not only was it a great view of the stadium and surrounding neighborhood, perched high atop Kinnick’s west side, but the class of clientele in the press box was a veritable who’s who of guys I’ve grown up listening to and reading about.
I met longtime broadcaster Bob Brooks; current radio color man Ed Podolak, a former Iowa and Kansas City Chiefs great; former Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker; and former Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks, who was honored at halftime as a new member of the Hawkeyes sports Hall of Fame.
On top of that, I was able to say hi to one of my favorite teachers from my high school days, Ann Brashier, whose husband, Bill, served as legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry’s defensive coordinator during Fry’s entire 20-year tenure at Iowa; they were sitting in the luxury suite next to me with former athletic director Bump Elliott.
The entire experience was surreal, amazing, humbling, uplifting and completely memorable, all at once.
As a Hawkeye fan, I wouldn’t want to sit in the quiet, detached Brechler Press Box for every game. But for something I’d been dreaming about since I was 8 years old, it couldn’t have gone any better; the only part I would change was the Iowa loss to a win.
Thanks to Tyler Loos for putting me in that position in the first place; the NIU sports information department (especially Donna Turner and Joe Summins); the University of Iowa sports information department (especially Steve Roe and Matthew Weitzel); and all the great people I met and chatted with during my stay upstairs.
It was rarefied air indeed, and it was every bit as entertaining as it was memorable.
And congratulations to the Huskies, who might actually run the table this year and earn another BCS bowl berth. Their offense and QB Jordan Lynch were impressive behind Loos and his linemates, and the defense – especially the secondary – was stout.
On Saturday, I’ll return to Kinnick – as a fan once again – to watch the Hawkeyes and Missouri State. While I’ve met Missouri State AD Kyle Moats, a Dixon native, and enjoyed our chat a few years ago at Timber Creek, I’d like to see Iowa put a notch in the win column.
Nothing personal … it’s just college football.