There's not a whole lot to talk about, so let's take a little jaunt down memory lane and talk about our memories of attending Iowa football games.
FIRST GAME: the first Iowa football game you saw in-person
LAST GAME: the most recent Iowa football game you saw in-person
BEST GAME: the best Iowa football game you've seen in-person
WORST GAME: the worst Iowa football game you've seen in-person
(If you haven't been able to attend many Iowa games in-person, feel free to substitute in your equivalent memories of watching Iowa games on TV.)
I'll go first:
FIRST GAME: I actually don't remember the exact game I first attended. I know it was a game in the early 90s (I was visiting family who were students at the time) and I'm pretty sure the opponent was either Illinois or Michigan State. But I don't remember much else, including who won the game. The first game I can vividly recall attending was the Northwestern game in 2000, when Iowa recorded a thrilling upset win over the #12 Wildcats. That was my freshman year at Iowa and while I'm certain I went to other games that year, they're all a bit of a blur.
LAST GAME: The most recent Iowa game I've seen in person was that frustrating 24-22 loss to Wisconsin in Madison last fall when Jonathan Taylor ran for ALL THE YARDS and Iowa's would-be comeback attempt came up short. Sigh. In fact, the last three Iowa games that I've seen in person have all been defeats (Wisconsin and Michigan last year, Penn State in 2018), so my personal streak is not good right now.
BEST GAME: This is an almost impossible category for me to select just one game because despite my poor recent fortune with seeing Iowa in-person, I've also been blessed to see a lot of really wonderful Iowa wins. As an undergrad, I got to see the 2002 comeback win against Purdue (one of the wildest and most exciting games I've ever seen), the 2003 win over Michigan (one of the loudest games I've ever been at), and the 2004 win over Wisconsin (which turned into a Big Ten Championship-clinching party for most of the second half). Post-graduation, I've seen the most perfect annihilation of a rival in their own stadium (55-0 over Minnesota in 2008), the most hard-hitting game I've ever seen, which also had one of the best endings I've ever seen ("7 Got 6" against Michigan State in 2009), and an incredibly dramatic upset win over a #2-ranked team (Michigan 2016). But if I've gotta pick just one... I can't quit that 2002 Purdue game, which remains a pure hit of #Pac12AfterDark madness in an 11 AM Iowa kickoff.
WORST GAME: Unfortunately, this is also a pretty difficult category because I've been in-person for a fair number of ugly losses, too. Outside of the Northwestern win, a lot of the games on the 2000 slate made for some pretty unpleasant viewing. The 2002 Iowa State loss remains soul-rending. I was in attendance for two #MACrifices gone wrong: Western Michigan in 2007 and Central Michigan in 2012. I was at both the Northwestern and Minnesota losses in 2010 and lord did those suck. And the only thing worse than Iowa's on-field performance in the 2014 Minnesota game was the vicious winds that cut through TCF Bank Stadium that day. But, again, if I've gotta pick just one... the pain of that 2002 Iowa State loss still aches. The way Iowa responded over the remainder of the season took away some of the sting -- though it also created a painful "what if?" to consider.
But enough about my memories -- let's hear about yours. Hit up the comments, friends.