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Watching the marching band perform pre-game today (another cringe-worthy loss – don’t ask), I snapped this photo of their – what DO they call these things: hats? helmets? head gear? – anyway, the Things They Wear On Their Heads – lined up like so many soldiers standing at attention on a brick wall near Alumni Hall. I like the orderly display of these elegantly adorned uniform pieces, each one outfitted in grand fashion with shiny medallion, gold braid and fluffy white plume.

The cadence of drums and clanging of cymbals, the cheers of the crowd and the pep squad routines all help to fire up the faithful before every game. The crowd claps and cheers their enthusiastic approval under a sunny sky that helps to offset the chilly, breezy November air. Our college mascot, on display throughout the huge tailgate lot on flags, banners, party RV’s, stocking caps and jackets, with our school colors of cardinal and gold, provides a colorful backdrop to bag toss games, grilling, canopies and liquid spirits. The carnival atmosphere, steeped in tradition, brings friends and family together for every home game ensuring fond memories for years to come – even when the win-loss record (such as is the case this particular season) is horribly out of balance.

Go Cyclones!

Opening day of Iowa State football was gorgeous – sunny blue skies, slight breeze and warm temps. I love the carnival-like atmosphere of tailgating with the sights, sounds and wonderful aromas, friendly laughter and big-screen TV’s set up for watching the game in the parking lot for those folks without tickets. People-watching at its finest!

Too bad that the game, which started out so promising with a 14-0 lead early on, ended the way it did. Our beloved Cyclones lost 34-14. Ouch! Here’s hoping for better days ahead.