The calm before the storm…

AMES — I drove up University Boulevard this afternoon to get a feel for how early folks are getting into place for the state’s biggest annual sporting event.

The RV and bus lots were beginning to fill up by around 2:30 p.m. Some fans already were hunkering down in their lawn chairs outside their vehicle, with a cold beverage in hand I presume.

There’s always a unique and special feeling, for me, on home football Fridays. I like driving around town seeing how others are preparing for the game, and the overall revelry of the start of the weekend.  

Students — and some recent graduates and other 20-somethings — will be lining S. 16th Street later Friday evening to secure a spot in the grass lots near Jack Trice Stadium that open at 5 a.m. Some will set up tents. Others will sleep in their car. A few will turn it into an all-nighter and never close their eyes.

The scene for tomorrow’s Iowa-Iowa State game will be grand. It always is here.

There’s talk of a record crowd entering JTS. There is no real capacity since there no way to quantify how many people fit on the hillsides at each of the four corners of the stadium.

The current record is 56,795 set two years ago in the season opener against Northern Iowa.

The biggest crowd for an ISU-Iowa game came in 1991 when the tally was 54,469.

What does all this mean? The morale of the story?

Get to where you are going early, early, early. And don’t dilly-dally outside the stadium for too long when kickoff nears.  Get in your seats early and avoid the bottneck at the gate.

And have fun.

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