Road Trip: Iowa
Posted: Wednesday October 18, 2006 11:48AM; Updated: Wednesday October 18, 2006 12:01PM
Located in the heart of Iowa City, the University of Iowa has been shaping young minds since 1847. The school, which was the first public university in the United State to admit men and women on an equal basis, has seen Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners and Supreme Court justices pass through its doors. These days, however, the main draw for the school's 30,000 students is the football team. Led by quarterback Drew Tate and coach Kirk Ferentz, the 5-2 Hawkeyes are among the Big Ten powerhouses. So if you're planning a trip to Iowa City, let SIOC be your guide.
Coolest tradition: Iowa football players entering the field. First, Herky the Hawk (our mascot) is introduced as he is carried onto the field while waving an Iowa flag. Once Herky slams the flag into the turf, the crowd gets pumped, and the Hawkeyes hold hands as they come out of the tunnel, symbolizing team unity. This tradition began when Hayden Fry was coach, and it's one of the coolest things you'll ever see before a college football game.
Another neat tradition: In Heaven, There Is No Beer. When the band starts playing this tune, everyone in Iowa City is celebrating because it means the Hawkeyes were victorious. Every Iowan enjoys singing this one as often as possible. Here are the lyrics:
"In Heaven, there is no beer...
Best bar: Brothers' Bar and Grill. There are numerous watering holes in downtown Iowa City, and in particular, around the Pedestrian Mall. What makes Brothers' enjoyable is the atmosphere. There's an outside patio fenced into the actual bar for those who prefer to socialize outside. It also has a decent dance floor, and is usually one of the first downtown places packed with students on Friday and Saturday nights.
Best spot to find attractive co-eds: The Pedestrian Mall. It really doesn't matter where you happen to be. If you're downtown on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening during the school year, check out the mall. You shouldn't be too disappointed with the view.
Biggest landmark: The Old Capitol. Could this be any more obvious? Iowa City was the original state capital (now, it's Des Moines). The Old Capitol still stands strong today in downtown and remains a true symbol of the city. The gold dome was refurbished recently. The original caught fire in November 2001, and for a while, nothing was there. Now it looks better than ever.
Pre-game meal: Big-Ass Turkey Legs. Before you enter Kinnick Stadium for an Iowa football game, grab a bite to eat. If you walk down Melrose Ave., not only will you enjoy everything that is going on, you'll see many different food stands. The most popular one on the way to the stadium is "Big-Ass Turkey Legs" (it's on the left). As the guy who mans the stand will scream, "Get yo' Big-Ass Turkey Legs! Get 'em while they're hot!"
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