January 18, 2022

COLUMN: Say Cheez-It Bowl and other excitement

Bowl season is one of my favorite times of year and I’m glad that, even with the canceled bowls, it still feels exciting. It might seem odd, but my first memory watching TV ever involved viewing Iowa State defeat Pitt 37-29 in the 2000 Insight.com Bowl.

If I had to boil down my favorite parts of a bowl game in two categories, very simply it would be both the bowl sponsor and the possibility for first time matchups. Whether it’s amusing like the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl or logical like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, nothing brings out more (personal) enthusiasm than a very exciting bowl logo on a uniform that just looks cool with the patch on the shoulder.

It’s also exciting to me, as a former equipment manager, when teams tailor their look to the specific bowl that they’re in. Let me share some personal anecdotes as to what makes today’s game exciting.

As a student at Iowa State from 2017-2020, the current streak of five bowl games being a first in school history during my time at the largest university in the state of Iowa is pretty cool.

From covering my first ever bowl game in Memphis for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl to covering my second this week in Orlando for the Cheez-It Bowl not only is it fun seeing players that have been at every bowl during the streak but my friends who are in the Iowa State Marching Band. For both groups of people, it is nice to see them both stay the course and have one last hurrah as a Cyclone before they enter whatever adventure is in front of them.

Speaking of the marching band, this fall I’ve had the privilege and honor of being their photographer on staff, so not only would I capture game action for the Creston News Advertiser of Trevor Downing, I would capture memories (and meme-worthy memories) of those in the ISUCF’V’MB. Most of them won’t see this column, the two Creston people in the band likely will and I’ll have more on them later.

This fall has been full of not so exciting things inside my walls, but being able to cover sports and make new friends in the marching band makes my college adventure that ended abruptly in March 2020 feel full circle, as if being able to provide my talents to both places has been the missing puzzle piece to fulfillment.

Be sure to listen to the band and watch Trevor this evening at 4:45 p.m. and maybe, just maybe, you’ll catch a glimpse of me in my favorite element, a sideline at a football game with my camera.