Don’t Stop Believing (as sung by Boomer)

I can’t believe I struggled out of bed at 7:30 am Saturday morning to go hit the gym before rolling off to another bar for college gameday. I actually spent about 2 1/2 hours there, which I would never have imagined doing 2 years ago. 2 years ago, I would sleep in because of all of the massive partying I did the night before. Now I’m on the elliptical watching ESPN College Gameday (not to be confused with our blog), rocking out to some Jet and plotting the day. I never would have imagined that the day would be full of more surprises and more parties than I expected.

Motoring down Metcalf on my way to The Other Place, my friend at the end of the cell phone told me, “You know it’s a Big 10 bar, right?” So why was I going to that for this Big 12 blog? Well, first off it was close. Second, they have tons of TVs. There are big screens, small screens, and HD screens in just about every nook and cranny. Thirdly, they have NTN Trivia. Maybe I’ll talk about it later, but if you don’t know it’s pretty cool. Lastly, the local teams didn’t play until later and again were not on TV, Nebraska vs USC was on later, and there were no other interesting Big 12 matchups for the morning/afternoon slot.

Except for Iowa vs Iowa State. I don’t know how I completely overlooked one of the better rivalries of the region but it just so happened that those two clashed at 12:30 pm. Did The Other Place ever show it, too. I walked in there and it was filled to brim in yellow and black. It just so happens that the Kansas City Iowa Club has its watch parties there. Granted, there was a sprinkle KU, KSU, CMSU, and even Northern Iowa shirts, but The Other Place was definitely Hawkeye country. So I helped myself to a couple of alumni stickers and some olives left out for the bloody mary mix.

That wasn’t the only chunk of food I nibble on for the day. I opted for the Chicken Quesadilla even though people were raving loony about the pizza there. The waitress that brought me the grub was decent and I really enjoyed how they all dressed up all snazzy in Iowa colors. Some of the other girls working there were pretty gorgeous but not as cute as the Iowa fans there. Oh mercy do they know how to grow them there. There was waiter type guy (seriously?) that looked like the “Can you hear me know” dude from those Verizon commercials. Before I get to Boomer, I got a promise to keep.

When I met up with my boy Jolly there, we scoped out the bar and tried in desperation to find a table or something. Well, we hit the other side of the bar and ran into one of our buds from K State. We’ll call him Gaffigan. Apparently Gaffigan landed a girl from Iowa and was there watching the game (nice grab G). Eventually the question came up about my journal for the blog, so I went into the pseudo-official spiel about the blog. Well Gaffigan’s girlfriend’s friend, Julie, ended up looking through the book and penning her own post. So in the interest of being the nice guy that I am and revealing that she was pretty much the only Iowa State fan at the table (as in wearing an Iowa State shirt), here’s her post:

Iowa State vs Iowa Gameday
Sept. 15, 2007 (Wife Appreciation Day)

Iowa State looks good! Driving the ball down the field with a vengeance! If only they could reach the end zone ~ cheers to a good kicking game!

Iowa’s offensive line cannot seem to protect their QB. It’s going to be a long day for the black/gold!

Salud to the OP and the 8 am cold ones!!

So there you have it. A little vanilla, but probably better live blogging than I could ever do. I say spice it up a bit and we may just have an Iowa State rep here on the site. And yes, I forgot the bar opens at 8 am. Does anybody care that it was Wife Appreciation Day? That seems kind of redundant to me. This coming from the single guy.

From one single guy to another, I can’t talk about The Other Place without talking about Boomer. Boomer seems to have been birthed through the loins of the state of Iowa herself. Which means he did seem a little corny. Ba Doom Ching! Boomer was decked out in a Iowa Hawkeye jersey and sported a Chicago Cubs hat.

Cubs you say? Yes, that’s right. The Cubs are in a playoff hunt, they were playing the St. Louis Cardinals that day, and a Cubs minor league team resides in Des Moines. So there was one TV that had the ball game on. I was a little cheesed by it, but not as much as I was when he cut in during a break to lead a “Take me out to the ball game” song during the 7th inning stretch. Harry Carey he’s not.

Boomer was cutting in and out of the audio portion of the broadcast all day, playing Motley Crue and Bon Jovi throughout. Normally, that wouldn’t bug me too much, but it was spilling over to the actual broadcast. Come on, Boomer, I needs to hear me my announcers during the game. Of course, later on, he redeemed himself completely by rocking the bar out the Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” It’s the new “Piano Man” for bar sing alongs. Everyone was belting out that song, which only added to the party atmosphere that The Other Place became.

The real party, however, was on the field. The Iowa vs Iowa State game turned out to be one of the best games I watched so far this year. As Julie noted earlier, the traditionally tough Iowa line struggled. That struggle became the great equalizer for the game. Iowa State was moving the ball down the field the first half, but only managed to get a handful of field goals for their work. Iowa turned things around for the second half, but a last second field goal put Iowa State on top 15-13. There was a scare at the end for a runback, as Iowa got all the way to the 10 before being tackled. Excitement top to bottom for the game. Truly, it’s what rivalries are made of.

The only other game of note was the plunger up for grab on the Suck Bowl. And lordy, does Notre Dame suck. Michigan woke up from hibernation and plowed the Irish 38 -0. I guess I can no longer call them the “Vaunted Charlie Weiss led Notre Dame Fighting Irish.” Lloyd’s still getting fired at the end of the year though. And WHY oh WHY was Wisconsin vs. Citadel on TV? Thank you Big Ten Network. I can’t wait to get back to more Big 12 games next week. We need a Big12 Network.

While Notre Dame wasn’t so lucky this weekend, I sure ended up the lucky one. The Other Place partied like a rock star and I was glad to be a part of it as long as I could. Boomer probably needs some help with his finger trigger as he ended up blowing out the speakers but that didn’t slow anyone down. I had to take off again early for another party and it turned out that this one was better than that. See y’all next week!

-Purple Yeti