By: Kyle Kubiak
Regardless of the weather or opponent, you can expect to see the Jack Trice Stadium parking lots full before every home game. The lots begin to fill the night before and continue during the early hours leading up to the game. Cyclone Nation never disappoints and that starts with the spirit they show during tailgating.
Except, last Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against the Texas Longhorns brought a different look than you normally see on a game day in Ames. The unconventional look was the product of three events falling on the same day.
Football game. Homecoming. Halloween.
“Make a STATEment” was the slogan for this year’s homecoming. Those three simple words seemed to fit appropriately when surveying the attire that was on display around Jack Trice Stadium.
Everywhere you turned college students and alums were showing off their best costumes. From Paul Rhoads to Gumby and everything in between, ISU fans succeeded on making a statement through their costume choices.
It almost seemed like there was an unspoken competition for who had the best.
“You can definitely see when students put extra thought into their costumes instead of just buying a simple shirt or hat. It seems like a lot of them decided to go all out,” said John Simmons, a life long Cyclone fan and regular tailgater. “I bet it has been a long time since we had a homecoming football game that landed on Halloween. A day like today makes me wish I was a college student again.”
The excitement of homecoming mixed with the hallo-weekend brought an infectious buzz around the lots. Cyclone fans were excited to watch their Cyclones take on the Texas Longhorns under the lights.
“Homecoming always brings some of the best tailgates. More alumni make the trip to Ames and the students always seem to have a stronger showing inside the stadium,” said Tyler Rich, Iowa State alumnus of 2013. “I am lucky to work close enough to where I have been able to make it to every home game, but I know there are some of my friends coming down for their first home game since graduating as well.”
Having the perfect costume is always a back-and-forth battle. You never want to try too hard or do the same thing as everyone else. Banana suits were the most commonly seen costumes with Star Wars and Gumby suits right behind.
The planning and unique spin some students put into their costumes brought joy and more excitement to the tailgating routine. Some fans do the same thing every Saturday and Halloween brought a great opportunity to mix it up.
Season ticket holder, John Waters and his family have a routine on every home game. They arrive 6 hours before the game and immediately begin cooking pulled pork. The hallo-weekend allowed them to get out of their routine and add something different to game day for their young children.
“Since we have our three kids who are all under the age of eleven, it can sometimes be hard to get them excited for a game every other weekend. The Halloween weekend fell on a perfect time to where they can dress up and have even more fun,” Waters said.
One Cyclone fan in specific decided to turn the watch back and dress as his father. Conner Rupprecht, senior in Accounting, decided to dress in his father’s bowling polo to mix the celebrations of homecoming and Halloween together.
“I am not that big of Halloween guy, but the idea of dressing like my father of when he was in college was just too easy and funny to pass up,” Rupprecht said. “I think a lot of students are displaying their humors and that is always cool to see around Ames.”
Every college fan base believes they have the best tailgating experience and Cyclone Nation continues to rival them all. Cyclone fans are forever loyal, and they always want to make a statement with their own tailgating traditions.