It’s early Saturday morning. The sun is barely peaking up over the Atlantic. There is a crispness in the air and a soft layer of dew covering the top of the grass in your front yard. You lean up against a post, starring at a waving black flag as it whips in the wind. The yellow bird prominently flying high. Prolific. Proud.
You take a sip of coffee as you shiver; not from the early Autumn breeze but from the feeling you get. It’s finally here. You start to think about what the day, the months, the season is going to bring. You day dream as the sun starts to paint the sky. You smile knowing that anything is possible. Only you, the dog, and the Football God’s even know you’re awake right now. But you’re happy. You wish every day felt this good.
You close your eyes and take in a big deep breath. Smells like football.
You can’t help yourself, you have to do it. You pull out your AirPods and slide them in your years. You need to hear that thump. You need to feel that thump.
BUH. DUH NUH NUH. DUH NUH NUH. BUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH. BUH. DUH NUH NUH. DUH NUH NUH. DUH NUH NUH DUH NUH DUH NUH.
BACK IN BLACK!
It hits your eardrums and sends volts of electricity down your spine. The hair starts to stand up on your arms as you remember those days sitting in the stands. You might as well be holding hands in The Swarm. That’s how ready you are. You’re jacked and ready to run through a wall. Any wall. All in the name of Iowa. Nothing is stopping you today. Your heart starts to beat faster and faster as you imagine Herky bolting with the same flag that flies sky high in your yard.
AND HERE COME THE HAWKS.
At this point, you don’t even need your coffee anymore. The adrenaline you have will carry you deep into the night. You take one last deep pull of the air. Slow and eccentric.
You smell what Iowa’s cookin’?
You wonder if it’s too early for a beer? It’s not in Iowa City. Those kids are ready to roll. But probably too early for you. You’re washed. And a Dad. Breakfast beers are a young mans game. That’s when you remember the feeling of working your way towards Melrose; pretending that the case of Keystone Light that your carrying hasn’t been touched despite the box crumbling to pieces. There is a buzz. There is an aura. Everyone swarming in their own right.
You miss those days.
But then you remember that you get to lift your 14-month old daughter in the air when it’s time for the burrito lift and she LOVES it. Pump it up. You got to pump it up. Don’t you know, pump it up. You smile just thinking about it. Then you realize you get to teach her how to do The Wave this year. She loves waving. Your heart begins to melt.
It’s great to be back again.
And boy oh boy, is it STILL great to be a Hawkeye.