The college football season started Saturday. My niece Sam is now going to the University of Iowa and I am really looking forward to a roadtrip to see the Hawkeyes.
Last year, Sam attended Southern Illinois University, but I missed the football roadtrip. Fortunately, Sam's parents never forget me and made sure to get a picture with the Salukis mascot (who I believe is known as Grey Dawg).
Just looking at that photo makes me excited about the Iowa trip. A real college football game at a Big 10 school, no less. Oh sure, I have gone to other college games, such as the yearly trip to the Big House with my friends Jim and Cuzz. This game is different though. Sam gives me a legitimate rooting connection to the team.
My nephew Matt provided a basketball rooting connection at DePaul, but I already had that since I am an alum. My niece Laura gave me great memories on two trips to New York for her studies. Sam though is giving me a big time college football experience.
With some luck, I am hoping to meet Herky the Hawkeye at a game. If I do, you'll see it here!
Jean and Scott Parker and the SIU Salukis mascot in Carbondale, IL-Late 2010.