I'm sitting here supervising Saturday school (which, thankfully, is going great... the 2 kids are working hard and are pleasant and respectful), thinking of my Mornin' Crew tailgating group at their last home game of the year. My show opens in two weeks, and I just really didn't want to miss rehearsal today. Heather's high school football team is playing in the state finals, so she wanted to see them play. We sold our tickets to our principal, who was a Hawkeye player himself in the early nineties. I remember seeing him play during my one year at Iowa. That was also a Rose Bowl year. He's a Fairfield boy, come home to raise his family. And today, he and his son are honorary Mornin' Crew members, Lord help them. ;)
The Mornin' Crew is a perfect example of my crazy, messed-up, wonderful family. I'd say for me, the tailgating group hinges around my stepbrothers, Tim & Travis. They are massive Hawkeye fans, and that's probably one reason why my mom fit in so well with their family! Even though my mom was only married to my stepdad, Mike, for about 2 1/2 months before she died, all the boys (and their wives) have worked hard to make sure Matt and I still feel like part of their family. That means so much to me.
I've had Iowa season football tickets for several years... it must be going on 10 or something like that. When Tim & Travis and their Uncle Dennis (married to Mike's sister, LuAnn) decided to get season tickets, I moved over to sit with them. We usually tailgated together anyway, so now it's even more fun to sit with them during the games.
We've made a ton of great memories over the years tailgating and going to bowl games, but the very best memory I have is the Capital One Bowl in Orlando where the Hawks beat LSU at the very end of the game. "The Catch" happened pretty much right across from us, and I'll never forget it. The whole trip was a blast. We even rang in the New Year at Universal Studios.
In our crew, everyone has nicknames. My Mornin' Crew nickname is Rapper because I can perform the entire "Clap your hands, everybody. Everybody clap your hands..." rap from the end of Revenge of the Nerds. One of my many hidden talents. ;) Other members that I can remember offhand include Tippy, Bluto, Flounder, Scrapper, Hoover, Panther, Miss LuAnn, and Pepper, Clark, & Ellen. Wild bunch.
Well, as I write this, the whole crew is cheering from section 213, and I'm following the score online. Looks like we missed an extra point. Hope that doesn't come back to bite us in the butt. This game and the upcoming Minnesota game will decide which bowl game the Crew will be attending. I probably won't go... nothing will ever match the Capital One bowl in my memory or heart.
For more information on the Hawkeye Mornin' Crew and all they stand for, see our website... I know you all have a burning desire. GO HAWKS!