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2021 Tailgate Preview I: UNI


TCU v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

It’s finally time.

It’s been 651 days.

1.78356 years.

21 months, 1 week, and 4 days.

Let’s get back to what we as a fanbase do better than anyone else.

You don’t need me to tell you to get ready. I know you’ve been packed for weeks. I can’t wait to see each and every one of you on Saturday.


As of this very moment, the weather on Saturday looks like a B+, only downgraded from perfection because of rain chances in the morning. With a high of 78, it will be warm but not blazing hot. Probably a perfect day to paint something on your chest and go shirtless. That’s my plan, anyway.

Food - Walking Tacos

We’re going to be back together for the first time in forever. Let’s go portable so we can walk around and see each other again. Traditionalists can take the Walking Taco route (if you need a glowing review of this culinary delight, just ask Bob Wischusen, who compared the idea to “splitting the atom”). My genius caterer friend dreamed up a variation with Fritos, pulled pork, coleslaw, and spicy barbecue sauce. It’s heaven.

Your imagination is the only limit here. Make your handheld meal and wander the lots to see old friends and meet a few new ones.

Drink - Busch Light

Because some things are meant to be.

Game - Bags

You can call it Cornhole if you want to be wrong. I don’t really care. Evidently, it’s also known as Beanbag Toss (which sounds like it belongs on Bozo’s Grand Prize Game), Hillbilly Horseshoes, Chuck-O, or Tailgate Toss. Official rules from the American Cornhole Association are here, or you can just slap the boards down and play, though someone at your tailgate will invariably have extraneous and slightly irritating rules of their own.

It’s easy, it’s fun, and you’re better at it when you are a little bit buzzed. Tailgate perfection.

Song - “I Won’t Back Down” Tom Petty

I went back and forth on many choices for this category, but it always came back to Tom Petty for me. It’s an “Iowa State” song without being too on the nose, it’s a crowd pleaser, and it strikes the right balance of pump-up song and poignancy I’m feeling about being back at Jack Trice Stadium.