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2023 Tailgate Preview I: UNI

In our New Big XII Era

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, Cyclone fans! What a normal, boring, uneventful summer, huh? Absolutely no new developments in the Big XII. No big stories on the home front. Just a run-of-the-mill off-season waiting to get back to it. So…let’s party!

Weather: Don’t you just love a cool, crisp Saturday in fall? The leaves are changing. The air is fresh and the wind puts a little color in everyone’s cheeks. You’re wearing your favorite cozy vintage ISU sweatshirt. You wrap a cardinal and gold plaid blanket around your legs to stay warm as you laugh with your tailgating friends.

This is not that day. It’s still summer and it’s going to be so hot. Wear as little as possible. The shortest shorts. Tank top. That’s about it.

Food: Pulled Pork

When I asked the Twitter crowd about foods they were looking forward to chowing down at the first tailgate of the year, pulled pork was mentioned more than once. I can understand why. It’s very easy to prepare (and will happily sit in a crock pot while you spend time with friends and family), a crowd-pleaser, and extremely versatile. This instant pot recipe is the one I use and it’s never failed me. Add a little more cayenne if you like it spicy. Skip the cinnamon if that seems weird (but it’s not, I promise). Go light or heavy on whatever barbecue sauce you like. Put it in a bun. Put coleslaw on top. Maybe you like a little extra barbecue sauce. Some pickles, perhaps? Or make a taco. Put it on chips and you’ve got some stellar nachos. Lots of options and they’re all delicious.

Drink: Ames Lager

I’m endorsing a beer I haven’t tried because the hype around this release has been so fun to watch. If you’re unfamiliar, $3 of every case of Ames Lager (and a portion of merchandise sales) goes to We Will, the NIL collective for Iowa State student-athletes. (There is also a membership challenge happening right now, so it may be a good time to check it out!) It has been notoriously tough to find because our fanbase is amazing and supportive and also really likes beer. If you find some, save me one, please and thank you.

Game: Battleshots

Think of the classic game of Battleship. Now imagine it’s trying to kill you. You don’t have much time to throw this one together if you don’t already have a board, but if you’re the crafty sort, I bet you could whip up a custom Iowa State board without too much trouble. I’ve also seen them created with two empty pizza boxes, so fanciness is not required.

Song (Megatron’s Version): August slipped away like a moment in time and now Tis’ the Damn (football) Season. It’s been a Cruel Summer for the Iowa State faithful. Several positions on the team have been a Blank Space and there’s even a bit of Bad Blood, but that’s how Karma works. We were Enchanted with Iowa State football’s future, ready for a season of our Wildest Dreams, but now it seems we may just have to Tolerate It, a feeling Cyclone fans know All Too Well. There’s really only one thing we can do…are you Ready for It?

Your pal,