Friday, September 20, 2013

First Iowa Football Game

Football.  The most popular sport in America, and our own athletic love.  Some of the more homesickness-inducing memories are those of gameday mornings.  Listening to the pre-game shows on the radio, making big meals, watching the game with friends and family, and enjoying 9 hours of post-game analysis on the radio while attempting to do something productive with the rest of the day.  The time difference between the Midwest states and Ireland shifts the day back six hours and takes away some of our media access.  Even with the great differences, we were determined to enjoy the day in the most Iowa way we could.

For some context, we enjoy the British comedian Stephen Fry's view of American Football.  In his Stephen Fry in America television series, Fry visits the famous Iron Bowl game of Auburn and Alabama to take in and comment on the pageantry, enthusiasm, and truly American nature of a collegiate football game.

A pot of chilli sits on the hob before the Iowa Hawkeyes Football game
Chil(l)i for the Game
Food- the uniting glue of football and football fans.  Americans are a nation of eaters, so our favorite activities have to be accompanied by our favorite foods.  Autumn in Iowa, for us, is the time of chili.  The dish, and all flavors associated with it, are spelled "chilli" and "chille" with two of the letter L.  The ingredients are easily found here, canned tomatoes, beans, chilli powder, meat, and spices.  This was our little taste of home before watching our little game of home.

Two bowls of chilli topped with cheese and two glasses of Bulmer's served in Heineken glasses in Dublin, Ireland
Chilli, cheddar, and cider (served in found Heineken glasses)
We have lost access to much of the free media coverage of the games.  The radio broadcasts are owned by the sports properties and suits of the universities and conferences, so our choices on those are mostly illegal streams.  Some of the extended coverage shows are put on by individual radio stations, but by the time those postgame shows begin, it is long past bedtime here.

We are able to get access to the video of the games by way of a paid service from the Big Ten Network.  Luckily, they offer this service to international customers who don't have American cable and satellite providers to bully and beg for this service on basic packages.

Computer screen showing the BTN2GO logo before the Iowa Hawkeyes football game
Our link to the Big Ten

Instead of large, flat, high-definition screens, we get to enjoy our streaming football action on our laptop.  With our chilli, Bulmer's Irish hard apple cider, we were ready for the late-night football action.

A computer screen shows BTN2GO with two glasses of Irish cider
Just Like Home...
Even though the result of the game wasn't to our liking, the setup and experience are certainly passable.  Hopefully, in the future, the Hawks can do their part to make the games even more enjoyable- even a continent away.

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