There, now that that's out of the way, we can talk business. The American college football season gets underway this week- and we're going to catch some live football action right here in Dublin.
The Croke Park Classic will officially start the college football season, with Penn State and Central Florida kicking off in the early afternoon in Dublin- that's early morning in the States. When we found out about this game before the 2013 football season, we bought tickets right away. We knew we'd be desperately missing football by the time our second Autumn away from Iowa rolled around.
Just our good fortune that we can catch live American football here in Dublin, and while we won't get to see our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, Penn State is a respectable alternative. Both Iowa and Penn State play in the same conference (Big Ten), so we can wear our Big Ten fan hats that day.
There are a number of ancillary American football events scheduled this weekend in Dublin, including pep rallies for each team, a high school football game on Friday night, and team-specific tailgate parties the morning of the game in Temple Bar.
The Croke Park Classic organizers have assembled this handy calendar of all the events leading up to the big game.
For the non-American college football fans out there, here's a short glossary:
Tailgate- A large gathering of fans several hours before the game, traditionally celebrated with barbecue cookouts, playing catch with the game-appropriate ball, and often dangerous amounts of alcohol. The word tailgate comes from the traditional practice of opening and sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck.
Pep Rally- A very old tradition celebrated at many old-school colleges today. Pep rallies are usually sponsored by the university and fans are invited to attend a ceremony of music and rousing speeches made by coaches, players, and cheerleaders. Wealthy alumni are often present to make large donations to the sports program in question.
The game kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, that's 1:30 p.m. Ireland time. We'll be in the end zone with our Iowa Hawkeyes signs, so look for us on field goal and extra point attempts, and stay tuned for the recap post and photo gallery!