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My game face

Editor’s note: This column originally published Sept. 12, 2018.

Through the years, I have been invited to many football related parties for both college and professional games. While I love seeing my friends and family, I am usually reluctant to go if they are revolve around an Iowa game.

The main reason behind the hesitancy is during games I turn into a bit of a different person. I am very passionate about the team and the game and it comes out in a variety of ways.

My husband is about the only person who gets to see that side of me regularly. He gets to occupy the seat beside me while at Kinnick Stadium or our house when watching the game on television. My girls also know when I am watching a game, but I always try to tone it down if they are around.

Watching a football game is an experience, especially if you get to watch it in person. I tear up almost every time the team runs out on the field because of pure excitement and now, thanks to The Wave, I have to try to keep it together at the end of the first quarter, too.

I like to watch all of the game and not get interrupted with conversation or side activities that come along with parties. I am also very vocal during the game, whether good or bad, and tend to let my opinions be known, at least to all of those who are in earshot of my yelling. That can be a little awkward if fans of the team are in attendance and don’t have the same passion I do about their team.

I try to keep myself in check as much as I can but bad calls and soul crushing plays usually illicit a reaction without a second thought. My emotions ebb and flow as the game advances and typically by the end of the day my voice has a raspy quality to it from all of the enthusiasm I display.

One game that solidified my feelings on sharing game day with others was when Iowa played in the Rose Bowl a few seasons ago. I had already been through the emotional gauntlet with deciding to go to the game then having to cancel due to medical reasons and was ready to just watch the game from my couch, good or bad.

Instead, I went, with my family, to my parents house for a game party. It wasn’t long until I realized that a majority of the people there were only casually watching the game and didn’t have the strong feelings I did about what was happening. The game also was a complete fail for Iowa, which didn’t help my mood or the experience any.

One place I do find myself keeping my composure on game day is at craft shows. Since fall is the busiest time for shows, I find myself on occasion manning my booth during a game. Thanks to modern technology, I can watch almost every game on my cell phone but that also means I can’t cheer or yell with any volume without being noticed. I think I do a pretty good job keeping myself in check but every once in a while a reaction will squeak out to be heard.

With all of that being said, I do still really like going to game parties. Depending on the game, I can manage to watch the action while still mingling and having a good time. But if I don’t come just know, it’s not you, it’s me.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at

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