Waking up to snow and frigid temperatures made some Hawkeye fans think last year's Minnesota season finale was tropical compared to today's Iowa Spring Classic. Yet the heartiest of Hawkeye fans showed up for their first look at the 2011 team. Gone are Stanzi, Sash, Clayborn and Ballard. They are replaced by Vandenberg, Bernstein, Binns and Daniels. Many fans were disappointed with the 8-5 record of 2010, but expectations for this Iowa team are low as youth and inexperience are two words that will be used often when discribing this year's team. Although the turnout for the scrimmage was far lower than previous games, it didn't stop some from tailgating and getting a few autogrpahs at the end.
What has become a tradition before the final spring practice, Director of Security for the Hawkeye football team, Ron Stewart stops at the locker in Malcom, Iowa to pick up brats, cooks them up and prepares them for the many members of the support staff. The grilled brat was very welcome on this cold day.
For the spring game players continue to use the locker room facilities within the Iowa Football complex. After getting taped and dressed they move in a swarm-like fashion across the street to Kinnick Stadium.
Fans huddled together and braved the windy conditions. Air temps were in the 40s with wind chills dropping into the 20s. The Iowa fans arrived early, shopped at the Iowa Hawk Shop clearance sale and waited around until the scrimmage started.
Only a couple of months removed from getting hit by a car in Scottsdale, Arizona, Ed Podolak was confined to a wheelchair, but assisted in the broadcast of the spring scrimmage with play by play man, Gary Dolphin. Podolak returned to Iowa City following his operations in Arizona for rehab. He has also found some time to attend a few practices.
For the little kids that stuck it out in the cold, players rewarded them by walking around the field signing autographs.
And the media had their final opportunity to talk to Iowa Football players and coaches until media day in August.