Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick
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    Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Most college stadiums (ahem, Iowa) are welcoming

    Y
    ou’re young, you’re free, you want to do something totally memorable and a little wacky before you start 40 years of your working
    life. You decide to see the football stadiums of all 119 NCAA Division IA schools?
    You do if you’re Dave Farris, and not long from beginning graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C. So his ‘‘Project 119’’ (www.project119.
    blogspot.com)
    was born several months ago.
    ‘‘I just love college football,’’ Farris said Tuesday afternoon as he neared Syracuse’s Carrier Dome after visiting the University of Buffalo’s stadium that morning.
    ‘‘I’m 23 years old and looking at my life. I feel like I want to look back and say I’ve accomplished something out of the norm, some American dream-type stuff that involves my love of the tradition and history of college football.’’
    Farris got to Boston College later Tuesday to extend his total visited to 38. Today, he plans to see the stadiums at Connecticut, Army, Rutgers,
    Temple and Maryland. He closes this three-day swing by seeing Navy’s stadium in Annapolis, Md., then will begin moving into his new digs in Washington. The pursuit resumes later this summer as he sees more Atlantic Coast Conference stadiums.
    This spring, Farris and friends covered the entire Big Ten and most of the MidAmerican Conference.
    ‘‘The only lowlight,’’ he said, ‘‘was Iowa.’’
    From Farris’ Web site:
    ‘‘I wish that the University of Iowa didn’t employ total jack...es to lord over Kinnick Stadium. Apparently, Iowa is convinced that they are too good to allow people to take pictures in their newly renovated stadium. . . .
    ‘‘Here’s the thing before you get all excited Hawkeye Nation. When we said, ‘Hey, we just want to take a few pictures,’ this guy seriously started approaching us with menace in his eyes and mumbling, ‘There are thousands on HawkeyeSports.com, you have to leave.’ Is there some big secret in your stadium, Iowa?
    Are you afraid that we’re some kind of spies from Ames that are there to steal your secrets?’’
    Farris posts multiple photos of the stadiums on his site, but admits on his site that he posted just one of Kinnick because of bitterness.
    A stadium guardian is a guardian, I guess. What may surprise you, however, is how easy it is to enter most other college stadiums.
    ‘‘At Michigan State we had to jump a fence,’’ Farris said, ‘‘but at the Big House at Michigan, the gate was wide open. At Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, we walked right through the gate and in.’’
    When he has called ahead, he often found welcoming hosts.
    ‘‘At Army, a cadet who is on the football team is going to meet up with us, show us the weight room, locker room, trophies, things like
    that. We got the same kind of treatment at the Metrodome in Minnesota.’’
    After his Minnesota stop, Farris motored down I-35 and got to Ames that evening.
    You’d think you could easily find the college football stadium in a city Ames’ size, but life on the road has its perils. ‘‘Ames is a tricky town,’’ Farris said. ‘‘They say there’s an exit for the stadium at a certain point on the interstate, but you have to kind of find it yourself. We saw this field up on a hill where the lights were on and a game was going on. We drove round and round for 45 minutes trying to get to that stupid field, and we got there and saw it was the high school soccer field.’’
    Farris finally found Jack Trice Stadium, and got some photos of it. They were taken in darkness, but they’re on the site.
    ‘‘A lot of people think I’m crazy or stupid,’’ Farris said.
    ‘‘But a lot of people I meet at the stadiums are followers of college football, people who live and die with the game.
    They think what I’m doing is great.
    ‘‘I’ve been to some beautiful stadiums like Beaver Stadium at Penn State and LaVell Edwards Stadium at BYU. But I liked the little stadiums at places like Buffalo and Ohio University, too. It’s being able to soak in the tradition, stand there on the field imagining what it’s like on game day where people have left it all on the field.’’
    His quest continues. Not even Iowa could stop it.

    Contact the writer: (319) 368-8840 or mike.hlas@gazettecommunications.com. Read Mike Hlas’ ‘‘The Hlog’’ at gazetteonline.com



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    I like the writeup for "Ames - meet Jack Trice Stadium"

    That sign on 13th and Duff & Grand are near worthless. I can see how he got lost.



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Its really too bad he just pulled the negatives of Iowa and Iowa State. I think he sees us how others outside of Iowa see us. We definitely need to work on our image of progress.



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Yeah, I could never figure out why those signs were there since they provided zero direction on how to actually get to the stadium once you exit.

    Also, I agree on his take on the staff in Kinnick Stadium. I lost my keys there in '02 and got no help from anyone. I was supposed to find some mythical "Pete" that was never where anyone said he was and then was a jerk to me when I finally did find him two hours later. Judging by the comments responding to the post Pete is still running things and still being a total d-bag.



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Signs suck, but really how hard is it to see the big stadium off of the highway? Ames isnt THAT big. Jack Trice probably takes up most of it =) Its the big oval with bright lights and grass with stripes on it.



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    If he's coming down I-35 from the north, the highway signs have you get off on 13th street.

    From there, you're supposed to use "the force", or something.



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Every truly great destination is about the journey to get there. Jack Trice is no exception. =)



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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    I have to laugh about his Iowa encounter. Seems like the folks there still treat Kinnick like a pro sports stadium, where high security is essential. It's a shame he had to see Ames at night -- the light around campus and JTS is virtually non-existant.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    I understand it's completely possible to get to JTS from I-35/13th St., but why would you? You'd then have to drive thru Ames (and all the traffic lights and reduced speeds) to get there. I think taking the U.S. 30 West exit and then the Elwood (University Ave) exit would be much quicker. Then again, highway signs may not allow for backtracking...


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    Re: Man to visit 119 college stadiums including JT and Kinnick

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    I understand it's completely possible to get to JTS from I-35/13th St., but why would you?
    I agree completely. But that's the way the DOT has it setup. Why???

    On the other hand, on big game days (iowa, NU) and being in the north donor lots - I've found in easier (coming from DSM) to go up to 13th, come down Grand, cut across 5th st and approach the stadium from the north on Elwood. You avoid the lines coming from the south and it's easier to make that right hand turn into the lots in front of Hilton - especially if you get there just before game time. And if you can get across Elwood to go north, it's often much quicker than fighting traffic and crowds when leaving.

    Get there early, or on normal games - there's rarely any trouble appoaching from Hwy 30



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