Feb. 13, 2004
The balloons are ready. The gift packs are ready. The playbooks are ready. The Chalk Talks are scheduled. And Ron Stewart will be in the house…sounds like it’s a go for the 2004 Iowa Football FanFest, the University of Iowa’s annual get-up-close-and-personal with the people who make the Iowa football program go.
FanFest 2004 will provide a record number of 300-plus participants the opportunity to simulate a home game weekend of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The participants will call the Collins Plaza in Cedar Rapids home on Friday and Saturday evenings. The schedule of activities in Cedar Rapids includes tonight’s welcome reception, four “Chalk Talk” sessions with members of Iowa football coaching staff, and a “Salute to the 2003 Iowa Hawkeyes” featuring presentations by the radio voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Gary Dolphin, and Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz, as the closing event on Sunday.
Saturday’s schedule also include a visit to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the Iowa-Michigan men’s basketball game and a private party at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame where participants will catch their first glimpse of silent auction items rangning from game balls from each of Iowa’s victories in 2003 signed by Ferentz to other memorabilia exclusively available to participants at FanFest. And, yes, it is during the participants visit to the Hall of Fame where Stewart, chief of Iowa’s game day security, will talk about his responsibilities with the Hawkeyes on a home and away game weekend.
Saturday closes with an “Outback BBQ” inside Iowa’s Indoor Practice Facility — “The Bubble” — with the coaching staff and the 2003 Iowa Hawkeyes. It is at this event where fans will be able to secure autographs and photographs of their favorite Hawkeyes and spend relaxed time with everyone from Iowa’s offensive and defensive coordinators to members of the Iowa football video staff.
Participants in FanFest 2004 are coming from the following states: Iowa, Nevada, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Kansas and Nebraska.
FanFest participants will also be provided tours of the Iowa Football Complex, view highlight videos created exclusively for the event.
“It’s a unique behind-the-scenes look at the football program. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet some oustanding young men,” said Rick Klatt, associate athletic director for external affairs.
Here’s a tentative list of the Hawkeyes scheduled to welcome participants to FanFest at tonight’s private reception: Calvin Davis, C.J. Barkema, Brian Ferentz, Ed Hinkel, Edgar Cervantes, Marcus Schnoor, Ramon Ochoa, Jason Manson, Matt Roth, Jovon Johnson, George Lewis, Miguel Merrick, Abdul Hodge, Antwan Allen, Matt Melloy, and Ben Cronin.