Outback Bowl: Kickin' Sand

Dec. 30, 2005

The Bowl Game

More About Iowa Football

The sun was shining, the sand was white as snow, and the Florida cheerleaders defeated the Iowa cheerleaders – again – in the annual Outback Bowl tug-of-war. Such is the life in Tampa as fans of the teams participating in the 20th annual Outback Bowl gathered in Clearwater for the Beach Bash.

“We’re delighted to be here and we’re delighted you’re here enjoying this great event with us. It’s a great day with a promise for a great game,” said UI Coach Kirk Ferentz during his brief appearance on the beach.

Ferentz and the Hawkeyes’ visit to Clearwater came minutes after the conclusion of another team practice at Jefferson High School in Tampa. The Hawkeye cheerleaders could have used a few offensive linemen in their battle with their peers in orange and blue.

Buoyed by a pair of team members who looked big enough to play in the game on Monday, the Gator cheerleaders did what they did two years ago – pulled their counterparts into a pool of water laced with ice.

“Oh well. We lost that game (the tug-of-war) two years ago, too,” said one fan of the Hawkeyes. “But we won the game that really counts. As much as I love our cheerleaders, I’ll take winning the (football) game over winning the tug-of-war every time.”

For the record, the tug-of-war loss was suffered by the male cheerleaders. Iowa’s female cheerleaders rebounded from their loss two years ago to pin an “L” on their peers from Florida. The UI group learned a lesson from their last visit to Tampa – each came to the game with their hands taped to avoid rope burn.

As always, the centerpiece of the party in the sand was a remarkable sand sculpture. This year’s version featured a gator and a hawk in football gear going shoulder-to-shoulder on top of the 20th anniversary logo of the Outback Bowl. The day also included an appearance by the Red Baron Pizza bi-planes, the Budweiser skydivers, live entertainment and more.

Note: Fans of the Hawkeyes who are also subscribers to Hawkeye All-Access should note that last night’s Outback Bowl Preview Show presented by Mediacom is available inside Hawkeye All-Access. To get there, click HERE.