I have a friend from high school that knew, as a 17-year old, what Glory Days were about. What are they about, or what is it about? It's about recognizing, in the time you are living, to appreciate the moment you are in. Some call it Carpe Diem; ‘Siez the Day'.
Things like this sound so trite and cliché. But they are so true.
Before the start of our senior year of football, my friend taped ‘Glory Days' in his locker. He explained to us all what it meant. I bought into it.
I owe him a great deal of gratitude, as I have lived my life since then always recognizing the value of the moment I was in, seeing it for more than just being a day in the life. A day lasts for just 24 hours, but when you see great days for what they are, as they unfold, they last forever, and you can call on them later in life.
When I stood on the goal line at the Capital One Bowl in 2005, and watched Warren Holloway catch that pass and score a touchdown, things slowed down for me. I instantly knew that I might never walk that path again, ever. I soaked it all in. I filled myself up with the entire emotion and energy from the crowd and players, and to be honest with you, it overflowed through my tear ducts; I offer no apologies for admitting that.
When Warren Holloway was starting to jog off the field, and there were still 30,000 Iowa fans left in the stands, and all of Warren's teammates and coaches were lining the tunnel, waiting for him to come off the field and give him such a warm greeting, I stopped him.
I had never interviewed Warren before, might not ever see him again. I just slapped his shoulder pad and asked him one simple question; ‘Have you gotten everything out of this moment that you want? Do you think that you might one day regret it if you don't get more out of it? You will only walk this path once in your life.'
I then pointed to the Iowa side of the stands. That's all I said, and all I did. Warren then looked back at me, and a smile came over him. He proceeded to run to the corner of the stands, and then a ways back up towards midfield, waving at the fans.
The ovation he received was thunderous.
Most don't get a second chance at Glory Days, because as the song says, they WILL pass you by, in the wink of a young girl's eye.
A minute later, Warren jogged to the tunnel, his teammates and coaches were still waiting for him. He disappeared into that throng, engulfed by slaps on the back, hugs and more.
That moment waited for him while he took full advantage of THE moment that would not wait, that would never, ever, come back.
He seized the day. He has no regrets.
Thousands of Iowa fans will be in and around Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, and millions will be watching on TV around the nation.
No matter where you are, seize the day, don't have an ‘I wish I would have' to carry around with you for the rest of your life.
If you are in the vicinity at 9:00am, go to ESPN's GameDay Set. Be a part of Iowa football history. Don't leave an opening for a week or year or decade down the road, in your mind, to wonder, ‘Man, I wish I would have gone to that. I was right there in town, and everyone I know that was there said it was something special.' Seize the moment.
When 5:10pm rolls around, don't be sitting at your tailgate, telling your friends, ‘You know what, we should have walked over to the Krause Plaza and cheered on the players after they got off the bus. That would have been pretty neat to see. Oh well, grab me another beer, would ya?'
That beer will be there for you at 5:20 when you have walked back from the Krause Plaza, but you will have a memory for a lifetime in tow, and no regrets.
When 6:30 rolls around, don't be milling around the parking lot, trying to get in that last brat, and hear the roar of the crowd when the swarm takes the field, and wonder to yourself, ‘I have never heard the roar be that loud before in all my life. What did I just miss?'.
What you missed was a once in a lifetime spectacle, because 9/30/2006 won't come around again.
Will there be bigger games than this in Kinnick's future? We all hope so, but there are no guarantees. Don't bet on the come; if you are there, BE THERE.
If you can't be there, soak it all in as best you can. Watch a game with your friend, or child. Get in touch with an estranged family member, be the bigger person, and invite them over for the game.
Because you might wish you would have after the thing is done.
I am not a fortune teller, and I don't know many things for certain.
But I do know about leaving regrets in the dust; when you have your shot, take it. When you are in a moment, see it. When you are in the midst of history, be a part of it.
Enjoy the day…every damn ounce of it. I can promise you that you will regret it if you do not.