Cyclones’ secret to tailgating is no Mystery Machine

Cyclones’ secret to tailgating is no Mystery Machine

The tailgaters: Jen Lickteig, 24, John Lickteig, 27, Kye Cross (Jen’s boyfriend), 25, and Jen and John’s parents, Ron and Linda Lickteig

Their transport: An old Hy-Vee catering van that they’ve covered in cardinal and gold shrink wrap. “The inside isn’t so pretty, but it finally doesn’t smell like chicken anymore,” Jen said.

The gear: The family travels with two tents, two bars, a table for food and a TV with a satellite dish so they can watch other games. They also fly the flags of three schools, Iowa State, University of Northern Iowa (where Linda went to school) and St. Ambrose (Jen’s school).

What fuels them: Coors Light, and a different theme shot for each game. The shots usually correspond with the opposing team’s colors. “That way fans of the other team can stop by and enjoy it,” Jen said.

Traditions: Those colorful shots are delivered via shot ski, a wooden ski that holds four shot glasses. “We’re in the process of making a smaller one out of a skateboard,” Jen said.

The group gets to their tailgating spot around sunrise and they start their day with a group shot ski. Then they head over for the spirit walk to see the players and coaches enter the stadium. Then it’s back for more shots and food.

Tailgating style: “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning” is the group’s motto. “We like to be the first in the lot, get the party going and all around have a good time,” Jen said. “We make sure everyone is having fun, regardless of the cold or how the team does. We like to recruit people and draw them in to watch the game.”

On the road: The family tries to do a road game every year, with Oklahoma being the goal for this year. They’ve also gone to the last three bowl games. They just don’t do it in the Hy-Vee van. “It can’t go that far,” Jen said.


About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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