Iowa State students tailgate in the student lot before the start of the Iowa vs Iowa State football game Sep. 9, 2017. 

There is no rivalry in the state of Iowa that even touches the intensity of the rivalry between Iowa State and University of Iowa. This rivalry peaks during the annual Cy-Hawk game, where the two universities go head-to-head on the football field. This year, the Cy-Hawk game is back at Jack Trice Stadium, and the energy in Ames has been building for weeks.

The feud is not just between the two teams on the field, but also between fans in the stands, which can be even more intense.

ESPN’s College Gameday will also be in Ames, making the biggest event of the year even bigger. Some students are getting up before 5 a.m. to get their spots with their signs in hand.

The combination of these factors, in addition to kickoff being at 3 p.m. rather than the 11 a.m. it was the last time the CyHawk game was in Ames, add up to one really eventful weekend. But among the festivities, the sheer number of people in combination with day-drinking and an intense rivalry is also a recipe for possible disaster.

Whether you are getting up at 3:30 a.m. for game day or are just tailgating, make sure to drink water and watch out for one another. Travel in groups and make sure you and your group of friends have a meeting place if you get separated. Don’t let drunken actions and unruly fights ruin one of the best weekends of the school year.

Twenty-one is the legal age of drinking in Iowa. Stay safe by making sure that you don’t drive under the influence. SafeRide and CyRide are available and safe options. 

Cyclone Athletics has a list of game day and tailgating policies on their website that would be good to review, no matter if you are an Iowa State student or not.

Rivalries are fun, but letting them get out of hand is not the best idea. Stay safe and know your limits. Staying safe and healthy is bigger than any rivalry.

While it’s important to have fun this weekend, also remember to be cautious and look out for each other. Whether you bleed cardinal and gold or black and gold, treat each other the way you want to be treated.

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