LUBBOCK, Texas — Temperatures won’t break 20 degrees in Ames when Texas Tech faces Iowa State this weekend, but that will not stop some dedicated fans from braving the wintry weather for a win.
“Texas Tech graduates have that West Texas spirit. They don’t quit, they adapt,” Tech alumna Catherine Heinrich said.
Her family is descending on Ames from across the country this Saturday, turning the Iowa game into a frigid family reunion. The Heinrichs are traveling from Amarillo, Indiana and Minnesota to carry on a tradition in spite of the temperature.
Texas Tech is a central part of our family,” Brian Heinrich said. “[My wife] Susy and I met at Tech, I proposed at Tech, our three kids went to Tech.”
Zach Heinrich is one of those kids now studying in Indiana, so he has been preparing his family for the harsh Midwest weather.
“I was a Red Raider by birth. I’ve been bleeding red and black since day one,” he said. “Pack plenty of layers, bring hand warmers, maybe some beverages to warm you up, whatever that may be. Just have as much fun as you can.”
Other students will make the 14-hour drive to join the Cyclones student section.
“I’m gonna bring a couple blankets, I got a big Carhartt onesie I’m going to wear, I got a big Texas Tech beanie and everything, so we’re going to try to brave it out,” senior Griffin Wild said. He’s driving up to Iowa with two friends, continuing their goal to see as many Big XII college towns as possible. “We’re going to be in the middle of there with Texas Tech gear on, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Texas Tech football said they always appreciate the dedication of their fans, who they said travel better than any other fanbase. They said the team was ready to take on the conditions.
“This one will be as cold if not colder than any game in recent memory,” Texas Tech assistant athletics director Matt Dowdy said. “I think sometimes, though, players enjoy that. I know our team has kind of embraced that this week. Obviously last Saturday here at Jones-AT&T Stadium was a rather chilly game compared to normal games in this stadium, and so it was not nearly as cold as it will be in Ames, it was something they could prepare for.”
Dowdy said their equipment team had ordered special heated benches and other gear to adapt to the conditions as much as possible.
But with a little more than West Texas grit, fans hope to heat up the competition in Ames.
“Growing up in West Texas weather, its really unpredictable,” Zach said. “They’ll be used to conditions like that. Ames, Iowa is just West Texas up north, so we’ll find a way to get a win up there.”