ORLANDO, Fla. Money was tight, back when Bill Hoefle was doing his residency in small animal surgery at Iowa State.
It was the early 1970s. Pennies were pinched everywhere and by almost everyone, but by golly it wasnt dire enough to keep this loyal Cyclones fan from attending football games.
He went to all the regular-season home games, at what back then was the Cyclones old Clyde Williams Field. The Johnny Majors-coached team was so goodthat it would make school history. With an 8-3 record, his Cyclones were invited to the 1971 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, and for Iowa State that was a very big deal. It was first-time-in-school-history big, and Bill had to go.
There was no way he'dgoing to miss his schools first trip to a bowl game. So, a couple years into their marriage, the Hoefles Bill and Judy decided, what the heck.
They flew to the game.
Bill and Judy Hoefle pose in front of South End Zone at Jack Trice Stadium Sunday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. A Hoefle has been to each Iowa State bowl game since the 1971 Sun Bowl.(Photo: Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune.)
It was probably crazy that long ago for a pretty young faculty person to put out money for the Sun Bowl, but I wanted to be there, Bill said. It was a big event. I felt I had to be there.
Iowa State lost against LSU in that game, but that didnt diminish Bill and Judys love of the team. Matter of fact, their fondness for Cyclones athletics has grown over the years to include Bill attending each and every Iowa State bowl game a streak that will continue during Saturdays 11 a.m. World Camping Bowl against No. 15 Notre Dame in Orlando, Florida.
His streak is all 14 Cyclones bowl games from El Paso to the Pinstripe Bowl in New York ... from the Peach Bowl in Atlanta to the Humanitarian Bowl on the blue field in Boise, Idaho, Bill Hoefle has been there.
Judy has, too, except for the Boise trip, and really, who could blame her? The weather was horrible. Snow fell during the game. The Cyclones lost against hometown Boise State 34-16 in a miserable game on New Years Eve 2002.
When I saw it on television, I knew Id made the right decision, Judy said. It wasnt the greatest of weather.
Bill and Judy Hoefle pose in front of South End Zone at Jack Trice Stadium Sunday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. Bill Hoefle has been to each Iowa State bowl game since the 1971 Sun Bowl.(Photo: Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune.)
Their bowl treks have gone by the book. There have been no travel hassles, because they travel on alumni-chartered flights.
I have an aversion to driving farther than the Des Moines airport, said Bill, who lives in Ames.
The Hoefles are examples of the loyal fans athletics director Jamie Pollard promised bowl officials would show up in Orlando. Iowa State fans go everywhere whether its regular-season road games to Morgantown, West Virginia and Waco, Texas, or taking over the Riverwalk last year at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas Cyclones fans not only are seen, but theyre heard.
The fact that the Camping World folks believe in us, is a great example of the brand that weve created, and that brands been created by the tremendous support of our fans, by the outstanding work of our coaches, but most of all, by those young men in that locker room, Pollard said during a media scrum after the bowl announcement.
Iowa State sold its 8,000-ticket allotment within a week. Further demand for tickets, from both Iowa State and Notre Dame, has been so robust, that tickets are now being sold throughout the upper deck of Camping World Stadium.
Ten of those tickets will be the Hoefles Bill and Judy;sonBill Jr.;daughterPaige;their spouses;and grandchildren Abby, Nate, Sydney and Ryan.
Weve taken parts of the family before when one family was able to go, and one wasnt, Judy said. Itll be fun. The younger kids are happy about going to be able to have a day at Disney World.
The whole kit and caboodle are going. Its about memories.
Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been writingfor the Des Moines Register for parts of five decades. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.
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