Football Fans “To The Rescue” on Game Day

With 19 returning starters from last year’s Fiesta Bowl championship team and a #7 ranking in the Associated Press’ preseason poll, Iowa State University (ISU) fans are fired up for the Cyclones’ season opener on Sept. 4. Another highly anticipated game will be played Sept. 11 as part of the annual Cy-Hawk Series.

There have been years – more years than most Cyclone fans want to admit – when the only things that got fired up on Game Day were grills. Latham Hi-Tech Seeds’ General Manager Ryan and Meg Schon started honing their tailgating skills 25 years ago when their favorite team didn’t have a hope of post-season play, and “Tailgate Victoriously” became their rally cry.

Among the sea of pickup trucks and campers parked near Jack Trice Stadium, you’ll find creative tailgating vehicles like converted school buses and repurposed ambulances. This year marks the fourth season that Latham® Seeds Dealer Sean Waldstein will host family members and friends for tailgates before the Cyclone football games in a converted ambulance.

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This year marks the fourth season that Latham® Seeds Dealer Sean Waldstein will host family members and friends for tailgates before the Cyclone football games in a converted ambulance.

“This year is an exciting step forward for ISU football,” says Sean Waldstein, who grew up cheering for Iowa State as both of his parents are alumni.

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Retro logos add flare to the Waldstein tailgate ambulance.

After graduating in 2000 from Sioux Central High School, Sean attended classes at ISU where he completed his undergrad studies in Exercise Science. He volunteered for the ISU football strength program and completed an internship at the University of Wyoming in its strength program. He went on to earn his master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Iowa State. While attending Iowa State, Sean met his wife, Amanda, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from ISU and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Drake University.

The newly married couple made their home in Urbandale, Iowa, where Sean worked as a strength coach for Drake University and then ISU. In 2013, they moved near Lincoln, Nebraska, where Sean worked in corporate wellness and Amanda was able to stay home. In 2017, Sean and Amanda decided to raise their children near family and moved back to Sean’s hometown in Northwest Iowa. Amanda works as a Salesforce administrator / business analyst, and Sean farms with his dad. The Waldstein family grows corn and soybeans, as well as raises pigs.

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Retro logos add flare to the Waldstein tailgate ambulance.

In addition, Sean works as a substitute teacher and coaches junior high girls basketball. He drives the bus mostly for the teams he coaches and helps with the school’s weight program. Sean and Amanda are the proud parents of two daughters and one son. Their oldest daughter, Ryleigh, is a freshman in high school and a four-sport athlete. Peyton is in sixth grade, and Evan is in third grade. This active family especially enjoys water sports all summer long.

“Water skiing, barefoot, solemn and wakeboarding… you name it, we do it!” says Sean.

Summer fun transitions into the fall tailgating season. Although Sean wasn’t looking for a tailgating vehicle, the opportunity presented itself.

“The guy who spreads our hog manure had used the ambulance as a service vehicle, but the ambulance no longer fit his needs,” says Sean. After striking a deal for the ambulance, Sean and Amanda got to work on making it suit their needs.

The first tailgating season they painted the outside of the ambulance and cleaned up the inside. The next season they added the 1983 and 1984 Cy logos on the outside. Most recently, a hitch was added to be able to transport a griddle.

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Inside the retrofitted Waldstein tailgate ambulance.

“One of my cousins lives in Ames, so we take the ambulance down to her place for the season. On Game Day, our family and my cousin’s family all pile into the ambulance and head to the tailgate,” says Sean. “The ambulance has made tailgating so much more enjoyable because it stores all of our equipment. We don’t have to hassle with unloading tables, chairs, a tent and grill once we get home.”

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The whole family piles into the ambulance on Game Day!

In celebration of the fall football season, today Sean is sharing with us one of his family’s favorite tailgating recipes for Pickle Wrap Dip. We’re also linking to several other Game Day recipes, so you can celebrate the season whether you’re sitting on a tailgate in a farm field during fall harvest or outside your favorite football field.

Related Links:

Pickle Wrap Dip


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • ¾ cup dill pickle relish
  • 1 pkg Buddig® Dried Beef


  • Combine cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl; stir until smooth.
  • Fold in pickle relish and dried beef.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers like Ritz® or thick tortilla chips.