I grew up on the western edge of Iowa. My dad is an Iowa fan, but we were few and far between in Pottawattamie County. Throw in the success of Nebraska (this was the mid-90's, after all) and the sheer number of people in my town who attended Iowa State, and Iowa was a distant third, if that. I have hated Nebraska for as long as I can remember (if you ever wonder why, just read the fantastic Behind Enemy Lines), but I didn't have a problem with ISU. Every college sporting event I attended before the age of 18 was either in Ames or Lincoln. ISU was the lesser of two evils.
It was only when I arrived in Iowa City in 1999 that I finally understood this rivalry. Iowa's side is fed by a sense of superiority, Iowa State by deep-seeded resentment and the chip on the shoulder that comes with being thoroughly bitch-slapped in everything forever. Iowa students and alumni might have an overinflated sense of the "importance" of Iowa City as a cultural capital and a bastion of liberal thought, but it pales in comparison to our enemies' myopic view of that barren pasture where they reside. Down the list we go, Iowa winning over and over: across-the-board academics (even Iowa engineering has built itself into nearly the program at Ames), football, basketball, wrestling, medicine, law, nightlife, attractiveness of the women, etc., etc., etc.
All Ames can offer in response is agriculture and fraternities. I'm not a farmer, and I fucking hate frats.
You hate us for being better than you in everything, and it's evidenced by the sheer amount of time and energy you devote to this one Saturday in September, because this is your one chance to knock us off (if you needed proof, the alleged detonation of an UI-related object last weekend should be proof enough). Your frenzied dedication to this ridiculously pathetic cause forces us to pay attention. And the sheer fact that I have to spend a week genuinely concerned with an 0-2 team that just LOST TO NORTHERN FUCKING IOWA and will lose every other game it plays this season, whether or not it's played in that half-full glorified high school stadium, pisses me off. Your resentment turns your team from a worthless pile of overalls and discarded livestock parts into the 1985 New England Patriots. It happened in 2002, when you ruined the Greatest Season Ever and sent me into a downward spiral of whiskey-soaked despair from which I have yet to recover. It happened in 2005, when the inherent problems at Iowa were obvious to anyone watching but exploited to great effect by a team that subsequently lost to Baylor and Kansas. And, at some point, it will surely happen again.
Make no mistake: ISU is historically bad. Their defense should crumble before our might. Their offense should stall like a '74 Pinto. And yet, I have a sinking feeling that won't happen. The Cardinals won't win - that is, if there is a God - but this game is not going to be the pushover it should be.
I can sit here all day and rip on Jack Trice Stadium and "Hilton magic" and Julius Michalik, but it's just the same stuff you'd hear from anyone else. I hate them because they hate me. And, for that, I hate State.