Via Morehouse, a story too corny to be made up--and we don't mean corn like in the Iowa farm fields!*--about James Vandenberg and his status as Not The Usual Starter. The casual Iowa fan may not know who he is yet, but there's a big fat Y-E-T at the end of that statement. In the meantime, though, he'll take the anonymity:
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is an avid hunter and fisherman. After his baptism under fire Saturday, he sneaked out of town to the Bass Pro Shop in Altoona. His 20th birthday is in a couple of weeks and his dad, Toby, wanted to get the birthday present out of the way because they knew the next couple of weeks are going to be nutty.
While trying on a pair of waders, the sales person asked if he was at the Iowa game.
"So I was up in Bass Pro Shop trying some waders on, some hunting waders. The guy was like, ‘Did you go to the (Iowa) game today?’ I was like, ‘Yeah,’" Vandenberg said. "And he said, ‘Did it look as rough in person as it did on TV?’ And I said, ‘You have no idea.’"
Let's just make a little leap and say Ricky Stanzi's going to be back at 80-90% for the bowl game. If Vandenberg loses to both OSU and Minnesota, Iowa's just looking for El Manzito to get back and he can fade back into the woodwork. Beat Minnesota, and we're talking campus-wide fame. Beat Ohio State, and there isn't a Bass Pro Shop employee in the state who won't know you by name. You're in the fishbowl now, so best start swimmin'.
*Please just shoot me in the face.