I just finished reading a WWL article on Oregon. Their Pac Twelven blogger, Ted Miller, takes a look at Oregon’s recent success and suggests that they may be one Rose Bowl or National Championship win away from replacing USC as the conference’s new dynasty. My gut reaction was to laugh. Not because I disrespect Oregon. Instead, who the hell wants to become the next USC?
Then it hit me. Our Hawkeyes are in a similar position as Oregon. So I asked myself, do I really want to win a National Championship? The answer was “Fuck Yes!” It would be fucking awesome. But, I am a bit concerned about it. Specifically, I am thinking about the next year and the following years. I don’t want to become a USC, Florida, Texas or LSU.
It’s a bit like climbing a mountain. First, you spend a crap load of money on hiking boots, wool socks, breathable clothes, a backpack, trail mix, a park pass and you may even need to pay off or at least seduce some park rangers to give you a lift half way up the mountain. Still, you climb your ass off and finally get to the top. The view from the top is awesome. But, then you realize you are fucking cold and a prime target for lightning. You make your way down a bit, but the view just isn’t as good. Everyone down here hates you because you had shoved them off the trail on your initial ascent the top. Every year from there on out, if you don’t climb to the top, then that year is a failure.
I really don’t want some of that. I want what we have right now. It has been great being a Hawkeye this past decade. We have been relatively dominant. We have won our share of Big Ten titles. We are well respected. (Except by our long time hated enemy in Laugheyette) When we do finally win a MNC, we need to be very careful how we react to it.
I don’t want to be like:
Florida: Where a one loss season is considered a total failure and causes grown men to cry.
Texas: Where swagger is taken to a level of delusional and viewed as moronic by most Texans and visitors that are not UT fans. (Get to see this first hand every day.)
USC: A pure abomination of all that is good about amateur athletics.
LSU: Who started 5-0, yet still has fans calling for Les Miles’s head because the wins were “ugly.”
I wouldn’t mind being a historical national championship power like OSU, PSU, NEB, OK, BAMA and even ND. But it seems like the days of prestigious/historical powerhouses are long gone. Media and marketing creates flavors of the week and no stone is left unturned as reporters, rival coaches and bloggers all do their best to discredit any team that sits at the top of the BCS. Bama, a once proud and prestigious tradition, is struggling with this right now.
My bottom line is that I still want the Hawks to have swagger and compete for the Big Ten title year after year. And I DO want a National Championship, but I don’t want all the crap that comes with it in this day and age. Most agree that BCS is a popularity contest anyway. I personally think it is beneath coach Ferentz to participate in some of the crap necessary to get into the Mythical National Championship game anyway. I will be extremely excited when we do finally win the MNC, but I honestly don’t care if we ever do. Give me Big Ten Championships with Roses and let the rest of the carnage fall where it may. There is a balance and a sweet spot in our game. The Hawkeyes are currently in it and it is a helluva lot of fun to be a fan right now.
And.. oh yeah, Fuck Purdue.