"Much Ado About Nothing"
Iowa: Don Pedro
ISU: Don John
The parallels are striking to Iowans conversant in the Bard.
Don Pedro (Iowa), a Spanish prince having returned from a successful campaign (in 2009), has his sights set on larger pursuits: a larger war overseas ... and a Big Ten title. [Shakespeare's prescience knows no limits.] But first, Don Pedro will allow his men a month's time off to reconstitute and, not surprisingly, there are also four weeks in non-conference play.
Meanwhile, Don John -- known as 'Il Bastard' and Don Pedro's illegitimate brother -- is a general malcontent who conspires to embarrass his older brother. Like the plaintive histrionics of a overlooked child, Don John (Iowa State) acts out in a vain and futile attempt to receive any attention, even if it's negative and self-defeating. Worse yet, Don John relishes his treachery:
"Though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man,
it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain"
So as if to serve no other purpose, Don John exists solely to muck up his older brother's plans. He possesses no ambition beyond wanting to be a thorn in Don Pedro's side and to malign the successful prince. For Iowa State, tomorrow's game is the "State of Iowa Super Bowl" while the Hawkeyes approach it as just another tune-up before the war of conference play.
In fact, Don John feverishly attempts to stop an officer's wedding in the mistaken belief that it will sully Don Pedro's esteem. It's as deluded as thinking that the Hawkeye State would turn against itself based on the outcome of one game.
Make no mistake, tomorrow's game will end in a happy nuptials like the play itself. Don Pedro will continue his union with the CyHawk Trophy -- she of dubious looks but still infinitely preferable to the shrew-like Land Grant Trophy -- as he readies himself for the coming battles of conference play. A larger war in which Don Pedro hopes to be victorious.
That said, and while far from a brush-off, tomorrow's game is "Much Ado About Nothing."
# # #