The Iowa Corn Growers Association will replace Hy-Vee as the primary sponsor for the annual Cy-Hawk Series beginning this year, according to a University of Iowa official. The agreement, according to the official, is for four years. The series is expected to be renamed the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
I read this yesterday on Scott Dochterman's blog and, well, how do I put this? I beat my wife's cat till it died. Actually, my wife doesn't own a cat. I don't know who the cat belonged to, maybe my daughter. The cat was a really big fat Tabby, apparently it was stuffed. Not after I killed it; before I killed it. The bottom line is I was pissed.
Hy-Vee had been a perfectly good sponsor of the Cy-Hawk Series and I had grown very fond of their affiliation with this great American group of events, highlighted of course by one event that anyone cares about --- the football game (although I got into the dual meet in swimming one year...which we won). Like most people, and by most people I mean you, Hy-Vee's affiliation was the draw for me. As an example, I'm a near fanatical fan of college football, and the Iowa Hawkeyes in particular, but Hy-Vee's sponsorship of the Cy-Hawk Trophy football game put that event over the top for me. Knowing the Hy-Vee sponsorship was in place made-me-want-to-watch.
Think about it. Hy-Vee is a touchstone for Midwest consumers' desire for information on diet, nutrition and wellness topics. I know that because it is on their website. It all goes back to the founders, Charles "Spanky" Hyde and David "Don't call me Veedenburg!" Vredenburg, two men who really understood baking soda, low prices and college football. These prescient megaminds understood as far back as the early 1930s that in-state school rivalries and grocery chains are una pareja perfecta, which is not English for a "match made in heaven."
After six years of joy and jollity we are throwing history, tradition, and a produce aisle's worth of memories all away by handing this precious gemstone of a series to the Iowa Corn Growers Association and The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, or Corny Ass-Pro as I like to now call them. I'm not against corn or growers of corn or even promoting corn you see. I'm just against change. Moreover, tell me the last time these corn folks sponsored a fierce school rivalry with any success? Although, there is no denying they do an awesome job with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 though. I'm petrified, no, scared, make that, concerned we will lose that consistent level of entertainment we came to expect from the Hy-Vee years.
My Top Six favorite Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk football moments (in order of time):
6. (2005) Lifelong Hawkeye fan Drew Peacock and lifelong Cyclone fan Jen Etzel are caught dry humping in the visitor's locker room at halftime as the Cyclones win the inaugural event.
5. (2006) Iowa rallies from an 11-point deficit to beat the Cyclones at home, thanks in large part to Boy Scout Troop 231 from Ankeny, Iowa.
4. (2007) Iowa loses 15-13 in a game many remember as the "Shat Bowl" after a domesticated mule deer broke loose from his owner's leash at halftime and took a steamy three coiler on the 15-yard line. Kicker Austin Signor would miss a chip shot field goal attempt from that exact spot early in the 4th quarter eventually costing the Hawkeyes a sure win.
3. (2008) Shonn Greene runs for 657 yards as Iowa demolishes State. Which was awesome.
2. (2009) The Cyclones kick a field goal, but still lose to the Hawkeyes. This marks the first Cy-Hawk game for new coach Paul Rhoad (who has since add an "s" to the end of his name). It is worth noting that after this game Rhoad(s) began his now famous post-game locker room tradition of crying like a toddler while being doused with water by his players as they chant, "Paul-y. Paul-y".
1. (2010) Cyclone quarterback Austen Arnaud retires at halftime, which sparks a stunning turnaround for the Cyclones who go on to score a critical meaningless touchdown with a little over one minute remaining breaking an innumerable years touchdownless streak. Hawks win though.
But don't shed any tears for the folks at Hy-Vee, they've rebounded nicely by teaming with celebrity chef Curtis Stone to develop a series of recipes designed to bring families together for meals that are easy, affordable and fun.