Well, suffice to say that none of us were exactly expecting to see this when Sports Illustrated revealed their cover(s) for this week's issue:
How? What? Why? No disrespect to Jarrod Uthoff -- whose total awesomeness we have a great deal of love and appreciation for -- but you don't typically see teams that have lost five of their last six games (and six of eight), including a first-round Big Ten Tournament exit to a, ah, not-very-good Illinois team make the (regional) cover of SI.
Uthoff of course last appeared on the cover of SI just about six weeks ago, in headier days when Iowa was atop the Big Ten and visions of Big Ten championships, top-3 seeds, and opening weekend games in Des Moines danced through our heads. Some... stuff... happened since then, little of it good. Iowa seemed to forget how to shoot (especially the bench for a while and more recently the non-Uthoff and Jok starters), forget how to defend, and plain forget how to win, minus a brief resurgence against Michigan in the regular season finale.
We do appreciate the timing of this news coming just a day after we wrote about Iowa sports' history with the famed SI cover curse, though. Hooray for synergy! The big question, of course, is what this new cover does for the state of the jinx. Iowa's current travails began shortly after Uthoff appeared on that SI cover, so what does another SI cover appearance do to things? Does it cause the jinx to double-down and make things even more miserable for Iowa? Or does it cancel out the jinx powers of the earlier cover and return Iowa to a happy equilibrium where they can reacquire their mojo and set about kicking ass and taking names the way they did back in January? Or is just a stupid magazine cover, idiot, and doesn't mean anything at all? You decide!