All things considered, life is pretty good for us Hawkeye fans.
It’s been awhile since we’ve flirted with greatness on the field or the court or the mat, but Iowa sports aren’t dwelling in the cellar either. Our athletics aren’t mired in controversy like many other programs and we don’t see our coaches or players in headlines for the wrong reasons all too often.
Looking through rose-colored glasses, one could see things are on the up. Iowa football has the schedule and returning pieces to make 2018 special. Wrestling has been hot on the recruiting trail. Fran McCaffery could hopefully turn things around. Iowa baseball is sex on a stick.
I try not to let athletics affect my personal happiness. But I’d be lying if I haven’t had general gloom surround my demeanor a day or two after a heartbreaking loss (hello Penn State this year) and of course I’m peacocking around for a few days after Iowa has a monumental win (Woodshed, IA).
This post isn’t meant to be a bitchfest. Festivus was yesterday, after all. I’m a simple man with simple wishes. Do you want to hear them?
Let Stanley Sling
I’m all aboard the Nate Stanley train. I think he has the potential to go down as one of the best to ever line up under center for Iowa, let alone don the Black and Gold.
If Brian Ferentz wants to take over for his dad, he’d be wise to cook up some creative passing schemes for this Iowa offense this offseason in order to let Nate Stanley eat.
When his career is all said and done, I want his name on every meaningful Iowa passing record. This wish is more selfish than anything. I didn’t get to witness Chuck Long or Hartlieb or Brad Banks first hand. I want to see greatness. And this brings us to my next wish:
Taste Victory in Indy
The trip to Indianapolis for the 2015 Big Ten football Championship was probably the best sporting event I’ve been to in my life. This time, I don’t just want to go back to Indianapolis. I want to leave that godforsaken state wearing Black and Gold-colored B1G Champs gear. Win in Indy, and the rest of my wishes for Iowa football success will probably be granted.
Be Mad Again
I want to trust Fran McCaffery. I really do. But he’s in his eighth year as Iowa’s head basketball coach with very little to show for it. This season is probably a wash, but if he was somehow able to turn this year around and sneak into the tournament it would be his greatest coaching achievement.
I realize the cupboard was bare when Fran arrived in Iowa. I realize the limitations of running a basketball program in the state of Iowa. I’m also well-aware of the success Iowa State has been able to sustain and often wonder why Iowa basketball can’t reach those heights with all the added advantages of having the Iowa athletics department at its back.
I think Fran is a fantastic human being. I think he’s an excellent recruiter and a molder of men. The goodwill he has brought to this program cannot be overlooked so I’m willing to cut him some slack.
But I want Big Ten and NCAA Tourney wins. And I want them soon.
Make Iowa Wrestling Great Again
I’m not the biggest wrestling fan. I don’t follow the program that closely. But I love the wrestling culture and the sense of pride diehard wrestling fans ooze when talking about the dynastic Dan Gable era.
I want that feeling. Like my Iowa football sentiments above, I want to witness greatness. I think the Brands Brothers can get us there, but like McCaffery, the clock could be ticking.
Burn WRNL to the ground
This needs no further elaboration.
Keep on Keeping on
It’s been 2 1⁄2 years since Max and I took over The Pants. It’s had ups and downs, but I’m really, really proud of the things we’ve been able to accomplish as a staff. This, of course, starts and ends with you. If you aren’t reading, commenting, Tweeting or Facebooking us, none of this is possible.
I love the discourse we’re able to engage in. Look no further than the Festivus post for proof of this. I love covering the Hawkeyes and I love talking about the Hawks with you on here and with our writers in our group chat.
I love reading JPinIC’s Overreaction Monday every week and love HelloJerry’s mailbag and love Rob Donaldson’s videos and and BoilerHawk’s analytics pieces and Max’s drab demeanor on the podcast countered with Jerry’s upbeat attitude. I love Matt Cabel’s editing work on the podcast and Jordan Hansen’s football re-watches and Danny Payne’s wrestling coverage. I love reading about Hawks in the NFL from JP Scott every week.
I’m writing this while watching my Minnesota Vikings take Green Bay to the cleaners. I’m splitting a bomber of King Sue with my dad. My only sibling gets married on New Year’s Eve. I sometimes get paid to write about beer. 2017 was OK, but I think 2018 can be extra special.
Like I said, life is pretty good as a Hawkeye fan.