The University of Iowa held its second annual Golden Herkys on Wednesday at the Englert Theater. I’m guessing some of you might not know what a Golden Herky is or that anything like this actually exists (it’s ok, a few of us at The Pants didn’t either). A quick synopsis: A Golden Herky is basically “The Dundies” for the Iowa Athletic Department. It’s their way of honoring the very best athletic (and academic of course) performances and accomplishments from the year that was. It’s quite the scene. The athlete’s dress up in their collegiate finest, walk down a gold carpet, interact among each other and get miniature statues for such things as “Athlete of the Year”, “Most Outstanding Teams” and “Best Upset”.
Take a look:
While that’s all fine and good, we here at The Pants thought those categories were, well, rather bland. So, because we wanted to (and because we can), we decided to hand out a few extra awards this year. Keep your thank you speeches to a minimum though, we don’t have time for all of that.
The Annual “Sam Cassell Big Balls Dance/Bill Raftery Double Order of Onions” Shot of the Year
Hello Jerry: Allow me to take you all back almost two months ago to the day. Iowa basketball had just lost three games in a row. Of those three games, Iowa could have easily won two of them (if not all three). Like most young college basketball teams, the Hawkeyes just couldn’t find a way to get over the hump and it didn’t look as though they would.
As a painful refresher, I think you all vividly remember the first game of the series; the double OT loss at Minnesota that featured a questionable decision by the officials at the end of regulation:
A cleaner look at that horrible call - plainly called timeout multiple times and Minn defender out of bounds when refs called it jump ball pic.twitter.com/LGsJk7xwll— HeavensBarstool (@HeavensHawkeye) February 9, 2017
Iowa also lost at Michigan State by eleven in a game where they led at halftime and against Illinois at home in a game (stop me if you’ve heard this before) they not only led at halftime, but with a little less than three minutes left in the contest.
Life may be a highway, but the 2016-17 Iowa Basketball season was a roller coaster. But, just as that rollercoaster looked to be headed towards the basement of the Big Ten conference, something clicked. Iowa won back-to-back games against Indiana at home (in overtime nonetheless) and at Maryland (who was the #24 ranked team in the nation at the time) before heading to Madison.
Playing at Wisconsin is no easy feat and that Thursday night game was proof. Wisconsin was sloppy and yet they had the Hawkeyes right where they wanted them. Things were slow, scoring was at a premium and things were looking bleak as the clock ticked minutes away. With a little over four minutes left in the game, Wisconsin was up nine and were ready to file another win away.
Or so they thought. Tyler Cook grabbed an offensive board that led to an easy dunk. Jordan Bohannon found Cook again on the next possession down the floor for a layup and one. Peter Jok got fouled and nails two free throws. Down four. A few possessions later (and after a Jok flagrant foul), JoBo and Ahmad Wagner made back-to-back layups. Down one.
You know the rest.
Do you know how much testicular fortitude it takes to bury a shot like that against the team that coveted your two older brothers but took a giant pass on you? And to do it in front of both of them, on their old home court? That’s something younger siblings/athlete’s that were passed up by a team they wanted to play for every where can only dream of.
That takes huevos, GIANT HUEVOS. Congrats, JoBo. Can’t wait to see how you top that off next year.
NBA Jam Duo of the Year Award
This next award goes out to the best, most dynamic duo in Iowa athletics each year.
JPinIC: Let me just start by saying, if you aren’t familiar with NBA Jam, you need to close this link immediately. Get the hell out of here, drop what you’re doing and go find a copy of the original or an arcade somewhere with old school games. Seriously, what kind of sad, sheltered life have you been living?
For the two of you who’ve managed to make it this far without playing the game, essentially you pick a team of 2 players and take on opponents in a game of hoops where rules are, uhh, on the light side and the laws of physics apply to no one. Shooters catch literal fire and high-flyers swat shots like Dikembe swats cereal boxes and shatter backboards like Shaq shatters, well backboards.
A great duo is made up of a guy who can shoot and a guy who can destroy rims, or a couple guys who can do both. This year’s award goes to the dynamic freshman duo of Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon.
If there was any doubt about Cook’s role on this duo, let’s take a look at some of his work from this past season:
Oh wait, sorry, that was the game. Here:
Now, as for Bohannon, his role is obviously a little different. He’s not going to be shattering backboards or defying the laws of physics any time soon. But he did do this for several minutes at a time more than once this year:
Now, unlike the slight difference between Cook’s thunderous dunks and the little digital guys jumping what would be roughly 20 feet into the air to tear off rims, Jordan Bohannon I’m pretty sure caught literal fire at least once last year. Let’s take a look:
Yes, if you look close enough you can see flames shooting out of the ball after JoBo releases it. There was no heating up, just fire baby.
If the Hawkeyes are looking to play NBA (or NCAA) Jam over the next 3 seasons, this is about as good a duo as you’re going to find anywhere in college basketball. Especially since Michael Jordan isn’t in the game.
Tom Izzo Facial Expression of the Year Award
Mattcabel: To kick off Big Ten play during the 2015-16 season, Fran McCaffery and the No. 16 Hawkeyes welcomed No. 4 ranked Michigan State to Carver Hawkeye Arena. Expectations were low from the Hawkeye fanbase: Sparty has historically been dominant over the Hawkeyes in the McCaffery era, and this was an Izzo squad expected to contend in the NCAA Tournament.
So imagine the surprise when the Hawkeyes managed not only to win, but win in dominant fashion! As you can see above, Tom Izzo clearly was not pleased with his team’s outing, and this screengrab made the rounds of the college basketball interwebz.
This award is in honor of that Tom Izzo moment, and celebrates terribly hilarious facial expressions.
And our winner, in a landslide is...TOM CREAN!
We have a lot of options here, so let’s get right to it:
This was supposed to be the year for Tom Crean and Indiana. They started off the season as one of the hottest teams in the country, absolutely destroying eventual National Champion North Carolina in the early part of the season.
But the hot streak eventually ended, and Indiana plunged in the rankings, missing out on the NCAA Tournament and losing in the first round of the NIT.
I know Tom, I can’t believe it either.
And neither can our resident angry coach Fran McCaffery, who is less than pleased that he was snubbed for what was supposed to be an all-Iowa awards show.
Sorry Fran, but opportunities for Big Ten bloggers to write about Crean are limited now, so the committee decided to make an exception. I mean, how could you not?
The Content Mines of the Internet thank you for your service, Tom. We hope you find gainful employment somewhere soon. At least you have this virtual award to show for your time in Bloomington.
The Midwestern Passive-Aggressive “Not Really A Complaint But Definitely A Complaint” of the Year
BoilerHawk: The Midwest is known for many things (feel free to add things I missed in the comments): corn, rock fights in football and basketball, soybeans, and being passive-aggressive. Of course, Iowa Nice, was and still is a thing. But c’mon, that video was pretty passive-aggressive if we’re being honest.
Which brings me to Kirk Ferentz on September 24th, 2016. The game against Rutgers wasn’t particularly memorable. The only reason I remember it is because it was the same day as a beer and donut pairing at a local watering hole. But the press conference after - oh man. I’ve never seen Ferentz complain about anything in the way he did about the chop block rules. It hits all eight of this random list of “Examples of Passive-Aggressive Behavior:”
1. Resenting the demands of others
“We’ve created a set of rules that are really hard to understand.” Kind of a stretch, but so be it.
2. Deliberate procrastination
“It’s kind of been building with me a little bit.” Don’t forget, he didn’t say anything of note after something happened the week before against NDSU.
3. Intentional mistakes
“We’ve created a set of rules that are really hard to understand. I can tell you, I don’t understand them.” I mean, he could try to understand them.
4. Hostile attitude
“I’ll probably get fined from the national office, if we have one.” Basically asking to write a check.
5. Complaints of injustice and lack of appreciation
“They said it was an illegal block. It sure looked good on the screen.”
6. Disguising criticism with compliments
“We all have bosses. And if they give you rules that are cloudy and unclear, it’s really hard to execute your job well.”
7. The last punch
“But so be it. It needs to be said.”
8. The silent treatment
It was never brought up again.
The remarks were, and remain, fantastic. Frankly, I wish I knew as much about anything as Kirk Ferentz has forgotten about blocking. So his soliloquy on the rule came from a place of knowledge and not as some hair-brained rant.
I, for one, would welcome more of this from Kirk.
The Best Moment of Schadenfreude Award
Ben Ross: As Iowa fans, we learned long ago to take pleasure in the suffering of others, since our own moments of glory are few and far between. Growing up a Minnesota fan, I have relished the many opportunities to bask in the absolute failure of that athletic department as a whole.
But this award is all-encompassing, and my hate for the Gilded Rodents is already well-documented on this site.
Iowa basketball’s win over Iowa State, and football’s win over Michigan come to mind, but I think to be true schadenfreude, Iowa can’t be directly involved in the collapse of the happiness of another fanbase.
So without further ado, I present to you our favorite moment of schadenfreude this year:
That Tweet came right after Wisconsin fell to Florida in the NCAA Tournament, and boy let me tell you, that got some Badger fans MAD ONLINE. Seriously, if you need a pick-me-up at work, check out the mentions in there. Also, let’s just watch the shot that doomed Sconnie’s Cinderella hopes one more time:
Oh man if you can find a way to inject this feeling into my veins let me know.
It might seem petty or ignorant to gloat about one team’s loss in a tournament Iowa didn’t even participate in, but we don’t care! Schadenfreude is defined as taking pleasure in the pain of others, and boy did I sleep like a rock that night.
Runner-up goes to our friends at Corn Nation pulling their heads out of the sand and finally admitting Iowa is measurably better at every sport than Nebraska. It’s times like these that make blogging worth it, folks. Cherish these memories.
Colin Cowherd Uninformed Trash Talker of the Year Award
GospelOfMax: Well, well, it’s come down to this. I was going to name this the “Put Some Respeck On My Name” Award, a la rapper Birdman (NSFW language), but this is a reference that’s probably a lot more accessible.
This award goes to the person who wishes to talk trash about something, but they don’t exactly have any room to speak on any such subjects because they have either been proven wrong or simply don’t know what they’re talking about. This person generally makes a fool out of themselves, but what they really need to do is put some respeck on Iowa’s name because we ain’t playin’ around.
And the nominees are...
- Colin Cowherd, for his performance in “Iowa is the Fake I.D. of College Football!”
- Nate Gerry, for his performance in “‘By no means were they as good as the score,’ safety Nate Gerry said. ‘I don’t think they were 40 points better, 30 points better, whatever the hell the score was.’”
- Monte Morris, for his performance in “They know they’re not better than us.”
Now, quite frankly, I think that all of these guys should win. They put no respeck on Iowa’s name, and quite frankly, they’re all very misinformed. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner. And the winner is...
Nate Gerry! Congratulations, Nate, and in the future, put some respeck on our name.
Thanks to all those who made this year’s BHGP Golden Herky Awards possible. What moments do you think we missed, dear reader?