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Why We’re Thankful to be Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes

It’s that time of year

NCAA Basketball: Marist at West Virginia Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Howdy y’all.

I hope you’re reading this from the comfort of your own home. Or the comfort of a loved one’s home, where you’ll soon be setting personal records for Calories Consumed in one Sitting and Naps Taken on the Floor.

The past year seemed to come and go without consequence in the world of Hawkeye sports. Of course the bad memories tend to stick out more than the feelings jubilation, but those instances are few and far between.

And really, if this mini-run thing Iowa basketball is doing has taught me anything, it’s that it takes moments like last year’s basketball season to truly enjoy something that is the complete opposite of... last year’s basketball season.

I’m not saying I’m thankful for the bullshit that creeps up just about every football season, but I’m also thankful that years like 2012 aren’t a common thing around here.

This is my first year where I won’t be spending Thanksgiving with my immediate family. I’m thankful for the dozen or so friends I made at Iowa who live in Chicago who invited me to spend the holiday with their family. This year, I attended five weddings; four of them were between Hawkeyes. There’s nothing that’s brought be greater joy than seeing relationships that were kindled in Iowa carry out into full-on devotions into adult life outside Iowa City. These people, you people, us. We’re a special folk, and I’m thankful I can wear a Tigerhawk with pride everywhere I go.

BoilerHawk: To be sentimental, what has me most thankful as a Hawkeye fan is the relationship-building it does between me, my family, and all you beautiful people here. I enjoy seeing Tiger Hawks damn near every place I go and sharing a short convo or just wink and a nod. I’m thankful for Bryan Street Tavern and their thin crust square-cut pizza during DFW I-Club watch parties, which I miss dearly. I’m thankful for Kirk Ferentz even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

This year, though, I’m most thankful for Connor McCaffery. (cross-post)

Trez: I’m thankful for the colors of Black & Gold. There is no better color scheme around. Without them I would be utterly lost. I’m thankful for Iowa wrestling and the 23 NCAA titles they have given us. I’m thankful that the season has finally started! Above all, I’m thankful for BHGP for giving me a platform to share my excitement/despair of all things Hawkeye sports with the greatest fans in the world. Without you I’d be a sorry-sapped-sucker wallowing about in my own emotions by myself. So maybe you aren’t thankful for that, but whatever, you should be! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Jerry: What am I thankful for outside of Jon Gruden this Thanksgiving? You know what? I’m thankful for Lisa Bluder. All she does is over perform her expectations. She has no critics. Nobody is questioning her tactics. Nobody is wondering if she’s the queen of nepotism. Nobody wonders if she’s not playing her best players enough. Or if they play defense enough. Or if the shoot free throws enough. Or if she needs a 30-night stay in the looney bin. She’s just a consistent blessing that continues to put out some of the best basketball teams this university has ever seen. And she doesn’t get enough credit for it. So here’s to you Coach Bluder. Thank you for being you.

Doug: I’m thankful that no matter where in the country I’m located, I’m part of the black and gold family. Nothing like walking down the Vegas Strip proudly repping the black and gold and hearing person after person say “Go Hawks”. While every week may not be a 63-0 whipping or a big win over a ranked team, the black and gold never fades and I’ll always be honored to wear my team on my chest.

Jordan: I’m just thankful we’re not Nebraska.

JPinIC: There’s so much to be thankful for as a Hawkeye fan, it really is hard to know where to start. But given what week it is, I suppose I’ll start by saying I’m thankful we aren’t Nebraska. I mean, can you imagine what it must be like living in that land of make believe? Yikes. Instead, I’m thankful we live in reality. And not just reality, but one where we are pissed off about being 8-4. We have a coach that, for 20 years, has been so good to us we are really upset about not winning the Big Ten West and double digit games. It’s an incredible luxury.

I’m also thankful we’ve managed to move on from coaches in other sports who haven’t lived up to that standard. Todd Lickliter is not our basketball coach anymore, and I’m very thankful for that. Ditto REDACTED. And to be able to come off a disappointing football season and watch a talented basketball team actually look like they’ve figured out they need to play defense and with intensity for 40 minutes, I can once again be excited about Hawkeye sports for weeks to come. That’s a great feeling and it says nothing of perhaps our most exciting teams - women’s hoops will almost certainly have a better year than the men and we live in a world where the wrestling team is a disappointment when they don’t win a national championship. And this year feels like maybe they could. At the end of the day, there’s a TON to be thankful for as a Hawkeye fan. Iowan by birth, Hawkweye by the grace of God.

MattReisener: More than anything I’d say I’m thankful for the tremendous memories I have associated with following Hawkeye athletics over the years. Like so many other fans I can easily recall the details of the most exhilarating moments of my Hawkeye fandom: Tate to Holloway, the improbable 2001 Big Ten tournament, the Orange Bowl victory, and basically every time Tim Dwight or Shonn Greene touched the football. But just as real are the memories of the people I witnessed these moments with and the way it felt to experience these soaring highs together. I’m thankful for all the friends and family that have joined/tolerated me in my fandom over the years for making these great memories all the richer.