The holiday season is in full swing - or perhaps more accurately, it’s nearly over - and like any red-blooded American, the fine folks here at The Pants have waited until the absolute last minute to do any of our shopping or even put together our lists. But we can’t wait any longer.
So, with just hours remaining to hit the proverbial stores, the staff has put together their holiday wish lists for 2020 (and no, we didn’t allow anyone to just ask for the year to end).
Here’s what we’re wishing for in the world of Hawkeye sports this holiday season.
I’m not a greedy person. As much as I’d like to come out and ask for the infinite glory and joy as a fan that would come from National championships in football, basketball and wrestling over the next year, I’m going to show some restraint. But given that Iowa wrestling was robbed of their almost certain title a year ago, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for them to get one this year.
Similarly, Luka Garza was robbed of a national player of the year award a season ago. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for him to get it this year. And frankly, given how long it’s been and how good this team is, I don’t think I’m being greedy in adding a Big Ten Conference Championship to my list. I mean really, this is a top-5 team nationally and I’m just asking that they don’t lose more than a handful of Big Ten games.
And finally, would it be too much to ask for Iowa’s starting QB to connect on more than half his passes thrown 15+ yards downfield next year?
All I want for Christmas is for Iowa basketball to play a full season uninterrupted by the coronavirus.
I realize that’s a big ask given that the virus is reaching a new apex virtually every day, but I also think I should get some credit for tempering my wish a bit. After all, I’m not asking outright for Iowa to win a Big Ten and national championship, just for them to have the opportunity to do so. Wouldn’t it be the most Iowa thing ever for us to have an historic, once in a lifetime kind of basketball team, only to have the season cut short because we can’t get this pandemic under control? There are a million reasons to play it safe and follow CDC guidelines on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, but if keeping grandma alive isn’t enough motivation for you, then please, do it for Luka!
I could rattle off a holiday wish list of Hawk-related things that would take up a notebook. I already own enough Hawkeye clothing to wear something Iowa for at least a month straight. I think I have 15 Hawkeye hats. I’ve easily gotten rid of / donated that many more because I didn’t like how they fit, they were unlucky, etc… From a non-material perspective, it gets tougher. I’d like to sit down with Hayden Fry and Chris Street. I never was able to meet either legendary Hawk. I’d like to listen to Hayden’s stories and let him know that my son is one of a thousand Hawk babies (he’s now 16) running around with Coach’s namesake. I’d like to let Chris know how much he still means to the state of Iowa and beyond. I coached varsity basketball for 6 years as a head coach. My number 40 every year was a special kid who was told the story of CMS40. Finally, I’d like to hang out with Tim Dwight. I hate to admit that I may or may not have a barbed wire tattoo because of #6. If he doesn’t seem like a dude that could have a good time, no one does. Timmy D back on a punt return was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Electric! Oh, and finally, I’d love for the hardcourt Hawks to value defensive possessions a tad bit more. Being able to score at will is both a curse and a blessing in this regard. Go Hawks!
I am a notoriously bad gift requester and even a worse gift giver so I’ll keep this simple:
- Pat Fitzgerald to take an NFL job
- The Iowa Hawkeyes in the Sweet 16
It’s hard to disagree with what anyone above is wishing for this year. I NEED this basketball season to play out to completion. The Sweet 16 isn’t good enough, Harry. An Iowa wrestling title is the first step towards the universe correcting itself. Pat Fitzgerald to the Bears would be LOL funny.
But in some ways, we’ve been given what we as Iowa fans have been asking for.
The problems in the football locker room over the summer could’ve been the catalyst for change we’ve been wanting to see in the program for years. Gary Barta’s ineptitude, now on a national stage and not just locally, is exposing him as the asshat we’ve known him to be since his hiring. And Luka Garza’s dominance cannot be ignored.
But what I want, dear reader, is bigger than all this. It’s more abstract, too.
I’d like Iowa basketball to become a blueblood program. And that starts with the Hawkeyes winning the whole thing.
I realize the loss to Gonzaga is still fresh in our minds, but let’s forget about that for a moment. What Fran McCaffery has done in his 11 years really is unbelievable. Do you know how many times over the years people on this very site have called for his head? Iowa’s (fine, Barta’s) commitment to Fran is truly commendable.
And with his son Patrick on the team for at least three more seasons, we’ve got a pretty strong anchor to keep our coach in Iowa City for awhile. The brand recognition Iowa can build this season could go a long way as young ballers in living rooms across the country see Duke and North Carolina and Michigan State and Indiana struggle, while Iowa rises from the ashes with Luka Garza and four guys from the North Liberty YMCA.
In short, I’d like this season to set the table for sustained dominance in the college basketball landscape. No more rebuilding years. It’s time to reload.
That’s what we have on our Hawkeye wish lists, what about you?