Happy Thanksgiving Hawkeye fans!
We’re now less than 24 hours away from Iowa’s season finale against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and while the 2021 college football regular season is nearly over, we have lots to be thankful for this year. On this Thanksgiving Day, The Pants is taking a minute to put (digital) ink to (figurative) paper to express a few of the things we’re thankful for this year.
It certainly feels a little strange to express thanks as an Iowa fan given our propensity to spend most of the time upset about what we don’t have or were THIS close to obtaining. But nonetheless, there are some things I’m very thankful for as an Iowa fan.
First and foremost, like all Iowa football fans I’m incredibly thankful for Phil Parker. The man is a magician and I’m so thankful he’s found fulfillment as Iowa’s defensive coordinator rather than feeing the need to move on to a head coaching job. He’s bailed out this team more times than any of us can count and I hope he never retires.
On the hardwood, I’m thankful for a couple things. For starters, in a year filled with cancellations and strange happenings, I’m thankful that my oldest son (he is really starting to hit that age where kids get super into things and has chosen Hawkeye sports as one of those things) got to watch Luka Garza in person before the pandemic hit and now has been able to see his new favorite player, Keegan Murray, in live action.
I’m also thankful that as Hawkeye fans we get contrasting styles for football and basketball. We complain about the lack of defense, but at least Iowa hoops is exciting to watch. I can’t imagine what it would be like if Iowa went the Wisconsin route of super slow and boring basketball and football without all the gridiron success.
And finally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge wrestling follower but I’m still thankful that group was able to come back and earn another title since they had one ripped away from them due to COVID. The NCAA doesn’t get much right but the extra year for athletes impacted by the pandemic is one thing they did do correctly and I’m thankful for it.
One thing I am thankful for is that Iowa has had two football coaches since 1979. I love that we have one of the best (ok, the best) logos in all of sports. I love that no matter where I am in the world, I am always looking for Hawk fans to give them a “Go Hawks!” I love that Hayden Fry came up with the swarm, pink locker rooms, etc... and Kirk Ferentz has kept these traditions alive. I love that at the end of Hawk victories we sing, “In Heaven There Is No Beer”, I love that we WAVE to the kids. I appreciate that Iowa does not change its school colors. I appreciate we don’t have a coach who sprints around the football field with customized shoes and makes his personal slogan a slogan for the program. I appreciate that our head coach does not throw his players under the bus. Basically, it’s great to be a Hawkeye! Sit back. Eat some turkey. Watch our former Hawks on Thanksgiving, and of course cheer on our boys to victory over Nebby on Friday. As always, Go Hawks!
It’d be easy for me to do the snarky thing and just turn this into an early festivus type rant. So that’s what I’m going to do.
I’m thankful for Penn State handing James Franklin a 10 year contract. I’m thankful Scott Frost will be at Nebraska for at least one more year. I’m thankful Minnesota gave PJ Fleck a five-year extension in between losing to Bowling Green and Illinois. I’m thankful Michigan State is going to pay Mel Tucker 95 million dollars to get erased from the face of the earth by Ohio State once a year.
I’m thankful Florida, Miami, Texas, USC, LSU, TCU, Virginia Tech and Washington are in worse positions than Iowa is.
I’m thankful Iowa State still sucks.
I’m thankful for the Phoenix I Club and Wild Turkey 101 and my favorite bar in Chicago. I’m thankful Luka Garza got his first start earlier this week and I’m thankful Keegan Murray is going to be a lottery pick.
I’m thankful for the Pants and the readers who read what I make to be read.
Being a Hawkeye is a family tradition. I was recently reminded of this when we hosted my 4-year olds birthday party at a local restaurant. The party was planned around kickoff for the Hawkeyes and we all gathered together to watch and cheer before any birthday activities were allowed to begin. In a day when families can be divided over so many things, our love for the Hawks is something that will always bring us together.
I grew up going to one or two Iowa football games a year with my dad. I remember the anticipation I felt during the 3 hour drive into Kinnick on a crisp fall morning when he wasn’t forced to listen on the radio during harvest. After a year of not being able to attend a game due to COVID, it was that anticipation times ten this season. There is nothing like sharing your love for all things Iowa with 70,000 Hawkeye family members. Needless to say, I’m thankful for my closest and most extended Hawkeye family.
Those are just a few of the things we’re thankful this year. What about you, Hawkeye fans? What are you thankful for in 2021? Let us know in the comments!