Things around here have been pretty animated lately and it’s all for good reason. After all, we take our name from a root word that allows us the strength to vivaciously “show our single-minded zeal” (and boy, oh boy, do we have some singled-minded zeal...myself included). We take in the good. We take in the bad. We react. We bitch. We cheer. We discuss. We complain. We whine. And then we amp ourselves back up and do it all over again.
But NOTHING takes away our pride. That’s why we come to places like Black Heart Gold Pants and The Athletic and the Des Moines Register and Go Iowa Awesome. We want to feel with people that understand. We want to argue with people that understand. We want to talk amongst ourselves in hopes of feeling better; both in times of greatness and times of sheer frustration.
We have had a lot of the latter. But we’ve also had some of the former.
But no matter the amount of shame. No matter the amount of happiness. We are proud fanatics of the University of Iowa. We believe what we believe. We see what we see and try to understand it and ultimately try to fix it. We’re mostly Midwesterners. We’re doers at heart. We’re fixers at our core. We know the only way out is through. We have calluses on our hands, damnit. Being an Iowa fan is work. But we have an addiction to it. We love it. We crave it. We hate it sometimes too.
All we want is success while also maintaining the look and feel that we’ve grown accustomed to. Because if and when that success and our principles align, it’s both hope and proof that our core beliefs are correct. That they work. Sure it may be ugly. A lot of what Iowans do for a living is ugly, hard work. But it’s our work and we wouldn’t know what to do if we couldn’t do it anymore anyways.
It’s those parallels between that little fly over university and the real world around it that make it so Great to be a Hawkeye. Even when it’s kind of not. Even when it’s hard. It’s still pretty damn great.
It’s in our blood. It’s in our stars. We might hate it and wish for it to change, but damnit if we don’t love it a little too.
I’ve done my fair share of complaining and whining the last few Monday’s. La Famila Ferentz have given me four consistent middle fingers on their way to 6-1 and damnit if they aren’t going to figure out a way to do it all the way to the Big Ten Championship game, too. It’s ugly. Its atrocious. It’s down right torture at times. But holy shit is it...beautiful?
I guess that’s where I’m at with the football program at large. At this point, I know Brian Ferentz will remain on this staff. I know Kirk will continue to coach the way he coaches until he either goes to heaven or is physically removed from the seat. I know that the schedule is going to get tougher and that Iowa is going to face a whole knew onslaught of teams with cool weapons and offenses that I’m going to be jealous of.
And then somehow, some way, Kirk and Phil and LeVar and even Brian are going to figure out a way to beat them 15-6 while the rest of the nation makes fun of how it looks. And the more and more they talk about it, the more Iowa will climb the ladder until suddenly we’re back in the Top-10 and in contention.
I’m going to hate it. I’m going to love it. I’m going to complain about it. I’m going to wish we looked like Washington and Oregon and USC and UCLA and Ohio State and Penn State and Michigan and probably the new look Wisconsin Badgers too... and then I’m going to laugh my ass off when Iowa beats them with nothing more than a defense and a prayer.
Maybe I’m getting softer? Or, maybe I’m still giddy from watching Caitlin Clark and the Women’s Basketball Team do something unimaginable in front of 55,000 people while my daughter dunks on her Little Tike’s Hoop? Or maybe I’m still riding the high of “Jumping Around” as boogers dripped down her nose seconds after Iowa beat the ever loving snot out of Wisconsin? Maybe I’m just at the point of the season and my life where I can call a spade a spade and realize yelling into the void does nothing for me and it’s just making my heart rate and blood pressure go up?
Or maybe, I’m just proud of this damn university and everything it continues to accomplish in both academics and men’s and women’s athletics.
And maybe that’s enough to get me through today, this week and the rest of this absolutely ridiculous football season?
Or maybe I’ll be full of piss and vinegar next week.
Either way, it will still be Great to be a Hawkeye.
And I’ll keep showing up ready to work it out with them.
On to the musings:
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can only beat who is on your schedule. Do I think Iowa would be in the driver seat to make it to Indy in an open conference? No, no I do not. Do I think Iowa can beat Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State in a second game? No, no I do not. Does it feel like we ate an entire box of Ding Dong’s in one sitting at times? Sure does. But all they can do is keep winning... something they will no doubt be favored to do the rest of the way; even with this offense. And since we’re here, we might as well finish the story, get to the Big Ten Championship and ultimately take on USC in what will be on the Mount Rushmore for DUMBEST but MOST HYSTERICAL college football game of all time
- The Crossover at Kinnick was special, man. I know I’m getting soft, but I couldn’t help it on Sunday afternoon. It felt like I was looking into the future of women’s athletics as I watched my daughter stare up at Caitlin Clark in between pushing her grocery cart around my living room. I was day dreaming and could almost see my daughters rocking the black and gold while other little girls watched them. What a moment.
- Phil Parker. That’s it.
- I’m going to suffer from major recency bias here, but I don’t know the last time I saw Iowa HIT as hard as they did on Saturday in Madison. I tweeted during the game that I could hear the pads popping through my muted TV. That’s how physical they were.
- Hey Don! Happy Victory Monday buddy! Hope you enjoyed it!