Agriculture's Big Picture
AgWeb Editor Greg Vincent takes a big-picture look at agriculture and current events.
The Biggest Rivalry In Iowa
Sep 10, 2010
Before I get loads of hate mail directed my way, please keep the spirit of this blog post in mind. It’s intended to be good-natured humor. Yes, it’s at the expense of all you Iowa Hawkeye fans…who I am hopeful will see your chance of playing in the national championship game dashed tomorrow.
This is about fun, and we’re doing that here at AgWeb. James Arnold, the AgWeb VP of Operations, is an Iowa graduate. We have a friendly bet. The next meeting we have together, the loser has to wear the shirt of the other team for the entire day. James, I’ll be sure to post your photo to this blog next time I’m in Chicago.
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It’s Ingrained. Here’s a bit of my history as a Cyclone. I am convinced my father, an Iowa State graduate, told me when I was about three or four years old that if I liked the Iowa Hawkeyes I should find a new residence. He denies this, but he does not deny that he could see himself saying such a thing.
The day the football rivalry was renewed in 1977, my aunt and uncle married at my grandparent’s farm. He and another uncle were Iowa fans. My dad and the other uncle were good, honest Cyclones. The wedding was delayed until halftime then rushed through before the 2nd half kickoff. Yes, it’s that important.
Pick a Team. Like most folks who grew up in Iowa, you choose sides in this rivalry. Most Iowa Staters have a direct tie to the university; they either went to school there, or a parent, brother, spouse, etc., attended. Admittedly, the Hawkeye fans outnumber the Iowa State fans in my home state, but a larger number of them didn’t attend the University, nor do they have any significant tie to it. Hawkeye fans call this "Little Brother Syndrome." We Cyclones call it obnoxious. The truth is in there somewhere.
However, many people in the state claim they cheer for Iowa when they’re not playing my beloved Iowa State Cyclones, or vice versa. I’m not one of them.
Neighbor vs. Neighbor. When I moved to the Kansas City area 15 years ago, one of the things I was happy about was leaving behind the Hawkeyes. Then my neighbors moved in. They were both Iowa grads and we developed a strange, but wonderful bond with them. Brian and I understood each other. He hated Iowa State and I got that. We forged a strong friendship, based largely on the dislike we each had for the other’s team.
When Iowa State lost to Boise State in the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl, I arrived home to see a huge banner on my garage door with the score of the game on it. Of course, I started it when I used my good aggie training. They returned home earlier that year to see their yellow dog painted with red livestock paint.
Why Iowa State is Better. I will not attend the game this year, though my neighbors will hear me as I scream at the TV tomorrow afternoon. But those of you Iowa Staters who are attending the game, let me offer my top 10 list of why Iowa State is better than Iowa. If an irate Iowa fan gets in your face, just keep these things in mind:
10. Our conference can count past the number of digits on their fingers. Iowa State is in the
Big 12, with 12 teams. Iowa is in the Big 10 with 11 teams. (OK, I can’t use this after this
9. The world needs ditch diggers, too. Not everyone can get into Iowa State.
8. Ask the Iowa fan what their major was at UNI.
7. It took a coach from Texas to remind the fan base from one of the nation’s biggest ag states that America Needs Farmers. (Don’t know what this means? Here’s a Hawkeye fan’s answer to what it is. Some more enlightened folks might call it pandering, and the Hawkeye fans actually fell for it.)
6. You didn’t go to Iowa and he probably didn’t either. (Thanks to Scott Bernick for that one.)
5. Just say, "Wow, I thought black was supposed to be slimming."
4. Let them know how much their tip is being cut the next time they deliver your pizza.
3. If you want to tailgate for more than 30 minutes after the game, they’ll have to go to Ames. (Credit: Scott again.)
2. Paul Rhoads is the Chuck Norris of college football coaches.
1. Iowa is really the CYCLONE STATE!
Maybe you’re a fan of another school. What do you believe is the best rivalry in college sports?
Do any Cyclones have anything to add to the list?
Any Hawkeyes out there have a rebuttal?