The LSU Fan’s Nonstereotypical Guide to Iowa Hawkeye Football: Part 1

Dear LSU Tiger Football Nation,

As a transplanted Iowan and converted Hawkeye fan, I’m here to inform you that you should not succumb to the overt stereotypical picture being painted by your local journalists of your upcoming Outback Bowl opponent, fans, or the state from which they come.  You know what I mean.  The boring, slow, pale, uneducated, hick, less-than-sexy but better-than -Michigan-and-Nebraska-combined Iowa Hawkeyes and their faithful fans?  If you read your local media you are left to believe that Iowans haven’t seen the sun since January 1, 2005 (oops, sorry if I struck a nerve already) and that the football team we follow pilots the Flyover State Airline.  But, hey, I’ll play along for this introductory post and hope that I can spell everything correctly while I’m readying the horse and buggy for a night out on the town.

So, you don’t want to play Iowa in a bowl game?  Well, I have news for you: we’d rather have gotten the opportunity to play Johnny Football and played something or someone of recent notoriety, too.  But that’s not happening, either.  Sorry to tease.  I know and respect the fact that you were recently the college football National Champions.  So, I guess we need to agree to settle our wants and desires and go play the game.  I mean, after all, we’ve already beat you once when you didn’t want to play us.  Since no one likes a bully, we find ourselves in an awkward no-win situation.  I know, I know.  The real reason you don’t want to play us is that it’s never fun to lose to a team you think you should beat 10 out of 10 times and if you play Michigan or Nebraska and lose, well that is probably an easier pill to swallow with all the notoriety and tradition and brand name and such.

Since I brought up January 1, 2005, I should probably elaborate a bit more on that.  That day, of course, was the day Iowa beat LSU on that “lucky Hail Mary” pass in the Capital One Bowl.  I’ve read that a lot the last few days – “lucky Hail Mary”.  Well, I was at that game and many of you were, too.  If you’re realistic, you will remember that Iowa dominated LSU for much of the game until Jamarcus Russell came in and provided a spark that was nearly fatal to the Hawkeyes in the 4th quarter.  I remember perfectly well the feeling I had when LSU went ahead with less than 2 minutes to play in the game.  I remember being disappointed, but not crushingly so.  I remember thinking it was a great game, a great atmosphere, and we played well enough to beat the defending National Champions.  But, in the back of my mind I just had this feeling that we still had a chance to win, because I knew what that Iowa team was made of.  A team decimated with injuries, especially at running back, and a team that fully embodied the “next man in” mantra as well as any other to date.  Then it happened – the lucky Hail Mary.  The incredibly intense transfer of fan based emotionally-charged rapture of sound from one side of the stadium to the other when the LSU defense blew their coverage and enabled an under-utilized and under-appreciated Warren Holloway to catch that perfectly timed pass from Drew Tate.  Hail, yes.  Mary, no.  Saban, gone.  Touchdown, game, set, match, euphoriowa.  That was the only bowl game I have ever witnessed in person, and I’ve told myself I am not going to any more unless it’s the Rose Bowl or a National Championship game because that experience and that victory the way it happened simply can not be topped.

So, I don’t know.  Maybe that little narrative got you a little hungrier for the game.  Maybe revenge can be sweet.  Maybe, not.  Maybe no matter what, you just aren’t excited about playing the Hawkeyes.  But, over the next few days, leading up to the rematch of January 1, 2005 between Iowa and LSU I’m going to try to give you the Hawkeye perspective and, if nothing else, work hard to dispell the myths and stereotypes that continuously lingers over the Hawkeye State and give you a peak into why we say, “It’s Great to be a Hawkeye!”  I am going to strive to be complimentary of my team and yours, because I do live by the Golden Rule to treat others the way I’d want to be treated.  At the same time, for you to get more excited about this game, I offer up some things that should humble you and to see that, really, you’re no different than we are.

To start, you need to realize that since the year 2000, the Hawkeyes have enjoyed similar success to that of your beloved team.  Granted, we haven’t won or played in 2 National Championship games in that span, but we have played in 2 BCS Orange Bowl games losing to USC and dominating the “much faster” Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech.  I guarantee you that GT Head Coach Paul Johnson knows he witnessed a faster team on the opposing sideline that night than his own and still has nightmares of watching Hawkeye DE Adrian Clayborn creating havoc all over the field.  (Quick note: I am also a KC Chiefs fan, and I would much rather have Clayborn on my defensive line than your heralded, but underperforming Glenn Dorsey and current Chief Tyson Jackson.  Also, please don’t get me started on Dwayne Bowe).  Digressing aside, also in that span, the Hawkeyes have played and beaten current SEC teams Florida once (lost another meeting), South Carolina once, and Missouri once.  In fact, Iowa’s bowl record against that speedy, superior, warm-weathered SEC conference is 4-1.  Am I starting to get to the real reason you don’t want to play us?  Let’s continue.  Nebraska seems to be a team you’ve stated you’d rather play because it’s got that brand name and image behind it.  Yeah, that same team is 1-4 against the SEC since 2000, beating only Tennessee in 2000.  In fact, since 2000, Nebraska’s bowl record is 6-6 and is riding a 3 game losing streak.  Dang it!  I hate it when I feel like I’m on to something.  Maybe the real reason you’d rather play Nebraska is because you have played them 3 times in bowls since 1970 and have never won.  Let’s look at the other team from the B1G you’d rather play, the Michigan Wolverines.  Michigan has played in 12 bowl games since 2000 and has an overall bowl record of 5-7.  But, I know the real reason you want to play them and not us is because Michigan and LSU have never met in a bowl game, and that helmet they wear is really, really spiffy.

But, alas, here we are still.  You’re stuck playing that team of bumblebee clad, overall-wearing bunch of haybalers.  And, us, playing another team from the SEC that we’ve already beaten located in that mecca of modern civilization of heavenly Louisiana best known currently by the likes of a, um, well… a very Iowa-like, duck-calling reality-TV superhero family.  We look forward to pitting our unassuming team of slow, fat, 2-star-stretching Pop Warner plowboys against your lightning quick team of chiseled, shiny buff 4-5 star recruits that just must have an uncanny inability to float to the top of the college football world where they are written to belong.

In all honesty and sincerity, Hawk fans across the country, (yes across the country) are thrilled to match up against your LSU Tigers once again.  It will be even more fun if you are thrilled, too.  We can attest that any bowl is better than no bowl.  Join me over the next few weeks as I give you a periodic, and likely random photo-journalistic view of your upcoming drab, dreary, boring, Outback Bowl opponent, the 2013 Iowa Hawkeyes.

Pre-game Card StuntIowa vs. Northwestern

Like you, we’re patriots. I like that nifty eye of the tiger thingie on your field. It’s cute. We can do a card stunt like no other.

Once a year, we play for a pig.  Because, that's Iowa and who doesn't like bacon?

Once a year, we play for a pig. Because, that’s Iowa and who doesn’t like bacon?  That Scherff guy? Yeah, you’d like to have him.  Trust me.

A Nile Kinnick lookalike gets ready to recite Kinnick's legendary Heisman acceptance speech

Our stadium is named after Nile Kinnick, our lone Heisman Trophy winner.  Yes, we have the same number of those as you do, but we’ve had 2 runners up in the modern era (Chuck Long and Brad Banks).  This guy looks strikingly like Nile.  If you want to hear true scholar athlete deliver a Heisman acceptance speech like no one ever has or ever will again google for it.  If I know how to do that, you know how to do that, right? Or, if you’re really blessed with literacy like me, take a read.

Mark Weismann (45) and Jordan Canzeri (33)

Mark Weismann (45) and Jordan Canzeri (33) will carry the load of the majority of the Hawkeye rushing attack. In the words of our legendary former coach, Hayden Fry, “I hope we don’t hurt your boys too bad”.

We grow our beards just like you do.

Even though we are apparently just a skip away from the Arctic Circle, we grow our beards just like you do.

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46 thoughts on “The LSU Fan’s Nonstereotypical Guide to Iowa Hawkeye Football: Part 1

  1. Although I am a Georgia Dawg, and usually root for the SEC in bowl games, I will be rooting for Iowa this go round. First, my daughter and her husband are serious Hawkeye fans. (He has a Iowa man cave. LOL) Second, LSU needs to have someone beat them bad. Maybe…just maybe…they will will think before they open their mouths. Though I sometimes wonder if they have the capacity to think or if they epitomize the saying “dumb jock”. Third, Iowa deserves a great end to the season. Wonderful blog! Keep up the good work!

  2. You may want to correct the multiple times you use “your” when you meant “you’re” before one of the few people in Louisiana who know the difference catches it. At the very least correct it in this sentence: “if your really blessed with literacy like me…”

    • Hi. Does this mean you’ve fulfilled my needs as my pre-publish proofreader? It doesn’t pay well, but what else would you want to be doing at 3 am when I need proofreading? In all honesty, thanks for the suggested correction. I’ve made that along with one other typographical error. You see, I do know that “your” is a possessive pronoun to describes one’s ownership of something. Of course “you’re” is a contraction joining the words “you” and “are”.

  3. Have Fun losing to us with a quarterback in his first career start. Wanted to play Johnny football? Give me a break! Someone clearly didn’t watch him get his ass kicked in Death Valley.

  4. You can totally tell a stupid Iowa fan wrote this article and uses awful comparisons to try to act like Iowa’s football program is even comparable to a top tier SEC program.”To start, you need to realize that since the year 2000, the Hawkeyes have enjoyed similar success to that of your beloved team.” Really? LSU has been to more National Championships (’04,’08,’12) than Iowa has BCS games since 2000 (not to mention the two other BCS games which LSU won ’02 & ’07). Iowa has had 3 10+ winning seasons since 2000….LSU has had 8. LSU has won National Championship’s with two different coaches since 2000, Kirk Ferentz hasn’t ever won the Big Ten outright, well I mean he did go 8-0 one year and then got killed by USC in their bowl game. Iowa has gone 4-1 in their bowl games against SEC teams, only one of those teams had 10 wins and that was Missouri, who was in the Big 12 at the time. Yeah Michigan doesn’t have a good bowl record since 2000 but you know what they have done? Make it to the Rose Bowl, something Iowa hasn’t done in over 20 years. Kirk Ferentz gets paid over 3 million a year to do what? Go 8-4 maybe 9-3. Mark Dantonio has been at Michigan State for 6 years, he has 3 10+ winning seasons and a trip to the Rose Bowl, something Kirk Ferentz hasn’t done in over twice the amount of time and gets paid double of what Dantonio makes. Iowa is mid level college football program that will get 10 win seasons twice a decade, know can you tell why a top tier SEC team doesn’t want to play you?

      • Way to not pay attention to any part of that comment other than the very end. You def got him.

      • I wasn’t trying to “get him”. The last question was the only one aimed at my story, so I answered it – again. That is really the only answer to the question because it’s true. Enjoy your day.

    • The only reason Iowa went to the orange bowl in 2003 rather than the rose bowl is because the orange bowl had the first selection of at large teams at which point they chose the Co big ten champion iowa hawkeyes, and the Co pac 12 champion USC Trojans. So playing the rose bowl out as a larger game than the orange bowl is pretty stupid considering the rose bowl would have taken those same teams given the chance

  5. You really know you’ve been a college football power since 2000 when you’ve been to as many BCS bowls as Illinois has. And Illinois actually went to the Rose Bowl one year.

  6. Wow…you can certainly tell the difference between an Iowa fan and an LSU fan. Tis the season to be Jolly must not be a mantra LSU fans follow. Go Hawks!!!

  7. What a great blog that was written with the love of a team and of the people of his now home state. While we may be considered Hicks we are more than that. We are farmers, who help feed everyone across this country, we are Drs, Lawyers, bus drivers, truckers, coaches, teachers and even restaurant workers, but most of all we are people too and we support our Iowa Hawkeyes. ( Most of us that is.)
    On a side note I am a transplant from PA, who also supported my Nitnany Lions and still do.

  8. First I am an adopted Hawkeye fan and have been to more Hawkeye games than LSU (my fav and home team). My girlfriend is a Hawkeye season ticket holder and I enjoy going to the Hawkeye club bar every Saturday to root for the Hawkeys (with my Hawkeye cap and LSU shirt). I love going there and being with the good people of Iowa and cheering on the Hawks! I am incensed by this article which was supposed to be a guide of some sort, but seems to be a tirade from someone who obviously has an issue with something….I don’t know what it is. If it is something the media has made up disrespecting the Iowa Hawkeyes and the state of Iowa, then whay do the same? I have never heard anyone close to LSU say they didn’t want to play anyone, let alone the Hawkeyes. Comparing wins and loses to cover up the fact that the Hawkeyes have been largely noncompetitive as of late is pointless. LSU has won 3 titles…2 in the BCS era and our fellow SEC mates have accounted for…well you know the story. If the Louisiana media or comments from disrespectful fans has you with a chip on your shoulder, I get it. Fact is, anyone who knows football and is a true fan respects every opponent and doesn’t trash talk. I love the Hawkeyes and wish them well every game but this one. I will be rooting for the Tigers. So in a nutshell…whatever past has you pissed off….strap your helmet on and save the energy for the football game, where it will and always will be settled.

    • Hi Rob, welcome to my Blog. This post was all about fun, with tongue in cheek self deprecation on first order! Unfortunately, there is a TON of stereotypical nonsense and that’s what I chose to make fun of. You don’t have to look far in the LSU- based local media to find exactly the sentiment is, so I took that as an opportunity to do something a little different. Take a longer look around my blog and you’ll see exactly how I typically devote my time as a Hawkeye fan. More to come!

  9. Hi, I am from Western Australia and spent a year in Iowa as an exchange student, really enjoyed your blog, I still follow the results of Iowa games and always look forward to them making a bowl game. I will be cheering loudly watching this game on Foxtel (if televised) and hoping that Iowa kick LSU butt. Look forward to more interesting blogs as they come through.

  10. Pingback: The LSU Fan’s Nonstereotypical Guide to Iowa Hawkeye Football: Part 2 | The View From Kinnick 138

  11. Uh, not so sure about this one. “…the Hawkeyes have enjoyed similar success to that of your beloved team.” Playing in two national championship games is just a wee bit different than playing in two BCS games.

    • Hi Steve, I don’t disagree with you. But comparatively speaking, it’s a better reality than if LSU had “to settle” for a Minnesota or a Northwestern. Again, just pointing out that Iowa is at least BCS-savvy. Thanks for your comments and enjoy my blog.

  12. HAWKS= Walk softly and carry a big stick. You ever see a tiger get smacked with a big stick before? Oh why yes you have. GO HAWKS

  13. While I have not read the sports commentaries which stereotype Hawkeye fans, please do not think these few bloggers or writers speak for the majority of the Tiger fan base…especially the alumni. In my camp (mostly alumni), the general consensus is ‘we are going to the game we earned.’ I think most of us would love to go to the game, but we all have jobs ( we even have to google things, occasionally). We will be watching and cooking…and most likely drinking. We will gather together because we always like to watch our Tigers play.
    Any article or blog post that referred to your fans as ‘slow boring hicks’ confuses me. I have not heard this at all, and please remember, we play Alabama every year…so we know real hicks. As for your comparison of our fans to the people on that duck show (which I have never watched), most of our men can’t grow beards like that because once again we all have jobs which require us to look professional.
    Best of luck to your Hawkeyes! Just know they will be playing against a team that has lost 10…yes 10…players early to the NFL draft and our freshman quarterback will be playing his first starting game. If y’all (yes, y’all…I am from the South) win, I hope this makes the win sweeter for you.

    • Hi Karin! Loved reading your comments. I actually think you might’ve been the first LSU fan to comment. So, hit the Facebook button up there and let’s generate some fun! That’s really what it’s all about, right? Our Hawkeyes have been improving with every game so we hope to peak on New Years Day! Good luck to you, too!

      • Ha! Where is your sense of adventure??!! Surely, I am a glutton for punishment. But, I am the master of the comment board on my own blog….Garbage in, garbage out. Enjoy your day!

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