Dear LSU Tiger Football Nation,
In Part 1, I have to admit, I got a little carried away with the whole stereotypical thing. I mean, you guys don’t really think Iowans are that far behind you on the high society ladder, do you? See, there is more you have to know about how we also celebrate your culture. For example, in Iowa’s own Amana Colonies they have been running an annual Cajun Festival for years. They bring in the zydeco acts, the fried alligators, the crawfish boils, the gumbo, the dirty rice, the wheauxle nine yards! Once in a while, people even show up! Seriously, it is well attended and has been a summer staple in Eastern Iowa for years. What makes this unusual, if you didn’t know, is that the Amana Colonies are historic German settler villages. You might recall from your history lessons that German Christians had to escape religious persecution and fled to the US in droves back in the day. Well, that was a long time ago. These days at the cajun festival, let me tell you, you should hear the Germans sing along with the zydeco and mash it up with the polkas. You don’t get that down in the Bayou.
Let’s see, where to take this story? I know! Meat and potatoes. We Iowans love our meat and potatoes.
As a matter of fact I took that picture of the meat and potatoes I prepared for myself tonight. But, where I’m really going with all this, and how it should relate to your Iowa Hawkeye team awareness is what makes up our meat and potatoes. You know, the basics of Iowa Hawkeye Football 2013. To be a successful team, it helps if your team has an identity – you know, what people think of when they think of your team. For us, in my humble opinion, our identity and the meat and potatoes is in our defense and, in particular, our three linebackers. They are all seniors and they arguably comprise the best linebacking corps in all of college football. I know, I know. I know exactly what your thinking. How could Iowa have the best of anything? Your head coach Les Miles had some very nice things to say about the Hawkeyes and even went as far as to say the SEC team Iowa reminds him most of is… Alabama. Miles said this week, “There are similarities between the Alabama team and Iowa.” On the defense, Miles added, “I really enjoy their defense. It’s a very, very disciplined, physical group. They play extremely hard.” Usually, what Iowa fans are used to hearing from opposing coaches is that Iowa’s defense is never fancy, doesn’t scheme a lot, and is very basic. They also rave about fundamentals and how well coached the players are. Fundamentals and basic sounds like meat and potatoes to me.
I would wager, if I was a wagerer, that James Morris is the fan favorite of the crew. Probably because he is all-Iowa. Small town, hard working, extremely sharp, well spoken, and a gifted athlete that is a playmaker all the way through to the post game celebration. His proverbial motor never stops running. James is the heart and soul of the Iowa defense which does, in fact, rank 7th nationally. I’ve taken a lot of photos of James over the last 4 years and here are just a few of my favorites.
The other two fellows at linebacker that will be tackling your boys are Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens. What makes all three of these guys fan favorites and contributes to that whole identity thing I mentioned is that these guys are as humble as they come and are the epitome of teamwork. We’re going to miss all three of these fine young men next season, but we’re certain we’ll be seeing more of them on Sunday afternoons next year. You should want your beloved New Orleans Saints to draft one of these three. I’ve watched quite a bit of SEC football this year and I am anxious to see how well Iowa’s defense stacks up against your Tigers. The only SEC team (which I know is the only metric you’ll even try to comprehend) to have a team defense ranked higher than Iowa’s is Alabama.
Another main ingredient in the meat and potatoes of Iowa football is their tight ends. Now, not to be confused with burnt ends as in Kansas City style BBQ , Iowa has a long, long tradition of producing some college footballs finest tight ends. As a matter of fact, the NFL employs five former Hawkeye tight ends today, led by current Baltimore Raven and former Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark. This year we’ve been known to utilize our collective set of tight ends differently depending on the game plan we’re trying to execute. Sometimes, and not quite often enough for a lot of Hawkeye enthusiasts, you’ll see a 3 TE set. That means three TEs on the playing field at the same dang time! That is a lot of meat and, while they won’t blind you with bedazzling speed, they’re sure to leave a mark.
Well, I need to go run some water and fetch up the dinner dishes. Before I go, I wanted to point your attention to a comment made in one of your local newspapers from an LSU fan who wasn’t too fond of the article that he had just read. The article was the Top 10 things to know about Iowa football and apparently it didn’t quite paint the picture he was seeking.
Well, sir. Let me take a stab at your question because it’s not too difficult. I have to roll my eyes a little before I say this, but who are you kidding? Of course there will be spread. The game is on New Year’s Day. Every Iowan has spread on New Year’s Day and it will most likely be dill.
Talk to you all on Part 3! Go Hawks!