Monday, November 24, 2003

clear skies for the hawk eyes

A loyal reader from College Station, TX asks:
While watching college football on Saturday, I kept thinking about you 

and wondering if the match up between your alma-mater and your place of
employment tugs at your loyalties in any way?
When I was in graduate school, I declared that I would transfer 50% of my college sports loyalty to whatever college or university was pleasantly wrongheaded enough to give me a job. I never imagined that I would be hired by another school in the Big Ten conference. My first semester here, I was invited to attend the Wisconsin-Iowa basketball game here by Jerry Marwell. I decided that I would be neutral through the game and even showed up wearing some amalgam of Hawkeye and Badger regalia. However, as soon as the game began, it was plain in my heart that I wanted the Hawkeyes to win. So, since then, my line is that I root for both the Hawkeyes and Badgers on all occasions except when they play each other, and then I root singlemindedly for the Hawkeyes.

My father and I were going to go to the game here in Madison, but then my Cousin Steve decided to get married the same day. So I ended up watching part of the Iowa-Wisconsin game on my parent's TV, and listening to the end of the game on some lonely stretch of Iowa highway as I was driving back to Madison.

Two years ago, my father and I sat in the stands and watched the Badgers defeat the Hawkeyes. He had just had the surgery for his cochlear implants and was stone deaf, so I had to buy a legal pad to communicate with him. I remember writing vile things impugning the skills and character of then-reserve quarterback Brad Banks, who the next year led the Hawkeyes to ten wins and finished as the runner-up in the Heisman. Which provides further evidence that Football Coaches Know More About Football Than I Do.

The Hawkeyes finish the season 9-3, which is quite remarkable considering how many injuries they had, and word is we might be playing in the Outback Steakhouse Bowl in Florida. No word yet on whether any of my college friends are making travel plans for the game. A different possibility is that we will end up playing in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX. The Hawkeyes have already been to the Sun Bowl twice in the last decade, and you would be surprised at how many Hawkeye fans believe that you really don't need to make more than one trip to El Paso to pretty much see the all there is to see.

No comments: