From time to time, I have explained Iowa Hawkeye Football as a relationship. Sure, no relationship is perfect. It takes some work. There are ups and downs. We’ve sure had some great times over the past few years… Like those nice little New Years Day dates... unexpected surprises like the catch in the Capital One bowl... The last two Michigan State games... The Ricky Stanzi Orange Bowl post game speech... Bowl wins... Magical bliss... good times.
Hawkeye Football usually goes about the same as that on again/off again girlfriend you have. It starts in the Winter... after the bowl game... we miss her. Sure... from now until the next Fall... we may flirt or even go out with the NFL Playoffs, or the upcoming Major League Baseball season... hell, we might even hook up with the Olympics to keep us occupied. But these gals are no Hawkeye Football... no way, no how.
The Spring Game comes along... You haven't seen her in a while. And booyah! Damn she looks good. REAL good. She's lost some weight. She's doing this new thing with her hair. And that black and gold outfit she's rockin'? Those one pair of jeans that make you go nuts. (humina humina humina)
But you keep it cool. You'll say hello... maybe grab a drink, but that's it. There's no need to get too excited, yet. You're not gonna call or anything... wouldn't want to sound desperate... she'll be back, right? There’s emptiness for most of the Summer. It's a long wait... Time makes the heart grow fonder so to speak.
The Big Ten previews start coming out late summer. Lindy's, Sporting News and Anthlon... all talking about how she is lookin' FINE. You go to the State Fair and pick up your Hawkeye Football Schedule Poster... you just know she's going to be back in your life. And things are going to be great again. Bam! Two weeks until that first game? You're back together... and it's better than the last year. You're heart goes pitter patter. Everything seems to be a little nicer... everything seems to be a little brighter. Iowa Hawkeye Football is your girl... and life is good.
During this preseason? You stopped at the jewelers in Pasedena. You were looking for a ring. A big ring. For some reason, you just felt that this was it. This was the time we were gonna settle down and be immortal for ever... every thing great and smelling rosy...
But this 2010 Iowa Hawkeye Football girl was a little more complicated than the past years. Expectations... dude, you were shopping for a damn ring! Yeah... this was as serious as a dry keg two hours before kick off at Kinnick. Yeah, that serious. For some reason, in the back of your head... you had high expectations... but we've all been here before... you just knew this year was going to be different… But something didn't smell right. Especially when her father got involved.
He's always has been suspect of us. Her father started putting these tailgating restrictions. All of those cops on Melrose. The parking lots at Kinnick weren't making you feel like you lived in the Hawkeye State, but a Police State. We should have known from the beginning that indeed, something was up... and it wasn't gonna end well.
Enter our girl... the 2010 Iowa Hawkeyes.
The season started off great. No problems. Good two dates in Iowa City. All is well. Great times. Then we took a trip with her to Tucson, Arizona...which seemed exotic for us. Things could get a little freaky, right? Like freaky nice. Then there was the whole time change thing and we were both cranky. Bad weekend. We probably said a few things to each other... at a bad time. But hey, that was just the time change and stuff. No problem, we can work this out.
The next week? Good times were had again. She wore throwbacks... because we're into that. Yeah man. It was nice. Then beating JoePa again?! *hearts* A win like that calls for a blissful night in the hot tub if you catch my drift. Beating Michigan? In Ann Arbor? Yeah... nothing could go wrong between us and our girl now, Hawkeye Football. Damn, she's the best girl, ever.
But... Here's where it gets a little rocky... or Bucky if you will. Freaking Wisconsin.
Yeah, she let them have the Bull. You know.... that trophy with the Bull on it. Yes... that hurt... but could you really be hurt about a trophy that was just made a few years ago? Nah. We'll forgive her. Turns out, Bucky was good this year... no Bull trophy could come between us... right? No problem. It's OK. We can forget about this one... Sure... we both said a few things we shouldn't have said. But we made up. Next weekend will be better, she promises.
Ole Sparty came to Iowa City. Yeah... she showed him the door. She's pretty cute when she gets angry and puts a beat down on the conference frontrunner... of the time. It's like when she crinkles her nose when's she's mad. So cute. That's why we love her. She was mad and everything was alright. Which made her mad in nice ways later if you know what I'm sayin’… Hey yo!
Then we took a little trip to Indiana. No problems, right?
Yeah, we stayed in Indianapolis. And yeah... OK, so we may have spent too much time at the Broad Ripple bars the night before. We were pretty cloudy in the morning. Missed the bus... but caught a cab to Bloomington just in time. We got on each others nerves, but that’s how it goes. We won. Things would get better if we just took a little get away to Chicago for the weekend, right? Yeah, that's the ticket. A nice little weekend in the Windy City. We'll go out, maybe take her shopping on Michigan Ave... maybe take in a Second City Show... you know... just for fun. A nice little leisurely trip to Chicago....
Sigh… Yeah, not good. This weekend in Chicago was supposed to the weekend where we make up... maybe we get on a bended knee. We'll get closer to Roses... LA... Become one...
She got all pissy about leaving the seat up in the hotel... lots of yelling... lectures on how I... of all people, I needed to grow up. How'd that go? Yeah... quiet trip back to Iowa from the Windy City. But... all is fair... Brutus was coming to town. How could we not get excited for a date like that, right? Yeah... maybe after a win like that we could make the ask.... forever. Well... that wasn't a good weekend for our girl, either.
We had a great time... it was intense... all of the stuff that keeps you interested in this girl... then... we must have said something wrong. With a 2:30 start... I'll admit, we probably had too much to drink before kick off... but, that never harmed our relationship before, right? Then... Awe dammit... pissed away... in more ways than one. Call us Popeye... because we just got owned by Brutus for our girl again.
But one last date to make it all better, right? One more and we'll have our selves a nice little New Years getaway where it’s warm and nice.
We love Floyd of Rosedale. He's child to us if you will... One more date up North. Nothing wrong could happen... could it? On to the Twin Cities and at this new joint. They don't serve beer. So... we're gonna need a little help to get her in the mood. We're gonna be outside... and from past experiences all year... we know we're in trouble with our girl. We would fight, make up and do it all again. Just like every single game of the season in the past. We prepared for this. But in the Twin Cities, well... we had a fight. Not just a lovers spat... put the kind of fight that doesn't end well with you're on again/off again girlfriend that is Hawkeye Football. The kind of fight where things are said and she kicks you square in the nuts.
Yeah, not awesome.
Was it something we said? Listen, I know Brutus the Buckeye is a handsome fellow... but him? Goldie? Goldie the freaking Golden Gopher? You had to let him win?! Really? Did that make you feel better? You let them have the pig?!! The Pig?!! Has it gotten that bad between us?! I know it was cold up there and all of that stuff... and yes, we should have bought you that designer winter coat at the Mall of America on our night out... Yeah yeah yeah... I know, it was freezing... but... you had to let them have the pig? You started to face facts... you knew this break up might be... final.
We were officially fighting after that chilly day in Minne-no-place.
That's when we got a little defensive. How could you?! After all the things, the tailgate restrictions by your father... all of our ups and downs... and now you're going to expect us to forgive and forget... and go to some Phoenix suburb for a bowl game?!! This is how this relationship ends?
This fight carried on. Off field problems. Players in trouble. Heroes disgraced... It was like she was playing a sick game of making us hurt. Rumors… charges… The embarrassment… This might be the final straw. It could be over…
Fast forward to this past week. You saw her texts... Missed calls… Voice mails…
Hit ignore... and delete.
Don’t pick up, dude... do not pick up that phone.
No need to put yourself through this again. All you get is hurt. And we all might have had enough pain…
But the funny thing about this girl named Iowa Hawkeye Football… she was your first and only… and it usually… doesn’t take much to get you back. That’s why you didn’t want to pick up that phone…
All that was waiting was more hurt on the other side of the phone...
Then… It happened. Just one spark. All it takes is one spark, and this one was some Ozark hillybilly Mizzou fan’s Facebook status talking smack about our girl…
No one, I mean no one talks about our girl like that. No one.
On Iowa! Go Hawks! AND GAME ON!
You pick up the phone… you dial and don’t even let her get a word in, “Babe, it’s me again. Let's work this out. Put on that black and gold thing you wear that drives me nuts and I’ll be there in a minute to pick you up. We’re going to Tempe.”
All of those heartbreaking losses… forgotten. Off field garbage? Forgotten. Iowa Hawkeye Football is our girl. And are we not going let some toothless low rent Big 12 school mess with our girl, right? Hell no.
We lock arms and head to Arizona. We're together again. *birds chriping*
So we get there and all the chatter for the game builds up. The Hawks have no chance. Missouri is favored. Too many distractions… this isn’t going to end well. Then you remember why we love her. This stuff just makes her pissed… and remember, she gets really really cute when she gets pissed. "Bring it... Mizzzzzourahhhh," she says in that hot chick voice. *hearts*
It’s Game Time at the Insight Bowl. We're baaaaaaack! Man did she look good last night. The Hawkeyes came out on all cylinders. It was awesome! Where was this Big 12 North super power we were sold on? Mizzou ain’t got nothin’ our girl. Then… Hyde’s interception for 6? Are you serious?!! Oh yeah, man. Oh… yeah.
Then, being the drama queen she always is… the review of that pass? It was of course incomplete… but not you and us, Iowa Football… you complete us. And that’s why the hurting has started to begin…
We have to wait until next Fall to see you again. I can hear Hawks fans say it, “But, but, but wait?! We just got back together?! You have to go?!” She does, man… She does…
Iowa Football will be back next year… and she’ll look as fine as she did last night.
So start the countdown fellas… I know that I, like many of you Hawkeye fans, are already counting the days until we’ll see our sweet sweet love again… Iowa Hawkeye Football.