Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How to Stick It to Your Rival

One of the more amusing pissing matches this offseason is taking place in the Heartland, where Iowa State and Iowa have been yellowing up the snow. It started with Iowa State officials jacking the ticket price for Iowa fans wishing to attend the Sept. 15 game in Ames between the rivals to $90. In addition, only 4,000 tickets are made available Iowa fans, many of whom can't fathom a Hawkeye game going on without their presence. So the only other way for Iowa fans to see the game is to — gasp! — purchase season tickets to Iowa State, which is trying to raise $135 million for a massive facilities renovation. Iowa officials are now considering opening the Hawkeyes' Kinnick Stadium on the day of the game for fans, charge a $5 or $10 fee that will go to charity and show the game on the scoreboard's video screen. Read the column by Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in comments.

4 comments:

SMQ said...

I thought that was a Louisville Cardinal on Southern Miss' mascot Seymour. And it was honestly pretty upsetting for a second, until I got it was Iowa-ISU. Then I stopped caring. But that is an effectively offensive little cartoon.

dawizofodds said...

2/28/07

Hawkeyes-Cyclones Series Reaches Boiling Point

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

Historically, it isn't Sunnis and Shiites, or Israelis and Palestinians. It's not even Ohio State Michigan.

But the rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa goes back a long way, and it's never been all that friendly.

In 1916, United States Commissioner of Education P.P. Claxton urged an end to the ISU-Iowa football series because of hostility between the universities.

After their 1920 meeting, they didn't play again until 1933 and 1934, then shut the series down until 1977. Had it been up to Iowa, the series might never have resumed.

Here we are 30 years later, and antagonism between the two again seems ready to boil over. Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard has done his best to turn up the flame.

First, he ran smack on an I 380 billboard in Cedar Rapids last summer, declaring ''It's a Cyclone State.''

That bugged Hawkeye fans.

Pollard said his reason was simply to give something to all the Iowa State fans in Cedar Rapids who felt a little shorted in attention. That the billboard was on the road to Iowa City was just one of those crazy coincidences.

The billboard was just a bit of frivolity. Something more serious was nstituted this year when the price for the 4,000 tickets allotted to Iowa for the Sept. 15 Iowa-ISU game in Ames would be $90.

All other tickets to the game have to be bought as part of ISU season-ticket packages.

Neither edict sits well with Hawkeye fans, who usually occupy at least 10,000 Jack Trice Stadium seats when Iowa plays there. The simplest answer is just to stay home.

But there are many in the Iowa fan base who can't fathom a Hawkeye football game going on without their presence.

By the way, anyone who thinks Pollard's policy will cause 10,000 or more seats to go unused for Iowa-ISU at Jack Trice Stadium is dreaming. Somehow, those tickets will get sold.

Adding to the tumult is the story that Iowa may open Kinnick Stadium the day of the Iowa-ISU game, charge a fee that will go to a charity, and show the game on the scoreboard's video screen.

It's one of those things that sounds good until you think about it. As much as fans enjoy tailgating with fellow members of their tribes, do they really want to watch the big game from a distance, on a television screen? Maybe they do. But they won't be in charge of the remote control during timeouts.

Does the university really want to add a day of shoring up security, parking and cleanup for something that wouldn't produce a profit

As a test-run, the university could have an NIT-viewing party in Carver Hawkeye Arena should the Iowa men's basketball team miss out on the NCAAs and play an NIT road game. Just kidding.

Something of more consequence to the ISU-Iowa series is recent discussions among Big Ten athletics directors.

They talked about possibly extending their football regular season to the last weekend of November or first weekend of December. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said the merits of increasing the number of conference games from eight to nine or 10 was discussed ''a lot.''

Michigan Athletics Director Bill Martin says playing more conference games is the way to go.

It's a minority opinion among his peers, I'm sure. The only fair way to determine a league champion is round-robin play, but try selling that to an Indiana or Northwestern that needs six wins to go to the Champs Sports or Motor City bowls.

Heck, try selling that to Iowa, which went to last year's Alamo Bowl with a 5-6 record against I-A opponents.

But should the Hawkeyes win the Big Ten title in 2007 or 2008 without playing Michigan or Ohio State, it would be called an illegitimate championship from non-Hawkeyes everywhere.

It also would increase sentiment for the league to switch to a round-robin schedule.

If, in some amazing way, the Big Ten did switch to a 10-game league football schedule, it would mark the death of good nonconference games involving league members.

To assure themselves seven home games a year, league members would play nonconference games only at home, nearly all against very beatable foes.

That would almost certainly mean the end of the Iowa State-Iowa football series.

So if the Hawkeyes want to find a way to stop playing the Cyclones, just go 80 in the Big Ten the next two seasons

mike.hlas@gazettecommunications.com.

Read Mike Hlas' ''The Hlog'' at:
http://cs.gazetteonline.com/blogs/the_hlog/default.aspx

Read his political blog at:
http://cs.gazetteonline.com/blogs/mike_hlas_on_the_campaign_trail/default.aspx

Anonymous said...

I thought it was the Gophers who beat Iowa in wrestling last week.

Corn Nation said...

Hey! That cartoon is all wrong. The Hawks suck - everyone knows that!