You can't go too far without someone asking you about the Iowa-Iowa State game. It might be considered a holiday for some in this state. People make plans around it, treating it like the most important day of the year.
Forgive me for not sharing in the hoopla. I don't cheer for Iowa or Iowa State. I went to The University of Northern Iowa. I get annoyed by the constant Hawkeye propaganda shoved into my face by overconfident fans, most of which pretend they used to play for the Hawkeyes.
In actuality, most people didn't go to school in Iowa City. The majority aren't alumni. Most people were just born and raised Hawkeye fans, and that's fine. Support your team proudly. I understand passionate fans are what makes the sports world go round but do people really need to "hate" the other in-state team? Do kids need to be raised to 'hate' Iowa State athletics, or any team?
"I hate the Cyclones" is a popular phrase in Iowa. The insults fly year-round. Tell me why. Explain how people can 'hate' 19- and 20-year old kids playing football. Some of these Hawkeye diehards hope Iowa State doesn't win a game all year. That type of thinking doesn't make sense to me.
I fully admit I don't have the passion for college football that most have, and in all honesty, it's the fans that have made it that way. Living and breathing with the Iowa football team has never been my thing, and never will be.
I don't live and breathe with any team, much less a college, where kids are more worried about getting laid and partying after the game. Again, I respect the passion fans bring to the table, it's necessary. And I understand rooting with bias for your alma matter. But fan passion can be very misguided most of the time, especially with some Iowa fans.
In this rivalry game, Iowa has the advantage year-in and year-out. It's been that way for a while. So why the chair throwing and name calling every year? Is it too much to ask for a civil Iowa-Iowa State football game?
If Iowa wins, Hawkeye fans should and will enjoy it. But act like it's happened before because we all know it has, 39 times actually, and the last four years. If Iowa State pulls the upset, how about acknowledging the Cyclones played a good game, and maybe, just maybe, Iowa isn't as good as fans thought.
The smart pick is Iowa by a few touchdowns. Another smart bet is that Iowa fans will be out in full force, letting you know how terrible Iowa State is. Maybe a more dignified game too much to ask for. Maybe there can never be a civil rivalry in this state. Maybe it's just too much fun to dog the Cyclones, or vise versa. I don't get it. And I probably never will.