116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It’s time for Iowa to turn a wrong into a right. Obviously, this means avoiding state government altogether.
So let’s take this fight directly to the people. With three months or so until the two teams clash in Ames, it’s time the Iowa-Iowa State football game gets a new name. A real name.
It will have to be an unofficial title, but the best ones often are just that. We call Michigan Stadium “The Big House.” We call Stefani Germanotta “Lady Gaga.” We call Superman, well, Superman. Sometimes a name fits.
It’s quite possible the Hawkeyes and Cyclones both will be ranked in the top 15 and maybe even the top 10 when they meet in Week 2 of the season, Sept. 11 in Ames. That hinges on Iowa beating Indiana and Iowa State defeating Northern Iowa the week before.
The Hawkeyes and Cyclones didn’t get out of the gate very well last year, so that’s a scenario, not an assumption.
When Iowa played at Iowa State two years ago, ESPN College GameDay came to Ames. That was with the Hawkeyes ranked 19th and ISU unranked but on the rise. That game felt big. This year’s could feel supersized.
As you know all too well, “Cy-Hawk” doesn’t get it done as a name for this game. It’s as dull and unimaginative as any rivalry handle in not just college football or even all of sports, but in all rivalries in every walk of life.
They took the first syllable of “Cyclones” and “Hawkeyes” and that was it? If your fifth-grader had a homework assignment of coming up with a name for the Iowa-Iowa State football game and submitted “Cy-Hawk,” the teacher would be telling you sixth grade isn’t a sure thing for the kid.
Look, we can’t get Iowa or Iowa State or Cy-Hawk Series sponsor Iowa Corn to go along with this and drop “Cy-Hawk” for something more stirring. They have their arrangement. That’s their problem, not ours.
In Chicago, people still call Willis Tower “Sears Tower.” Who can stop them? No one!
Here’s where I should offer you a great name that you would greet with instant approval, a name that will outlive all of us and be uttered with love and respect for eternity.
It would be something that is Iowa’s answer to the Apple Cup (Washington-Washington State) or Red River Shootout (Oklahoma-Texas) or Holy War (BYU-Utah), all excellent names.
I’ve got nothing. I considered “The I-80 to I-35 to Highway 30 Rock Fight,” but that would need to be reversed each year as the game moves back and forth from Ames to Iowa City. Plus, it’s a bit wordy.
I pondered something comparable to Oklahoma-Oklahoma State’s “Bedlam.” Maybe “Chaos” or “Anarchy” or “Mayhem.” However, as rousing as those concepts may be, the unhinged segment of the fan bases might take them literally.
“Harmless Mayhem” or “Nuanced Chaos” probably wouldn’t tug any heartstrings.
We mustn’t call it a bowl, because there is an Egg Bowl (Mississippi-Mississippi State) and an Iron Bowl (Alabama-Auburn). Besides, we’re not Mississippi or Alabama. Right? Right?
So, no “Corn Bowl.” Or anything corn-related. That’s lazy and plays right into the national stereotype of us. Iowa is about so much more than corn. Like … uh … er … ethanol?
I complained about this lame-name thing two years ago and asked for suggestions, but didn’t do it until the week of the Iowa-ISU game. That was too late. We need a name soon so it can gradually become part of Iowa’s DNA, like convenience store pizza.
The best of the replies from readers two years ago, by the way, was “The State's Highest-Paid Employees Take Their Free Labor to the Gridiron!” Which is great in content, but not very snappy.
So get snappy and smart here, and do the state a solid. Somebody, propose the perfect name for the Iowa-ISU game. If it’s something that bugs the gasbags in power, all the better.
By the way, if any of this puts me in potential legal jeopardy, you never saw it and we’ll never speak of it again. Until then, “Cy-Hawk?” Sigh.
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