I tried to rename the Cy-Hawk Trophy game, I really did.
At the top of this week, I wrote this column saying a visit to Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State game by ESPN’s College GameDay could be marred by such a lame name for the rivalry game. The state deserved better.
But does it? Well, that’s a question for larger minds than mine. All I know now is what I knew then, which is that coming up with a name that was snappy, fun and relevant is hard.
I asked for people to come up with something good. Sadly, they did not. The obvious name, many said, was Corn Bowl. Something to know, however, is that there was a Corn Bowl in central Illinois from 1947 to 1955, though it skipped 1952 and 1954. It was held on Thanksgiving, usually in lousy weather.
The last team to win it, in fact, was Iowa’s own Luther College. Go Norse!
Some of the least-objectionable names I got were Corn Row, Feast or Famine, Barn Burner, Sibling Rivalry and the Old Oaken Bucket. Wait, that last one is the name of the Indiana-Purdue game.
Of all the people who sent me their ideas, my favorite was Swarm and Storm. It puts both teams on equal footing with a word dear to their hearts. It has alliteration. It rhymes. Other than the fact it needs explaining to the other 49 states, I think it works. If we know what it means, everyone else can catch up. I mean, Iowa and Minnesota play for Floyd of Rosedale, and who cares if someone in Pawtucket doesn’t know the significance of the pig.
Swarm and Storm came to me from a former Iowan in Seattle. Perhaps it took being a thousand miles away for a clearer look at this.
However, we’re stuck with Cy-Hawk Trophy for Saturday. Presumably, the state will survive. Next year, though, we’ve got to do better.