Iowa and Iowa State have one of the better football rivalries you don’t hear much about. Sure, Iowa’s the much more decorated program historically, has won three in a row (the last two in blowouts) over their in-state rival, and leads the overall series 39-19. But 39-19 isn’t comically lopsided, Iowa State won in 2005 and 2007, and just a decade ago, the Cyclones were in the middle of winning five straight over the Hawkeyes. The point is, Iowa has a fine program, Iowa State is performing admirably under coach Paul Rhoads, both programs are impressively competitive for playing in a state without much of a local recruiting base, and this is a fine college football rivalry. A rivalry that deserves a way better trophy than this:
But that’s what Iowa and Iowa State will play for when they meet up on September 10. The trophy’s new design was revealed by the Iowa Corn Growers Association today, and it depicts “an Iowa family together after a day on the farm.” A press release boasted that the trophy touts Iowans as “caring, trustworthy, committed, and compassionate, stewards, mentors and educators.” That’s all well and good. We’re sure Iowans are all those things and more. But this is a football game.
Additionally, Iowa Corn CEO Craig Floss drove home the press release’s points, saying the trophy stands as a monument to “the people and characteristics that are uniquely Iowan,” but what we’re really interested in is imagining the circumstances under which a guy named Craig Floss becomes CEO of a corn-oriented operation:
Board member 1: Leadership abilities, good interpersonal skills, experience in relevant fields, good business sense: all important. But they’re all meaningless without what I really want reflected in our new CEO: what one needs to do to one’s teeth after enjoying a delicious ear of Iowa corn.
Board member 2: You know, I think I might have the right person for you.
Board member 1: Who’s that?
Board member 2: This guy here, Craig Floss.
Board member 1: Brilliant!
The saddest thing here, we think, is wasted potential. The team names are the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. Those are pretty cool-sounding names. And trophy name? Well, that’s the Cy-Hawk trophy. Is there a more badass-sounding trophy in all of college football rivalrydom? We don’t know of one. Just get someone with some sculpting talent to incorporate both a cyclone and hawk (eye included) into one design, and boom – you’ve got one of the best trophies in the country. Even the old trophy wasn’t anything spectacular, but at least it was…football. The new design is something we’d more expect to see on a diorama, or something. And for a heated rivalry, a trophy with a message this wholesome just isn’t getting the job done.*
*You all just dodged a bullet. We could have called the design corn-y. And sort of just did. But not in the post proper. You’re welcome.