Teams: there are a lot of them. In our effort to bring you the finest "bullshit" coverage of college football, our Visiting Lecturer Series today welcomes Iowa Hawkeye blogger and Black Heart Gold Pantser Hawkeye State on Hawkeyes 2008. When you get "AIDSburger in Paradise" stuck in your head, blame him.
One: what color is your season? In other words, please explain the metaphorical state of your program through the metaphor of color:
Atomic Tangerine. Surely you remember Atomic Tangerine? Crayola started including it in the 72-crayon monster pack in about 1991. It was new. It was cool. It was...Atomic! Except it really wasn't.
When I was in school, I would inevitably end up sitting next to one of those poor bastards whose family couldn't afford any more than the 16-crayon pack. In an effort to show the ladies at my table that I was a giver, I'd allow the poor kid to borrow my crayons. For obvious reasons, the first one he would grab was Atomic Tangerine. After five minutes (or, in Iowa's case, 2002-2004), he'd hand back the Atomic Tangerine and return to his own crayons. The moral of the story: No matter how you package Atomic Tangerine, eventually we all realize it's just Chartreuse.
Crayola pimpin': required to describe Iowa's season.
Two: What historical nation and period do you resemble most right now?
Western Roman Empire, 5th Century A.D.
Adrianople came in the form of the 2005 Iowa State game, and the fall of our once-mighty empire has continued unabated. We are now surrounded by enemies once thought inferior and subject to our dominance (Iowa State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois) who keep poking the bear, waiting for a response that never comes. While we used to strike with great vengeance against such pathetic opposition, now we're making deals with barbarians like Bielema and the Zooker so they won't hurt us. As we all know, it ends with the sacking of Rome; given our offensive line play last year, that seems fitting.
Three: You have important players. Discuss a few of them hastily.
I shall discuss them using solely their given nicknames.
DT Mitch King: Ill Mitch, MK-47, Du Hast Mitch, (when paired with co-defensive tackle Matt) Kroul and Unusual Punishment.
TE Tony Moeaki: The Flyin' Hawaiian, The Rainbow Warrior (and, no, we don't care if he's actually from Illinois).
OLB A.J. Edds (pronounced "eeds"): A.J. the linebacker (we Iowans have to ration our nickname creativity, especially since the flood). A frequent BHGP commenter combined Edds' name and a horrible Rob Schneider-centered SNL skit and came up with "You Can Put Your Edds in It."
Four: Name two games we might actually want to watch featuring your team.
Finding two watchable games on this pu-pu platter of a schedule is practically impossible.
@ Michigan State (Oct. 4): If the Hawkeyes are going to win 9+ games, they will have to show significant improvement on the road. That being said, Iowa hasn't won a September road game against a bowl-eligible BCS conference school since they beat Penn State in 2002. Iowa hasn't won a non-conference road game against a bowl-eligible now-BCS conference school since - get this - Penn State in 1983 (unless, of course, you want to count the 2004 Outback Bowl). I'm not saying the Pitt game isn't important, but it might tell you more about Pitt than it does about Iowa.
Michigan State will show us far more about the Hawkeyes. Sparty is another projected middle-of-the-pack team, in the second game of what should be the easiest three-game stretch of their season. If Iowa goes to East Lansing and wins, the problems on the road might be solved. If Iowa loses close, we know nothing we didn't know before. If Iowa gets killed, I'm leaving BHGP to write a blog about unicorns.
@ Minnesota (Nov. 22): Six years ago, Iowa went to Minnesota to win Floyd of Rosedale and finish its first undefeated Big Ten season in history. The game started at 11:00 AM. Oh, and they serve beer. Needless to say, it did not end well for the Metrodome.
This year, Iowa comes back for the final Gopher game ever played in the Hump Dump. The game is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Minnesota is beyond terrible. The schedule is bad enough that we might have an outside chance at January football. We still play for the pig. Oh, and they still serve beer. Did I mention the game is scheduled for 7:00? Iowa fans might leave the Metrodome looking like Dresden.
Four-A: Save us all some time and mention the game we're better off NOT watching.
@ Illinois (Nov. 1): Last year, Iowa got:
The best performance by any defense against Illinois all year (including USC)
The best performance by quarterback Jake Christensen all year
Home field advantage
A 10-minute edge in time of possession
143 yards rushing from two running backs who graduated
A series of inexplicable decisions by El Redacto (including accepting two separate penalties where declining would have left Iowa with a fourth down - one of which led to Iowa's only touchdown - and substituting McGee for a healthy Juice WIlliams in the fourth quarter)
A fortunate ineligible receiver call which canceled an 80-yard touchdown catch by Arrelious Benn
...and they won 10-6. I have a feeling we might not get quite so many breaks this year. Plus, this comes between home games against Wisconsin and Penn State. Let's just avoid this game, shall we?
Five: Every hero forgets something in their toolbelt. What does your team lack?
If there's one thing we're not lacking, it's tools. the offensive coordinator is a tool. The offensive line coach is a tool. The athletic director might be a bit of a tool. The stands are filled with tools who booed a graduating cornerback on senior day.
To be fair, the cornerback was a tool.
Six: Describe your team with a Jimmy Buffett song. No, we're serious–do it.
"AIDSburger in Paradise". Why? Because fuck you, Jimmy Buffett, you fucking suck! That's why.
Seven: We're master wagerers. Give us a bet to place for up to ten dollars about your team.
The number of different starting tailbacks, over/under 3. The starter could be a former player who spent the past season at a community college without a football team and who was described this spring as "liking his television." Or it could be a JUCO transfer who wouldn't weigh 150 if he took the field in three sets of shoulder pads and the Tyra Banks fatsuit. Or it could be a true freshman who spent the past 4 years in the Wing T. Or it could be a walk-on named Paki. In other words, take the over. Take it to the bank.
Superb work. For further reading on the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Library of Congress recommends Schopenhauer, who wrote:
"A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes. "
A fitting summary of Iowa football in the 21st Century. If you hate dead-end German philosophy, try Black Heart Gold Pants for all things Hawkeye.