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Don’t borrow, steal: an offseason requires desperate measures, and in a pinch we’ll be happy to do the pinching. We present a running series: Stuff _____ People Like, based on the painfully accurate Stuff White People Like. Today's episode deals with fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes, mind you, not black people and this guy. Worth noting, especially since there are no black people in Iowa.

Stuff Black and Gold People Like

Fried anything. Holy shit do we like frying things. It's not that only Iowans fry everything, but Iowans only fry everything. Go to the Iowa State Fair, but do so only at your own risk and with polarized lenses on your sunglasses; direct eye contact with too many fried confections will clog your arteries with Oreo paste.

Not meth. Sorry, Orson, but that's something that Red and Yellow people enjoy far more than Hawkeye fans, along with other mind-numbing substances like Oxycontin and Rep. Steve King (R-IA). On the other hand...

Hawkeye Vodka. This brand exists, it's about $11 for a handle, and it's every bit as gut-wrenching as you can imagine. Only the saddest, most pickled citizens can stomach shots of the Hawkeye, and consuming large portions in mixed drinks leads to complete loss of pants, motor control, and stomach contents, in that order, and in the span of about 15 minutes. It's a great way to spend a weekend, even if you only remember the world-altering hangover. Actually, it's unfair to Iowans to restrict us to Hawkeye. Let's broaden this out a bit:

All alcohol. Go to a Hawkeye tailgate sometime. It's similar to SEC tailgates in terms of volume (both sound and attendance), but there's a marked difference: SEC tailgaters cook. They socialize. They have fun. We stand around in 40 degree weather silently forcing Natty Ice down our throats and thinking to ourselves, "there's more dew than usual." This is a necessary result of having all our football games start at 11 a.m. Eventually, after 7 hangover-delaying Keystones, some asshole turns on his car and puts in his tailgate CD, which by default has...


Things take a while to get to our fair state, so yes, it's hot and fresh to us. This is Iowa, after all.

Making you watch us while we do politics. We're not actually interested in politics. At all. Our governor is just as stupid as your governor. But every four years, CNN shows up and we get to travel to downtown Des Moines and say things like "is that Shepard Smith crossing the street?" and listen to desperate politicians tell us things that not even they themselves believe. We are attention whores, pure and simple, and when you follow the cycle of one month prom queen, 47 months drag queen, you'll understand too.

The one-finger raised from the steering wheel salute when you're on a gravel road. We don't wave. We point up. Of course, Jimmy Bluecollar's not about to acknowledge you in return if you're driving an import, because his (male relative) didn't die in (war that may or may not have had any bearing on American security) just so you could ride around in a god-damn Toyota, son. Why can't you just drive a Chevy like normal people? You on marijuana or somethin?

Corn. Oh god, the corn. It's everywhere. Also, sadly, Children of the Corn was not a documentary, because this state would be a lot more interesting if unsuspecting teenagers were beheaded by rogue corn vines (which may or may not, you know, exist) every time they set foot in a cornfield at night. That'd make for some unforgettable yearbook pages every spring, wouldn't it? "IN MEMORIAL: Jared Carver, 1990-2007, car accident; D.J. Thompson, 1989-2007, evil corn demons ripped off skull. You will be missed."

No, Charlize, the corn vines! Noooooooo!

The Drake Bulldogs. They do things the right way, which is a nice way of saying their point guard is white. We're not racist, we just don't care much for the showboating and hollering and the rap music and gangs. That Adam Emmenecker, he just plays ball the way it was meant to be played, you know?

Nile Kinnick. Plain and simple, he's the Iowa football Jesus. He saved us from mediocrity. He defeated the unholy Catholics. He won the Heisman. And sure enough, he was cut down in his prime, dying in a plane crash as he trained for WWII off the coast of Venezuela two years after graduation. Sure, it's debatable whether he ascended from the Atlantic--his body, like Jesus', was never recovered--but we at least got his plane back. Fortunately, the plans to put his wrecked plane on display at the stadium were shelved, because when Nile comes back in the Rapture, that's the last thing He'll want to see, but we revere him nonetheless. Talk crap about Nile in the Hawkeye state and you will be ripped asunder, even by people who barely even know who he is.

Hayden Fry. If Nile Kinnick is Hawkeye Jesus (he is), Hayden is our patron saint. Sure, he was openly Texan (not that there's anything wrong with that, either), but we like to think that his down-home sensibilities applied to Iowa as well too. We like to pretend that anybody of decent character has that in common with us, though that's hardly the domain of Iowans. Still, the man in the aviators and the moustache built the football from nearly nothing, as well as training others to do the same at Wisconsin, Kansas State, Iowa State and South Florida. Again, any ill word of Hayden within the Iowa borders is cause for completely legal assault and dismemberment. It's what we do.

The missionary position. In the dark, without the distraction of music, and under at least two blankets. It's more intimate that way, you see, and we don't want to deal with all these freak show details that you see on the pornos and the internet. It's sex, not a goddamn circus.

Moderate obesity. This is not entirely unrelated to the previous item, since there's nothing appetizing about acrobatic sexplay coming from two people who resemble clean-shaven Saint Bernards engaging in Greco-Roman wrestling. The slobber gets everywhere, it's awkward and uncoordinated, and... yeah. Anyhoo, whenever the Hawkeyes go to bowl games, it's painfully obvious who the Iowa fans are in the city beforehand; not only are we wearing only bright yellow ("It's gold!" No, it's yellow. Gold is this and don't let us catch you wearing that) , but we're universally 40-80 pounds overweight and loving it. A steady diet of Bennigans and 4-month bitter cold winters does that to you. You wouldn't understand, Gator fans. We hibernate with mozzarella sticks.

Superiority. Despite everything that you may interpret as inferior qualities, readers, we wake up every day happy. We know it could be worse. We could be Cyclone fans.

Oh, denim. Is there anything you can't ruin?