Saturday, November 7, 2009
I'm Bleeding, but at least it's Black and Gold
I haven't read the forums or the newspaper chats, but I am assuming that Hawkeye fans are predicting the apocalypse. That's how it goes in the Hawkeye State... The fans live and die with U of I sports. When the Hawks are winning, no matter how ugly, all is good in the land of Oz. However when the great house of cards takes it's inevitable tumble, fans tend to hit the panic button. Fingers get pointed and names get called. It's an ugly reality in the world of Hawkeye sports... A fact I wish wasn't so. I do not plan on reading the paper. At least that's how I feel right now.. It's been a Sunday morning ritual of mine to sift through the Des Moines Register's Sunday online edition and read all things Hawkeyes. Tomorrow... Well I just don't know. Every article is accompanied by a comments section which allows Hawk fans or anybody else who wants to, to sound off about the article. There's been a lot of talk about the Hawkeyes' national powress lately, and everybody seems to be on the opinion that this is the year of the Hawk, like God has a special plan for our beloved football team. A 12-0 season is inevitable, and the only question is, what team will Iowa play in the national championship game... Or will they be unfairly dissed by the fucked up system that is the BCS? That of course is the chatter when the Hawks are winning. But I know these fans. All is not good in Oz right now, and this single loss is going to bring down the house. Ridiculous statements will be made about the play calling on the field, Ricky Stanzi's injury, and 100 reasons why we suddenly need to shake up the coaching staff and get some heads rolling. Never mind the 13 game winning streak, and never mind the good times associated with the said streak. With the house of cards in a bundled mess on the floor, nothing is right with Iowa football. Iowa fans love their team, but they cannot take a loss. Grateful Dead lyrics come to mind... I used to love her, but it's all over now. Obviously I do not feel this way. I have had a wonderful ride within that 13 game winning streak, and I cannot wait to see how the Hawks rebuild from this loss when they play the Buckeyes next week in Columbus. Even if they lose next week which is obviously possible, I will hold my head up high. If you would have told me in August that the Hawks were going to finish the season 10-2, I would have been elated... Especially with their difficult schedule. If the wheels fall of completely, and the Hawks also lose their final game to Minnesota, then I will still be excited about a record of 9-3. Barring a premature trip to the NFL most of this Hawkeye team will be back next year, with a more relaxed schedule. 9-3 will still bring a great bowl game, in some sunny location, probably after the first of the year. More importantly, 9-3 will set the table for a very exciting 2010 college football season. But I'm not throwing in the towel yet. Kirk Ferentz knows what he is doing. He has had this coaching staff intact for over a decade now, and they will gel through this, and more than likely come out smelling like a rose. Maybe this loss was a good thing, the week before the Big Ten showdown in Columbus. Nothing will open a team's eyes like an unexpected loss, and because Stanzi's injury doesn't seem to be too serious (cross my fingers) the Hawks should go into Columbus running on all cylinders. Of course that's the optimist in me. Personally, I think that the Buckeyes are one of the most perennially over-rated teams in the nation. I really expect Iowa's coaching staff to use this loss as a positive and to go into the Ohio State game angry and with purpose. The defense should be starving after this loss... Hungry enough to eat up Terrelle Pryor, the virtually untested sophomore quarterback that runs the Ohio State offense. Once again, that is the optimist in me. Meanwhile, the pessimist in me is just really hoping that this is the case. Or maybe it's my Hawkeye blood?