September 13, 2012

Keep the rivalry friendly

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — By now I’m sure you’re either tired of hearing about this or you can’t hear enough about it.

This past Saturday’s 9-6 Iowa State University victory over the University of Iowa is probably the most watched sporting event in Iowa every year. Every fall, for the week leading up to the rivalry game, nearly everyone I talk to has some feeling about the game one way or the other.

For days after the game, it’s common to continue to hear about this game, perhaps more than any other during the entire season for either team.

This past Friday morning, I interviewed two guys from Iowa Hospice who were doing a food drive for the Ecumenical Cupboard in cooperation with our local Hy-Vee. The story was in the Monday, Sept. 10, issue of the Herald.

Hy-Vee shoppers could purchase food items in the store and place them in one of two carts. One decorated for the Hawkeyes and the other for the Cyclones.

This food drive takes the rivalry and not only keeps it friendly, but turns it into an effort that will help those in need. To me, this is a great idea.

Getting back to the post-rivalry-game talk, some people don’t handle it with as much dignity as others. I have numerous Hawkeye fans as friends and some of their reactions to Saturday’s game via Facebook were less than mature. I’m not saying they didn’t have a right to be upset. It’s just that their word choice was, well, something I can’t repeat here.

I’m also not too keen on people who automatically try to pigeonhole fans of the opposing team as having certain traits. Things like that can be said in a joking manner, but as soon as someone is serious about such sentiments, that’s when the maturity level kind of bottoms out.

From what I’ve seen, many people become fans of Iowa or Iowa State because of their upbringing. It’s almost as if they didn’t have a choice in the matter. If you were born in Iowa City, you’d be a Hawkeye fan, right? Conversely, if you are from Ames, wouldn’t you cheer on the Cyclones?

What I’m saying is, the Iowa/Iowa State rivalry is a good thing. It brings people together to have a good time.  As long as it stays a friendly rivalry, it will always be a good time.