Today is the Iowa Hawkeyes’ first home game. It may even be their first game of the season. I wouldn’t know because I’m not really much of a Hawkeyes fan (hence the lower case subject header). I sometimes pretend to be one just to irritate my Gopher obsessed family back in Minnesota…I even have a Hawkeyes shirt, but it’s blue rather than black and gold (I happen to like blue better than I like black and gold). I have nothing against the Hawks…really, I’m just not that into football. Neither is anyone else in my immediate family. In fact, I live with three males, and I probably know more about football than they do (thanks to 4 years of high school marching band). I know I throw a better spiral than any of them. But that’s not saying much. Believe me, the Hawkeyes won’t be recruiting me anytime soon. Neither will the 3rd-5th grade boys who play football around the corner every single day after school.
It’s actually kind of interesting to live in such a college-football obsessed community. Aside from my parents (who used to wrap themselves in really obnoxious Gopher attire from head to toe on game day…40 years after graduating from the U of M, my parents NEVER missed a single home game…and they drove 3 hours each way to go to those games, sometimes in blinding snow) people in Minnesota don’t get as excited about college football as people around here do. Sure, Minnesotans still go to college football games. They still turn on the radio and check the score. But the whole world doesn’t revolve around college football there like it does here. I think it’s because Iowa doesn’t have any professional sports teams…so all that enthusiasm goes into college sports.
And believe it or not, we’re actually still allowed to live here even though we’re not flying Hawkeye flags today (nor do we even own any Hawkeye flags). We even have friends! (Note the plural!) And many of them ARE Hawkeye fans. I think they put up with us because they realize that having friends who aren’t football fans has its advantages. For example:
1) If you spill coffee on your gold sweater (or you accidentally shrink your black pants), you can borrow mine! My world won’t come crashing down if I can’t wear gold or black on game day.
2) If you’re in the hospital on game day, I will still come and see you! And my attention will be on YOU (or on your brand new baby)…I won’t even ask to turn on the game because I won’t care what the score is. In fact, I will likely stay a long time if you’re at University hospital (especially if you have a brand new baby!), because I will arrive before traffic gets too bad and I won’t leave until traffic clears out.
3) If you work with Teen and you want to take EVERY game day off this fall, you probably won’t lose your job because Teen will likely take all your shifts. (Yes, he’s an official U of I student, but he won’t be at any of the games.)
4) If you’re moving, and you can only move on game day, no problem. We’ll still help you move.
5) If your kids and our kids are friends, and you want to go to the game, but you don’t want to bring your kids, you can leave them with us.
6) If you find yourself in the middle of ANY kind of emergency on game day, we will likely be home. We will likely hear our phone ringing. And our vehicles are probably not boxed in between five illegally parked SUVs. WE CAN PROBABLY HELP YOU!
7) Since it isn’t anything personal…it’s not that we don’t like THE HAWKS, we just don’t like FOOTBALL…we aren’t likely to fly a Cyclones flag on game day like those sad people around the corner. (Apparently, being a Cyclones fan is even WORSE than not being a football fan at all.)