Vander Sanden: Top Five Reasons Why...

Are you fired up for the big game yet? In not, you should read this. This week, CN's Luke Vander Sanden focuses on the top five reasons why players love beating Iowa. Once again, they are in no particular order, and obviously they are based on Luke's own personal experience, and those experiences he had with his teammates. Read editorials from the former players themselves, right here at CN.

1.  Call-in Show


First on the list is the one that I really am fond of, and I am sure many Cyclone fans are too, that is the post-game call-in radio show.  After a Cyclone victory, the radio call-in show is flooded with Hawkeye fans grumbling.  Some common topics that go along with every Hawkeye loss include how Hawkeye fans say, "Well if this would have happened we would have won." "If our defense would have made a big play on a big third down, it would have changed the game and we would have won."  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I find it humorous that they can't take a loss and give Iowa State credit.  It is evident that after an Iowa loss to Iowa State, there is always excuses and complaining on the Hawkeyes' end.  A year ago, it was, "If Drew Tate wouldn't have gotten hurt, we would have won."  He was unproductive at the very beginning of the game up to his injury.  Take a loss with class and stop finding excuses!  Period.  End of story.


2.  Cy-Hawk Trophy


Being a former player, I took a lot of pride in seeing the Cy-Hawk trophy in the trophy case.  To me, it meant a lot of heart, sweat, blood, and tears that go into winning that trophy.  That goes along with any rivalry in college football.  You hate your rival, and you hate losing to them.  This trophy is a symbol for the state of Iowa in terms of football.  Seeing no Cy-Hawk trophy in the Jacobson Building makes you, as a player, motivated.  Sure, the Iowa game is just the next team on the schedule, but it sure means a lot to the team to keep the trophy.



3.  Local Hero


What the heck does this mean?  Well, it means something to the Iowa boys playing the game of football.  See, there is this period of time, at the end of the spring semester, when players get about three weeks off before the start of summer workouts.  A lot of times, guys will try to get away for a while and go home to gather themselves before the long haul of summer workouts start.  Well, going home after beating Iowa the previous season means a lot.  You are looked up to back home.  You are almost the "Hometown Hero" in a sense.  I know I come from a Hawkeye dominated community and it really upsets me that everyone up there are Hawkeye fans.  I sure can't do anything about it.  What I can do about it, after a win over Iowa, is hold my head high and sort of walk with a swagger.  Or maybe I should say that the Iowa fans back home don't say a whole lot, other than come up with excuses or complaints.  There is nothing like going home and being a "Hometown Hero" for a while.  You are looked up to, and Hawk fans can talk all the crap they want.  All you have to do is, say the score and walk away!


4. Bus Ride Home


Number four on the list is the bus ride home.  This means the bus ride home with all your compadres that you have just won a hard fought game with against in-state rival, Iowa.  That bus is filled with laughter, guys talking about big plays, the so called psychological pink locker room, chants, the ISU fight song, and more.  I will never forget the bus ride home the last time we won in Iowa City, which was three years ago.  We were down big at half, and Seneca Wallace brought us back and was a big factor in winning the game!  There were so many players that made huge plays in the second half.  I don't think any Cyclone fan will ever forget that game!  All in all, not many things can beat riding back to Ames after beating Iowa in Kinnick Stadium.  What a great trip!


5.  Post-Game Party


Last on the list is the post-game party.  As a former player, I would say after beating Iowa in Ames, the night life is tremendous.  I will even go on a limb and say that this is the greatest night on campus of the year after a win against Iowa.  The campus is flooded with wide-eyed and excited students and fans.  You suddenly become a sort of idol figure to every student on campus that bleeds Cardinal and Gold.  Among other things, fans also hit up campus after a big win.  Why wouldn't they?  Might as well make it a full Cyclone party no matter how old you are. There is nothing like continuing your party all night long, and celebrating a victory over Iowa on Campus Town.  And there is no better way than doing it with your shoulders and head held high with all the fans that cheered their hearts out for you.  Ames is definitely the best place to be in the state when Iowa comes to town, and Cyclone Nation sends them back on their buses to Iowa City with a loss!




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