Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cy-Hawk Trophy

It isn't what it looks like, it is what it represents.

This isn't a post defending the new Cy-Hawk Trophy - a trophy given out to the winner of the Iowa Iowa State football game - introduced last week by Iowa Corn. It depicts a family that makes a living from the farm they maintain. The Dad has his crop of corn while the Mom, Son and Child look on. This trophy has created quite a stir among fans of both universities which has led to a press conference by Iowa Corn tomorrow afternoon.

I've heard many say it has nothing to do with football. I've also heard it isn't a complete representation of the State of Iowa.

In 2004 Iowans were posed with a question of what they wanted on the back of their US Commissioned quarter which went into circulation later that year. The above artwork won out promoting the value of education in the state. Discussions ranged from education to farming to big business to honoring the Sullivan Brothers, a collective family all lost during the war. All great ideas which went to the vote of the citizens of Iowa.

The difference between the quarter and the Cy-Hawk Trophy? People of Iowa had a say in what the quarter would be. The trophy was ridiculed shortly after it was unveiled by those same citizens. This could've been avoided had Iowa Corn solicited input from the fans.

I think Iowa Corn could've done better with the design.  The idea was innocent, trying to be representative of the work ethic of Iowans. But it has been compared with statues found at a Hallmark Store and not something a winning football team would be proud to carry across the field.

Does it have anything to do with football? No. But had we not inherited a tradition of teams carrying an axe, pig or telephone across the field, what would those have to do with football?

Tomorrow Iowa Corn has scheduled a press conference. We're guessing it is to announce changes to its current trophy design. One social media site suggested placing Nile Kinnick and Jack Trice on top of a block with all of the scores. But what does that have to do with Iowa Corn, the company sponsoring the trophy and giving each institution money to benefit their athletic departments. I'm sure many would be willing to get a tattoo of Iowa Corn on their arm if it meant much money in return to them.

We all have ideas on what the new trophy should look like. Mine is to place an outline of the state of Iowa on top of square base. The corners would have an ear of corn, book (representing education), and a building (representing business). The 4th corner could be reserved for the corporate sponsor. And instead of placing scores over the year on the base, I'd place the words "Hawkeye State" or "Cyclone State" with the final score for each year. Something a little different than other trophies. But I'm sure they would be those who would disagree with this design as well.

But at the end of the day what matters is who wins the in-state rivalry. Over the years many fans didn't completely know what the old trophy looked like (and I'm not sure what was wrong with the old one), but took pride it was their team that won the game. No matter what the new trophy looks like, it will still come down to who wins and the final score. As it doesn't matter what the trophy looks like, it is what it represents.

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