In the early hours of Wednesday morning, an Iowa fan in New York City woke up and got dressed. The night before, he had meticulously prepared a sign on a piece of yellow construction paper, with an inside joke meant for his friends at home and stencil-perfect Tiger Hawks on each side of the obligatory "Go Hawks" that completed the message. He bundled up and headed out for 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the set of the Today show.
Also in the early hours of Wednesday morning, NBC fired Matt Lauer after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. Lauer was a host on Today for twenty years, and was a fixture on the program since 1994. News of his ouster broke just minutes before the morning's broadcast began; his co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, was clearly and visibly shaken by the story. Households across the country, regardless of their morning show allegiances, found NBC at 7 a.m.
It was precisely then that our man with the sign found a position, directly over Hoda Kotb's shoulder.
"Charvegas, Iowa. Go Hawks."
Once the primary story faded, the optics of the announcement became the story. Or at least it did on Colbert last night:
Charvegas is believed to be Charlotte, Iowa, population 368, located just north of the Quad Cities. Could be Charles City, I suppose. But while we've seen the Tiger Hawk at the Tour de France and heard "Go Hawks" in Dan Patrick stories, while we've seen the flag fly above College Gameday for years, it's fairly safe to say that yesterday was the highest-profile Tiger Hawk ever. Well done, random person from Charlotte.