It’s been all over Twitter and Pat already parodied it yesterday but if you hadn’t heard, Iowa State and Matt Campbell went ahead and did some dumb shit and trolled Iowa by labeling them as the “team out east”. As seen here:
The countdown is on. pic.twitter.com/rC6ZLIi6vx— Iowa State Athletics (@CycloneATH) September 3, 2017
This, of course, is a blatant rip-off or “slight appropriation” of Woody Hayes famously calling the University of Michigan “that team up north.” It’s worth noting that Hayes called Michigan “that team up north” so that he wouldn’t have to actually say the word Michigan. Difficult to see how Iowa State doesn’t want to use the word “Iowa” when it’s actually in their university’s name but y’know, we’re not talking about the smartest group of guys here.
Iowa State has a nice history of “slightly appropriating” other program’s traditions and branding. Be it USC’s uniforms. Or McDonald’s uniforms. Talking about “Fight for Iowa State” when Iowa just rebranded as Fight for Iowa. Talking about “Move the Rock” when Iowa Breaks the Rock. They famously renovated a stadium that is nearly half empty by November, a tradition usually reserved for Northwestern University. They also minted a coin, a traditional function of the United States Treasury:
But we’re not here to talk about all of the sad appropriation that Iowa State has done over the years in an attempt to seem hip and on brand with teams that don’t have the third-worst winning percentage in Power 5 history. We’re here to talk about their sad history of attempting to troll Iowa and the ultimate results of said trolling. Of course, we’ll start with the famous “Beat Iowa” jerseys.
1977: The Beat Iowa Jerseys
The year is 1977 and it might seem hard to believe but Iowa State was actually the better program in the state. The Hawkeyes were still deep in the Iowa Football Dark Ages and hadn’t put together a winning season since 1961. Things weren’t much better under Bob Commings, a one time assistant under Forest Evashevski, as he’d only won 11 games in three seasons. Iowa State, on the other hand, was coming together under Earle Bruce, who finally broke a three-year slump of 4-7 records, going 8-3 in 1976.
Of note, Iowa and Iowa State hadn’t played each other since 1934 as the series was discontinued due to “rumored violence”. As the Cyclones were ranked 19th in the nation and travelling to Iowa City for the first time in 40+ years, there was such a buzz that the police doubled up their manpower to prevent any unpleasantness.* Speaking of unpleasantness, for some reason, Iowa State thought it would be a good idea to replace the customary “IOWA STATE” printed on the front of their jerseys with the words “BEAT IOWA.” Because, as we all know, once Iowa State gets the slightest sniff of success, they need to show that they’re the superior program. The result:
Iowa defeated #19 Iowa State by a score of 12-10, tore down the goalposts and partied all night long. The most wonderful part of the victory was the front page story of the Daily Iowan, written by Jay Walljasper, who opened with:
God Is in his heaven and all is right with the world because the upstart agrarians from the other university have been conquered and sent scurrying back to their sod houses in the western part of the state.
Walljasper then went Batshit Insanity and made up a bunch of quotes from people he didn’t interview about their opinions following the game. At Joe’s Place, a fan stated "I thought it was great and I'm the quarterback on the Iowa State freshman team. They beat us and there is no doubt about it." And at The Mill, someone reportedly told him "I think Bob Commings Jr. could murder three people tonight and never be charged."
I miss journalism like that.
* - Remember that we didn’t always live in a militarized state and didn’t need 1,000 police officers for a football game.
2006: The Cyclone State Billboard
The traditional narrative of Iowa State turds is that the scrappy underdog Cyclones jumped the overconfident Hawkeyes in Ames back in 2005 and defeated them soundly by a score of 23-3. Never mind that Drew Tate was injured early in the second quarter when Iowa was only down 6-0 and missed the remainder of the game. I mean, surely that had nothing to do with it.
Regardless, Iowa State did win that game and perpetually inconsolable shitbird Jamie Pollard, who blocked me on Twitter because I made fun of him getting kicked out of a high school basketball game for yelling at the referees (this totally happened), decided he’d capitalize on Iowa State’s immortal success by erecting a billboard on Interstate 380 that runs between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. As seen here:
The fact that it was a “Cyclone State” became an alternative fact on September 16th, 2006, as Iowa rallied from a 14-3 deficit to defeat the Cyclones 27-17. You might remember this as the game where Marshall Yanda actually killed a man in front of 70,000 people. Or maybe you’d remember Mike Klinkenborg’s emotional postgame interview, as he was asked about his father who’d passed away earlier in the week. Or maybe Kirk Ferentz’s emotional postgame interview, as he had flashbacks about losing his own father and coaching a classic football game only a few days later. There was a lot to remember that day.
2016: The Big Ten is a Joke
We’d all like to forget January 1st, 2016 but let’s be honest with ourselves: it really happened. Iowa was absolutely annihilated by Christian McCaffrey and Stanford in the 2016 Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes were already the whipping boy of the college football world down 35-0 at half, but then…then Allen Lazard had to chime in with this Tweet:
Besides Ohio state the BigTen is a joke.— Cinco (@AllenLazard) January 1, 2016
Now, a bit of context here. Iowa soundly defeated Iowa State 31-17 at Jack Trice Stadium in 2015 and won 12 games that season. Allen Lazard, a super recruit who for some reason decided to attend Iowa State, had won five games in his career. Even though the Hawkeyes were getting pantsed on national TV, he was in no position to troll. What’s worse: IOWA DIDN'T FORGET. Copies of his Tweet supposedly appeared in the Hawkeye locker room prior to the 2016 Cy-Hawk contest at Kinnick Stadium. The result:
It should be fresh in your memory but in case you needed a reminder: Iowa merc'd Iowa State 42-3. Allen Lazard had a nice game, catching seven passes for 111 yards but (SPOILER ALERT) no, he didn’t catch a touchdown. In his defense, at least he didn’t drop any balls.
As you can see, Iowa State has been trolling “the team out east” for around 40 years now. Has it had much success? Absolutely not. Is it adorable? Sure. Is Jamie Pollard going to stop? No. Is he inconsolable? Hell yes he's inconsolable.
Go Team Out East Awesome.