I’ve been mildly obsessed with the idea of a Nebraska-Iowa rivalry trophy, so when the schools co-announced today that they would co-announce the rivalry game and possibly a trophy in Chicago on Friday morning (7 bells), my curiosity perked up.
What did they choose? Who picked it? Will there be a kernal (hint) of common sense that’s involved?
There was a hint, or so some of us sleuths imagined, in the press release. The word “hero.” Hmmm. A take on “legends and leaders” perhaps? A sign that Nile Kinnick, a football and World War II hero, might be involved?
I’d be okay with Kinnick. There are ties to both sides. Kinnick attended and played at Benson High. There’s a high school stadium in northwest Omaha named after Kinnick.
The problem is, as I’ve heard from many Husker fans, the name doesn’t resonate with anyone west of Omaha. And, actually, few Omaha Nebraskans really know the history of the man or hold him in the high esteem that most, if not all, Hawkeyes do. In fact, I’d wager few Husker fans even know who the man was.
So while a Kinnick Trophy would be cool, it would be more meaningful for one side than the other. That doesn’t work in a rivalry.
Mike’l Severe and Kevin Kugler had an interesting take on this topic on “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” on Tuesday. They posed the question: should you even create a trophy without a game being played in the rivalry? Shouldn’t you let a few, if not several, games play out and see what sort of tradition or flavor shows up?
Fair point. But I’m impatient. I want the trophy now. And, Iowa and NU have little tradition together so far. It might take forever to develop story lines. Or, trophy lines.
What will it be? I’d bet my season pass to Adventureland that my suggestion, Corn Belt, didn’t make the cut.
We’ll have to wait until Friday morning to find out. Set your alarms.