Husker Fan, pay attention. Your noisy neighbors are right in your backyard, and they’re raising a ruckus.
On Tuesday, Hawkeye coaches were part of an I-Club booster meeting at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. Hosted by Iowa play-by-play legend Gary Dolphin, the speakers threw a little red meat out for the 200 some Hawkeye fans in attendance (according to the Omaha World-Herald).
I hear everyone is fired up about Scott Frost coming here. Seems like a terrific guy, Dolphin said. But there’s a new Nebraska wave. It’s like this. Five fingers, and now turn your thumb in. That’s the new Nebraska wave, because four of the last five years we’ve kicked your butt.
(Full disclosure. I had no idea what Dolphin was talking about until my Hawkeye fan brother-in-law explained it was referring to Iowa winning four of the last five games against Nebraska, and the “wave” was more “hi, how are you” than “water crashing into the beach.” Apparently Dolphin is decipherable only if you listen to him frequently.)
That’s Dolphin throwing some significant shade at the Big Red neighbors, which is well-earned after Iowa’s recent success on the football field.
Regardless of what a smart and particularly handsome analyst has said, Nebraska fans have been reluctant to embrace Iowa as a rival. Many Nebraska fans still want to look down their noses at Iowa, treating them like Colorado or Kansas State, and pining for a return to an Oklahoma rivalry.
Iowa fans have no such compunctions. While head coach Kirk Ferentz held off on directly firing shots at Nebraska, this interaction (as reported by the World-Herald) is illustrative.
Ferentz said the two highlights of Iowa’s season last year were the wins over Iowa State and Nebraska. He later mentioned the 55-24 win over a ranked Ohio State at home, but when Ferentz mentioned the Nebraska win again, the crowd of about 200 interrupted him in applause.
There’s a couple of things to break down from that paragraph. First, Ferentz views Iowa’s wins over Iowa State and Nebraska as more highlight-worthy than Iowa’s utter decimation of then-fifth-rated Ohio State. That’s insightful in terms of how important Ferentz views beating his neighbors as opposed to the nation’s elite.
But what’s more illustrative is how the crowd reacted. An upset thrashing of Ohio State not only didn’t move the needle for the assembled Hawkeye faithful, but was interrupted by applause when Ferentz referenced the Nebraska win.
Do you get it, Husker Fan? Hawkeye fan really doesn’t like your team. Iowa fans have hated Nebraska since before the Big Red joined the B1G. And beating Nebraska four out of the last five years – the last two games by an aggregate score of 96-24 – is the answer to Hawkeye fans’ wildest dreams.
So what are you going to do, Husker Fan? Are you still going to just sit back and pretend this isn’t happening? Because this whole idea of thinking that you’re too good for a Hawkeye rivalry isn’t really working out for you.
It’s time, Husker Fan. The Hawkeyes have plenty of rivalry hate for you, and they’re right across the river. It’s time to give some of it back to them.