Part of being a Hawkeye Nerd is the endless pursuit of Hawkeye-related information. Day after day, my obsession has me surfing the Internet from end to end for anything and everything Iowa Hawkeye.
I crave this information. I need it. I go into a horrible withdrawal without it.
Yes, the Iowa Hawkeyes are my heroin. And I am severely addicted.
My addiction almost killed me yesterday. Iowa's game against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers nearly gave me a coronary. In fact, it nearly gave me three of them.
The first near heart attack came at halftime as the result of a text message from my Texas Longhorn friend.
"ouch. just saw the score. looks more like Stanzi is a Panzi. and who is the special ed at rb?".
Smack talk among friends on Saturdays via text message is common. And this text was about as polite as they come, especially from a Longhorn fan. But it did its damage and the panic set in nonetheless.
Was this indicative of the country's opinion about the Hawkeyes? Was I wrong about Stanzi having a stellar year in 2009? Did Paki O'Meara really look that bad?
The second near heart failure started slowly. The attack began with 2:14 left, when Pat Grace, starting from his own 8 yard line, marched the Panthers all the way down the field into FG position. The predictable bend-don't-break defense of Norm Parker decided to go more break then bend this drive, allowing UNI to easily get themselves into position for a game winning field goal.
UNI lined up for the kick and my heart stopped. Now I know how Penn State fans felt last year.
And then came the blocked kick. The scream from the crowd surrounding me was more than enough to kick-start my heart back to life. We had escaped defeat.
Or did we?
Then I noticed the officiating crew congregating on the field. Was there another phantom flag (believe me, this game had more than a few)? Was it excessive celebration? What? WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?!
That's when the third near heart explosion began.
The seven-minute review by the officials after the blocked field goal felt like what I assume swallowing battery acid does. When they announced it was UNI's ball with one second left on the clock, it was like the battery acid had eaten all the way through my intestines and I nearly lost all control of my bodily functions.
I couldn't watch as the Panthers lined up for their second attempt at a game-winning field goal. I was too busy trying to talk my body out of giving up on life. Blocking a field goal is rare enough, let alone blocking two field goals, back-to-back.
Was Penn State exacting revenge on us by proxy?
Then LB Jeremiha Hunter saved the day...and my life...by reaching up and blocking the second field goal attempt as time expired.
A collective sigh of relief filled the air, much like the one I heard when Iowa stopped Syracuse's eight attempts at a goal line touchdown.
Two things are clear after defeating UNI: the Hawkeyes need improvement across the board and I need Hawkeye rehab before my addiction kills me.
I need to kick this habit...but not until next week. I just need one more fix to get me by...