Nebraska Football: Big Ten's Self-Importance Will Crush Charm of NU-Iowa Trophy

Patrick Runge@@patrickrungeCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2011

Photo from a post on the Eye on College Football blog by Adam Jacobi on
Photo from a post on the Eye on College Football blog by Adam Jacobi on

(The invitation to the Nebraska-Iowa trophy unveiling that almost certainly has already happened by the time you read this. Photo originally located here.)

Welcome to another issue of the Husker Hotwire, the sometimes-weekly, sometimes-funny look at Husker athletics!

The Internet has been an amazing phenomenon, transforming the world. Through the internet, dictators have been toppleddeeply held secrets brought to light and people have had more opportunities to enhance their manhood than ever in recorded history.

Unfortunately, some holdovers from the pre-Internet age still remain. One of them is the deadline, and this issue of the sometimes-weekly, sometimes-funny look at Husker athletics was due on Thursday evening. Which is unfortunate, as the name of the new Nebraska-Iowa trophy was scheduled to be unveiled on Friday morning.

Still, at least we knew that there would be a trophy added to the day-after-Thanksgiving clash between the Cornhuskers and the Hawkeyes. It was exciting to know that Nebraska and Iowa would be adding to the color and character of college football, standing alongside such unique and memorable trophies as the Old Oaken Bucket, the Telephone TrophyFloyd (the pig) of Rosedale and the Beehive Boot.

But those hoping for some additional regional color and character soon had their hopes dashed upon viewing the invitation to the unveiling. At the bottom, between the Hawkeye and Husker logos, was a very serious-looking definition of the word "hero," leading most to speculate that the trophy would be a Very Serious Thing honoring the history of the two schools.

23 Sep 2000: Quarterback Eric Crouch #7 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers scrambles with the ball during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers defeated the Hawkeyes 42-13.Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Because if there's one thing the Big Ten Conference likes to do, it's remind people that the "B1G" is full of Very Serious People who are Very Important and Very Historical. When Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference, the Very Serious People announced 18 different trophies that would be awarded at the end of each football season. With 36 names. And 18 hyphens.

So whether it's trying to win the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy or the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, the B1G will spend the whole football season reminding you about just how Historic and Important it is. Or indecisive, depending on which way you look at it.

Friday morning, it's almost assured that the overarching self-importance of the B1G will drown out any chance that the Nebraska-Iowa trophy will add to the charm and quirkiness of college football's trophies. But, by the time you read this, you'll already know that.

UPDATE: Mission accomplished. On Friday, the schools announced that the annual Nebraska-Iowa will be called the "Heroes Game," and will honor one citizen from each state (in much the same way that the ubiquitous "hometown heroes" segment of every local news broadcast in the country does) to raise money for local non-profit organizations. And, as the game has a corporate sponsor in local grocery chain Hy-Vee, the "Hy-Vee Heroes Game" (their words, not mine) the B1G finds a way to take care of their valuable corporate partners as well.

So the B1G stays true to form. While every other trophy game finds a way to capture the fun and excitement of the participating schools, the Heroes Game again reminds people that the new-look B1G is a Very Serious Place dedicated to higher and loftier ideals. And their corporate partners, of course.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  (M) Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is helped off the field by a member of the Buckeyes support team after the Buckeyes 31-26 victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Oh, and a final reflection on what's really important (and what isn't) in this announcement. What was missing in this announcement? What is the one thing that is central to every other trophy game played? The trophy. For the Heroes Game, the trophy hasn't been designed yet. Because, really, who needs a trophy for a trophy game?

BeeOneGee Conference Update

We here at the Husker Hotwire are committed to bring you continuing coverage of Nebraska's new conference-mates in the B1G Conference. Buckeye Hotwire continues to avoid any discussion about actual football by reporting that Ohio State has gotten around to banning Terrelle Pryor from having any contact with the program for the next five years.

And not-yet-fired Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith would like to assure you all that the banning was entirely to demonstrate the gravity of Pryor's misdeeds, and had nothing to do with the fact that Pryor would be ineligible for the NFL supplemental draft unless Ohio State suspended him. Nope, total coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.

People Getting Fired Update

Tar Heel Hotwire reports that North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis was fired by the university as a result of the academic scandal surrounding the program. At first glance, the move seemed bold, given that the Tar Heels were just over a month from the first game of their season. But then people realized that North Carolina basketball was still over three months away from its opening tip-off against Michigan State, so everyone relaxed.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JULY 17:  Hope Solo of USA looks dejected during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.  (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

Round Football Hotwire reports that United States men's national team coach Bob Bradley was fired by the United States Soccer Federation. Sure, everyone was shocked and disappointed that the US lost the World Cup final match against Japan, but to fire the men's coach shortly after the women's team underperformed seems more than a little harsh.

(And if you think adding this story is a gratuitous attempt to put Hope Solo's picture into this issue of the Hotwire...then you are apparently very familiar with the Hotwire.)

Husky Hotwire reports that Northern Illinois athletic director Jeff Compher has not yet been fired for announcing that the Huskies would like to play a football game at Wrigley Field this season. However, the announcement of Compher's dismissal can only be a matter of time. Because, you know, the last football game that was played in the Friendly Confines went so well.

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