Football in Iowa

This past weekend was a great weekend for the two largest state universities in Iowa.  My alma mater, Iowa State University, traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to face Johnny Goodman’s Huskers.  ISU’s program has fallen on hard times recently – or, more accurately, regressed back to the mean after several strong seasons under former coach Dan McCarney.  We hadn’t won in Lincoln since 1977.  Starting quarterback Austen Arnaud and running back Alexander Robinson (the conference’s leading rusher going into the weekend) were sidelined by injuries.  Several Cyclone payers were vomiting on the sideline as the result of flu-like symptoms.  

Not surprisingly, the offense sputtered and managed just nine points.  The much-maligned defense made those nine points stand up, holding the Huskers to just a single touchdown.  Nebraska made many journeys in to Iowa State territory, but were repeatedly stopped by an opportunistic defense that force seven fumbles (recovering five) and making three interceptions.

In East Lansing, Michigan, the University of Iowa (my wife’s favorite school) was caught in a defensive struggle with the Michigan State Spartans.  As the game wound down, there was a distinct possibility that the Hawks would also win a game by scoring just nine points.  I wondered if two 1-A school from the same state had ever won games on the same day with some few combined points?  (As a sidenote, Iowa won a game against Penn State by the score of 6-4 a couple of years ago).  

Michigan State executed a beautiful hook and ladder play during its final drive and score a TD to go ahead 13-9 with ninety seconds to go.  Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi lead the team down the field for one last chance at victory.  A Michigan State interception seemed to seal the deal – except that the defender had committed a defensive holding penalty on the receiver.  The drive was still alive.  With fifteen seconds left on the clock, Iowa had a first and goal on the seven yard line.  Three plays later, the Hawks were still on the seven yard line.  Amazing, the three plays had taken just thirteen seconds, leaving two precious seconds remaining.  Stanzi hit QB-turned-receiver Marvin McNutt for a TD to put Iowa up 15-13 with no time left.  By rule, the offensive team must attempt the PAT (because blocked PATs can be returned by the defense for two points).  Iowa “attempted” a two point conversion by having Stanzi take a knee on the attempt.

Mall Kiosks

I was at the mall with my family on Monday night.  As I approach the lotion kiosk that houses the incredibly aggressive sales people, I hear one of them whisper “that’s him” to the female employee, pulling her back toward the kiosk (where they belonged in the first place).  Male employee and I had a bit of a discussion a while back in which I suggested that he not harass people.  I responded to his whisper by saying “Yeah, it’s me – the guy who will file a criminal complaint against you if you harass us again.”  I really don’t like being rude to people (and am very polite 98% of the time, but I have very little tolerance for rudely aggressive sales people.  I have a right to walk through a mall without being pestered.  Hopefully the male employee is telling ALL of their employees to stay away from me.  That’s all I ever asked for in the first place.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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