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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     Perhaps this week we have all learned a valuable lesson as Iowans. We aren’t the kind of people who like change to start with, but I think this one caught all of us by surprise. Last week at the Iowa State Fair the Iowa Corn Growers Association unveiled their version of the new CyHawk Trophy which will replaced the trophy designed by an Ames shop teacher in the 1970s.

     To the surprise of everyone the new one hundred and fifty pound trophy features a base with plates listing the years and scores of the “big game” and on top sports a pewter statuette of a 1930s looking farm family with a mother holding her daughter as the father kneels showing a young boy an exaggerated ear of corn. The shock from the fan base in the state of both schools isn’t something I think anyone expected and yet part of me wonders what the designers were thinking to start with.

     This year the Corn Growers took over sponsorship of the CyHawk Series from HyVee and we all hoped that would mean getting rid of that horrible cup that has been passed back and forth for the last 7 years to the winner of the competition of combined sporting events between the two schools. Early this year the Association asked each of the schools for permission to redesign the CyHawk trophy and in July it was announced the old one would be retired this year and placed in the Iowa Hall of Pride in Des Moines. Not only will there be a new CyHawk trophy for football, but to add to the confusion identical trophies will be awarded for men’s and women’s basketball as well.

     The comments since the unveiling haven’t’ been kind. From “it looks like it belongs on the shelf with Grandmas Precious Moments figurines” to “but it really doesn’t have anything to do with football”. I’m not sure what anyone on the design committee expected but obviously the results aren’t a fan favorite.

     Although I don’t find it as distasteful as many do, I will say that to me it doesn’t really spark the spirit of the annual in-state rivalry. In fact, the more I look at it the more it seems to me that this trophy is really missing its calling and would have been much better suited for use as a new trophy to be given out to the winner of the Iowa-Nebraska game every year.

     It’s our own fault really. We allowed money to become involved years ago. From the renaming of Sec Taylor stadium to today’s fiasco with the Corn Growers we haven’t learned that some things are better left unsupported by corporate dollars. Those dollars which incidentally come from you and I supporting those corporations. It started at the top with Pro Teams and even a few colleges handing over the naming rights to stadiums and trickled down even to the State Fair where you can’t walk a hundred yards without walking into some landmark that doesn’t have goofy looking corporate logos slapped across it.

     Unless there is some act of God or a statement forthcoming saying it was all a big mistake, it looks like the fans will be stuck with this lame duck for a while, but let it be a lesson to all of us that sometimes just because we need the almighty dollar, we don’t need to give up those pieces of history which are important to us. Most importantly let this be a lesson to you Hawkeye fans out there to stay vigilant lest Piggly-Wiggly decide to sponsor Floyd of Rosedale and replace him with that cartoon pink pig they use as their corporate logo.

See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.