Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard and Iowa AD Gary Barta announced today that the home and home series between Iowa and Iowa State will be extended two more years after the current contract conclude in 2025. I've already heard a collective groan from some fans who would rather see the series end. To them I ask a simple question- Why?
One fan on Twitter wrote this reply: "Couldn’t be more disappointed. Hate EVERYTHING about this dumb game. Imagine how much harmony would exist in Iowa if these teams never played. It’s so dumb, so over-hyped and also makes for the worst week of sports talk radio".
Yes, some fans can be obnoxious that week. But aren't those same fans pretty annoying every week? Some Iowa and Iowa State fans are never going to exist in harmony, even if the two schools stopped playing. And I personally love to see the "house divided" memes and social media posts, the couples who come out with one half in Iowa, the other half in Iowa State. I like seeing the "spirit week" vibe that some workplaces embrace, the friendly (and sometimes straight up vicious, but funny) banter between fans, and hey! The games themselves have been pretty entertaining too, and I say this as a Cyclone alum who watched her team lose five straight before this season.
As for the "worst week of sports talk radio"...I don't know what to say. Most of the time we're all doing a balancing act of talking about both schools, their opponents, their successes and setbacks, and we're regularly accused of being biased in our coverage one way or the other anyway. But for one week, we can focus all of our attention on both schools equally because they're playing each other! For one week, we won't be arguing about which team is "better", because that question will be settled on Saturday.
And finally, keeping a big nonconference game inside the state of Iowa benefits Iowa. Fans travel and spend their money in Iowa. We can catch up with our neighbors, and friends, and the folks we sometimes only see on fan Saturdays. I don't think the CyHawk series should ever end. And I'm glad we can stop speculating about its demise for a few more years.