A year ago I embraced Hate Week. I dove head-first into the Hate Bowl and let my the dark side overtake me. I put so much energy into hating Iowa and it lead to one of the worst football games I had to watch (at least the game was fun for some). But this year is different. I am choosing good over evil, the light over the dark and I want to be a uniter, not a divider.
I understand the hate, I LOVE the rivalry and I don't really like the Hawkeyes; but I feel like showing a little Minnesota Nice to our neighbors to the south.
10 5 things I respect about Iowa
Coaching Staff - consider this envy and jealousy, but I covet their coaching staff. I don't necessarily believe that Kirk Ferentz is the best coach in the world or even the Big Ten, but I envy the continuity and consistency of their staff. Same coordinators year after year means the players know exactly what to expect
Offensive and Defensive Identity - the Hawkeyes are not the most exciting team to watch in the country. But they know what they do and they do it well. Much of this is due to consistency in coordinators.
- Well Traveling Fan Base - (please don't take this as a shot on Gopher Nation) Iowa is known as a fan base that doesn't travel well, they travel VERY well. Bowls know that and it makes a big difference in getting to good bowl games. I've seen Gopher fans travel well (NCAA Tournament 1997), but not with the same consistency as the Iowa base.
- They Make Noise in the Big Ten (occasionally) - Iowa is not fighting for the Rose Bowl year after year, but every few years they are in the mix. I don't expect the Gophers to be a perennial B10 powerhouse but once ever 3-4 years to have a legit shot at the Rose Bowl is much better than ever 40-50 years.
- Who am I kidding? - I can't even come up with 5. I hate Iowa, their fans, their team and nothing (I mean NOTHING) would please me more this weekend than seeing the Gophers avenge last season's loss and knocking Iowa back down the Big Ten standings. What I said above is all true, but Who Hates Iowa? I Hate Iowa!!