Iowa, you are the recipient of a large amount of grief from Gopher fans and from me personally (well deserved I might add). I don't care for you very much. In fact, one might say that I hate Iowa. But I'm not one to allow the rivalry to keep me from tipping my cap to something that I think is legitimately cool.
You're welcome Iowa, don't get used to it. So why did I just doff my lid for the hated Hawkeyes? Because they're doing this before the Iowa/Minnesota game this November 14th:
Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith announced Thursday the squad’s 2015-16 schedule, including a marquee matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 14 to open the season. The dual, tabbed as the "Grapple on the Gridiron," marks the first time in NCAA history that two NCAA wrestling teams will compete in a Division I football stadium.
This had been previously rumored (well, unofficially announced).
The wrestling team’s official Twitter account (@Hawks_Wrestling) got the buzz started with a standalone tweet Tuesday that depicted "11.14.15" overlaying what appear to be football-field yard lines and hash marks. Later in the day, Hawkeye Wrestling Club member and international star Brent Metcalf tweeted, "@Hawks_Wrestling fans, tired of some other school holding the attendance record? This year (it) comes home."
While OSU was a good guess for an opponent, it wasn't until today. Why do I think this is a cool idea?
1) I like sports spectacles. I'm a person who likes being at things. Sure, sometimes that means you watch subpar hockey in very cold weather, but I'm ok with that.
2) I like things that take non-big 3 sports and put them on a big stage. Wrestlers don't get a lot of attention. Even Iowa wrestlers deserve a moment in the sun (even if to get it they must wrestle in the blistering cold).
3) They're doing this against a legit program. Oklahoma State is GOOD.
4) I like sports spectacle. I can't go to the Iowa game this year but if I could I would go to the dual (with a flask though...must have a flask for this). There is a chance 70,000 people show up for a non-WWE wrestling event.
If the outdoor dual happens at Kinnick, it would almost certainly shatter the NCAA attendance mark held by Penn State, which drew 15,996 fans against Pittsburgh in 2013. That broke the previous record of 15,955, which Iowa set in a 2008 dual vs. Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Kinnick Stadium’s listed capacity for football is 70,585.
This rare occurrence is well worth the price of admission.
5) Can you imagine how in the bag Iowa fans will be by kickoff?
Besides WhiteSpeedReceiver, is anyone else with me on this? I'm guessing I'll be in the minority on this one.