I hate Iowa. I’ve hated Iowa since before I can remember. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it goes back to 1981. Nebraska started 1-2 that year. Lost to Iowa at the beginning of the season, beat Florida State, then lost to Penn State.
That’s not it. That’s not the source of the hate.
Sometimes you just ask yourself, “What the fuck am I doing?”
You go and sit on the back deck and you wonder. You wonder. Then you wonder some more.
You realize that the best of your dreams haven’t yet come, but you also know you don’t want to just settle for average.
Average is what everybody does. You know what I’m talking about, fellow 50-year old guys, you can just sit there and drink yourselves to death. You can coast, mostly, in the right situation. You can just sit there and survey the world and get angry when someone says, “OK, boomer” even though you’re not 100% sure what it means.
Seems to be okay with a fair amount of people, a whole bunch contained in damned near a whole state, a place called “Iowa.”
Yes, they are average. They got no gumption to get better than that. They seem content. Good for them.
Me, I want to go somewhere. Get better. Get off my ass. Challenge myself. Get out of the house. Take chances. Shoot some sports with a camera even though it really doesn’t benefit me directly other than knowing I wasn’t sitting on my ass at home again drinking too much.
I believe that if you’re not doing something every day to challenge yourself, you’re dying. Read a different book. Talk to people who are different from you. Say hello to that girl at the deli counter you think is nice looking. Do shit.
I’m about 95% convinced I’m gonna jump in a frozen lake this January to raise money for charity. I asked my cardiologist if that was okay. Response:
Even though it will make it a little more painful, getting in more slowly - or at least avoiding the cannonball - may make some sense. A tough Nebraskan like yourself can tolerate slowly sliding into a frozen lake, just think of all the psychological pain you’ve been subjected to during Huskers football games since Tom Osborne retired.
That sonofabitch knows me well. He’s a Wisconsin alum. I love him dearly despite that obvious flaw.
If I jump in that lake, I’m just going in, probably not a cannonball, but I’m not sliding in. If it kills me, so be it.
I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane some time. I’ve been dead, but I’ve never been to Europe. Shit, I’ve never even been to Maine. Or New York City. I have a beautiful wife who’s been with me for her entire life (i have no idea either) and she deserves a guy who will get up and go do things with her because she is in great shape and her best and funnest days are still ahead of her.
There are so many things left to do.
Then you look at our opponent this week and you see... 7-5, 8-4, and that’s all they’re ever going to be. Oh, they did go 12-0 a couple years ago, then went to the Rose Bowl and got their asses stomped by Stanford. The Cardinal kept walking around stomping their shoes on the ground like there was shit stuck to it, a shit that wouldn’t come off, so they just kept stomping. Iowa’s biggest complaint was that the Stanford band made fun of them.
What the hell.
They are lukewarm and they seem to be perfectly fine with average, them Iowegians.
You should hate this idea. HATE IT WITH YOUR CORE.
Years ago I worked with IBM a lot. A manager there told me how they graded employees every year on a 1-5 sliding scale. If you were a 4 or 5, you were going to move up. If you were a 1 or 2, you were going to be fired.
If you were a 3 you were just going to sit there, in the same fucking place. Year after year. That’s where you were going to be. “Some people are perfectly fine with that”, she told me. “They’re decent employees, but they’re never going to be special, they’re never going to be great at anything.”
I know that our beloved Huskers have fallen on hard times. Two 4-8 seasons in a row. No championships for a while. A long while.
What you going to do? Stop trying? Stop yearning? Stop working? SIT ON YOUR FUCKING COUCH AND DRINK YOURSELVES TO DEATH WHILE BITCHING ABOUT THE WORLD?
No, you keep trying. Fighting. Throw off the complaints around you as if they are an old skin you no longer want to wear.
I still have days in which I have to fight myself to get out of bed. The headaches can be terrible. I’m still here, though, you mother fuckers. And I’m still trying to be the best I can.
This is why I see Iowa as a rival.
They are everything WE DON’T WANT TO BE.
Have they beat us up lately? Yes. Is life over? Are we done? FUCK NO.
They might beat us again Friday. It might be five in a row. But it might not.
This is the joy of life. Fighting to be better than average. Fighting to win. Fighting to get yourself out of bed if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be days that suck, that are horrible, and those days make you realize that the best days are so wonderful that’s what you live for.
FUCK THAT SHIT.
And FUCK IOWA.