At its shortest distance, there are exactly 279 miles that separates Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Every year, one of the teams will make the 279 mile trek to face the other for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy, a 98 lb bronze pig given to the winner of Iowa vs. Minnesota. This isn’t a rivalry built on mutual respect, this has always been a rivalry based on bad blood. In 2002, Iowa beat the Gophers to solidify a Co Big Ten Championship and fans promptly tore down the goal posts in the Metrodome. In Minnesota’s last home game at the Metrodome before they moved to TCF Bank Stadium, the Hawkeyes pummeled the Gophers 55-0. Minnesota fans can often be heard chanting “Who Hates Iowa? We hate Iowa!” even when facing non-conference opponents.
I grew up in Iowa and spent most of my life in West Des Moines. The state has a population of 3 million; it doesn’t have the infrastructure to support an NHL, NFL, MLB, or NBA team. Because of this you get a lot of Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, etc fans spread out through the state. However, when it comes to college sports, there’s either Iowa or Iowa State and both fan bases are insane. Iowa fans travel so well that the Metrodome used to be nicknamed “Kinnick North.” Saturdays for me always meant watching the Hawkeyes play and is one of the big reasons why I’m a bigger fan of college football than the NFL. Since I’m now in a position where I get to cover the Gopher football team, I always look forward to Iowa’s visit and something I make sure I can have time to do. I can’t be a fan on the sidelines and as a working professional I remain neutral, but internally I was loving the game and final score, a 48-31 win with Floyd staying where he belongs.
Always thankful that I get to do games like these, being able to cover a team you grew up watching is always a humbling experience for me. It’s thankfully getting chilly out, the NHL and NWHL has FINALLY started meaning that Fall is almost here!
Canon 1DX Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV