Berry Tramel

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Big 12 football: Iowa State-Iowa trophy draws scorn

by Berry Tramel Published: August 22, 2011

These are not great times for Iowa State football. The Cyclones are sweating the potential breakup of the Big 12. And now, the new trophy for the winner of the Iowa State-Iowa football game is being widely panned by people in the great state of Iowa.

The Cy-Hawk Trophy once featured a football player and a football atop a base that had images of ISU and Iowa icons. But a new Cy-Hawk Trophy has been established. Sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the new trophy features a farm family gathered around a bushel of corn and a corn stalk. That’s right. A bushel of corn and a corn stalk.

The new trophy was unveiled at the Iowa State Fair, which makes this the biggest scandal of the Iowa State Fair since “The Bridges of Madison County.”

I love both corn and the state of Iowa as much as the next guy, probably moreso, but what the heck were they thinking? Everyone from Hayden Fry to Gov. Terry Branstad has questioned the new trophy, which is obviously a commercial endeavor and not tied to anything regarding history or tradition.

Why are they changing the trophy in the first place? I know, Iowa State-Iowa isn’t exactly Army-Navy or Ohio State-Michigan. No one in Iowa is burning down cornfields, the way that crazy ‘Bama fan poisoned Auburn’s tree at Toomer’s Corner. But still, that’s no reason to go messing with whatever tradition you have.

Can you imagine someone now trying to change the Golden Hat Trophy, which goes to the OU-Texas winner? Well, actually, yes. The trophy has changed. The Golden Hat was created in the 1940s as the Bronze Hat. When the hat was retooled in the ’70s, it came out gold, and thus a new name.

But that’s a small change. That’s not going from a football and a football player to American Gothic or Green Acres. Players from both schools love taking the hat off the trophy base and wearing it around the Cotton Bowl field. That’s an OU-Texas tradition.

Many in Iowa expect the Cy-Hawk Trophy to be redone. The new trophy has its advantages. It at least spread the news that Iowa State and Iowa played for a trophy. Not exactly common knowledge.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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