A couple months ago, we tried this with Kentucky, and a few members of Big Blue Nation missed the point entirely. We think that Iowa St. fans will be smarter. Here are some tongue-in-cheek reasons to hate the Iowa State Cyclones if you are fan of the Jayhawks.
- It's a popular joke in Big 12 country to make fun of Iowa St. and Kansas St. for constantly playing Jock Jams-type music to fire up their crowds. (Kids: Jock Jams were songs, usually dance, hip-hop, or techno songs from the early-to-mid 90's, that were popularized by sporting events, then quickly lost their luster as the calendar flipped to 2000, and it makes me feel incredibly old that I felt like I had to add that in-depth description). But I'm not here to make fun of Iowa St. for still bumping 'Sandstorm' in the year 2015. I love Jock Jams; they're the bomb. ("The bomb" was an expression used in the 90's to describe something as particularly cool.) No, my only beef with their music department is that they're not playing the best of the Jock Jams. Where's 'Strike It Up'? 'Tootsee Roll?' 'Pump Up The Jam'? Hell, I'd even settle for 'No Limit' or 'Tribal Dance'. You have an opportunity to go all out here. If you're gonna be a monkey, you might as well be a gorilla.
- Let's talk about Hilton Magic for a moment. Iowa St. fans talk about the Hilton Coliseum like it's friggin' Hogwarts or something. It had some moments in the 90's, I'll give them that. I have always respected the fact that even in down years, the crowd brings it. They're loud, no doubts there. But "Hilton Magic"? Take a look at Iowa St.'s home conference record for the last 12 years (selective endpoint, I know, but it does include the last three years, in each of which the Cyclones have gone 8-1). 63-36, for a 63.6% winning percentage. 63%? Not even two out of every three? And we're calling it magic? Then what does that make Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or Cameron Indoor, or the Kohl Center? You can't just throw some month-old Folgers in a stained mug and call it the World's Best Cup of Coffee.
One more statistic before we move on: over the same time frame, KU is 71-28 ON THE ROAD in Big 12 play, a nifty 71.7% winning percentage. Somebody call the Ministry of Magic, because apparently the Jayhawks have been inappropriately demonstrating magic in front of the muggles for the last decade plus.
- Fred Hoiberg's dad was a Sociology professor, and when Fred was just a kid with both a haircut and shooting stroke that could only be classified as "impeccable", the elder Hoiberg had two job offers on the table: one from KU, and one from Iowa St. He chose Iowa St., Fred grew up in Ames, played basketball for the Cyclones, and the rest is history. If his dad chooses KU instead, and Fred grows up in Lawrence, can we assume that he would play for Kansas? How would that change things? In 1995 he was a senior and scored 20 points per game, hitting 89 three-pointers. That same year, KU was a 1 seed, and was upset by Virginia in the Sweet 16. Would the theoretical addition of Hoiberg be enough to put Kansas over the top that year? How many hearts across campus that belonged to C.B. McGrath would Fred have stolen away? We'll never know. But I wish Papa Hoiberg would have had a better appreciation for KU's Sociology department.
- When you are attending a basketball game, it is unavoidable that you will disagree with the referees from time to time. And as a fan of the home team, it is also expected that you voice your disagreements out loud, whether that be in the form of a boo, a snarky comment, or a simple "C'mon, ref!" You wouldn't be doing your duty as a fan if you acted otherwise. However, there are certain fanbases that take this to an entirely different level-- for my money, Kentucky and Louisville are the two worst, and Iowa St. is somewhere in the top 5.
For these fanbases, every whistle or non-whistle that goes against their team is a personal affront. Every call they don't like is met with a howl of injustice, a primal scream of fury. You can actually feel the anguish pouring from the depths of their soul and through your TV screen. To them, every referee whistle is proof that life isn't fair; that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa; that maybe Oswald was acting alone. It's a grim reminder that all beautiful flowers inevitably wither and die; that some innocent men rot in prison while guilty men walk the streets freely; that the American divorce rate is almost 50%; that the only certainties in this cruel life are death and taxes. Every call they perceive as questionable reminds them that sometimes bad things happen to good people. And it's incredibly annoying to watch games that take place in those fansbases' arenas.
- In the summer of 2013, I was driving up to Minneapolis from Lawrence, and had to stop in Ames to fill up with gas. If I would have had my head on a swivel and really thought about it, I might've stopped in Des Moines instead-- but you know what they say, hindsight is Hugh Downs & Barbara Walters. Two pieces of background info real quick: I have a small Jayhawk decal in the corner of my rear windshield; and as of the day in question, the last two times KU had played Iowa St. in regular season basketball, this happened and this happened.
So I'm standing there, innocently pumping my gas and enjoying the wonderful Ames cityscape, when a jeep full of college bros rolls up on me and slams its brakes. The driver leans out the window and sneers at me, "Yo Jayhawk! F*ck Ben McLemore, f*ck Elijah Johnson, and f*ck you." Before I could even begin to respond, they peeled out and were gone.
On one hand, I could see classifying this as an under-the-radar reason to respect Iowa St., since it was definitely funny, and the delivery was perfect. (Other possible reasons: Kelvin Cato was a badass, I enjoy that their offense always bombs 3's, if Tim Floyd hadn't left for the NBA, Kirk Hinrich never would have de-committed and come to KU.)
But on the other hand....f*ck you too, bro. Rock Chalk.