Rivalry games are fun, plain and simple. There's nothing like a week of razing your co-workers, fellow students, and heck even family members. In fact the only thing that really tops it all is game day and the awesomeness that is tailgating in the Midwest. However, the wisdom of what's about to happen to one of the most bitter rivalries in this part of the country should be in question.
That's because the annual Iowa State vs. Iowa game, better know in those parts as the CyHawk game, is set for a 5pm Central kick time to air on the new Fox Sports 1 debuting in August.
Having personally experienced this game I can tell you first hand that things usually get started in earnest the night before the game and for a lot of people it doesn't stop until well after the game and most likely until sometime on Sunday morning when the absolute exhaustion that has been the past 48 hours sets in.
Putting a game that is fueled by pure hatred from most fans at an even later time in the day is not a smart move. In fact, we dare say said parties are just asking for trouble. Sure, putting the game on TV in a time slot that is likely to be all their own to showcase what has become a bitter and back-and-forth series over the past decade or so is smart business.
It's also stupid for those who will be on the ground. Having that three hour break in the middle of the day where most fans aren't drinking (yes, students have been known to flask it once in awhile – shocking, right?) is just a good way to control the crowd from utter madness.
If you think it's hyperbole that I speak, let me put it this way for you… This game is akin to Ohio State vs. Michigan being played at night (no, it's not quite as intense, but venture to Jack Trice Stadium in Ames for this one or any other year and you'll see it's not far off). Putting it simply, IT IS NOT A SMART IDEA.
Put already jacked up fans who've hyped up the game in the office, at school, on the playground, on message boards, and via talk radio all week together with alcohol and tailgates that are likely to go on all weekend (if not that then all day on Saturday) and you've got a dangerous cocktail (pun intended) for something less than fun.
Don't act like you don't know the superfan who, with about ten beers of extra liquid courage, will cross the line of good natured ribbing to outright stupidity and possibly criminality. We all have experienced that. Adding more fuel to the fire isn't smart, and that's exactly what a 5pm kickoff will do to this series.
Drawing from personal experience, the exposure gained by having this game on FS1 is not worth ruining what could be a very good day in Ames. Rivalry games should be played during the day – it allows fans time to digest what happened and begin to move on and it allows for cooler heads (and less intoxicated ones) to prevail in the aftermath of such a heated game.
Oh and since we're talking about the CyHawk game and all… I can't leave without asking you one simple question: Why doesn't the University of Iowa have a nativity scene on campus? Answer: They can never find three wise men or a virgin!!