It's a manufactured tradition like any other: Iowa, Nebraska, and you averting your eyes the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, it's the Hy-Vee Heroes Game, a fake name for a fake rivalry between two cornfed schools, and they want to keep playing on Black Friday going forward.
Ever since the Huskers entered the Big Ten way back in 2011, the Nebraska and Iowa have met on the Friday after Thanksgiving as part of a game with an extremely generic trophy invented for the occasion. Next year, they're scheduled to play on Saturday, but the athletic directors of Iowa and Nebraska will ask the Big Ten to reschedule the game for Fridays from here on out to maintain the tradition.
As made-up and milquetoast as Iowa-Nebraska is as a rivalry, there's no real problem with this. With Texas A&M-Texas no longer a Thanksgiving special -- the Longhorns tried shoehorning TCU in, but, well, meh -- it doesn't hurt to have something every year.
But most importantly, on the most American of days, a day when we're hungover from food, Iowa-Nebraska is just so damn B1G. Here are some fun facts! about the Iowa-Nebraska rivalry:
- Here's what Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants had to say in their recap of this year's Heroes Game, after describing the general offensive woes of a game whose MVP was most likely an intense wind that made both offenses sputter.
This game was a remarkable display of incompetence, from the players and (especially) the coaches. In that regard, maybe it really was the most fitting way to end this miserable season.
- The only play of more than 20 yards in this year's game was a 25-yard pass to a tight end. James Vandenberg and Taylor Martinez combined to go 19-for-38 for 155 yards with two picks and no touchdowns.
- It can be argued that the highlight of the game was a wind-blown 61-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Nebraska 1 in the fourth quarter as Iowa tried to mount a comeback.
- Nebraska has won the last five games against Iowa, dating back to before it was called the stupid friggin' Heroes Game. The last time this game did not feature a ranked Nebraska team and an unranked Iowa team was 1946.
- If the Heroes Game was a game for or by various heroes, it would be called "The Heroes' Game". But since there's no apostrophe, its not possessive, and is most likely a game about Italian sandwiches.
- Iowa has scored exactly seven points in four of the last five matchups, because B1G. The last time they scored more than 13 points was 1979.
My point is, this is an American tradition dedicated to sloth and offensive ineptitude sorta kinda near a national holiday. Sure, keep it that way.