Next on our random tour of the Maryland Terrapin’s new opponents in the Big Ten Conference is the Iowa Hawkeyes. The nickname of the team stems from one of two possible places. One is that it came from the “The Last of the Mohicans” and was later used to describe the people of Iowa. The other possibility is that the term started as a term of reverence to Chief Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. Either way, the sports teams at the university use it and they have had a mascot called Herky the Hawk in place since 1948. People in the area will just say “Go Hawks” when rooting for the team.
The university is located in Iowa City, Iowa, in the eastern part of the state, toward the Quad Cities and very close to Cedar Rapids and Coralville. Because of the proximity to Illinois and the fact that the Triple-A Iowa Cubs play in Des Moines, there is some local sentiment to the Chicago Cubs. NFL sentiments are much more split between the Bears, Vikings, Rams and Chiefs, and even the Packers.
Football and wrestling are the biggest sports on campus, with wrestling winning 34 team Big Ten championships and 23 team national championships. Football has seen some decent success under former coach Hayden Fry and current coach Kirk Ferentz, but has not quite made it to the top 5 national level. Ferentz was the offensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 1996 to 1998. Former Sienna coach Fran McCaffery is making good strides to bring basketball back to the prominence it enjoyed in the 1980s. Men’s gymnastics, football and field hockey are some other strong sports.
While in the Iowa City you may want to listen to one-half of Washington DC legendary radio team Don & Mike, as The Mike O’Meara Show Podcast is played daily on 1630, KCJJ. That station also has one of the most unique and local morning shows on current radio with the Captain Steve and Tommy Lang going from 5:30am until whenever they finish.
Short’s Burger & Shine and Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack are two good food spots in the area, while Heyns Ice Cream can’t be beat. Iowa is the #2 party school in America so there are plenty of places to wet your whistle, but a personal favorite is to wander around the Ped Mall and hit up a place like Martinis or Donnelly’s Pub.