The email came from reader Ken, who attached two regional Sports Illustrated covers — one from November devoted to the University of Iowa’s football team and the other the current edition, featuring Iowa’s basketball team.
“Oh Boy is this great! And just a short drive from Chicago,’’ he wrote. “B1G school with top-tier hoops AND gridiron. Oh boy! It’s great to be an Iowa Hawkeye (from Chicago)!!!’’
If it hasn’t dawned on you that Ken bleeds black and gold, give me your address so I can come and pummel you with a corncob.
I responded jokingly that perhaps Chicago should adopt the school, and, of course, it was like preaching to the University of Iowa spirit squad.
But is the adoption idea really so crazy? Iowa went to the Rose Bowl last season, and its basketball team is ranked fifth in the latest Associated Press poll. The school is only a 3 ½-hour car ride from Chicago.
No university in Illinois is playing at such a high level in both sports. Northwestern had a fine football team last season, but its basketball team can’t beat anyone good. Northern Illinois’ football team went 8-5, then lost in the Poinsettia Bowl 55-7. Its basketball team has been having a nice season, though it has lost its last three games.
Illinois … well, let’s not talk about Illinois.
If you adopted the Hawkeyes as your team, you’d have lots of new friends. About 29,000 Iowa alums call the Chicago area home.
Hey, you could do worse.
While you’re deciding, let’s agree not to tell Ken about the SI cover jinx — though seeing as how Stanford crushed the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes 45-16 in the Rose Bowl, he might have his suspicions.