Of course it will. That’s what happens in the land of “Leaders” and “Legends”.
Snideness at the insufferable pretentiousness of the Big Ten aside, this is, and despite what’s to come from out of the keyboard in a couple of paragraphs, actually a pretty honorable and classy endeavor two members of the conference will undertake.
As members of the (chuckle) Legends division of the newly-split Big Ten, Iowa and Nebraska will face each other annually in what the conference and the schools hope will grow into one of those classic Midwestern football rivalries. In what’s perhaps an effort to jump-start any potential rivalry, the schools announced Friday morning that the contest will become the 14th “trophy” game in the Big Ten, and, as you probably gleaned from the headline, will be dubbed “The Heroes Game”.
Here’s the press release explaining the idea behind the name:
And, while the goal is the same as other “trophy games” – win the struggle on the gridiron and claim the trophy — the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers won’t use their annual meeting to determine ownership of football bragging rights for the Corn Belt exclusively. Instead, they will use the national stage that will be Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium or Iowa’s historic Kinnick Stadium each autumn to honor citizens of their respective states who are, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities,” and they intend to work with a partner to do a good deed of their own.
The institutions plan to honor one citizen of Iowa and one citizen of Nebraska prior to each Heroes Game for their extraordinary act. These heroes will be nominated by friends, neighbors or co-workers and will be guests of the two teams at the game where they will be honored on-field during game day. Each will also have their name and hometown etched on the to-be-created Heroes Game trophy.
There’s no mention in the release as to whether Bette Midler will be involved in the game. Or if the name “Farmageddon” — thanks Twitter — was ever a consideration. Or if state regulations require corn to be part of the to-be-created trophy.
(Writer’s note: Yes, I know.)
In more serious and somber news involving “The Heroes Game”, it will be title sponsored by the supermarket chain Hy-Vee.
“We believe that the people of Iowa and the people of Nebraska are very much alike in many ways. Both believe in an honest day’s work, the importance of community and family, and both love college football and their football heroes. We also know there are citizens of our states doing exceptional things every day and we think they are deserving of some recognition and we look forward to using this game to do that,” said Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne.
“There’s little doubt that the football game between Iowa and Nebraska will have the full attention of our fans and fans across the country. In fact, in our state it’s been a topic of significant discussion for our fans since the official announcement of the expansion of the Big Ten last year. So, to have the opportunity to work with our friends at Hy-Vee and our new friends at Nebraska to channel that energy into support for something as deserving as the American Red Cross efforts is exciting,” said Osborne’s Iowa counterpart, Gary Barta.
Additionally, and as you can see sprinkled into the body of this post, the game will have logos and everything, which makes things about as official as it can get.
The first “Heroes Game” will be played on Friday, November 25 — the day after Thanksgiving — at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.