Once we arrived, the smell of pig shit was in the air. I figured it would smell like a farm, but did not expect the aroma to be this overwhelming.
We checked into the Golden Haug Bed and Breakfast. The three hotels that are in the city and 4 motels were all booked. This place actually has a hog farm in the back yard. Breakfast was good which included ham, sausage and flapjacks. The house does not have central air and the toilet is an outhouse, but hey, this reporter has been to Morgantown on occasion and is accustomed to this type of accommodations.
After breakfast, I was able to stroll through the town of Iowa City and the University of Iowa campus.
There is no doubt about it: the IOWA acronym is true... Idiots Out Walking Around.
There really is not much to do. We ran into several pig farmers, several corn farmers and a student that came down from Ames (home of Iowa State). The cumulative IQ in the bunch could not have been higher than 150.
I asked several questions about the “BIG GAME”. The farmers could care less. All the wanted to talk about was Nematodes (basically bugs that can destroy corn crop) and the rising waters of the Mississippi River.
Out to the bars we went to gauge the interest from the Hawkeye student body. We did a little bar crawl. We went to Brothers Bar and Grill, George’s Buffet, the Field house and Charlies.
I will say this, these people here do not like African Americans or what one bouncer told me “thump-thump music lovers.”
With the exception of Charlie's, these bars were rundown dumps reeking of urine and Pig Shit. Most were allowed to spit their tobacco juice on the floor. They have no club scene and the college bars are pathetic. With the flannel, black and gold and body odor; I kind of felt like I was at a Steelers tailgate.
I did catch up with one student who had a 5 o’clock shadow and was spitting tobacco juice on the floor. Annie Brubaker is a third-year horticulture major at Iowa. She said “We’ve been slinging cow shit at them Cyclone fans all week. I can’t wait to pull out a big win over them.”
When asked about her thoughts about the Pitt Panthers she said, “We ain't too worried about them, those city kids have nuthin on our boys. We feed em beer, sausage and corn here in Iowa. A pure recipe for success.”
There are some other things that I find peculiar from Iowa. And because I can't even make this stuff up on I-35 yesterday the highway was shut down for 9 hours due to a hog truck turning over. The truck wasn't the only thing that tied up the road, however. It seems that some locals came out to try and loot the pigs. State Police had to restore order.
Headlines that dominated their papers this week included:
- Postville plant officials face child labor accusations,
- Web site posts Iowans private information, and
- UI investigation report nearly done
I did speak with several towns-people regarding this. The overwhelming response was that “the girl knew what she was getting into. No doesn’t always mean no.” It must be a Big Ten thing, they sound a lot like Paterno.
We did not run into Tom Arnold or Hayden Fry, although we may see them tomorrow. I’ll have another report from Iowa City about the tailgate experience, the game and postgame.