BLAWNOX (PR) - In a strange turn of events this week, the entire corn shucking fanbase of Iowa is looking past today's rivalry game with Iowa State, instead focusing on what they're calling a "return to our roots" in Pittsburgh next week.
Panther Rants was stunned to learn of this development so the staff telepathically contacted legendary Iowa Coach Hayden Fox to get his insights.
PR: Coach Fox, thanks for giving us some time. How are you enjoying retirement?
HF: It's Fry, thank you, and I'm enjoying retirement.
PR: You'll get the fries we promised after the interview. First, we'd like to know how Dauber's doing these days?
HF: Who? I think you've got me confused with someone ...
Editorial note: Coach Fox is nearing his 90s and has only slightly better mental capacities than Joe Paterno
PR: Nevermind. Let's move on to why we're speaking with you today. Coach, what's the deal with Iowa fans saying next week's trip to Pittsburgh is a return to their roots? We know they're a bunch of midwestern goobers, but we just can't see the connection. You're the most successful coach in the school's history, and you're from Texas. So we're having trouble making the connection.
HF: Well, you see, in the late 70s we at Iowa came to the realization that we had no real tradition of our own, so we were looking for a way to fix that as quickly as possible. The timing couldn't have worked out any better. We're black and gold, just like the Steelers who are clearly the most recognized football team at any level. So we stole their uniforms and slapped our logo on them.
PR: So, in lieu of being able to create your own football tradition as an annual also ran in the Fat Ten, you decided to just steal someone else's identity?
HF: Yep, and it worked, too. Our jersey sales went through the roof as many confused Steelers fans bought our jersey thinking it was a Steelers jersey. And in 1982, our games drew record television audiences as many people thought they were watching the Steelers getting some work in during the strike. It's been great for us and gave us some instant recognition.
PR: But, coach, wouldn't you rather that your program develop its own identity?
HF: Well, of course. But how the hell do you expect to develop any kind of national recognition when you're a half-assed program playing out in the middle of nowhere? Iowa isn't Texas. People there are more excited by the corn harvest than opening kickoff. We saw other benefits, too. The Steelers uniforms ... I mean, our new uniforms raised our national profile so well that we were able to recruit some athletes from outside the state. That meant we weren't losing guys for a month when they had to go home and help with the harvest. That led to us winning a few Fat Ten titles.
PR: You're serious?
HF: Hell yeah I'm serious. We even have four - well I guess five, now - Lombardi Trophy replicas in our football offices. What the hell, right? If you're going to sell out what little history and tradition you have, you may as well go all the way.
HF: By the way, what the hell happened to Pitt's uniforms?
PR: Let's not get into that, coach.
HF: Seriously. Are you Navy? Notre Dame? Maybe you should knock off the Rams uniforms.
PR: Do you know Chris Ferris? Well, anyway, coach, while we have you here, what made you leave Iowa for Minnesota State? Was leaving the Screaming Eagles for the Orlando Breakers as much of a mistake as it seemed from the outside? How's coach Van Dam doing these days?
HF: What? Huh?
PR: That's OK coach, we understand this is all probably a little bit too much excitement for you. What kind of fries do you want? McDonald's? Burger King?
HF: No, my last name is ... aw hell, just give me the McDonald's fries.
Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.