Sunday, November 23, 2008

Podium Piece Reprint: 11/10/08

A Great Weekend to be a Hawkeye

By now every corner of Hawkeye nation has heard the echo of the victory drums after this weekend's historic upset of Penn State. Fans and players alike braved the cold weather under the common banner of black and antique gold, the same banner that both parties raised as thousands flooded the field after the game-winning field goal of Daniel Murray split the uprights and gave the Hawkeyes their biggest upset in the Kirk Ferentz era.

Three hundred miles to the north of Iowa City a bevy of undergraduate Hawkeyes braved the cold for a different, yet competitive, purpose. Over thirty University of Iowa students climbed into a caravan of University Fleet Services vehicles Friday morning and drove to the Twin Cities. They returned in the dark of Sunday night victorious, even dominant. However, unlike their Kinnick-playing brethren the victory of these students will go unnoticed. Their efforts will not be covered by web sites or newspapers. Their representation of the black and gold means little to anyone but their peers and parents. The title of "undefeated tournament champion," and placing four teams in the top ten of a forty-four team tournament will, for no other reason than they don't play at Kinnick or Carver, earn these students absolutely no respect from the University community.

Every year upwards of fifty University of Iowa students compete in a season that lasts longer than college football and college basketball combined. They spend an average of nine hours a week, all extra-curricular, honing their skills and practicing while balancing their heavy course loads and jobs. By the end of their season these students will have traveled to both coasts and many cities in between, sometimes four to five weekends in a row. Unlike their west campus peers, they pay for almost all of the expenses out of their own pockets -whereas most of their adversaries boast school-provided budgets in the tens of thousands of dollars. Distinct from their west-side peers, these students graduate - many with multiple degrees, and with honors. Contrary to their peers who play at Kinnick and Carver, over the last ten years this competitive Hawkeye squad has not only made it into post-season play, they have consistently placed with high honors.

Even though their banners are not hung from the rafters of Carver; their accolades are not carved in brick, marble, or metal; their plentiful stock of trophies and medals gather dust in an unadorned cabinet, or various apartments closets, rather than being displayed with the fanfare of a three-story hall of fame; and even though their historical back-to-back national championships and seven year national top five finishes streak will not be used to recruit anyone to our institution, these students will continue to strive for greatness and will work tirelessly to uphold the name of "The University of Iowa." The University of Iowa Mock Trial students have pride in what they do for the University community, even if the substantial majority of campus and alumni refuse to honor their accomplishes and efforts. They bleed Black and Gold just as much as every person that was able to watch the football team win at Kinnick this weekend; and they deserve the same recognition for their accomplishments and success just as much as those that wear an Iowa jersey.

To all the students that competed over the last month in St. Louis, Des Moines, Washington D.C., Mt. Vernon, and St. Paul, that continue to earn the respect of other schools across the country, and uphold the level of competitiveness associated with "The University of Iowa", I would like to say, "Thank you. Keep doing what you do." It truly was a great weekend to be a Hawkeye!

Originally posted at: The Podium
Published in the Daily Iowan.