Tag: Iowa Caucus

2016 Election: The Iowa Caucus

The results are in for the most undemocratic method of selecting the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, the Iowa Caucus, or any caucus for that matter. If you disagree, read this article MSNBC’s by Zachary Roth. Plus, I have family in Iowa who think this system stinks and most of them are Republicans. Leaving that …

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Thoughts on the Iowa Bowl

Like many people, I have friends who attended the University of Texas.  And like most people who attended Texas, they are passionate fans of the Longhorns, the University’s sports, particularly football, teams.  And while, to them, every Longhorns game is important, none of them are as important as the annual matchup between the Longhorns and the Aggies, the team of Texas A&M.

This is not merely a Texas thing; one can find the same phenomenon in locations as disparate as Florida (the Florida Gators versus the Florida State Seminoles), Michigan (the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans), and California (the UCLA Bruins versus the USC Trojans).  And while these intrastate games have real significance occassionally, often all these programs are among the nation’s best, and have other more significant games on their schedules.  Yet the bitter rivalries between in-state rivals persist over generations, and often surpass the more significant games in importance to both the students and the players.

This does not, upon casual inspection, make sense.  There is not a vast or significant difference between the students of Michigan and Michigan State – both groups are generally made up of mostly kids from in the state, a similar percentage of out-of-state kids, nearly all between the ages of 18 and 25.  The players for both teams are also similarly made up – mostly black men from urban or rural backgrounds on scholarship, generally performing below the average academic level of their peers.  Stranger still, the students and alumni at each school have much more in common with their opposite than either group has with either team’s players, and vice versa.  

So why does the rivalry exist at all?