And then I wrote…

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus


... that I remember when I was a member of the basketball team at my parochial high school, and we played lots of other Catholic school teams, there were some players who made a habit of making the Sign of the Cross before shooting a free throw. And I remember thinking then that probably God doesn’t give a God ... er, ah, you know ... whether or not you make that free throw. But it can’t hurt.

I have been singing in the church choir for over half a century, the last 15 or so only at funerals.

I have been a fan of Iowa University football since 1948, and even more strongly so since spending four years of Saturdays in Kinnick Stadium for home games, and attending one or more games during the late ‘60s or early ‘70s, when the Iowa Press Association got us cheap tickets.

What does one have to do with the other?

Well, I and some fellow choir members used to complain when folks would schedule a wedding or funeral on a Saturday during football season. I used to debate with myself about whether or not I could skip the wedding reception or choir bit in favor of the football game. Maybe God would look with favor on my university team if I did what I consider my greater obligation.

I remember attending a wedding reception at a country club in Iowa one October day when Iowa was playing Indiana, and I spent most of the time in the lounge watching the game.

And I have since decided that God also does not care whether or not I skip one in favor of the other.


Iowa gave up 55 points to Minnesota earlier this month. The greatest number of points a Minnesota team has scored against an Iowa team since the infancy of my fandom, 1949.

By the time you read this, we will know whether Illinois also has whipped the hapless Hawks.

It was the Minnesota Gophers who devoured the Hawks. Gophers are furry little creatures that spend a lot of time underground. Hawks are major predators with powerful beaks and talons, and in nature, which wins that battle?

Illinois used to have an Indian chief sort of mascot. Maybe in these politically correct days that has changed. But I understand some Indian tribes are legally allowed to kill a few protected predatory birds to secure feathers for ceremonial purposes.

Or, horrors, maybe the mascot now is another furry little creature like a gerbil or a hamster, primed for revenge against Hawks.

Anyway, Iowa fans can probably cancel plans for a holiday season trip to a warm bowl location.

The Hawks are bowl eligible, but have not proven they are bowl worthy.

Do you suppose the Sign of the Cross might help? It couldn’t hurt!