Random thoughts go through my mind as fast as a professional athlete makes a bad decision. So, quite a lot. One thought that keeps going through my head a couple of times per week is what if Iowa was deemed big enough for an NFL franchise. Obviously, and sorry to say this to Northwest Iowa, the team would be placed in Des Moines. Maybe Ames given the stadium there, but NFL and college teams sharing the same field rarely works out in the long run.
Unless you’re a team in South Florida anyways.
Facing the facts, the likelihood of Iowa getting an NFL team is about as likely as the Cleveland Browns winning a game this season. Slim to none, but watch the Browns rip off eight straight wins to make me look like a fool. The state might not have the ability to support a big league team, but there are plenty of AAA options for sports, but for this little scenario, we are going to pretend. Get out your imaginations, folks.
The first thing would be the team branding. Would they be the Iowa *team name* or the Des Moines *team name*? It seems silly, but it’s a valid point and question. Personally I’d stick with Iowa. Des Moines doesn’t roll off of the tongue that well and 90 percent of people from out of state cannot pronounce it correctly anyways.
So we’re the Iowa… what now? The team name would have to represent something about our culture. Like how Minnesota are the Vikings. Iowa’s known for a few things, first and foremost being swine and corn. I remember when there was a minor league hockey team called the Chops, which was flat out amazing before they disappeared after a year. In our Iowa franchise, we’ll be known as, and are you ready for this, the Iowa Cornhogs. Why the Cornhogs? Think of the logo. It’s a pig holding an ear of corn. Think of the cool shirts and hats with the logo. Think of the giant mascot. They’d be the ‘Hogs for short. I’m telling you this would work!
Now, for our head coach, it did not take me all that long to figure this out. Our coach is sitting in the NFL Network studios on Sunday, but let’s get him on the sideline. How great would it be to tab Kurt Warner as our head coach? Iowa legend as our first coach? Sign me up as a fan. Although it is dangerous to put a guy as a head coach with no coaching experience, but, heck, it works in Madden video games all the time, doesn’t it?
There would be an expansion draft where the Cornhogs would get a lot of not so worthwhile players, ensuring we would wallow in a few years on the struggle bus. That’s part of growing with your team though. Suffering through those pains of the early seasons.
However, one would have to worry about the appeal of big name free agents wanting to move to Iowa. It’s the same thing as Minnesota or Green Bay. Cold, harsh winters, and unlike those Vikings, we’d be playing in an outdoor stadium. Speaking of the stadium, there’d have to be one built which wouldn’t be super grand on our wallets.
There would be a sponsor for it, probably Wells-Fargo or another big corporation like that. Personally, I’d just let Zombieburger name the place. I am a forever shill for Zombieburger. But I could see Des Moines being able to handle a 60000 capacity stadium. With no dome. Words cannot express how much I dislike domes for pro teams. College and high school, I don’t mind it as much, but these pro players are the manliest of men, supposedly, and should be able to handle the cold.
What kind of player would fit the ideal as a franchise one? It’s a quarterback league anymore, but Iowa has never been known for producing a ton of quarterbacks but we’ve had our fair share of good ones. So, let’s take a look and have our top player be an offensive lineman. Heck, there could be a pipeline built up with the Hawkeyes churning out linemen for the new NFL team. So we’ll have a franchise left tackle to protect our quarterback and so on.
I like to think the team would be a balanced offense, mixing the run and the pass which would be good in our climate. Going to a pass first attack wouldn’t bode as well in the colder part of the season. Granted, it wouldn’t be a conservative game plan by any means, but it wouldn’t need to be pass on all three downs. A balanced offense of a good key to victory.
Defensively, a 4-3 defense would suffice. Personally, I’ve always been a big believer in the 4-3 over the 3-4. Maybe even switch it up to a 4-2-5. Regardless, in the NFC North, the 4-3 or 4-2-5 could reign supreme over some of the offenses. Or lack there of for the Bears this year.
This is all a giant pipe dream, but one I enjoy thinking about. It will never happen and that’s fine. We have some great minor league teams in the state.