Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hawkeye Football's Externalities

September 9, 2007, 10:00 a.m.

Football's Externalities

The Hawkeyes got their home football season off to a good start in Kinnick Stadium last night, beating Syracuse 35-0 in their opening home game.

The performance of their fans in the adjoining residential neighborhood was considerably less impressive.

Look for "Football's Externalities, Sept. 8, 2007," one of the first of the "public" albums available at my Picasa site.

It is not my intention to identify individual students, homes, landlords or tenants. It is simply to try to portray, through pictures, the impact that the football program has on one of Iowa City's most historic residential neighborhoods when the football machine is fueled on alcohol and left to run without supervision.

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Anonymous said...

A few years ago I walked to an Iowa football game via Myrtle Ave. I was surprised when a kid walking in front of me simply walked over on someones lawn, then relieved himself. Apparently it never occurred to the moon he was pissing on someone's back yard, where their children or grandchildren play.

I conclude that the educational system, and perhaps parents have failed for a couple generations in instilling empathy and consideration in young people.

Even worse is this report from the San Francisco Chronicle.

90% of high school students admit cheating. The worst cheaters are those at the top of the GPA heap. They need high grades for the best schools, to get the best jobs.

Considering the cheating at the highest level of academics, science, sports, and business, our ethics generally suck.

Guess that is just pissing on the system, huh?

Anonymous said...


There is nothing new here. Drinking has been going on at these games for many many years. I basically grew up living on Melrose Avenue in the 70's.

People did stupid stuff then too...When Bob Commings was coach.

HeatherRadish said...

The last time I attended an event in Iowa City, an NIT basketball game against my alma mater, four junior-high aged kids spat on me just before the end of the game (they'd been running up and down the aisle the whole time).

My sister (Iowa grad) was with me and wondered where their mothers were. I'm pretty sure their mothers taught them that's how you behave at an Iowa game.

Anonymous said...

Football season is the worst time of the year in Iowa City. The culture of sports and -- even more so -- drinking, make Iowa City a dirty and disgusting place to live.

Anonymous said...

There is no other sporting event that I can think of that encourages such malignantly careless behavior. These fans think nothing of trashing the neighborhood and of pissing on private property.

Iowa has a unique physical plant that long ago outgrew the neighborhood, yet they continue to want to jam more stuff into the area.

Can anyone name many other major college football stadia that sit along side a hospital and near a residential area?

Fans urinated in full view of the patients at the hospital, so the UIHC put up huge planters to keep them out.

tOSU's 'shoe is near a hospital. But others have been constructed amid parking lots where drunk fans can cavort like idiots without trashing private property.

The problem also does not exist in pro sports. Imagine the 162 games MLB season if fans trashed neighborhoods each and every game. It doesn't happen with pro football either.

The money factory over at the Iowa AD should contribute to neighborhood cleanup. Seems they get a free pass on this.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the stadium staff have the right to bar visibly intoxicated people from attending the game? If they do, is that rule even enforced?

It seems to me that might be the best way to control this problem. Would students still drink to excess if they knew they couldn't get into the game stinking drunk?

Take the example of University Heights. The policeman there can't arrest everyone for speeding, just as staff can't keep everyone who's drunk out of Kinnick. But at least the appearance of strict, across-the-board enforcement of this rule will discourage a lot of people from drinking so much.

Also, I would look into not having any more night games. First, Kinnick isn't equipped to be a night stadium, and the Musco lighting trucks are a nusiance and waste incredible amounts of energy.
Second, those who binge drink will have much less time do do it if more games were scheduled for the morning or early afternoon. You have to imagine that a lot of these boobs had been drinking since at least noon.

Anonymous said...

First Off, Barta has said there will only be one night game per year. Most games are at 11 AM now. I expect the rest of them this year to be, and if one is later, it will be at 2:30.

Secondly, the Stadium was just its not going anywhere for 40-50 years at a minimum. There was talk of a new stadium out at Hawkeye Apartments area, but Kinnick was renovated again.

Third, the economic impact on the area is substantial for a home football game. Much more substantial than cleanup costs. No one is forcing private residents to allow football people to park or tailgate in their yards either. The University has pushed much of it off to the neighborhoods by the continual expansion of its own version of the Winchester Mansion aka UIHC. We park at Hancher now and take a shuttle bus.

Yes, they can deny people entry...but you would have to be literally falling down drunk.

People do stupid stuff, its not unique to Iowa City or football games.

Most of what I see here is based on a dislike of athletics at UI, which reeks of jealousy frankly at the resources they have. Of course, UI Athletics now takes NO general fund dollars and people like me give to them hundreds of $ a year. I would rather give it to them, which gave me enjoyment than the factory like academic programs who regarded undergraduates as nuisances and didn't care about anyone but the high end students or those specially recruited like certain minorities or those that gave them diversity. To the rest of us who got B's and C's it was ; Screw you. Well, now that I am the one making the money and donating it the shoe is on the other foot. I would rather give to the Pierre Pierce Legal Defense Fund than some of the Liberal Arts Colleges at UI.

Anonymous said...

1) Not sure where all the pictures are taken, but many residents along Melrose rent out their yards for a nice sum of money to vendors, and the drunks that end up stomping around them.

2) The vendors/university did a terrible job of providing trash containers. There was nowhere to put the trash.

Anonymous said...

I think that many of the people in the Melrose area do not rent out spaces on their lawns. It would be appreciated if their yards were left alone.

BFFish said...

Anonymous is right, few stadiums are near a residential area. Few stadiums are 78 years old. Kinnick Stadium, one of the most prominent historical landmarks in Iowa City, was built at the far reaches of western Iowa City in 1929. Residential housing came afterwards. Since football games and tailgating have been going on for decades, I would think that you would consider the surroundings before purchasing a home next to a football stadium. Your concerns seem no different than that of homeowners purchasing a home in a flood plain and complaining about a wet basement. Perhaps you could find a home next to a nuclear power plant and then complain about the view?
All other sporting venues have similar concerns. Please lighten up for 6 days a year and join the festivities.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there was housing in the area long before Kinnick was built. Tailgating hasn't been around all that long. It hasn't got out of hand until just recently. I don't think the residents are against tailgating as such. They are concerned about the behavior produced by student drunkeness.

Anonymous said...

I don't think people are anti-athletic. That is a smoke screen for dismissing the comments.

People are anti-idiot, anti-drunk, anti-destruction.

Having complained about the Kinnick behavior, it is better than the behavior at Soldier Field, where beer was served inside the stadium.

Kinnick won't move. Although it is a pretty average stadium, Iowans think it is the promised land. If only people cleaned up a bit, because in the end, the behavior isn't all that bad.

Anonymous said...

bffish, your analogy is faulty. We are talking about peoples' illegal behavior here, not a natural phenomenon. Most of us who have purchased houses in the Kinnick stadium area love football and love tailgating. We don't love public urination in our yards, we don't love picking up after people who drop beer cans in the front yard, and we don't love the defacement of our property. Have you ever had a perfect stranger barge into your house, demanding the right to use your bathroom? I have. My home should be treated as private property, no matter where it is located.

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