|[a] Corn RF|
For several decades, the trophy showed a football player on the open field, defying invisible opponents and holding the ball in a precariously fumble-prone position. He is hurtling toward an enormous gold football, which blocks his path like 350 pounds of linebacker. Or a Mack® truck.
|[b] Cy-Hawk RF|
The reception was chilly, to say the least. The nicest negative comment was given by former University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry, who said (I paraphrase) that the family image is nice enough, but he can't imagine how it connects to a football game. Others have been far more critical, and comments have ranged from "did this come from a garage sale?" to "get rid of it."
They did. The Iowa Corn Growers' Association is going back to the drawing board. The silvery farm family has been pulled after the first episode.
|[c] Rivalry RF|
All of this got me thinking about authenticity. Up until now, these posts have focused on what we might think of as "positive authenticity"—authenticity that makes us feel good (loyal dogs) or, at the very least, neutral (tip jars). There is something else going on, though. We often have very strong opinions about things that appear to be inauthentic. We seem to know it when we see it, and that is even more interesting (everything "social" is) when the dislike swells into a storm of ridicule. This topic won't go away, and I will spend large chunks of time in future posts considering displays of (frustration over) "inauthenticity."
So what goes into an authentic football trophy? The Iowa debacle has raised that question for several writers, and they are worth considering: