In case you are among the majority of people that pay little-to-no mind to the Iowa/Iowa State rivalry, the teams play for something called the Cy-Hawk trophy. It used to look like this:
Apparently, it was deemed too old fashioned, so in order to give it a gritty reboot, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the new sponsor of the "big" game, commissioned a new one.
The winning design:
was unveiled at the Iowa State Fair (as opposed to the Indiana State Fair, which unveiled the losing bandstand design) and everyone loved it. Psych! Everyone (everyone) hated it.
I mean, consider that boring monstrosity:
The first thing that jumps out is that, while attempting to maintain a degree of realism, in detail everything is weirdly cartoony. The corn is creepily ovoid (more genetic modification, please!), and the little girls mongoloid head is damn-near larger than her mother's. (No doubt the result of eating that fucked up corn....)
While there seems to be a hint of a smile on the father's and son's faces, the mother seems to be looking down on the man with an exhausted judgement. "I left Des Moines for this? You said you wanted to be a farmer, Dave, but after nine years, you've only grown four ears of corn...."
Unlike the Big Ten, who reacted to the negative reaction of the new logo (which I don't think is actually that bad) and division names (which I absolutely think are that bad) with a hearty "fuck off, haters!", the Corn Mafia actually decided to go back to the drawing board.
I don't have an idea for a better trophy - mostly because I could give a shit about the Iowa/Iowa State rivalry - but I do not envy the designers. Not only are they tasked with satisfying the public, but also winning over the diverse Corn Growers Association....
Hahahahaha, just kidding. If even one out of the 17 members of the Iowa Corn Promotions Board isn't a middle-aged white guy, I'll eat that ugly ass trophy.
In reality, I do envy the designers of the next trophy. It's rare that someone can go into a creative and/or professional project knowing the only way they could do worse would be to literally shit on a plate and call it a trophy.