The Battle of the Alamo

It's good to be back folks. Now, to business:

Iowa has the most loyal college football fans in the country. How else do you explain a 6-6 overall record, a 2-6 Big Ten record, an 8th place finish in the Big Ten...and an invitation to the Alamo Bowl? Based on our place in the standings, we should be off to the retirement castles of Phoenix, Arizona, and the Insight.Bowl.

The Alamo Bowl, of course, is named after the famous Battle of the Alamo at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas, in 1836. Mexican General Santa Anna and 6000 soldiers laid seige to the fort for 13 days, killing all 250 armed rebels. The Alamo was guarded by a colorful cast of characters, including Davy Crockett, the frontier legend-turned-Congressman, who upon his January 1836 electoral defeat told his Tennessee constituents that "if they did not elect me they could go to hell and I would go to Texas!" Other defenders included Jim Bowie, who stole the idea of the 'Bowie knife' from his brother, and Lt. Colonel William Barret Travis, whose final dispatch during the battle read:

"The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered their demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat."

However, the battle turned the tide in the Texas Revolution. On April 21, 1836, Sam Houston's outmanned army, the first to use the battle cry "Remember the Alamo", defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Incredibly, Houston suffered only 27 casaulties while destroying General Anna's army (650 killed, 600 captured) in 18 minutes of fighting. Soon after, the Republic of Texas was a free country (they still had slaves, but that's another story).

Does anyone else find it unsettling that Iowa is the home team in a bowl game named after a battle in which the "home team" was completely and utterly destroyed? Perhaps "Remember the Alamo" can be our 2007 rallying cry.

This senior class has one final chance to do something of note-and the wrong end of a blow out ain't it!
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