Friday, November 20, 2009

Rolltide Symphony in J Minor

We have a good friend who can be seen all over Pensacola this time of year, embarrassing herself by waving crimson flags and shouting, "Rolltide, Rolltide." Check out any sports bar that may be showing Alabama football. You'll be forgiven if you mistake her for a crazy tea bagger.

The other day, she sent us a film clip, seen below. Either she was trying to convey her condolences or she was rubbing salt in our wounds. Alabama is still in the hunt for a national college football championship while the Iowa Hawkeyes aren't.

It's as if our friend were saying, "Sure, Alabama is No. 1. But Iowa can do something, too. Looky here, the Hawkeyes are a winner in farm machinery music!"

If she were sneering as she said it, then she was rubbing in the salt. The film our friend sent purports to show an --
incredible machine ... built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machine's components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa , yes farm equipment.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.
The problem is, the entire story -- and the machine -- is a hoax.
  • There is no "Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory" at the University of Iowa.
  • There is no "Sharon Wick School of Engineering."
  • There is no "Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall" in Iowa City, or anywhere else for that matter.
  • John Deere Co. has nothing to do with any of them.
  • The machine is not on its way to the Smithsonian Museum.
  • The reason is, as the Smithsonian patiently explains,"The Institution cannot accept a donation of something that doesn't exist."
As it happens, there is a Bancroft, Iowa (pop. 808). In case you're wondering, it's just twelve miles due west of Titonka (pop. 574). Even people in Iowa don't know these towns exist.

As for the University of Alabama, we'll put the U. of I's Bill LaRue Jones up against Alabama's Nick Saban any ol' time.

No comments: