Remember the Maine – 30 Days Till Kickoff

Sometimes, we Iowans get sick of the corn references. There’s more to Iowa than corn, despite what the rest of the world thinks.

Like pigs. No, I don’t mean the world thinks like pigs. I meant Iowa also has pigs. And soybeans. And cows. And college football.

Iowa hosts the Maine Black Bears in football Aug. 30, which is 30 days from today, July 31. Thirty days until the Maine Black Bears bring their special brand of chaos and danger to the Kinnick Stadium turf. Hang on to something.

Like Iowans who weary of corn being the first thing associated with their home state, Maine citizens (Maineiacs?) have lobsters. You think Maine, you think lobsters.

But Maine has a lobster problem. People aren’t driving to Maine this summer like they once did to buy those lobsters, driving the prices down. Of the lobsters, that is, not the gasoline.

Lobster has fallen to the price of sliced turkey in parts of New England. Which is less than $6 a pound.

For lobster!

We’re not talking sliced turkey here, people. We’re talking about the crustacean half of surf and turf. We’re talking about something considered a delicacy in Iowa and Nebraska and Montana and New Mexico and Tennessee and, uh, I’ve run out of states that come to mind. Oh yeah, Illinois.

This doesn’t help us, because Maine’s summer lobsters are mostly soft-shelled and too fragile to ship very far. Prices are typically lower in summer, because you have to go to the top of the Northeast U.S. to get them. So current demand is as soft as the lobsters themselves, because who wants to go through tank after tank of expensive gas to save a few bucks on seafood?

Anyway, you’d think corn-fed Hawkeyes would maul lobster-eating Black Bears in the time it takes to put on a lobster bib. Which is just what Maine wants Iowa to think. Northern U.S. black bears mostly eat fruit, but 10 percent of their diet consists of small animals.

Don’t take this team picked to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association Northern Division lightly, and DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!

Why would you, anyway? They can get cheap lobster.

Black Bears eat many different types of foods that people also eat, including fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, apples, and peaches. Black bears also eat small animals, but they account for only about 10% of a

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