One million years ago, or five days ago, UI received the OK to reconstruct Carver-Hawkeye Arena for $47 million. At the time regents approved the plan, I stood along Normandy Drive in Iowa City in knee-deep water. A man tried to drive his pick-up truck filled with heirlooms and possessions through the water and to safety. The truck never made it and filled with water. He called a friend about 100 yards away pleading for help. His friend notified fire officials, who assembled a rescue team and boated the man to safety. That was just one of many heroic events on both sides of the Corridor in one of the darkest days in state history.
A $47 million addition to Carver-Hawkeye Arena seems insignificant compared to people losing their homes and their possessions. Maybe in a few months people can look at this project and see value for all. For now, most people are consumed with tearing out drywall, disposing of blankets and throwing away family treasures than building a pair of basketball courts in Iowa City.
Our state needs to cry, laugh, embrace, swear loudly and eventually cheer. Sports will help the recovery of our state as much as the New Orleans Saints’ 2006 season helped heal Louisiana. But it will take time, as it should.