Sport: Hooping It Up Big in the Cornbelt

The invaders descended, 100,000-strong, on Des Moines early in the week, overflowing hotels, buying up every Teddy bear and Barry Manilow record in sight and lining up three-deep at Babe's and Scruffy's for pizza and sandwiches. In a scene straight out of American Graffiti, cars cruised downtown streets. Above, a local radio personality buzzed the cavernous Veterans Memorial Auditorium in a plane with wing lights that flashed GO, RAMS . . . HAWKETTES . . . TROJANETTES. Inside the arena thundered a cacophony of horns, shrieks and stamping feet, while medical technicians wearing...

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