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Friday, November 04, 2011

Know Your Foe - Iowa

The 7-1 Michigan Wolverines hit the road to face 5-3 Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. While Michigan holds a 40-12-4 record over the Hawkeyes, Kirk Ferentz's team will be gunning for their third straight victory over U-M -- something that's never happened before in the history of the series.  But you knew all that.  What you don't know is found below in another hair-raising edition of...Know Your Foe! 

The picture was crooked on the official
university bookstore website
Guess they weren't 1st in graphic design
History: The University of Iowa was founded on February 25, 1847, a mere five days after Iowa was admitted into the Union.  Not surprisingly, it was Iowa's first public institution of higher learning.  What is surprising is, regardless of what the seal says, the official name of the school is State University of Iowa.  But in 1959, the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts changed it's name to Iowa State University of Science and Technology (aka Iowa State). Due to the confusion, rather than change its name, the State University of Iowa Board of Regents approved using "University of Iowa" (UI) for everyday usage in October, 1964. So, to recap: Iowa is actually Iowa State, Iowa State is actually Iowa Tech, and officially there is no such thing as The University of Iowa.

Iowa takes great pride in claiming to "be first" in a lot of things, some of which even have nothing to do with being the first to install pink locker rooms for the visiting football team. It was the first U.S. public university to admit men and women on an equal basis. It established the first law school west of the Mississippi (becoming one of the first institutions in America to grant a law degree to a woman and an African-American, in 1873 and 1879 respectively). And in 1870, the university opened the first co-ed medical school, probably so that all those co-ed lawyers had somebody to sue.

Continuing on with its theme of firsts, SUofI was the world's first university to accept creative work in theater, writing, music, and art on an equal basis with academic research, and to put an African American on a varsity athletic squad (Frank Holbrook, 1895). Iowa also pioneered standardized testing, so we can all blame them for those damn scan-trons (or thank them for keeping so many Spartans and Buckeyes from getting into Michigan).

Location: Iowa City, Iowa. It’s the sixth largest city in Iowa, and was the first state capitol until 1857. The Old Capitol building remains and is a centerpiece of the Iowa campus. It’s tied with Stamford, Connecticut as the U.S. Metropolitan area with the highest percentage of adult’s holding a bachelor degree (44%). Much like so many of the locales that are home to Big Ten schools, Iowa City is a stereotypical college town. There’s a pedestrian mall that includes many of the town’s restaurants and bars. There’s a lively music scene. And it’s been ranked as the eighth most enlightened town by something called Utne Reader, and the tenth smartest place to live by Kiplinger’s.

Nickname: They call themselves Hawkeyes. The state of Iowa is known as the Hawkeye state. How the state (and university) got the name Hawkeyes used to be the subject of a bit of a debate. Some claimed the name is a tribute to Chief Black Hawk due to the Black Hawk War of 1832.  But the the Iowa Athletics site maintains that it originally came from the novel, The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper. In the book, Hawkeye was the name bestowed on a white scout who hunted and lived with the Delaware Indians.

Who's your mascot?
Mascot: The university has a costumed Hawkeye, known as Herky, who has been a symbol of the university since 1948. The university had had gone through a number of mascots, including Burch, a black bear cub who lived under the football bleachers until he was found drowned in the Iowa River in 1910 (the MZone's first thought: ask Brutus the Buckeye where he was that day). Herky was conceived by a journalism instructor and his name was selected based on a statewide contest. 

Herky's first appearance at a football game came in 1959, but he was soon banned from the sideline after a couple of problems. In Evanston he came close to starting a riot when he pulled the tail off Northwestern's Wildcat mascot, and he also caused a stir when he climbed an electric pole at a home game.

Originally made of papier-mache and chicken wire, today’s mascot has a couple seven pound Kevlar head versions: two wearing football helmets and one without. They heads are manufactured by the same Minnesota company that makes Sesame Street costumes, and cost a total of $5,880.

Colors/Logo/Helmet: Officially, they wear Black and Old Gold. For a previous Iowa KYF, Andy searched high and low, but could not find any related story as to how and why they picked these colors. And let's be honest, the “gold” for Iowa is really more of a yellow. But given that they grow a lot of corn in Iowa, it makes sense that their gold is more "corny."

The logo is something called a Tigerhawk and was introduced in 1979 when former head football coach Hayden Fry arrived from North Texas State University. Fry was allowed to hire a marketing group to create the logo to in an effort to reshape the image of the Iowa football team which hadn't had a winning season since 1960. It must have worked, because Fry turned the Hawkeyes into a respected football program where he gathered 143 wins, 3 Big Ten titles, and 14 bowl appearances in 20 years.

Although, as we stated in a previous post here at the MZone, if you turn it on its side, their logo looks a lot like Fred Flintstone.  You be the judge:

And their uniforms look a lot like those of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, another change courtesy of Hayden Fry's attempt to make the woeful program he took over play like winners by looking like winners. With the approval of the Rooney family, Fry basically copied the Steelers uniforms. Prior to that, Iowa had a series of non-descript yellow and black helmets. About the only thing that has changed on the Iowa helmets since 1979 is the addition of a small, circular yellow decal containing the letters "ANF" on their helmets; the acronym stands for "America Needs Farmers" and was intended to draw attention to the economic plight experienced by many farmers in the American midwest.

You can spot the difference by noting that only one of the
teams above would lose to the Minnesota Gophers

Fight Song: The Iowa Fight Song was written in 1951 by Iowa native Meredith Willson, creator of Broadway play The Music Man.  The song only has 61 words, yet the word “Fight!” appears nine times.  Hell, the word “Iowa” only shows up four times.

The word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,
Let every loyal Iowan sing;
The word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,"
Until the walls and rafters ring (Go Hawks!)
Come on and cheer, cheer, cheer, for IOWA
Come on and cheer until you hear the final gun.
The word is "Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA,"
Until the game is won.

Academics: According to the latest US News and World Reports rankings, Iowa is #71, tied with BYU, V-Tech and fellow B1G school, MSU.  However, they more than make up for this so-so ranking with a #4 spot on the Princeton Review list of the Top Party Schools.

The pride and joy of the University is probably the Writers’ Workshop. The Workshop is a two-year residency program which ultimately requires a creative thesis, usually a novel or a collection of stories. It was the first creative writing degree program in the country and it’s alumni have won a dozen Pulitzer Prizes, and four graduates of the program have been named U.S. Poet Laureates. So I’m sure if Know Your Foe was in the hands of a Writers’ Workshop grad it would be much more interesting.

This is either Hayden Fry or a
police sketch of a serial killer
Football: Football was first played as a club sport at Iowa in 1872, but it was not a varsity sport until 1889 (and may not be again after last week's loss to Minnesota). They lost their first official varsity game to Grinnell College in the one and only game they played that season. The next year they won a game. Ten years later they went undefeated and were offered a place in the Western Athletic Conference, which later became the Big Ten. Iowa has won eleven Big Ten championships, the last in 2004. Nile Kinnick won the 1939 Heisman Trophy, beating out Tom Harmon (#Bullshit). In 1970, Michigan’s Bump Elliott became Iowa’s Athletic Director a year after Don Canham replaced him as coach with Bo Schembechler (#NotBullshit).

Over the years, 92 Hawkeyes have been named a first-team or second-team All-American, and 22 have been named consensus first-team All-Americans. They have produced three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Michigan native Paul Krause. Nine players and five coaches represent Iowa in the College Football Hall of Fame, including 1985 Heisman runner up Chuck Long. As previously mentioned, Hayden Fry brought Iowa football back to life in 1979. They have been a consistently tough Big Ten opponent since (although, did we mention they lost to Minnesota last week?).

Other Sports: The University of Iowa currently fields 24 varsity teams. But when you think Iowa sports, you need to begin with wrestling where they rule. Legendary Olympian Dan Gable and 2 other coaches have led the wrestling Hawkeyes to 21 national and 32 Big Ten titles, includes nine straight national titles (1978-86). Their men’s basketball team has had some success, making it to three Final Fours. Their baseball team made the drive to Omaha and the College World Series in 1972.

Famous Alums: Famous non athletic Hawkeyes include Actors Gene Wilder (who was once married to U-M alum Gilda Radner), Tom Arnold and Ashton Kutcher. TV news anchor Tom Brokaw and Pulitzer Prize winner Tennessee Williams and novelist John Irving . The founder of famous public opinion poll, George Gallup was a football player and editor of school paper. Grammy winning singer Al Jarreau and Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) both spent some time in Iowa City.  And they must live with the shame of Lou Holtz on this list as well.

Iowa alum Gene Wilder and the pre-Hayden Fry Hawkeye football team

Ron's pick: I believe in our kids, and they'll keep it rolling. This is not last year or the year before. They get it done.

Michigan - 28
Iowa - 17

Yost's pick: Last weekend was a huge game for Michigan. Not only wasn't it a loss, but it wasn't close. They put away an inferior team and didn't let them hang around or let them back in it. And before The Dark Period, Saturday's game in Iowa would probably be a road version of last weekend. But, even after their loss to Minnesota (did we mention--? Nevermind), Iowa is 5-0 at home (0-3 on the road). So while they played poorly last weekend, Iowa isn't a bad team (right?). Still, are these Wolverines really going to lay an egg for Brady Hoke during his birthday week? Just can't see it. Very close. Comes down to the forth quarter but I think we pull it out.

Michigan - 28
Iowa - 27


DrCatie said...

I am in Minneapolis this week for Business. Leaving today, however I did notice the HUGE deal that they have made of beating Iowa last Saturday. Coming from Michigan and our record in MOST sports the last few years I fully understand their joy of winning. My business associate said " you would have thought we won the Super Bowl"! When you think about it.....they have the Vickings (not so much) and the Twins (Really not so much) and the Gophers.......seriously......that Iowa win is the best they will get this year!

Having lost to the Gophers when the rest of our conference is eating them alive.....does give you pause of thought.......how much do they want to beat us this week? Hopefully not more than we want to beat them! :)

phil said...

Excellent job by Ron. I should make this request. When we play Bucknuts, do we really have to trash our website by putting their KYF info on here? It would be like sitting us down and forcing us to watch Dancing with the Stars or even worse, forcing us to listen to Colin Cowturd.

Ron said...

Yost deserves the majority of the credit for this one. He did a great job.

616goblue said...

I can attest that Iowa City is a great college town as my first job after I graduated college was there in the 319. Ah yes, the pedistrian mall is a haven for restaurants and bars and the local musicians that play in front of the downtown Sheridan on the weekends. Not sure if it falls in the resturant category but the food cart vendors sell, regardless of menu, what is affectionately known as "street meat." Then again at 1am, you are not sure what you are really eating in that gyro...

While it is a little known fact that Ashton Kutcher is one of my fraternity brothers and our fraternity International Headquarters is in Iowa City, I'm just curious if there are any presidents or astronauts that are State University of Iowa alumni.

Space bitches, space.

MMQ said...

Just as I suspected...No hot Chicks or pictures of Hot Chicks in Iowa...Just corn and a football team that lost to the Gophers...

Did you mention that?

Mikoyan said...

I love these Know Your Foes. I think they are one of the best features of the site. I would hope that we would have one for that school in Ohio. At some time, could we have a Know Your Friend again. You guys did that one a while ago...but it would be nice.

Unfortunately, I wont be watching this game as I will be at the EMU game taking pictures. I hope the Hurons can beat the Cardinals......

Speaking of stuff, this morning on Michigan Radio, they did a really nice special about Bump Elliot.

Ramona said...

Yost, you think it's going to be that close? I'm going to say by..3 to 7 pts. Then again I'm also picking LSU for the win and my son informs me I couldn't be more wrong.

Dennis said...


At least you didn't compare us to Skip Bayless. Or Desmond Howard. Man, talk about losing IQ points listening to ESPN... :>

phil said...

Dennis - not to worry. We'll have the KYF for tUOS because I just sold some advertising to Jack Maxton Chevrolet, Auto Direct of Columbus and Fine Line Tattoos and Body Piercings (now under new ownership...motto: "We're not that kind of Tattoo parlor anymore.")

Dennis said...

Ah, the memories. My Dad bought our '78 Malbu Classic staion wagon (Camel colored) from Jack Maxton. It actually lasted for 15 years before it started using more oil than gas.

And no, Mom didn't get a Fook Michigan or any other tattoo from Fine Line Tattoo. Sorry to shatter the stereotype (and short circuit the joke.) Dad was the only one with any ink and he got his while serving in Korea.

surrounded in columbus said...

"got his while serving in Korea."

yeah, but it probably still said "Fuck Michigan"

Dennis said...

Well, that goes without saying. :)

Seriously it is an anchor and mermaid thing, which was funny because he wasn't Navy, but Army.

As for this game, I'm still not sure what to think, but I'll take a stab and say it will be close through the 3rd quarter, but Iowa's defense will get tired and you guys will win 35-24. I saw Gerd picked Iowa by one.

FWIW, I'm thinking Indiana will do wonders for the OSU offense, Miller will throw for 130 or so, and we'll have 250 or so on the ground. Might be close early, but it ends up 41-14.

Jim15032 said...

That is a pretty good fight song. But someone forgot to mention Forest Evashevski, an even stronger Michigan Iowa connection than Bump or (not mentioned either) Mary Sue Coleman.

beast in 'bama said...

So which is it?

a) Kneel before Herky, or
b) Kiss the ... ring

James said...

Is that supposed to be a lowercase "i" in the middle of the Iowa logo?

HmbFossil said...

Ah yes, 616, George's Best Gryos. Greatest 1am food ever!

I looked back at last year's MZone Iowa game thread. Pretty funny/interesting. I commented that Iowa fans were allowing themselves to have high expectations and MZoners were coming unglued about RR. I guess I deserve a "Karma bitch, karma." :)

It will be interesting to see the Michigan D's gameplan. Greg Mattison should be plenty familiar with the Iowa offensive scheme, as it's practically the same one used while his son Bryan played D for the Hawks. As for the Iowa D, they are young and mobile QB's confuse them quite easily. So Denard may have a big day coming his way.

Typically, Iowa loses 1 game a year they have no business losing and wins 1 game they have no business winning. So there was last week... And this week?

I think Iowa still loses, 31-21.