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Lifelong Hawkeye -only- fan thread

  • What, or when did you realize that you were blessed/cursed as being a Hawkeye-fan-for-life?
    When did you really think, or realize that you blood isn't red, like other folks, but pure Black n Gold?

    For me------probably 2 football games and maybe 1 basketball game.

    1) Seeing Iowa upset UCLA in Kinnick Stadium in 1981. Mark Bortz & Co. headed to Rose Bowl that year.
    2) Iowa whipping Illinois in 1984? With freshman, Ronnie Harmon making some awesome catches.
    3) Attending games at the Iowa Fieldhouse, with my Dad. Especially watching Ronnie Lester do his thing.


    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • Good stuff here. Interested to hear what everyone else has to say as well.


  • Morrison71

    I was really young like IDK and I was so pumped watching the Iowa BJ Armstrong basketball team. I started playing indoor bball you know with the suction cup bball hoop. Well I jumped up to slam and knocked my head bad. I have been bleeding for the Hawks ever since then. cheers

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  • My first real strong memories of Iowa sports were after I actually started watching them, obviously. I was 8 in 2001 and remember that Alamo game against TTU. I had no idea what a bowl game was or how you got to be in one but I do remember how close a battle that seemed to be and the momentum that was used to build into the 2002 year. 2004 against Wisconsin was the day I first felt "blessed" to be a Hawk. I had loved them for years, but that was the first time I remember being at Kinnick (I think it was my first game - I was 10). What a fun time that was! I think my favorite basketball game was against Purdue 2 years ago, being that I haven't been old enough to actually attend a game while Iowa was ever very good (sadly, because I love hoops).

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    "I was brought in here to change the culture. I'm going to coach with passion" - Fran McCaffery.

  • I remember the mid 90's watching Sedrick Shaw and then Tavian Banks running. It was just one of those things I realized at an early age. It was the same as Chevy's being better than Fords, Pepsi over Coke, Advil over Tylenol. haha. Stuff like that. It was the Iowa Hawkeyes over everyone else, especially ISU.

    I remember the Dr. Tom days with big JR. Koch running the baselines with his long, outstretched arms blinding the in-bounder on that brutal press the Hawks would throw at the opponent. It was just little things like that. I was a fan before this, but watching Tavian Banks run for 317 yards against Tulsa made me absolutely hooked. I think I've watched 98% of Iowa football games since then. Only missing them if I had to, but always recording them. I also loved watching basketball. I remember watching Andre Woolridge, Jr Koch, Jess Settles(for all 15 years he played), Dean-o Oliver. Kent McCausland, Kyle Galloway, hell the list goes on.

    I love Iowa athletics and I love Iowa City. Iowa City is a shell of what it was 5 years ago, which stinks, but it's still a great college town. I'll always bleed Black and Gold and my children will as well. Even if I raise them in Kansas City. There won't be any Mizzou, K-State or KU fans in my house!

    On Iowa!

  • I guess Silver and I are the old guys here.....

    There wasn't much to cheer about in the early/mid 60's in football.... and trying to even find a Hawkeye game on TV was I big issue, as I moved south after school was done....

    But basketball back then.... the Hawkeyes rocked. I was in Chicago when Ralph Miller's first team upset UCLA 87-82. It was UCLA's one of two losses that season, as they won the NCAA's (Their other loss had been earlier to Illinois)... Miller had brought in a jc point guard named Chris Perval and he ran Gail Goodrich crazy that night.... when he intercepted the opening tip-off and laid it in uncontested, the game took on its own tone.... UCLA struggled all night just to keep up.

    It was basketball that got me dyed in the wool, not football.

  • Blame it on the Steelers.

    First game of any kind, I can actually remember sitting down to watch was Super Bowl XIV. I was 8, and I cheered for the Steelers, because everyone in my family was. But I grew up in household of Browns lovers. So next year, when it was the Browns vs the Steelers (I had no idea they played each other), and my family "turned" on the Steelers, I chose to rebel and "turned" on the Brian Sipe, the "Cardiac Kids" and the Browns universe. From then on, I was a Steeler.

    Now, fast forward to Oct...on a Saturday afternoon, flippin channels, low and behold I find my "Steelers" playing on a Saturday!!!! Didn't know who them guys in purple we're...Minnesota maybe? Anyway, the "Steelers" won 64-0! I remember it clearly...Oct 3, 1980...cuz it was a few weeks before my birthday, and I asked my dad for a Steeler's jersey after that most impressive victory. Dad, said, "Son, that's not Pittsburgh, that's the Iowa Hawkeyes..." He went on to explain about Pro football, and college football and what not. I knew nothing of college football. Well anyway I got a Steeler's #58 Jack Lambert jersey...and an Iowa Hawkeyes T-Shirt for my birthday.

    Couple of weeks later they beat scUM in Ann Arbor, and we watched that game too...with my Dad cheering the Hawkeyes on...or was he just jeering against the Wolverines, I don't know...but I was sold.

  • I started out cheering for the Hawks in the mid 50s. Pheasant hunting with my Dad and Granddad we always had to be road hunting in the car when the game started. Randy Duncan,Willie Jeter,Alex Karras,etc. Then I remember watching one of the earliest televised bb game (and I think it was a Thurs. game which was unheard of in those days!) when Don Nelson and Iowa faced Jerry Lucas,John Havelcik(sp), at home and only lost by a couple points. All those bad yrs. of football in the 60s and 70s will never be forgotten but the wonderful yrs. of bb with Ralph Miller, Lute Olsen,Dr. Tom, and all the others (except Lick!) are memories I will always hold near and dear! GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

  • My time period is probably similar to Skyhawk52's. I would say the Lute Olsen years in BB, coinciding with the arrival of Hayden Fry in FB. Prior to that, I would catch an occasional Iowa game in either sport, but was much more focused on the NFL, having been a big Packer fan since the age of 4 (and, trust me, those were not the best years to be a Packer fan).

    I can't point to a specific game or player, but the resurgence of both programs under those coaches really sealed the deal for me. Lot's of fond memories there.

  • I received my first black and gold blood transfusion in the mid-50's. My dad (U of I Masters graduate) always listened to BB games on the radio (we had no TV). We got our first TV just so we could watch their first RoseBowl game in glorious black and white. Larry Ferguson and Don Nelson were some of the first Hawkeye names I became attached to.

    Delivered the Sunday DSM Register on a rural route in NE Iowa with Dad. Did not mind getting up at 3:30 during the football season because I would be one of the first to see the aerial photos in the Big Peach, with arrows showing how the plays developed and what resulted from the play. We traveled together to and from the 1982 Rose Bowl.

    Together we endured the 20-year drought in football, attending many games at Kinnick and the Fieldhouse. The BB program usually counterbalanced the disappointment of the lean football years. Ralph Miller became my most favorite ever coach and his teams could make the fans rattle the walls and huge beams of the old fieldhouse and be so loud you literally could not hear yourself think. It was AMAZING and so much fun! Hawkeye fan for life.

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    GO HAWKS!!!

  • My love affair with Football dates back to 1958. My parents were having dinner with friends in a tavern in Joliet, IL and I was bored. So I wandered out to the bar and saw a Pro Football game on TV. Not just any game either, it was the NFL Championship where Johnny Unitas drove the Colts down the field for the winning TD in Sudden Death Overtime. I tuned in with less than 5 minutes left in the game. I was hooked.

    To reinforce my love, I was a chunky kid and a great hitter, poor fielder baseball player. My size (165# in 4th grade) was a liability. In Football, for the first time in my life, my size was an asset. I was built to play football. I looked forward to football from that day forward.

    My Father was an Iowa Alumni and was in school with and knew several of the Iowa Ironmen. So I knew I wanted to attend Iowa by the time I entered 8th grade. My family relocated to central Illinois in August before I started 8th grade. We got all of the Illini games that were broadcast. But the Iowa vs. Illinois series was on hiatus. So I only saw a few Iowa Basketball games and no Football games. But I became a Minnesota Viking fan because of Jerry Reichow, a former Hawk, and Jerry Burns, the former Hawk's head coach.

    In 1966 I enrolled at Iowa and tried out for the football team. I was not well enough organized to handle the time demanded of football and classes while in school and dropped out of football. It was a bad choice, but I was young and immature.

    I followed the Hawkeyes while in school, and followed as much as I could when I moved to Wisconsin after College. TV reception was not good where I lived and we could not watch ABC, the home of College football in the 70's. But when Iowa won the Big Ten Title in 1982, I went ballistic. My wife and I made the pilgrimage to Pasadena to see the 1983 Rose Bowl game and the Parade. I was hooked again. I have followed the Hawks faithfully ever since.

    Starting in 2002, I have attended one or more Home Football games every year and have even see the Basketball teams (Men's and Women's) play several times each. This year I bought a seasons tickets for the Football Season. I have been disappointed in the results. But, if possible, I will be in the stands for all the home games again, next year.

    GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This post was edited by WiscHawk 20 months ago

  • That is a super recollection, Morrison.
    Played lots of Nerf hoops as a kid, myself.
    I could really dunk, there, just like Bruce 'Sky' King, or
    Sir Jamalot.


    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • Golden........I attended that 1982 Rose Bowl vs Washington, as well.

    The Hawkeyes had not been to Pasadena in 20 years and do you recall the
    Hawkeye Huddle at Downtown Hote?? :-) The staff at the Hotel ran out of beer in like
    10 minutes, Hawkeye fans EVERYWHERE............It was a night of bedlam from there on and
    my night will have to be disclosed over a brewski and not broadcast on this Board!


    This post was edited by Skyhawk52 20 months ago

    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • Yes, we went to the Hawkeye Huddle. Fortunately, there were four of us there to go to whatever keg had the most beer in it at the time (one never lasted very long!). Shortly afterwards, they had to turn off the escalators leading down to the area, because it was near standing-room only and no room for people coming off the escalator to step off to. They had NEVER EVER had such a large and thirsty crowd!

    I was fortunate enough to find the area where all the beer arrived, told them to go out and find some more wherever they could find it, and we would pay whatever it wanted to charge us. Might have been about $25 for each of numerous six-packs, but we did not go thirsty that night at the hotel!

    Fortunately, my dad who was not a drinker, drove us back home that night through the LA traffic. The next night we went to a Mexican Cafe (El Toritos, I think) where they served THE-MOTHER-OF-ALL Super Jumbo Margaritas. He all drank from it with a long straws. Only time I ever saw Dad tipsy my whole life. Snuck up on him real quick!

    Stayed overnight in Vegas on the return trip, which was a real "trip" all by itself!!

    Missed our first wedding anniversary due to that Rose Bowl trip, but it was well worth it all the holy H. I got for doing so. 30 years later and she still does not understand why going to that first modern era Rose Bowl after 20 years of suffering was more important than celebrating at home with her just one year of suffering in our marriage! roflmao

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    GO HAWKS!!!

  • Grew up watching football, basketball all the time with my family and occasionally wrestling when it was on IPTV. We always were watching Iowa. At recess in elementary school, playing basketball, I was always either saying I was some player from Iowa or was saying my team was Iowa. I can remember watching football at a very young age but can't remember much of the details of many of the games. Tim Dwight was probably my first favorite football player that I can remember. The game that I can remember a lot of details from going back that far was the '96 Alamo Bowl, the Hawkeyes didn't wear their decals that game to honor one of the players' parents (I believe) died in a car accident on their way to the game. Hawkeyes beat the Red Raiders 27-0 and Shaw was awesome. I think Iowa ended 9-3 that year. This wasn't the first game I ever watched, just one that I can remember the most details from that far back, I would have been 11 during that game.

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  • this was my guest column in the local paper on the first dayof the 2012 season:

    It is pretty obvious that big time college football has problems. We need to fix them. Still, as we look for improvement, let’s not forget that inside the big business known as college football there’s a wonderful game. It has captured America’s imagination every fall for more than 100 years. I admit it. I’m a fan. It’s a whole lot of fun.

    I’m not an addict. I’m more like my grandmother. Dad worried about Momo’s dependence on her grocery store antacid and finally asked her straight up, “Ma, aren’t you afraid you’ll get addicted to your medicine?”

    “Oh Walter,” she said. “I’ve been taking Bromo every day for the last 60 years—and I’m not addicted to it yet.” I haven’t been a Hawkeye fan for a full 60 years, but I’m closing in on it. I saw my first game in 1954. I was seven.

    My memories of that day are an odd mixture of what seem to be facts and what must be fantasies drawn from news reels and still pictures. Dad bought tickets to the Wisconsin game because he wanted to see Iowa’s all-everything Calvin Jones try to stop Alan (“The Horse”) Ameche, the Badger’s All-American fullback. This much is true.

    More or less true, at least. The Horse’s name wasn’t really “Alan.” It was Lino Dante Ameche. I didn’t make up the Alan part, though. Somebody else did. It gets hard to keep things straight sometimes.

    It is also true that we drove to Iowa City—my dad, mom, and grandpa, three generations. I picture us in a black Ford with running boards and foxtails tied to the windscreen. This is clearly wrong. We had a huge, watermelon-shaped blue Nash that year. Besides, it was 1954 not 1924. No foxtails—and probably no raccoon coats either, though sometimes I believe two fans in raccoon coats sat right next to me. I see a perfect picture in stark black and white, flecked with little grains of snow.

    At least I think it snowed. It might have been a movie. I’m also pretty sure that Mom brought a thermos of hot cocoa to drink at half-time. The guys next to me shared a silver hip flask.

    The drive home was harrowing. It was dark, a blizzard howled around us and the black Ford had a hard time on the dirt roads. I fell asleep in the back seat hoping the guys would call me “The Horse” during recess on Monday.

    I am absolutely sure that Iowa won--13-7--but then I had to look that up about 10 years ago to be certain. The hot chocolate seemed more real than the final score until I checked.

    Most of my subsequent fan’s memories are clearer. I recall hauling firewood with Dad and listening to Tait Cummins on WMT, “Bobby Jeter—Jeter to the 35, 30, 25…and its ‘Katie bar the door.” I recall sitting alone in the rain at the stadium on my first Saturday away from home, wondering what my college roommates would be like when I could meet them after the game. I recall being in the basement staining baby furniture in 1981 while Phil Blatcher ran the Hawks to their first Rose Bowl in 24 years. I remember yelling at a little TV in a Tokyo hotel in 1987 while watching a hand-delivered video tape of Marv Cook carrying Buckeyes into the end zone as time ran out. I recall Dad briefly stepping out of my parents’ Fiftieth Anniversary party to catch the end of the 1991 Ohio State game with my son and me.

    Over the years, I’ve created quite a multimedia gallery of Hawkeye recollections: movies, still pictures, radio broadcasts, marching bands, bagpipes, roaring crowds, and TV clips, all blended with live action memories of anonymous fans, close friends and four generations of family members. Some say football is only about winning and losing. I don’t think so. No, not at all.

  • What really started it for me was the the Final Four team in basketball. Went to a game at the Fieldhouse in the last season before it was shut down. I believe Lohaus was a freshman that year. Then, watching Hayden come on board and turn the program around and get them to their first Rose Bowl. I also remember the scene with the fans at Kinnick watching the scoreboard to see if a certain team lost (can't remember -- help me out -- was it Michigan maybe) thus clinching the Rose Bowl birth for Iowa.

  • boy--i sure don't get the down votes here. for the life of me i don'y know what could possibly be offensive about my post--too long maybe. if you don't like what i write, maybe respond. the blind down votes--geez, guys.

  • Family photo (with another baby on the way), circa 1956. Ready for the Rose Bowl! Golden is top right. Yeah, we were all Hawkeye fans, but there must not have been Iowa cheerleader outfits for the girls to wear. Might be too small to see the old Hawk logo (click on the pic, then you can see them) on the shirts. All the boys wore them.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by goldendog 20 months ago

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    GO HAWKS!!!

  • Here is from the local newspaper when I was 17 months old

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  • Silver....I gave you an Upvote, just now and for any clown down voting you, well prolly a clown fan.

    WiscHawk: That was great reading about your early Hawkeye years and your recollections. Having met you, in person, last year at the Michigan St game, it's funny for me to learn you were a 'husky' one, like me in younger days. Until about 7th grade, I was 'husky' too and some of my best memories of elementary was knowing that only one kid 'Kenny' could stay with me, in wrestling, back in the day. I played all the sports, all thru high school and had a short stint as a college fb and a bit of baseball in college. Also, needed a bit more organization and encouragement, but alas I was young and having fun, too.

    One of the greatest childhood, Hawkeye memories for me is seeing a grown man chuck a thermos out onto Kinnick field, as Iowa upset UCLA on their way to the Rose Bowl, circa 1982. Kinnick is a special, special place and Iowa fans need to stay positive, even in these tough, dark times.


    'Texan by birth, Hawkeye by the Grace of God'

  • Really enjoying reading through this thread. Great stuff in here guys - thanks for sharing!

    preciatecha cheers

  • I upvoted Silver. Really enjoyed the article. I saw my first Iowa game in 1952 at the age of 7. So, I am the oldest guy? All I remember about it was my fascination with the size of the crowd...all those people in one place! Well, Rock Rapids is only 3,000 people so I was not hard to impress. Post game we went to the Amana Colonies for dinner. In subsequent years I recall watching our Rose Bowl victories on TV with my Dad...and, the Peach was a great favorite...studied the action photos in great detail.

    I sat through the dreary days of late 60's and 70's Iowa football as a grad student and then as a resident of Swisher, Iowa. Taught and coached at CR Prairie and CR Kennedy and attended many coaching clinics in Iowa City. Took a job in Wisconsin in 1981 and followed the Hawks religiously, both football and basketball. I was pheasant hunting in Tama county when they announced Hayden Fry as the new Iowa coach...we said, "Hayden who?" We learned quickly "who!" He promised and delivered a 1,000 yard rusher in year 1! Sporadically attended Iowa football games when I could...always Iowa v Wisconsin in Madison...mostly victorious! Also to Northwestern whenever Hawks played there.

    Picked up season tickets again in 1995 and now as a retiree, also attend all away football games. And, during the last of the Alford years, I also picked up a season basketball ticket.
    I first listened to Iowa BB on the radio sitting on my three legged stool in the kitchen. I would always write down the heights of the players on both teams as they were announced and decided at that point that if Iowa was bigger, they would win. Don Nelson, who I later saw play in person at Minnesota, was my favorite Hawk! Listened on the radio to Iowa go down in the NCAA tourney against Bill Russell.

    Later, season basketball tickets for the Ralph Miller years, many of the Lute Olson years, and saw a lot of Dr. Tom's games. Now a huge fan of Fran Mc.

    Saw "the catch" in Florida...probably the single biggest thrill in Iowa football. Basketball...watching Ronnie Lester and being heartbroken when his knee went.

    I really enjoyed reading the messages on this topic. Hope others will join in. Thanks for a great idea, Todd!

  • Love those old family pics guys.

    Silver, I upvoted that post. Maybe someone from PETA was offended about those raccoon coats.

  • for the old guys, hawk memories really do center on the radio, don't they? i still prefer a radio call of the hawks and have purchased a series of delay-sync devices so i can match the radio to the muted video. dolph is no tait cummins or ron gonder, but better than most tv guys. the first hawk bball game i recall hearing was the national semi-final game in '54. tom gola and the lasalle team beat the hawks. i cried. i don't think i did cry the next year when bill russell and the san francisco dons took out the hawks in the title game. sadly, we haven't had back to back seasons like my first two since then.

    when i was in junior high, the big buzz in iowa bball was freshman connie hawkins--he was dr. j before there was a doctor j. frosh couldn't play varsity in those days so fans attended freshman games just to see hawkins. he'd do a dunk show at half-time, joined by his 6' running mate andy hankins. clr's hero, don nelson, anchored the big-boy team then. after hawkins was--inappropriately--ruled ineligible by the ncaa before playing a varsity game, iowa's brief shot at sustained national prominence faded. hawkins was likely the best bball player ever to enroll at iowa--and he never played a real game.

    This post was edited by silverhawk 20 months ago

  • I started following Hawkeye football during the FXL era -- I think that qualifies for being a loyal Hawk fan all these years.

    Went to my first game in Evanston in 1975 and we won a rare road game during the Commings era.

    Went to my first game at Kinnick in 1977 and we lost to Woody Hayes and OSU.

    I barely remember the 1970 BB team. But do recall watching the Rick Mount triple OT game on TV, which we won, of course, as we were undefeated in conference. Do not remember Pembrook Burrows (but I know Silver sure does), but do recall us clobbering ND in the NCAA that year.

    Went to my first Hawk BB in Evanston in 1975, and we won, and it was also Lute's first year at Iowa.

    Went to my first home game at the Old Fieldhouse in 1978 and we beat Colorado State.