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January 2

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1919 Iowa Football Squad

Jimmie Barry died. Guardian of Iowa Field for more than half a century, the man who tamed Burch with a heavy stick and a blow on the nose, the little old Irishman who spoke at "mass meetings" before big games to rouse the fans, Jimmie Barry "laid down his 'stick' for all time."

October

A story in the alumni magazine assured graduates, "If you want to return for Homecoming...in your De Haviland-4 or Oriole, it will be all right with the committee in charge. A landing place will be ready—not on Old Capitol steps but conveniently near.... A joint committee of an hundred faculty and city people is working out the arrangements, and the Aeroplane Landing Committee is only one of nearly a score."

November

ALL DECKED OUT FOR HOMECOMING

The Iowa Alumnus noted that "though Homecoming seems rather late this year, and some of the thinner blooded might fear cold weather or snow,...intercessions have been made with the weather man, and none need to fear." The special event was planned for November 21-22 and the entire community worked to ensure no detail was overlooked.

"The decorations were more elaborate than ever before attempted. The engineers fairly outdid themselves in making a fifteen-foot electric sign which they hoisted to the south-east corner of the physics building. The sign had some 200 incandescent globes in colors, working out the legend Soak Um Iowa. An arch extended over Washington Street at the southern exit to the campus, also studded with electric lights. From its center hung a flash sign 'Ames,' alternating with 'Amen.'

"Up and down Clinton street trees and lamp-posts were girdled with cornstalks like huge sheafs stacked at intervals. At the intersection of Washington and Clinton streets was an attractive corn obelisk. Ears of yellow, white and red corn were used in the design, topped with an electric globe. On each side of the base which rested on a triple platform 'Iowa' was laid out in red corn against the yellow back-ground. An arch of old gold greeted one at the campus entrance and pennants lined the central walk up to Old Capitol. The business section of Iowa City was tastefully decorated, and many of the stores had special window decorations and displays."

The weather did turn out comfortably, a new university song called "On Iowa" was launched and favorably received, the "pep artists" (three college men with megaphones) led the crowd's cheering, and Iowa beat Ames 10-0.

Regarding the college song, "On Iowa" was written and composed by W.R. Law, '04LLB, and entered in a contest sponsored by the Chicago Alumni Association in 1917. Though it didn't win first prize, the song—perhaps because "it is catchy and has a swing which makes it go"—was ultimately adopted by students and alumni.

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June

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University Archives
1918 Iowa Football Squad

Flooding of the Iowa River destroyed all the grass on Iowa Field, with water reaching the seventh row of the bleachers on either side of the gridiron.

Iowans had a double reason to celebrate during this Homecoming weekend. "The only two things that homecomers would have asked of a fairy god-mother happened to us on November 9 and 11. First we defeated Minnesota [Final score: 6-0, marking the first time ever Iowa had been able to defeat the Gophers.] and secondly, peace was declared with our enemies. These glad tidings kept many of our alumni with us a day longer, and they were not the least among those who celebrated on Washington street at two in the morning," wrote Helen Hays for The Iowa Alumnus.

September 26

The Big Ten suspended control of the conference for the duration of the war, temporarily rescinding all eligibility rules.

October

GERM WARFARE

Iowans had a double reason to celebrate during this Homecoming weekend. "The only two things that homecomers would have asked of a fairy god-mother happened to us on November 9 and 11. First we defeated Minnesota [Final score: 6-0, marking the first time ever Iowa had been able to defeat the Gophers.] and secondly, peace was declared with our enemies. These glad tidings kept many of our alumni with us a day longer, and they were not the least among those who celebrated on Washington street at two in the morning," wrote Helen Hays for The Iowa Alumnus.

Fall classes did not open until October 1, when the Student Army Training Corps program went into effect on campuses across the country. Almost 1,500 "citizen soldiers" swarmed onto the campus in Iowa City, including Duke Slater and many other young men who dreamed of getting a college education paid for by the U.S. government.

What many got instead was the flu. As the war waned in Europe, a deadly plague swept the world in the form of Spanish influenza. Starting in the spring of 1918, it raged for months, ultimately killing 22 million people, more than twice as many as had died in the war.

Shortly after the SATC recruits arrived at Iowa, the campus was quarantined. According to John Gerber's A Pictorial History of The University of Iowa, "even faculty members were halted at bayonet point and not allowed on campus without proper credentials."

On October 12, Iowa confronted Coe College for a game of football, but it was played behind the padlocked doors of Iowa Field. Intent on reducing the spread of the epidemic, Iowa authorities allowed no spectators in the stands, though some diehard fans collected on the Iowa River bridges and on the cliffs along the west side of the river, attempting to watch the game through powerful field glasses. Iowa won the game, without applause or cheering, 27-0.

By the time the epidemic had run its course at the university, 31 men and seven women had died.

Homecoming

Iowans had a double reason to celebrate during this Homecoming weekend. "The only two things that homecomers would have asked of a fairy god-mother happened to us on November 9 and 11. First we defeated Minnesota [Final score: 6-0, marking the first time ever Iowa had been able to defeat the Gophers.] and secondly, peace was declared with our enemies. These glad tidings kept many of our alumni with us a day longer, and they were not the least among those who celebrated on Washington street at two in the morning," wrote Helen Hays for The Iowa Alumnus.

December 7

Following the Armistice, the Big Ten resumed its former authority over the conference, effective this date.

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February

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1917 Iowa Football Squad

After posting a 4-3 record for the 1916 season, Coach Howard Jones initiated spring football practice "at the earliest date such practice was ever attempted here. Promptly with the opening of the second semester the squad began work three times a week on the dirt floor in the basement of the gymnasium."

September 14

The Board in Control of Athletics named Howard Jones athletic director retroactive to September 1.

Writing for The Iowa Alumnus, Jones commented that "before the United States became involved in the European war the football outlook for the season of 1917 at Iowa was very encouraging.... [But] at the present time it is difficult to line up the men who will return on account of the national conditions...."

October 13

Nebraska trounced Iowa 47-0 at Lincoln, but fans noted an innovation off the field. The Cornhuskers introduced three girl cheerleaders to rouse the fans. It wouldn't be long before this revolutionary idea was to gain acceptance across the U.S.

October 20

Iowa played her final game with Grinnell, losing by a score of 10-0. After 28 years and 17 games between the intrastate rivals, the record showed the Hawkeyes with 11 wins, 5 losses, and a tie.

November

The Big Ten became a reality for the first time when the University of Michigan, which had withdrawn from the Western Conference in 1908 in order to play more teams from the east, accepted an invitation to resume memebership.

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1916 Iowa Football Squad

"The general feeling among students and followers of Iowa athletics is that the 1916 season was in every sense satisfactory. The State Championship, lost to Ames the year before, returned to its customary habitat after one of the greatest fights ever put up by an Iowa team. Although Iowa was ranked seventh in the Conference standing, this does not show her relative strength. The two games lost were to high-class teams, one of which has been conceded to be as great a scoring machine as has ever been assembled in the West.

"At the beginning of the year, Coach Howard Jones was confronted with the preplexing problem of building a team, handicapped by the lack of big, active men. But he set to work with the material at hand, and with a co-operative responce from the men, he welded together a team which was a real credit to Iowa and a tribute to Coach Jones' ability to instill football knowledge and a fighting spirit into the men with whom he worked. At the beginning of the season there was an abundance of fast, shifty men, who, although of more than ordinary back-field ablity, were small. Jones is primarily a line coach and a great believer in the theory that with a stone-wall line to open holes and repel the attack, a mediocre back-field man can gain ground. Coach Jones, however, got down to football fundamentals, and before the season was over had developed a number of real stars." — from the 1918 Hawkeye

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Fall

Writing for the yearbook, Professor Arthur G. Smith noted that Iowa "athletics would be helped if the students, who never engaged in any more strenuous sport than the fox trot, would cease explaining with elaborate detail to the home alumni at Christmas time the strategic weakness of the team."

November 12

The "I" Club was formed to promote interest in athletics among the alumni and to encourage them to use their influence in helping to persuade Iowa athletes to attend S.U.I. With membership open to all who earned a letter "I" from the Athletic Association, 22 charter members were inducted.

November 13

Preparations for Iowa's Homecoming celebration took on a new twist when the electrical engineering students devised an electric sign to flash the football yell. "Thursday and Friday nights before the Iowa-Ames game, from the upper part of the physics building there flashed continually the famous Iowa locomotive yell. Word by word, the electric lights blazed it in:

'Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Iowa Fights! Iowa Fights! Iowa Fights!"

"When the student body gives the yell, it starts slowly and gathers momentum in much the same way that an engine puffs out of a railroad station, and ends in a drawn-out, crashing chorus on the 'Iowa Fights' parts....

"The sign was commented on here by students and visitors as the most clever device ever invented to express football spirit."

Nevertheless, Ames beat Iowa on Saturday. Final score: 16-0.

As later reported in the yearbook, not only the team faced defeat that day: "Not a sound broke that sad stillness of the night. We were defeated. Yes, it was we that were defeated. Not the loyal old grads, not the team alone, but we, the University students. Our halting cheering and half-hearted support of the team did as much toward losing the game as the team itself." The electric cheering sign was not enough to secure a victory.

December 20

The Board in Control of Athletics announced that Howard Jones, a Yale graduate and veteran of football there, would be Iowa's new coach. Jones was the first Iowa coach to sign a long-term contract.

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Spring

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1914 Iowa Football Squad

Some alumni took a public dislike of Nelson Kellogg, business manager and director of athletics. Charging him with incompetency, they stated that "no one but an alumnus can be a satisfactory manager."

The students, faculty, and the Board in Control of Athletics all stood behind Kellogg, with the result being that alumni representation on the board was reduced to one.

Fall

The Hawkeyes wore numbers on their uniforms for the first time. Iowa and the other schools in the Western Conference were among the first to use this system, which was not mandated by the national football rules committee until 1937.

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January 30

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1913 Iowa Football Squad

The Iowa Athletic Board rescinded the two-sport rule. "This means that Iowa will be able to compete with other universities in the conference on practically an even basis," reported The Iowa Alumnus. "No other university in the west has adopted this 'limitation policy', and under these conditions Iowa has been handicapped."

September 10

The Iowa Alumni Athletic Association was incorporated to advance clean and successful athletics. Another goal was to encourage more Iowa athletes to stay within the state and attend S.U.I.

September 18

Coach Jesse Hawley, fresh from Chicago, where he managed a bond department in a large investment firm during the off-season, returned to town at the wheel of "a little red racing car"—"sputtering, hurtling along the River to River Road—a cloud of dust in its wake.... Thus the Iowa football season was ushered in."

1913

A rule change removed more of the "foot" from football. Legislation that formerly allowed the ball to be passed from center "by one quick continuous motion of the hands or of the foot" was amended. Henceforth, only the hand could be used.

November

Trying to explain "Why We Like Football," Iowa Professor G.T.W. Patrick wrote that "the peculiar attractiveness of football is due in some measure to the joy of rude personal encounter, face to face opposition of two hostile forces, swift flight and pursuit, tackling and dodging, kicking and catching the ball, and that the explanation of these unique pleasures must rest upon anthropological grounds. The game is more sport because the activities are more primitive."

November 15

SHOWTIME!

At Iowa's second Homecoming celebration, festivities included "a moving picture operator and a special photographer with a Cirkut camera" who took "views of the gridiron and the crowded stands surrounding the field." The crowd that day numbered 8,300.

Although "Ames outweighed Iowa almost ten pounds to a man," the alumni magazine proudly noted that "the Old Gold crushed the Cardinal with a display of the fierce, deadly, shifty attack...and there is no question of the supremacy of Iowa." Final score: 45-7.

That night, at the university talent show produced at the Englert Theatre, the crowd enjoyed a Spanish sword dance performed by four coeds, dramatic sketches, a quartet performing a collection of Iowa-Ames songs, and the presentation of fancy ballroom steps—judged the hit of the evening.

At the end of the program, "pictures showing plays in the afternoon game were thrown on the screen." One of the photographers responsible for the remarkable slide show was Fred Kent.

Iowa fans were encouraged to revel in their team's victory yet a little longer. The week after the game, the public was invited to see 1,000 feet of "moving pictures" of the game. It was the first time such technology had recorded an Iowa athletic event.

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1912 Iowa Football Squad

Prior to the beginning of the season, the shape of the game was changed, with the length of the playing field reduced to 100-yards, plus two 10-yard end zones. Other rule changes in 1912: the number of downs allowed to advance the ball ten yards was increased from three to four; the value of a touchdown was upped from five to six points; the 20-yard limit on forward passes was abolished; and it became legal to catch touchdown passes in the end zone.

With only three home games scheduled, season athletic tickets sold for $5, an attempt to generate some much-needed revenue to reduce the athletic debt.

November 23

Iowa's first Homecoming game—against Wisconsin—left alumni and other fans little to celebrate when the Hawkeyes lost the game 28-10.

December

TRICKEYS WORK: A HERO REMEMBERED

A headline in The Iowa Alumnus tried to say it all: "SUPREME IN STATE: University of Iowa Football Team Established Undisputed Superiority over Football Teams of Rival Institutions within Boundaries of Hawkeyedom.—Trounces Ames."

Writing about highlights of the season, the unknown author noted that "All hats are off to 'Jim' Trickey, a player who exhibited the highest type of loyalty for his Alma Mater when after seven successive seasons of hard buffeting on the gridiron he listened to the pleas of his friends and consented to make a big sacrifice for Old Iowa, when he took the time and energy from heavy school work and outside employment to play through this last season.

"Trickey's work was easily the feature of the year. He was the strong point in Iowa's line on the defense and when called upon to carry the ball he repeatedly went through the strong opposing lines on long gains. He demonstrated early in his career his ability to puncture the strongest defense."

The Iowa Falls native was admired by all. Enrolling at Iowa in 1909, Trickey preached in local churches to help pay his way through college. When he wanted to resign from football his senior year, 1,600 Iowa students signed petitions asking him to return to the team. According to Dick Lamb and Bert McGrane, authors of 75 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes, "Off the gridiron his kindness and personality were so well recognized that his fellow students elected Jim Trickey president of the senior class by unanimous vote, a majority never before accorded a student in the university."

Trickey garnered significant post-season honors, being selected an all-western tackle by Patterson of Collier's and chosen by Walter Camp for the second All-American eleven. Just one year later, though, the Iowa super-star was gone. According to the alumni magazine, "the breaking of an abscess just before an operation was the cause of death, as peritonitis set in."

When Iowa students heard of Trickey's death on December 5, 1913, they were universally saddened. Many traveled to Iowa Falls for his funeral and the January 1914 alumni magazine carried a lengthy tribute to the young man who had excelled in everything he did. The announcement of Trickey's death in the Iowa Falls Citizen, in addition to paying tribute to the man, indicated just how different the country was 80 years ago: Trickey had served as a missionary in the Dakotas for two summers! Iowa was "the West," a state perceived to be at the edge of civilized America.

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1911 Iowa Football Squad

Jimmie Barry was included in the official team photo. An immigrant to this country, Jimmie never lost the brogue of his homeland. Although he didn't have the benefit of a college education, he referred to himself as "the ouldist mimber of the facultee" and never hesitated to shoo away trespassers who dawdled too near Iowa Field: "Sacred practice tiday! Go on wid ye! I know ye, I know every wan of ye—I know wan of ye anyhow."

Nor was Jimmie intimidated by the heroic young men who wore the Iowa uniform, frequently threatening to plant a potato patch on his beloved turf if they failed to defeat an arch-rival like Ames.

April

Ohio State was admitted to the Western Conference, though Iowa opposed the move, fearing it would make the conference too large and unwieldy.

December

In an article entitled "A Football Experiment," the alumni magazine reported that "The State University of Wisconsin has made football compulsory for freshmen. Whether a man has any ability in the game or not, he must get out and allow the coaches to see what he is worth. The experiment is being watched with much interest by University athletes."

"Meanwhile, Northwestern University, which had abolished football temporarily following the 1905 season, suggested three ways to remove some of the overemphasis on the game: reduce the number of games each season to three; abandon the use of all coaches; and reduce the cost of admission to a maximum 25 cents. These proposals were defeated by other members of the conference.

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1910 Iowa Football Squad

Led by State Board of Education President James Trewin, who did not favor state funds being used for any program of intercollegiate athletics, the Iowa Board passed the "two-sport-rule." This prohibited athletes from competing in more than two major sports and was meant to prevent too much emphasis on athletics. An unusual rule adopted in 1910 outlawed any forward pass that traveled more than 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Another change divided the 60-minute game into four 15-minute quarters. Writing for The Iowa Alumnus, the Hawkeyes' new coach, Jesse Hawley, noted that "from the spectators point of view this chopping the game up into such short periods detracts showhat...."

October 1

Prior to a home game against Morningside College, Iowa's first press box was opened to reporters and three sections of concrete bleachers, to seat another 2,160 fans, were dedicated at Iowa Field.

October 12

The Iowa varsity were humiliated in a mid-week 30-minute practice game against the high school team in Iowa City. Coach Hawley attributed the loss to a "complete lack of fighting spirit" and the fact that only 22 men comprised the team. He said there should be 60 to 70 men out for football.

October 15

Missouri would not allow the Hawkeyes' black tackle Archie Alexander to play. The contest ended 5-0 in "perhaps the most exasperating game of the season. Handicapped by the excessive heat and by the continuous yelling of the Missouri rooters, the Hawkeyes lost a fiercely fought game," reported the yearbook. Following the loss to the Tigers, Coach Hawley declared he would never again field a team against Missouri.

1910

The Western Athletic Conference required each member to schedule four football games annually with other affiliated schools, thus uniting the conference more than ever before.