Iowa Alumni Magazine | December 2008 | Reviews

Play by Play

By IAM Staff
A new book recaptures the magic of some unforgettable Hawkeye football moments.

Iowa football fans, rejoice. And get ready to argue.

Undoubtedly, you'll love the new book by Michael Maxwell, 96MS—The 50 Greatest Plays in Iowa Hawkeyes Football History—but chances are you'll disagree with the author's rankings of Iowa's most memorable gridiron moments. After all, what's more fun than debating the merits of the Hawkeyes?

The 50 Greatest Plays in Iowa Hawkeyes Football History, by Michael Maxwell, Triumph Books.

Starting with Play #50, C.J. Jones's 100-yard kickoff-return touchdown in the 2003 Orange Bowl, Maxwell retraces the events that made Hawkeye fans cheer themselves hoarse at home or in the stadium. He covers some of the greatest coaches, players, and eras in Iowa history, including Nile Kinnick's 1939 touchdown pass against Wisconsin (Play #30); Chuck Long's dominant performance against the Texas Longhorns in 1984 (#38); the notorious 1953 injury timeouts by Notre Dame that spurred rulebook changes (#48); Kyle Schlicher's fifth field goal against Minnesota in 2004 (#32); and Marv Cook's last-second touchdown in 1987 at Ohio State's "house of horrors" stadium (#2).

He concludes with the stunning last-second play on New Year's Day, 2005, when Warren Holloway caught the pass from quarterback Drew Tate and "waltzed into the end zone for the winning points just as the [Capital One] Bowl clock turned to 00:00. The Iowa sideline, an estimated 30,000 Iowa fans in the stands, the Iowa radio booth, and thousands of Iowa fans watching live on television went absolutely berserk."

With forewords from Coach Kirk Ferentz and "Voice of the Hawkeyes" Gary Dolphin, the book is crammed with behind-the-scenes information and insights, from detailed descriptions of the plays, player profiles, anecdotes, and quotes, to dozens of black-and-white photographs, statistics, and play diagrams.

As they pore over these fact- and memory-filled pages, Hawkeye football fans will find themselves echoing the words of former coach Hayden Fry following Iowa's Sun Bowl victory in 1995: "That was a fine effort by a group of fine young men."