Hayden Fry retirement special sectionbeing passed around again this week in all of its 1998 glory.) My love of college football probably didn’t return fully until 2002 when
my talents took me to South Beachand I represented the Hawkeyes on a weekly basis to a newsroom full of Miami, Syracuse and various other non-Iowa fans as a rare Midwesterner in my first year at CBS SportsLine in Fort Lauderdale. This Holiday Bowl completes my latest stint of 10 consecutive football seasons of Hawkeyes coverage in some form or another — first with Hawkmania, a site I helped create in 2000, and now with Hawkeye Headquarters. But it’s only been in the past two seasons that I’ve really been able to appreciate how Kirk works. Getting to talk to players after every game home and road, they believe in the system. They believe if they execute on every play, they’ll get back in it, no matter the odds. No matter what crushing blow sent the fans online into a tailspin. They never get too high or too low. I’m here to encourage the fans with those tendencies to embrace that approach … and this team. It doesn’t take much to knock some fans off the bandwagon. The old joke is that after every game Hawkeyes fans would scream “Big Ten champs” or “fire everyone” depending on the outcome. Turns out, I found there are some that don’t wait that long. I always wanted to “like” all of the negative tweets I’d see during one game and post them after a win. Almost a Freezing Cold Takes in real time. But I never did. Hawkeyes twitter is a welcoming community, after all. No need to alienate them. However, one particular fan stood out to me during this year’s Wisconsin game. If the Hawkeyes are up 3-0 on Wisconsin in the first quarter of a game in Madison and you’re that mad, maybe being an Iowa fan just isn’t for you. I mean, if you aren’t happy in that moment as a Hawkeyes fan, when will you ever be? Perhaps up 12 in the second half of a basketball game in Ames? Nope. Throwing in the towel. Same energy. Same guy. (And they won that one!) My point is not to throw this fan under the bus. It’s to remind everyone to enjoy the ride a little bit more. It’s
we remember. We remember all of it:
- A good friend, my cousin and his good friend crashing in my studio apartment
- Visiting the CBS suite because the powers-that-be found me club level tickets that day after I put in a “claim” the day the bowl was announced as the only Iowa fan
- Leaving that suite just as the national anthem ended because I knew only one guy in there — my boss — and they were all in suits and we — well, you’ve seen my Twitter profile picture
- And of course, letting a tie game at halftime get out of hand with 28 consecutive Trojan points.
all up on the cover, all over the intro screen… throwing. Still, it’s between that 2002 Iowa team and 2015 for my favorite this century. (For whatever reason I felt detached from the 2004-2009 teams while living in Chicago, even though I got back to Iowa City for more games.) And this year’s team is right up there, since I’ve been able to cover every game. That 10th win in a highly respected bowl full of nostalgia would make it a season for the books,
just like Michael Ojemudia says it would. These Hawkeyes have just three losses by a total of 14 points, all to teams ranked higher. Would it have been nice to sneak out of Ann Arbor or Madison with a win? Of course, the Wolverines and Badgers were there for the taking, but the truth is this is a rare season with no bad losses. Not one. They also can be the first Iowa team since those 1991 fit-to-be-tied Holiday Bowl Hawkeyes to go wire-to-wire in the AP Top 25. So even though last year’s team had a chance to be really special with all of those NFL draft picks — imagine if they were back — this year’s team can make a significant mark of their own. Support them… until the game is won. Epilogue Speaking of support and making a mark… On a personal note, I want to thank
Who wore the wings better? Wait… don't answer that. 🤣Posted by Hawkeye Headquarters on Saturday, October 12, 2019
Draft Day Sports Lounge inside Rhythm City Casino, “where you can grab a bite and make live bets!” Celebrity prediction The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions is back for a third season of picks.
This week's totally irrelevant @HolidayBowl prediction: #Hawkeyes 47, USC 14. Tied at the break, the Iowa defense shuts out the Trojans and forces four fumbles in the second half, helping lead the Hawks to 3 TDs, 4 FGs and a commanding win in San Diego. pic.twitter.com/75MMOGJDXV— HawkeyeHQ.com's Ryan Jaster (@Hawkologist) December 25, 2019
Predictions on Hawkeye Headquarters are brought to you by
Hayden Fry called the Tigerhawk "a real splash of sunshine" the first time he saw it, according to this @HawkeyeFootball story by George Wine. https://t.co/LGn8d1Knvn Made me think of this photo @uiowa shared in 2013 as the sun sets this Christmas. #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/u01TGtDCLE— HawkeyeHQ.com's Ryan Jaster (@Hawkologist) December 25, 2019
Draft Day Sports Lounge inside Rhythm City Casino, “where you can grab a bite and make live bets!” For more Hawkeye coverage, follow
HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season. Ryan Jaster, born and raised in Rock Island, writes a weekly predictions column during football season for