Thursday Hawkeyes Reading Room -- Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster's memory is pink and hazy

Published: November 18 2009 | 10:07 pm - Updated: 30 March 2014 | 2:00 pm in
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This week, Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster talked about the pink visitors' dressing room at Kinnick Stadium. From a Minnesota Daily story:

In 1982, Tim Brewster was a tight end at the University of Illinois. His Illini, coached at the time by Mike White, went to play Iowa at Kinnick Stadium . When they arrived, the visitors’ locker room was covered floor to ceiling in meat locker paper.

Why? Because Hawkeyes coach Hayden Fry had famously painted everything — even the bathroom fixtures — a light shade of pink, the idea being it would make opponents passive and somehow less competitive. So White covered it all up, just in case.

“You didn’t see an ounce of pink anywhere,” Brewster said.

But Brewster didn't get the  story quite right, as Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out in this column.

Did you win the game?

"We did; we did,'' Brewster said. "But I don't think it had to do with the paper."

As it turns out, White's paper hanging went for naught. Brewster played only once in Iowa City and the Illini lost, 14-13.

But Reusse was more interested in recent history, Iowa's 55-0 waltz over the Gophers last year in the Metrodome.

"To get beat like that ... it still hurts,'' said tight end Nick Tow-Arnett, who then added: "We're a lot stronger now than at the end of last year.''

Rivalryesq.com calls itself the quintesenntial Big Ten smoking room. I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.

But former University of Iowa law student Bama Hawkeye (not his real name) has a good piece on Rivalryesq.com noting all the traveling trophies that travel around the Big Ten. To my amazement, there are 14 of them. Iowa is involved with two, the fairly new Heartland Trophy with Wisconsin, and the quite old Floyd of Rosedale with Minnesota.

The story of Floyd bears repeating, so we'll borrow this from Bama Hawkeye, who borrowed it from the impeccable source known as Wikipedia.

The 1934 football game between Iowa and Minnesota had been filled with controversy over the treatment of Iowa star halfback Ozzie Simmons. Simmons was also one of the few black football players of that era, and several rough hits by the Gophers on Simmons forced him to leave the game multiple times in Minnesota's 48-12 victory.

The day before the 1935 game, Iowa Governor Clyde Herring told reporters, "If the officials stand for any rough tactics like Minnesota used

last year, I'm sure the crowd won't." Herring's message was clear. "What he was saying was, ‘If you treat Ozzie like you treated him last year, we're coming out of the stands,'" Ozzie said. The news quickly reached Minnesota. Coach Bierman threatened to break off athletic relations. Minnesota Attorney General Harry Peterson practically accused the Iowa governor of thuggery.

To lighten the mood, Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson sent a telegram to Governor Herring on game-day morning, which read, "Minnesota folks are excited about your statement about the Iowa crowd lynching the Minnesota football team. I have assured them that you are a law abiding gentleman only trying to get our goat...I will bet you a Minnesota prize hog against an Iowa prize hog that Minnesota wins." The Iowa governor accepted, and word of the bet reached Iowa City as the crowd gathered at the stadium. Things calmed down and the game was untroubled. Minnesota won 13-6, and Iowa star Ozzie Simmons played an injury-free game. Afterwards, the Minnesota players went out of their way to compliment Simmons, and Simmons praised the Gophers for their clean, hard-fought play. Minnesota went on to win their second straight national championship.

Governor Herring obtained an award-winning prize pig which had been donated by Allen Loomis, the owner of Rosedale Farms near Fort Dodge, Iowa. A few days later, Governor Herring collected "Floyd of Rosedale" and personally walked him into Governor Olson's carpeted office.

Since the two schools could not continue wagering a live pig, Governor Olson commissioned Saint Paul sculptor Charles Brioscho to capture Floyd's image. The result was a bronze pig trophy 53cm (21 inches) long and 38cm (15 inches) high. Iowa and Minnesota have played for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy every year since then. The winner of the annual Iowa-Minnesota football game is entitled to keep the trophy until the following year's contest. In 2008, Rivals.com named Floyd of Rosedale the top rivalry trophy in college football.

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg knows who Hawkeye fans have to root for on Saturday. Besides the Hawkeyes, that is.

Michigan State, Colorado, Utah State, Wyoming, Arizona and . . . Wisconsin? Rittenberg explains here:

Hear me out on this one. I don't think No. 16 Wisconsin can jump No. 13 Iowa in the BCS standings as long as the Hawkeyes beat Minnesota. Since Iowa beat Wisconsin, it wants as many high-profile wins as possible. Now if the Hawkeyes lose their game Saturday, a Wisconsin win could be damaging.

Adam forgot someone. Namely, Michigan. If the Wolverines upset Ohio State in Ann Arbor, Iowa gets a Big Ten title-tie with a win over Minnesota. And if someone gives me $999,907, I'll be a millionaire.

I'm guessing you didn't know this, but Bob Fenske is to blame for Iowa's 27-24 overtime loss at Ohio State last Saturday.

Who is this cad, you ask? Well, he's the editor of the Forest City (Iowa) Summit. And he did your Hawkeyes wrong. But at least he's man enough to admit it in his Summit column.

Basically, I caught the first few minutes of the fourth quarter and the final two plays of overtime. In short, when I watched Ohio State outscored the Hawkeyes 17-0. When I wasn't watching, Iowa had secured a 24-10 victory.

For those of you who know I am from Minnesota and have often rooted - in vain, of course - for my Gophers, you might be thinking I'm happy today. But the fact is that somewhere during this magical season by Iowa, I have begrudgingly become a bit of a Hawkeye fan.

I appreciate good, hard-nosed football, and Iowa played that during its first nine games of the year. And I love thrilling endings, and the Hawkeyes certainly gave their fans plenty of them in the first nine games of the season. Besides, I've lived here for much of the last 20-plus years and maybe I had finally drunk enough of the Kool-Aid to become a Hawkeye.

So I admit I was disappointed in Saturday's outcome, but for my many friends who are blaming Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz for being a little too conservative in the final minute of regulation Saturday, I say go easy on the coach, for he's not to blame. I, however, am.

And about Iowa men's basketball team . . . I actually bring good tidings for Hawkeye fans. Not because 0-2 Iowa found three or four undiscovered basketball talents hanging around the student union.

No, Bowling Green is imminently beatable. And the Hawkeyes host the BG Falcons Friday night.

Bowling Green lost to Xavier Tuesday, 101-57. Xavier (2-0) shot 64.8 percent (35-for-54) from the field in its most lopsided victory in two years.

But, ahem, BG is the defending Mid-American Conference regular-season champions.

But, the Falcons lost their top three scorers from that team to graduation.

But, ahem, Iowa has already lost at home this week to Texas-San Antonio and Duquesne.

The Hawkeyes will win this game. Probably. I think.


 

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