Great Moments in Gopher Football History: The Hayden Story

Hayden Fry tells one of the greatest stories of all time about beating Minnesota, and not a word of it is true.

At Fry Fest a couple of years ago, Hayden Fry told the greatest Iowa-Minnesota story ever:

Now, this story is a mix of a bunch of games. Lou Holtz was only at Minnesota for two years, 1984-85. Only one of those seasons coincided with Rob Houghtlin's career, 1985. In 1985, Iowa beat Minnesota 31-9, though that win did earn Iowa a Big Ten title. Iowa won the 1986 game 30-27 in almost the same scenario: Houghtlin missed a field goal, Minnesota got flagged for 12 men on the field, and Houghtlin made the second kick. There were no crossbar bounces involved, though, and Hayden wasn't stoically deciding what to say to legendary coach John Gutekunst after the kick was good:

But Minnesota, whose coach had worn bib overalls and a straw hat to practice to mock Iowa just four years earlier, lost to Iowa in 1986 because they couldn't count to 12. And so, while the goalposts and 55-0 and nearly three years without a touchdown were fun, the fact is that the Hayden story is the best Gopher moment of them all, an amalgam of all the slights and jokes and bitterness distilled into one play in a game that never actually happened.

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