In 1994, after one of his trademark destructions of Big Ten doormat Northwestern, Iowa coach Hayden Fry told Northwestern coach Gary Barnett, "I hope we didn't hurt any of your boys too bad." It was a genuine moment of concern for an outmatched opponent that had just lost by 36.
Barnett, as he was wont to do, lost his mind over the comment and declared that Iowa would become a rival of Northwestern. He instilled in his team a hatred of the Hawkeyes that, by all accounts, extended far past the mild affront he had been party to. Barnett made the Iowa game the most important game on the schedule.
In 1995, Barnett had a pretty good football team, led by serial neck-roll-wearer Pat Fitzgerald. And Northwestern, to their credit, beat Iowa on their way to the Rose Bowl. But Fitzgerald broke his leg in the game, and therefore missed the Rose Bowl. He spent the next 20 years telling everyone who would listen how Iowa broke his leg. In 2009, now the head coach of Northwestern, he sent 6'7 uncoordinated doof Corey Wooton to roll into Stanzi, knocking out Iowa's quarterback and ending the Hawkeyes' perfect season. If you yell something about a broken leg at Fitzgerald from the second row of Kinnick Stadium, he turns and looks for you and lets his team get a delay of game. I know from experience.
On October 17, Iowa plays Northwestern in arguably the most important Iowa-Northwestern game ever, and Northwestern has decided to pluck all the 1995 strings. Not only will the Wildcats be wearing throwback 1995 jerseys with the Rose Bowl insignia in honor of Fitzgerald and his teammates, but they will have Gary Barnett on hand as an honorary captain.
This cannot stand.
We cannot sit idly by and let a man who was forced to resign in disgrace over recruiting improprieties be the hero while the man who desegregated the Southwest Conference and saved Iowa football is cast as a villain. No, this aggression will not stand.
We have to send Hayden Fry to the game, just to watch Barnett and Fitzgerald go insane with anger and have him walk across the field at the end and tell them he hopes we didn't hurt their boys too badly again.
We set up a Gofundme page to get Hayden to Evanston. You can go there to donate.
Plane ticket from Las Vegas to Chicago: $750.00
Hotel room at the Millennium Knickerbocker, a hotel described as "from 1927 with exalted history" so it's basically Hayden: $900.00
Cab fare/food/incidentals: $350.00
If we don't get there, or if Hayden has plans for the weekend or something, we'll give the money to Iowa Touchdowns for Kids. Let's face it, that's probably going to happen.
But if Iowa can have a high porch picnic at Ryan Field Saturday, there's no way that the Hawkeyes lose. And that's pretty much the only reason we're here.