Saturday, November 17, 2007

Minnesota vs. Iowa State University

Saturdays at this time of year in the USA are dominated by college (American style my European friends) football and today is perhaps one of the most important Saturdays of the entire season since it is the last game for most of the football teams. Two teams in particular -- the University of Minnesota and my alma mater, Iowa State University -- ended their seasons today with no prospects for a post-season bowl game appearance for either team.

As a native son of Iowa, a graduate of Iowa State University (ISU), and a Minnesotan by choice I am launching this grassroots campaign to encourage the athletic departments of these two fine universities to reach an agreement to set aside one of their non-conference games (PLEASE QUIT PLAYING KENT STATE UNIVERSITY ISU!!!) each season to play the "Jack Trice Memorial Game." Ideally after several years of playing this game it would become a rivalry on par with the "trophy games" played for Floyd of Rosedale, the Little Brown Jug, and Paul Bunyan's axe.

So who was Jack Trice?

Mr. Trice is famous today because ISU's football stadium is named Jack Trice Stadium but historically he is recorded as ISU's first black athlete and first ISU athlete to die as a result of injuries - in 1923 - sustained in a football game against the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Interested readers can see the entire account of Jack Trice's story at this website -

With the 2008 football season already scheduled - along with several other future seasons - it would take several years to arrange for a Minnesota vs. ISU re-match to honor Jack Trice. In October 2008 it will mark 85 years since Mr. Trice died following the injury he received in that long ago Minnesota vs. ISU game so there is no better time than the present to begin this grassroots campaign to get this rivalry renewed.

As a first step in this campaign I am sending this blog posting to all my Minnesota and ISU contacts to get them involved in lobbying the Athletic Directors, university presidents, and the respective boards of regents to approve this memorial football game. Ideally this game could be the foundation for a fundraising campaign dedicated to creating a "transition fund" for former Minnesota and ISU football players once their playing days are over since so few players find successful in professional football. Such a fund would aid former players who need financial assistance as they develop post-college/non-football careers or perhaps suffer medical problems caused by past football injuries after their playing days have ended.


Jamie Pollard
Iowa State University

Director of Athletics


Joel Maturi
University of Minnesota
Director of Athletics

Not only should our football teams compete on the gridiron but we alumni of both schools should compete with each other in terms of money raised each year for this cause. I have to believe Jack Trice would be very proud of such a fund.

Write a check,


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