University of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta doesn’t really care what the Cy-Hawk Trophy looks like … he just wants it back in Iowa City.
“Other than wanting to have it in my possession, what it looks like has never been as important to me,” Barta said.
But what the Cy-Hawk Trophy looks like was important to a whole bunch of Iowans, who threw a collective fit when Iowa Corn rolled out the re-designed trophy last year.
Cy-Hawk Trophy version 3.0 will be unveiled during today’s game between Iowa and Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium.
The finished product has been kept under wraps and won’t be seen publicly until late in the fourth quarter, when it is unboxed on the Iowa State sideline.
“We learned from the school, there are certain things they do — superstitions and tradition,” said Mindy Williamson, director of communications and public relations for Iowa Corn.
“I’m kind of anxious to see what the final trophy looks like.”
The fan-picked design features each school’s mascots — Herky and Cy — holding up a football in front of a field of corn.
The design won a popular vote this spring after the first new trophy tanked when it was rolled out at the Iowa State <JU>Fair.
“We were certainly surprised,” Williamson said. “We had worked in partnership with Iowa and Iowa State and Learfield Sports to create something iconic.
“Playing off the Iowa values and hard work ethic, we were a little surprised.”
The new trophy featured a farm family gathered around a bushel of corn.
It certainly evoked Iowa’s proud tradition as a corn producer, but fans didn’t think it belonged on a football trophy.
“Once it became apparent there was displeasure with the look, it didn’t take but a moment for us all to come together and say, ‘Well, let’s regroup. Let’s not be stubborn,’” Barta said.
“Because it wasn’t just a one-year decision, it is a many year decision.”
The negative feedback on social media blew through hard and fast and four days later, it was announced a new trophy would be made.
The farm family? They are still around.
“We like to say around here they are in witness protection,” Williamson said. “They are in storage. It will have a greater purpose.
“We are waiting until after the game is over to try to find a home for it. We’ve had lots of offers. It’ll be going somewhere.”
Iowa Corn is instead focused on the third Cy-Hawk Trophy. Williamson said Learfield was going to deliver it to Iowa State, which will bring it to the game.
A container will be rolled out at halftime or in the second half, and it’ll be taken out for the winning team to snap up. Williamson said Iowa Corn would provide an honor guard, of sorts.
“We’ll have a couple Iowa Corn folks stand besides it,” Williamson aid.
“I guess you could say security. Farmers bumped up to security.”
Hopefully, the trophy is well put-together.
Some of the trophy rushes have been known to get a little rough.
“We don’t want anybody to be mad about it,” Barta said. “We want them to take pride in it.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football