Edited and bumped to front page... Nice job! -MK
As I was turning on to University for the game on Thursday I was remembering the first lines to Jack Trice’s letter. “My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life: The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will.” I stopped and wondered. With all of the talk of “Pride” going on at ISU these days, would Jack be proud to attend this University?
I drove past the students who had been celebrating for quite some time and into the donor lots. I unloaded my supplies while observing the brotherhood of fans that were preparing for their first game of the year. Everyone was hopeful for a good season and thankful for the beautiful Iowa night that would soon make its appearance. Surely these people weren’t thinking of the man whose name the stadium bears?
I walked up to the spirit walk as the team buses were unloading. I watched Coach Rhoads wait for everyone to get off the buses before he led them through the masses of fans and into the locker room . Every member of offense, defense and special teams. Every Black, White and Hispanic. Everyone as one unit, one family, one nation. I could feel Jack smiling.
I later made my way into the stadium. I know that Jack would never have asked to have the stadium named after him but am confident that he would have done everything in his power to live up to the honor. He said.” My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part.”
The ball was kicked and the game began. Iowa State looked good. They were lining up in the right spots, giving extra effort on every play and winning as a team. The lead was 14, still giving the opponent hope in the fourth quarter when Jake Knott intercepted yet another Huskie pass to seal the game. Jake raced to the sidelines where he was given a fatherly like hug from Rhoads. Again I could feel Jack smiling.
Iowa State has done many things since Jack’s untimely demise to improve the college experience for all students. They have also paid close attention to ethnic diversity. Jack Trice was planning to use his Iowa State education to help African-American farmers. Would he have approved of Iowa States efforts? Yes, but he would have kept pushing for more. Jack Trice was a very talented man. Not only did he use his skills to champion the efforts of African –Americans, he used them to help us all. I’m sure that Jack would have had no problems in telling you that he was and is “Proud to be a Cyclone”