© 2023 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Birth Of The Cy-Hawk

When Iowa and Iowa State renewed their football rivalry in 1977, a group of ordinary guys conceived and created the trophy they would call “the Cy-Hawk.” A new documentary, Birth of the Cy-Hawk, tells this unique, Iowa story.

Birth of the Cy-Hawk will make its theatrical premiere in several venues across the state during the week leading up to this year’s Cy-Hawk game, including stops in Iowa City, Des Moines and Ames. In addition to the screening of the film, each event will also feature the original trophy and offer those in attendance the chance to hold and take a picture with the iconic Cy-Hawk.

The film features interviews and archival footage with a variety of luminaries associated with the rivalry over the years, including former Iowa State Coach Dan McCarney, Athletic Director Max Urick, sportscasters Ron Gonder and Keith Murphy.

At the heart of the story are Bob Uetz and a small group of his friends - bowling buddies, as they’ve called themselves. With the 1977 game on the horizon, it was Bob who blurted out “there should be a trophy for this game,” and his young son who asked “why don’t you do it?”

That simple question would send Bob and his buddies on a wild journey to design and build the trophy, then find some way to convince the two schools to adopt it as a symbol of the rivalry. When it looked like they had run out of options, they found a glimmer of hope in the most unlikely place: The office of Governor Bob Ray.

Credit Ben Godar
The Cy-Hawk Trophy

“To me, this story of how a group of ordinary guys created the icon of the Cy-Hawk rivalry is a real piece of Iowa history,” Director Ben Godar said. “There’s a lot of laughs in the film, but I hope it also gives these guys their due for creating something that is really important to the people of Iowa.” 

“The beauty of it is it started with the fans,” former Iowa State Athletic Director Max Urick said. “It wasn’t a couple of athletic directors getting together and saying ‘why don’t we do this?’ It started with the fans.”

On this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Director Ben Godar as well as Bob Uetz, one of the co-creators of "the Cy-Hawk" trophy.

Guests include:

Ben Godar, Director, Birth of the Cy-Hawk

Bob Uetz, Co-Creator of the Cy-Hawk Trophy

Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa