Battle for the Cy-Hawk will be a half-hour documentary, telling the story of how a group of fans - “bowling buddies” - as they have sometimes been called - created a trophy for a college football rivalry which has become the biggest annual event in the State of Iowa.
The story begins in 1977, with Iowa and Iowa State poised to rekindle their rivalry. The two schools had not met on the football field since 1934, despite an ongoing chorus of pleas from fans around the state, and even resolutions from the state legislature asking the schools to renew the series. When they finally agreed, it was initially only for three years, and Iowa insisted all three games be played in Iowa City.
Bob Uetz and about a dozen of his buddies, all in their mid-20s, decided there ought to be a trophy for the game. They pooled their money, had a trophy built and even gave it a name: The Cy-Hawk. But they had no idea what to do with it after that.
Through a series of misadventures, they tried to convince the schools to adopt the trophy, or to attract a corporate sponsor like the Des Moines Register, all to no avail. Finally, they heard that Governor Ray had a daughter attending each school and would attend the game himself. They hatched a plan to get a meeting with the Governor and convince him to give the trophy away to the winning team... and it worked.
That trophy - created by a group of fans out of their love for the game - became the prize exchanged by the winning teams for the next 33 years. When the universities elected to replace the trophy with a new one featuring a corporate sponsor, the resulting design caused an uproar and was mocked until the original redesign had to be scrapped.
The original trophy is still maintained by the group of guys who created it, and is brought out to events where people still line up to have their picture taken with it.