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Hayden Fry Quotes

John Hayden Fry

Hayden Fry quotes: straight-talk from the Hawkeye hero.

“Life can be pretty good sometimes.”

“If you stay with this game long enough, the worm is bound to turn.”

“Not only are we going to win, we’re going to look good doing it.”

“We have to be realistic.  If we don’t win, life will continue.”

“In football, like in life, you must learn to play within the rules of the game.”

“You can’t control people.  You must understand them.  You have to know where they’re coming from, their beliefs and values, what turns them off, what they’re against.”

“We’ll take what the other team gives us.  We’ll scratch where it itches.”

“We’re going to foul up once in a while, but people need to know we don’t do it on purpose.  Playing the game with integrity – that’s what it’s all about.”

“When I was 14 years old my father suddenly passed away.  He came home for lunch one day and died of a heart attack while sitting in a taxi outside our house.  My father’s sudden death left a big void in my life.  Shortly after my father’s death I began to work for the oil company to help support the family.  I remember making 35 cents an hour.  Working for the oil company really taught me a lot, it taught me how to survive in life.”

“I got drafted in to the Army, but I wanted no part of that.  I decided that if I was going to serve my country that I would rather be a part of the Marines, so I joined.”

“The people who run a university are far more qualified and intelligent in handling people than someone who inherited his money and used it to buy a pro team.”

“The preparation I had in college was the most valuable.”

“I learned a great many things in the Marines that helped me as a football coach.  The Marines train men hard and to do things the right way, just as a football team must train.”

“When I talked with an opposing coach before a game and he mentions the pink walls, I know I’ve got him.  I can’t recall a coach who has stirred up a fuss about the color and then beat us.”

“How can a coach have any influence over a player that’s making over five times more than he is?”

“When I came to Iowa, we had to change everything that was associated with a long-held losing mentality.  We had to change the total environment – from the players’ conduct downtown, from their record of class attendance, from their way of dealing with people.  We had to work with the total individual athlete and reconstruct his values and image.”

“The more down-to-earth things can help a lot.”

“The thing I’m most proud of here at Iowa is putting the ANF (America Needs Farmers) on our headgear.  We changed our image.  We had had one of the biggest economic droughts that the midlands had ever seen, and the farmers needed help.  It didn’t cost anything much to put the decals on the helmets, but it did a lot of good in directing publicity to the problem.  There were stories in many national newspapers and sports magazines.”

“We’re not rolling into town on a load of wood… the Hawkeyes aren’t nearly as hick as some people think they are.”

“Clowns… reporters who criticize my program without having a football background themselves.”

“[On the $10 million dollar campaign to fund the J. Hayden Fry Center for Prostate Cancer Research] Being a big dumb football coach, I hadn’t had a physical in 20 years.  Had I just gone in for a physical back then, we would have found it a lot sooner and it would have been easier to treat.  I’m trying to get younger people to go in and get checkups.  Winning a football game is one thing, but we’re talking about our lives now.  This is a far bigger game than football.  This facility is not just for the state of Iowa or Illinois, it’s for the whole world.”

“I’ve felt sorry for young people who didn’t have an opportunity to play football, because I know what the game can offer.”

“Sports is such a great vehicle to promote and bring recognition to not only the whole university, but the state.”

“Black is a color of power and strength and to see all those players, with the captains linking their arms in front – it’s a powerful picture.”

“We changed our image.  At least when we ran out on the field or broke the huddle, we would look like winners.  I wanted the players to feel like they were part of a family, to be conscious of that controlled togetherness as they made that slow entrance onto the field.  It had a great psychological effect on the opposing team, too.  They’d never seen anything like it.”

“We’re the only dance in town.  We don’t compete with any professional teams for the entertainment dollar.”

“I’ll always be a Hawk.”

“When it’s football season, I’m all football.  I’ll be here in my home with three big screens.  I’ll be watching three games at a time, and when they’re over, I’ll look at three more.”

“I’m not a complex person.”

“There are two things I do when I wake up in the morning and realize I’m still on the right side of the grass.  Number one is I thank the good Lord.  Number two is I reach over and chug-a-lug a quart of WD-40.”

“I’m retired, but I really haven’t had a lot of time to do things.  I’ve made a number of appearances, I’ve had book signings and I’ve discovered that I’m the only guy in the world who can hook a putter.”

“High porch picnic – a West Texas expression for having some fun.”

“If you can keep your humor, if you can experience something that you enjoy, that helps your health.  That’s the only reason I’m still here.”

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