’63 HAWKEYE TEAM: The Game Never Played

It was 50 years and a one day ago, that President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.

The anniversary marks the day the Iowa football team of 1963 will never forget, for the game they weren’t allowed to play.

Saturday is when football comes alive.

Record freezing temperatures won’t stop Hawkeyes fans from showing their support, especially on the last home game of the season; a day to honor seniors.

That day never came for the class of 1963. After the news of president Kennedy’s assignation, Bill Sherman says, “My first thought was, what do we do now.”

Working in the press box that season, Sherman knew the university had a big decision to make the day that followed tragedy.

“I think it was appropriate that it was cancelled and not played,” says Sherman.

Iowa’s last home game that year against Notre Dame was cancelled. Other schools postponed their games. That game remains the only game in Iowa school history never to be re-scheduled.

Bob Mitchell was a junior in 1963, he said he felt the rug was pulled out from under the team.

“Let down…I don’t know how to explain it but don’t this away from us.”

Mitchell says Iowa was favored to win against Notre Dame.

Gary Fletcher was a senior that year. He choked up talking about the bond the seniors had that year.

“It brings back some good memories and some bad ones.”

They could have never predicted the tragedy that would cut their season short.

“You don’t cancel a ball game for anything but at the time it was the right thing to do,” says Mitchell.

Officials at Kinnick Stadium recognized the seniors of 1963 at this season’s first football game.

 

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