Some play for axes, little brown jugs and even a milk can. Others engage in “battles” and “holy wars.” Still more play for cups of a myriad of shapes and sizes and names. The football teams from the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska square off in a long, competitive, and entertaining rivalry between one of the Big Ten Conference’s original member institutions and the league’s most recent addition. And, while the goal is the same as other “trophy games” — win the struggle on the gridiron and claim the trophy — the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers won’t use their annual meeting to determine ownership of football bragging rights for the Corn Belt exclusively. Instead, they will use the national stage that will be Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium or Iowa’s historic Kinnick Stadium each autumn to honor citizens of their respective states who are, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities,” and they intend to work with a partner to do a good deed of their own. The institutions plan to honor one citizen of Iowa and one citizen of Nebraska prior to each Heroes Game for their extraordinary act. These heroes will be nominated by friends, neighbors or co-workers and will be guests of the two teams at the game where they will be honored on-field during game day. Each will also have their name and hometown etched on the to-be-created Heroes Game trophy.
The Heroes Game