Jack Trice, it's a name that means a lot in the lore and culture of Iowa State football, but chances are you've never heard of him. Chances are at best you know that that's the name of the stadium the Cyclones play football in. Well, he was an ISU player, in fact the first African-American player in Iowa State football history. His importance and story is one no one should forget and as such the Cyclones will honor him and the teammates of his 1923 team with retro uniforms based off that year's uniforms when they take on bitter rivals Iowa on Sept. 14th.
I'll tell you the story of who Trice is and what his meaning to the Cyclones program is in a bit, but the video of the uniform unveiling deserves first billing:
For those who don't know the story of Trice, it's one of triumph and total tragedy. Trice integrated the Iowa State football program in 1923 and that took courage for a time in U.S. History where that didn't happen in sports. The tragedy comes in the form of what took place when Iowa State went north to take on the Minnesota Gophers on Oct. 6th 1923.
Trice was first denied the ability to stay in the same hotel as his white teammates, suffered further insult by being forced to eat his meals in his room and not in the dinning hall at the hotel he was allowed to stay at. However, the biggest tragedy of all came in the actual game as Trice was treated to brutal treatment from the Gophers. Trice suffered what was later learned to be a broken collar bone early on in the game. Not wanting to give up on the game and his team Trice returned to the field and in the 3rd quarter made a fateful rolling block. Upon hitting the ground the group of Gophers he blocked got up and stomped on his chest.
He would never play another game of football in his life and that's because two days later Trice, who was sent home with the team train after being checked out at a Minneapolis hospital, died of hemorrhaged lungs and internal bleeding in his abdomen.
Iowa State built a new stadium in 1975, naming it Cyclone Stadium. However, a movement within the student body changed the stadium name to Jack Trice Field the next year and in 1984 the stadium officially became Jack Trice Stadium. It's still the only major college football stadium named after an African-American.