When Hayden Fry passed away in December at the age of 90, it was just days before Iowa was scheduled to play USC in the Holiday Bowl. There wasn't really time to arrange a tribute to Fry; Iowa ended up playing the game sans tigerhawks, in honor of both Fry and legendary former athletic director Bump Elliott, who also passed away last December. And, frankly, a one-game tribute would have been an inadequate way to memorialize a figure as momentous to Iowa football as Hayden Fry anyway.
On Thursday, the university released photos of the jersey patch in honor of Hayden Fry that will adorn Iowa's uniforms in 2020:
The photos were released without an accompany release (for the time being), so we don't know how long Iowa will wear this patch (though it seems safe to assume it will be for at least the entire 2020 season) or if there will be other tributes to Fry as well.
The patch's placement on the sleeve is a little unusual; most jersey or uniform-based tributes have been found on the front/chest of the jersey or on the helmet. But the front of Iowa's jersey already features the Big Ten logo, a small tigerhawk on the collar, and the Nike logo. Iowa's helmet also features a host of visual elements, between the famous tigerhawks (a lasting tribute to Fry in their own right), the center stripe, the ANF sticker, and the U.S. flag. And the initials do seem to pop when placed on the sleeve like that.
Placing the JHF initials jersey patch on the sleeve is also reminiscent of the uniforms worn by the Chicago Bears; the Bears have GSH emblazoned on the left sleeve of their uniforms, in honor of legendary Bears owner George Halas.
(photo credit: © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
The Bears, of course, have made the GSH initials a permanent part of their uniforms. We would not be at all opposed to Iowa doing the same thing with the JHF initials on their own uniforms. Hayden Fry resurrected and utterly transformed Iowa football during his 20-year tenure; remembering and celebrating a figure with a permanent tweak to Iowa's uniforms seems more than appropriate.