And the Iowa Hawkeyes are suffering mightily to realize respectability at the soccer box after many years as a massive Ten convention doormat.
Hayden Fry, a larger-than-life personality and river boat gambler with Texas roots, had arrived in Iowa urban in 1979. Now, in his all-important 3rd yr as head trainer, it’s make-or-break time for a guy doggedly made up our minds to remodel a beleaguered software right into a nationwide powerhouse.
While the crew has many wants, probably the most vital is a robust chief at quarterback. without notice, Hayden and his employees signal a blonde-haired, six-foot-four quarterback named Chuck Long.
Safe to assert the son of Charlie and Joan lengthy used to be as a lot a secret to Iowa enthusiasts as successful. merely different universities provided Chuck a scholarship – Northwestern and northern Illinois. the inability of suiters wasn’t astounding. Chuck averaged only a handful of throws in line with begin as a highschool sign caller for a Falcons staff coached by way of Jim Rexilius. Even in Wheaton North’s 14–6 victory over LaSalle-Peru within the 1979 4A Illinois country soccer championship video game, Chuck accomplished only one of 4 passes for minus-three yards.
Now, Chuck lengthy is an Iowa Hawkeye. And as he waits to make first staff as quarterback, trainer Hayden Fry takes to the microphones because the 1982 crusade ways and, in entrance of a bunch of journalists, declares the sophomore-to-be as “destined for greatness.”
Reporters are approximately speechless. Hawkeye fanatics are bewildered.
Chuck lengthy? Destined for greatness?
Chuck lengthy – an analogous child who hasn’t taken a snap as a starter?
Yep, that Chuck Long.
The QB responds to the excessive compliment from his head trainer through taking the sector simply weeks later in his first commence opposed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln purely to get bruised, battered and benched in a 42-7 drubbing. One week later, the Hawkeyes host in-state rival Iowa country and lose back as Chuck watches from the sidelines.
So a lot for the “destined for greatness” talk.
Then back, Chuck lengthy isn’t your traditional quarterback and Hayden Fry isn’t your usual coach.
In a accident no longer even Hollywood may possibly script, Chuck and the Iowa Hawkeyes fast correct the send and set sail on a voyage that might finally take them (and the country of Iowa) into the nationwide spotlight.
At the guts of all of it was once a once-obscure quarterback who performed for a highschool soccer software that featured the run – a quarterback that may turn into Iowa’s such a lot celebrated sign callers, play in an extraordinary 5 collage bowl video games, throw for extra yards than the other quarterback in titanic Ten background, end runner-up for the Heisman Trophy to a child named Bo from Auburn college and listen to his identify known as within the first around of the 1986 NFL Draft.
Sound too stable to be true?
Not if you’re destined for greatness.
* * *
“I were round nice, nice humans all my lifestyles. I’ve linked to nice gamers and nice coaches. I’ve taught historical past and that i comprehend a bit concerning the features of serious humans in heritage. It used to be in order that obvious to me that Chuck lengthy had the entire characteristics you discover in nice humans. i'll simply see it.”
Iowa trainer Hayden Fry on his first impressions of Wheaton North’s Chuck lengthy (“Chuck lengthy: an eye fixed on greatness,” through Ken Fuson, Des Moines sign in, Sept. 2, 1984)
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Chuck Long: Destined for Greatness