New Herky bobblehead showcases Kinnick Stadium's pink locker room
There's a new Hawkeye collectible on the market that's sure to tickle some fans pink.
A just-released bobblehead of Herky the Hawk pays homage to one of Kinnick Stadium's most famed features: the pink visitors' locker room.
Perched upon a pale pink locker, Herky flexes his hawk muscles, flanked by black and gold football gear and a plate that bears his name.
It was legendary Iowa football coach Hayden Fry, before his first season in Iowa City in 1979, who ordered the walls in Kinnick’s visiting locker room to be painted pink. The color was added to toilets, lockers and pretty much everything else during a 2005 renovation.
The move has been often debated, but Hawkeye fans revel in the ruse, and Hayden Fry defended the move in a 2014 interview:
"Everyone thought it was because I had my masters in psychology, and pink was a cool, calm color and this and that, which it was to me," Fry told former Register columnist Rick Brown. "But when I got here things were so deteriorated and down. Howard Cissell, my defensive ends and linebacker coach, he was in charge of helping me fix up things. The only color of paint they could find was pink."
At the time, Fry chuckled at the reaction the pink locker room got — and still gets.
"(Former Michigan coach) Bo Schembechler and that bunch, they went bananas," Fry said. "They'd send managers downtown to get white butcher paper, and spent all morning putting the paper up so all the players wouldn't see (the pink walls)."
The hue isn't exclusive to Kinnick anymore: A decade ago, when renovations and expansions were completed on the press box just down the road at Regina High School in Iowa City, they painted the opposing coaches' box a similar shade. Bondurant-Farrar High School, too, adopted the color in the visiting team's meeting room when they built a new stadium in 2014.
The limited-edition collectibles (there are just 1,000 available for purchase) retail for $40 and can be purchased through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum online store.