Hep Needs You - A Letter from Mark Deal
Oct. 17, 2006
Dear Loyal Indiana Football Fan,
This is Mark Deal, Assistant Director of the Indiana University Varsity Club. As a former IU football player, coach and current Varsity Club donor I want to extend my congratulations to Coach Terry Hoeppner and the Indiana Hoosiers on the fantastic win last Saturday against the 13th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. This team certainly has reflected the same spirit as their coach in coming from double digit deficits the last two weeks to defeat Illinois and Iowa. As Coach Hep says, "It's always too soon to quit!"...and our team has not and WILL NOT QUIT in every game they play! That attitude has kept our team in the hunt to do some special things and make their dreams come true.
This fact makes the October 28, 2006 game against Michigan State in Memorial Stadium one of the most important games in the last decade of Indiana football.
I have had the privilege to witness some of the great moments in this rivalry with Michigan State and hear of others from my father; Russell "Mutt" Deal, the captain of the only undefeated team in Indiana history, the 1945 Big Ten champions. Then, I was an 11-year-old kid watching my older brother Mike play against the defending National Champions in 1967 in Spartan Stadium. As you recall the Hoosiers entered that game undefeated at 7-0. With the Hoosiers trailing 13-7 late in the fourth quarter, Harry Gonso led the Hoosier offense on the game-winning drive that was capped by John Isenbarger's winning touchdown with 2:50 to play. Doug Crusan and the defense made sure that score stood up and the Hoosiers moved to 8-0 and one step from the Rose Bowl. The following year I watched Eric Stolberg make a fantastic touchdown catch with less than a minute to play to give IU a 24-22 victory over the 17th ranked Spartans. The defining moment in the tenure of Indiana's all-time leading football coach Bill Mallory came in 1986 when Anthony Thompson, Van Waiters and Alex Green led the Hoosiers to a 17-14 win in East Lansing. The win not only clinched an All American Bowl bid, but stamped the "Mallory Men" as a team to be reckoned with for the next decade.
Now it is our turn to help the 2006 Hoosiers make new memories and take their own place in Indiana football history. We need the support of everyone to turn "The Rock" into a rabid home field advantage on Saturday October 28. Come join me at 10:00 AM and let the team and coaches know you are behind them at "The Walk." More importantly be loud and proud in the stands at High Noon for the kickoff. For those of you who are season ticket holders, thank you for your support of this team. For those of you who are not, please give this team a chance next Saturday and purchase tickets to the Homecoming game. Let's fill "The Rock" with 50,000 people and let this team and certainly this coach know how much we appreciate all they have done this season.
Wide Receiver James Bailey said after last Saturday's win over Iowa that he "never heard Memorial Stadium as loud" as it was last week. Imagine how loud it can be with 50,000 Cream and Crimson supporters. Crowds DO make a difference! It made the difference when Ken Kaczmarek forced that fumble of Purdue in 1967 in that memorable fourth quarter. The crowd made a difference, against Mark Herrmann and the Boilers 10 years later when we kept the Bucket! (I know, I was on the field and heard you!) The crowd made a difference in 1987 against Bo Schembechler and Michigan when the goalposts came tumbling down! Now it is our turn to make October 28 another historical home field advantage. Help Coach Hep "Play 13"!!!
Mark Deal, Indiana Football 1975-1979
P. S.: Coach Hep has challenged the Hoosier Nation to put 50,000 screaming fans in The Rock for our next home game against Michigan State on Saturday, October 28th at noon to help celebrate homecoming and bring us a victory! Are you with us?
Check back soon