2010 Orange Bowl rewind: How a group of ‘misfits’ left a lasting legacy at Iowa

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Check out the fifth and final story from our look back at the 2009 Hawkeyes football team

We’ve got a special broadcast of the 2010 Orange Bowl this Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Quad Cities CW (Channel 26.1). All week long, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with that team. In the final installment, Hawkeye Headquarters reporter Adam Rossow tells us how a group of unique personalities left a lasting legacy during one of the best seasons in program history.

Eccentric characters that were more like brothers than teammates.

“The people on that team,” said former Iowa offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde, “everyone from top to bottom was some kind of crazy.”

“And then we had [Brett] Greenwood that was the most normal one that would kind of reel us all in,” said former Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer.

A group that mastered the balance between working hard and having fun.

“We were all friends,” said former Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi. “Everybody would giggle and laugh together and the locker room was real tight. And so when you have that and you win, it just makes everything that much better.”

The 2009 Hawkeyes endeared themselves to Iowa fans because of their personality.

“We did a good job of when it was time to go, it’s time to go,” Angerer said. “But we also messed around a little bit and joked around. I think we had a lot of good personalities there, but when it’s time to work, we’re working.”

They won 11 games because of a singular focus.

“You knew that everyone had the same mentality,” Vandervelde said. “We all came from different places. We all came from different backgrounds, but we had a very single-minded goal. You kind of get a feel for those teams that are special, where every week really is the most important week. We were there to do a job, to finish this special season in a special way.”

That approach served the group well at the Orange Bowl.

“I was down there to win a BCS game. Miami is great, but I got the rest of my life to spend in Miami. I didn’t have the rest of my life to do that. That was my main focal point. I think that was the majority of us,” Angerer said. “Iowa football was the most important thing in our life…without a doubt, I mean that was it.”

Former Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns said winning with such a tight-knit group is something that simply can’t be replicated.

“That feeling in the locker room, after we worked hard for a month for this game for this victory, and just seeing the smile on everyone’s faces in the locker room. I mean, that’s what it’s all about.  To this day, that’s what I miss now,” Binns said.

Euphoria for everyone wearing black-and-gold on a January night in Miami, because of the commitment from a group of so-called misfits.

“A lot of people say sometimes when you’re done playing you take it for granted. You weren’t all in, but for us, I don’t think anybody took that team for granted, that season for granted,” Angerer said. “We knew what we had. We made it important. We fought and we battled.”

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