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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Documentary: "The Game That Wasn't Played"

Release: 11/18/2013
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AMES, Iowa - Friday, Nov. 22, 1963 dawned as a day of travel for many college football teams, some about to play their biggest contests of the season. Oklahoma and Nebraska would battle for the Big Eight Conference title, Harvard-Yale and USC-UCLA were on the docket. Illinois was set to battle Michigan State and Iowa was playing host to Notre Dame.

At Iowa State, that Friday was the last day of finals for the fall quarter.  Many students had already headed home as others took their last exams. Iowa State was getting ready for its season finale at Drake. The game would mark the 63rd contest between the two schools, which had met for the first time in 1898 and every year since 1921.

Then, at 12:30 p.m., the world changed course when U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. For many Americans, time literally stopped as the nation watched television nonstop over the next four days.

Despite the all-consuming national tragedy, college football administrators across the country were faced with a dilemma.

To play or not to play.

Because the assassination occurred on Friday, some teams were already at the site of their opponent. In the end, some teams played and some postponed their games. Others, including the Drake-Iowa State game, were canceled.

Beginning Tuesday, will air the documentary “The Game that Wasn’t Played.” The 30-minute program focuses on the process by which athletics directors and coaches came to their decisions on how to proceed the next day, with particular focus on the Iowa State-Drake game.

The Iowa State-Drake series included several games of national impact which resulted in long lasting changes to the game of football.

“In 2001, the September 11 tragedies occurred on a Tuesday,” said Tom Kroeschell of “We had time to sort out what we were going to do before postponing the Iowa State-Iowa game until the end of the season. The people in charge in 1963 literally had just hours to decide how to handle the situation."

The documentary debuts on our Mediacom channel (channel info available here) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT. It is also available online via right now. A list of the current showings are available below this article as well as a short video teaser on the documentary. Kroeschell, in concert with Jeff Grummer and Rod Bodholdt of B&G Productions in Ames wrote and produced the project.


Air Times of “The Game That Wasn't Played" on the Mediacom channel.
(Program will be available for subscribers online on Tuesday, Nov. 19)

Tuesday, Nov. 19
6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 20
12:30 a.m.
6:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
11:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 21
5:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
5:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 22
7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23
2 a.m.
8 a.m.
2 p.m.
8 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 24
2 a.m.
8 a.m.
2 p.m.
8 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 25
2 a.m.
8 a.m.
2 p.m.

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