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Nile Kinnick (1918 – 1943)


1939 Heisman Trophy winner.
Nile Kinnick
We are not people apart; there is no reason in the world why we shouldn't fight for the preservation of a chance to live freely; no reason why we shouldn't suffer to uphold that which we want to endure than it is anyone else. And it is a matter of self-preservation right this very minute...May God give me courage to do my duty and not falter.
Kinnick quotes
Religions, convictions, philosophies may differ Ė widely and bitterly; but never, in my belief, should such differences be allowed to assume the personal aspect. Disassociation from people for such reasons is inexcusable; it is representative of bigotry and intolerance.
Kinnick
His life until June 2 was as near perfection as anything I expect to see in my time here. The inspiration of his example has affected and will continue to affect his college generation. The tragedy of his death is that the qualities and abilities which he possessed will be so much needed in the years after the war.




Kinnick Nile quotes
Oh, for the farm where a man is truly independent, and where he deals with fundamentals, where the changing seasons brings changed work, and a man is out of doors all the time. It is on the farm that a man can devote his life to his investment and see the improvement and growth from year to year...I enjoy thinking of such things and there is no doubt that I am a midwesterner through and through.
Kinnick Nile
(Sports) provides a wonderful opportunity for initiating acquaintance. Regardless of the degree of our civilization, people still thrill to physical combat and admire the man who excels. He who is of proven merit in the field of major sports has shown to all that he is possessed of strength, vigor, stamina, and courage. The great majority of people want to know such a man...How well I have taken advantage of the football reputation it was my good fortune to gain is for others to judge, but I personally am very thankful for the whole experience and the fun and friends it has brought me.
Nile Kinnick quotes
I share with you an innate desire to be of public service to this country. It is the lot of our generation to serve as military men first, and then, with an idealism undaunted to enlist with as much zeal to form a lasting peace. All will come right, our cause is just and righteous. This country will not lose.
Nile Kinnick
Nile Kinnick will be remembered as long as there is an Iowa...He aspired to our profession and began the study of law...Then, just as he was well started, came his country's call to service...I have no doubt Kinnick would have written his name high in the law. There is no calculating what he might have done in and for the profession, or therefore, what it and the nation have lost by his sacrifice...He might have been the great scholar and teacher, the pre-eminent advocate, the judicial statesman. But all this he gave that these institutions...might survive and have being for generations to come.
Kinnick Nile quotes
Some day I would like to meet you as a fellow senator or representative in Washington, D.C. Whether that will ever be my lot none can now say. But for those who have the rightful desire and expectation, a way is usually opened. Let us hope that you and I, and many, many others like us, will be enabled someday, somewhere, somehow to contribute in some small way to the peace and progress of this world. There is nothing wrong with dreams provided foundations are put under them.
Kinnick
I am so glad you could speak enthusiastically of your visit to Iowa City. That little town means so much to me...It is almost like home. I love the people, the campus, the trees, everything about it. And it is beautiful in the spring...And I hope you strolled off across the golf course just at twilight and felt the peace and quiet of an Iowa evening, just as I used to do.
Kinnick Nile
The ways of the Lord must be many and some of them seem hard to understand. Perhaps He refuses to allow His special clay to engage in our bloody little game...Perhaps he was jerked in the first quarter because war just wasn't his field.
Nile Kinnick
It is my belief that the essential thing to be gained from a college education is to learn to think, to think for yourself; to develop an active, alert, inquiring mind...In reality you have to educate yourself. College only presents the opportunity.




Nile Kinnick quotes
Rightly or wrongly, football is very definitely tied up with the status of a university. The majority of people who go to college...they donít get that wider horizon or that better mental equilibrium. But they do get the opportunity. I think the same thing is true about football. While possibly the majority of boys donít get those subjective values that I mentioned, certainly the opportunity is there, and I think the values they do get are perhaps more intensely brought out than they are in an educational system itself. As far as any activities I have been connected with are concerned, football has given me the opportunity to round out my philosophy and to change my thinking process more than any other activity with which I have been connected.
Nile Kinnick
To be a tough, rugged boy is every ladís ambition. But to be a gentleman, to be kindly, charitable, thoughtful as well as tough and rugged is much more to be desired. And he who can be both is much the better man and usually much tougher in the long run.
Kinnick quotes
We either must jump in this mess strongly regardless of the risk or refuse to take our rightful place in the world. More than at any time since the Napoleonic period Western Civilization and Christianity are at stake. That puts it strongly but is no exaggeration just the same. Lincoln was a moral and upright man. He was a pacifist at heart. But when there was no other alternative he did not equivocate nor cravenly talk of peace when there was no peace. He grabbed the bull by the horns; realizing that the nation could not endure half slave and half free, he threw down the gauntlet and eradicated the evil. We are faced with the same thing and the longer we wait the worse it becomes.
Kinnick Nile
When the members of any nation have come to regard their country as nothing more than the plot of ground on which they reside, and their government as a mere organization for providing police or contracting treaties; when they have ceased to entertain any warmer feelings for one another than those which interest or personal friendship or a mere general philanthropy may produce, the moral dissolution of that nation is at hand.
Kinnick Nile quotes
The inequities in human relationships are many, but the lot of the Negro is one of the worst. Here in the south this fact is tragically evident. The poor colored people are kicked from pillar to post, condemned, cussed, ridiculed, accorded no respect, permitted no sense of human dignity. What can be done I don't know. Nearly everyone, particularly the southerners, seem to think the only problem involved is seeing to it that they keep their place, whatever that may be. We supposedly are fighting this war to obliterate the malignant idea of racial supremacy and master-slave relationships. When this war is over the colored problem is apt to be more difficult than ever. May wisdom, justice, brotherly love guide our steps to the right solution.
Nile Kinnick
It will be a long and bitter road to victory, but victory there will be, and with it the U.S. will have gained the world prestige she long ago should have earned.
Nile Kinnick quotes
Nile Kinnick was the greatest football player I have ever coached and one of the greatest and most courageous I have ever seen...they named me Coach of the Year in 1939, but there is no doubt that the glory belonged to Iowa and Kinnick.
Nile Kinnick
For three years, nay for fifteen years, I have been preparing for this last year of football...I anticipate becoming the roughest, toughest all-around back yet to hit this conference.
Kinnick Nile
Do not quibble or quarrel over trivialities but stand firm as the rock of Gibraltar on matters of principle. That is, do not argue vociferously over a refereeís decision or a difference in the size of dessert but stand solid and unflinching when it is a question of absolute honesty, truthfulness, kindliness, compassion, (or) thoughtfulness.


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