67,000 Iowa Fans Start a New, Heartwarming Home Game Tradition
Photo by Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Back in the 1980s, fans around professional sports started a movement called the Wave. You’ve seen it. Fans standing intermittently throughout a Stadium; lo and behold, it looks like a wave of humans moving, hence the name.
Well, the good people of Iowa have started a new version of the wave and this one, oh, this one is special. It started on September 2 when the Hawkeyes took on the Wyoming Cowboys in the opening game of the season. During the first quarter, the Iowa fans, in unison turned their backs to the field and waved.
Yes, they turned and waved. Why? Kids.
Construction on the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital was completed in February 2017 and the upper floors overlook Kinnick Stadium. Kids of all ages, dealing with numerous complications and illnesses, occupy the rooms on the floors of the Children’s Hospital and the Hawkeye fans decided, all 67,000+ in unison, to pay their respects and wave hello to the kids watching from above in their rooms. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been one of the Hospital’s champions, donating over a $1M to the Hospital, so the tone from the top has consistently been one of generosity, support and, most importantly, love.
So, how did the Wave, Iowa style, come to be? Well, through social media, of course. Back in the spring, on the popular Facebook page Hawkeye Heaven, a follower named Krista Young suggested that that fans should wave to the kids in the hospital during a game at Kinnick Stadium. Levi Thompson, who runs Hawkeye Heaven, took the idea and ran with it and the smiles haven’t stopped coming from those kids at the hospital and the waves will never stop from the fans in black and gold…and the tears haven’t stopped coming from the parents sitting by the kid’s bed side.
The Hawkeyes are 3-0 and will face one of the best teams in the country, Penn State on Saturday night. They may take an L against a tough Nittany Lion team, but right now, the Hawkeyes are number one in a lot of kids’ minds and that’s all that really matters.