Today is number 69 (nice) in our series of 99 Things I am excited about for this upcoming season. The subject of today’s post is one of the newer traditions in college football. The Iowa Wave first started in 2017. The Hawkeyes have created one of the most heartwarming traditions in the entire sport and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Players, fans, and coaches have all participated to help make the atmosphere special.
The wave happens at the end of the first quarter when games are played at Kinnick Stadium. Players, coaches and fans turn to face the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and wave to everyone in the hospital. The first wave happened in 2017 against Wyoming. The announcer requested everyone turn towards the hospital and wave. Posters and signs are commonly pressed up against the window in support of the Hawkeyes. The wave is a way for everyone in the stadium to show their support for patients in the children’s hospital to continue their fight. College football might feel like it is the most important thing to some of us but this tradition helps remind everyone there are bigger aspects to life than sports.
I had the privilege of being part of wave during the 2017 season when Iowa hosted Ohio State (yes, that Ohio State vs Iowa game). One thing which stuck out to me was the amount of players and coaches who participated. The game was still close at that point but even the Ohio State players were waving. Of course I took the opportunity to wave to the children’s hospital and be part of the tradition.
The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital treated 83,937 children last year. The hospital is doing great work on a daily basis treating kids from around the globe. You should put attending an Iowa game on your bucket list because your wave might help give a child the hope they need to keep fighting.