Iowa Hawkeyes Start a New Tradition by Waving to the Children’s Hospital

What would you think if you saw the entire crowd at a packed football stadium waving to the children’s hospital behind them?

Sports have long been seen as something that the ordinary people look up to for inspiration and encouragement. Whatever they are going through, they look up to their favorite teams to feel better and make it through their tough times. Many teams have stepped up to create traditions that honor their fans. The Iowa Hawkeyes have created a new tradition of honoring the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The facility overlooks their stadium. It was a pleasant surprise for both fans worldwide and the young patients and their guardians in the hospital when the entire Hawkeye crowd waved to the hospital.

The Universality of Iowa Children’s Hospital was founded in the early 20th century. The hospital is located perfectly in a way that it overlooks the field where the team plays.

New Hawkeye Tradition: Waving to the Children’s Hospital

Right after the first quarter of the home team’s win over Wyoming, the local crowd in the stadium turned towards the hospital and waved. This was a sign to let the children and their families know that the fans cared for them. The kids and their families were watching the game from the windows of the hospital and were surprised at what they were seeing. This was something they witnessed for the first time. The Iowa Hawkeyes went on to beat Wyoming by 24 to 3.


The idea for the tradition didn’t just originate spontaneously. An Iowa football fan page on Facebook came up with the idea and reached out to more and more fans over a period of a few months. Eventually, it had reached enough Iowa Hawkeyes fans to become a reality. In response, the hospital thanked the team and fans through a tweet.

Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach

There is also a connection between the team’s head coach and the hospital. Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz and his wife have recently donated $1 million to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The fund will create the Savvy Ferentz Program to honor the coach’s grandchild, who died as a premature child. The donation will be used in research related to premature babies. The head coach announced that he was a premature baby himself, born 3 months early and weighed just 1 lb 9 oz. He claimed that he was personally motivated to make a difference in the lives of such children and their families.

Connection Between the Team & the Hospital

The Iowa Hawkeyes team has always made special efforts to raise funds for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. It has a specific name for its campaign, “Touchdowns for Kids.” It encourages the team’s fans to donate whenever the team scores a touchdown in the season. Apart from this there has also been a tradition of inviting one patient who is asked to serve as “kid captain.” The child would stand on the sidelines along with the team.

About Iowa Hawkeyes Existing Traditions

The home games are played in the Kinnick Stadium which has a capacity of over 70,000. Kirk Ferentz is into his 19th season with the team as head coach. He is currently the longest standing head coach in the Division. The team has a number of popular traditions.

  • Song Traditions for Iowa: The “Iowa Fight Song” is the official song. “On Iowa” is the also a traditional favorite, and another popular tune for Hawkeyes is “Roll Along Iowa.” The team exits the tunnel to “Back in Black” (AC/DC) and runs into the field to “Enter Sandman” (Metallica). All victories are followed by “In Heaven There is No Beer” (Im Himmel gibt’s kein Bier Polka).
  • Herky the Hawk Mascot: Herky the Hawk is the official mascot of Iowa Hawkeyes. It was first introduced at a sports event in the late 1950s even though it was created in 1948. The black/gold hawk gets its name from Hercules, the Greek God. The team gets its name, “Hawkeye”, from the book titled, “The Last of the Mohicans.”
  • Hawkeye Marching Band: This is the official band of the Hawkeye home games. The band is quite old as it was founded in the late 19th century. The band also accompanies the team mostly one away game in a year and to one post-season bowl games.

With the new waving tradition, Iowa Hawkeyes will have one more ritual added to the list. It is a pleasant and noble effort from the team’s fans. The team has had been working for long to help the hospital, but the new tradition is expected to form an even tighter bond.


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