Earlier today, ESPN published a feature about the best traditions for every Top 25 college football program. Iowa may not be the first program that comes to mind, but their tradition puts most others to shame.
The Hawkeyes have long been a proud Big Ten team, and have plenty of traditions going for them. Their fans are about as on top of opposing teams as you get at Kinnick Stadium, which many opponents bring up.
Iowa’s visitor locker room is also famously painted all pink. It is one of the best bits of trolling in college football, and dates back to early in Hayden Fry’s long tenure in Iowa City, which ran from 1979-98.
The best Iowa tradition, though, is one of the newest ones.
For Iowa football, ESPN went with the Iowa or Kinnick Wave as the Hawkeyes’ best tradition.
It is hard to argue, given what it means and how quickly it has left its mark on college football.
From ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren:
Affectionately known as the Iowa Wave, the Hawkeyes’ best tradition started only during the 2017 season. The University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital overlooks Kinnick Stadium and has a viewing area where patients and their families can watch Iowa football games. During that 2017 season, fans started to turn away from the football field at the end of the first quarter and wave to the children in the hospital. It has grown so popular that the Iowa team and coaches, as well as the opposing team and coaches, are now turning and waving to the children during the game.
Obviously, this is an amazing moment during games at Kinnick Stadium, but one of the things that really makes it special is the buy-in from opposing teams. During Iowa road games and bowl games hundreds of miles from Iowa City, we’ve seen rival fans join in with the Hawkeye fans to keep up the tradition.
It may be just two seasons old, but it is hard to top that Hawkeye tradition.