Op-ED: Entering The Swarm

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend my first Iowa Hawkeye game, and I was even lucky enough to have it come on an unofficial state holiday, the day of Cy-Hawk Football.

I have grown up a Hawks fan for most of my life and it was a team I chose. My parents were both born out of the state so I was not born or raised in the rivalry, but that did not stop me from developing a strong distaste for everything Cyclones.

Walking into Kinnick Stadium for the first time was something from a dream that I had been waiting nearly 20 years to fulfill. 

Even being around sports for my entire life could not prepare me for what I was about to experience.

Starting with the tailgate I have never been surrounded by so many fellow Iowa fans. Black and Gold as far as the eye could see, it was truly beautiful.

Sitting in side of as stadium I have seen on TV hundreds of times was surreal. Then came kickoff…

Kinnick Stadium filled with nearly 70,000 screaming fans was an environment like few I have experienced. From the “I-O-W-A” chant to interacting with fellow Hawkeye fans in the stands, Kinnick did not disappoint. 

The product on the field was more thansatisfactory as the Hawkeyes displayed the dominant defense they have become known for and did enough offensively to keep the Cy-Hawk trophy where it belongs and to remind everyone why it is called the Hawkeye State.

What sets the Kinnick experience a part from other stadium, though, is an event that comes at the end of the first quarter of every Iowa Hawkeye home game.

“The Wave.”

What started as a social media movement has become the best tradition in all of college football. 

In a rivalry as fierce as the Cy-Hawk Trophy, it was amazing to see fans from both sides coming together realizing that this was bigger than just us.

This is what makes college football, and Iowa Football especially, special and why I love being a Hawkeye fan.

Although it was just my first game at Kinnick, I understand why it is such a tough play place to play for opposing teams.

This is what being a Hawkeye fan is all about. This is what being part of ‘The Swarm’ is all about.