Iowa Football

Watch: The Kinnick Wave returns in 2018

Signs are posted on the windows along with an outline of a hand waving on the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital as seen from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sep. 1, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Signs are posted on the windows along with an outline of a hand waving on the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital as seen from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sep. 1, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Of all the traditions in college football, few have captured the nation quite like the Kinnick Wave.

What started as an idea posted on Facebook by Iowa fan Krista Young turned into a must-see moment at Iowa football home games.

Of course, The Wave is back for the 2018 season.

At the end of the first quarter, fans turn and wave to kids watching from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, which overlooks Kinnick Stadium. Children and their familes can watch from the top floor “press box,” which fills up to 81 people with other seating nearby.

The Wave took off last year, winning the Disney Sports Spirit Award and inspiring a corn maze and a Carrie Underwood music video.

Even opposing teams make sure to take part. Iowa’s opponent Saturday, Northern Illinois, posted a video on social media earlier this week to let children at the hospital know they’d be thinking of them — even if they’re Hawkeye fans.

“I have been working with the Children’s Hospital the past few weeks as we prepare for the wave and educating our players on what it means,” Dan Wolfe, NIU’s Director of Internal Football Operations, wrote last week. “We’re signing posters, having the team members write personal notes, and making a social media video in anticipation of getting to be a part of probably the most genuine and best football tradition there is.”

“... we’re not asking for them to be fans of our team, but want them to know that they’re heroes to us and we are big fans of theirs.”

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