For nearly 100 years the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and Kinnick Stadium (formerly Iowa Stadium) have stood next to one another on the University of Iowa campus. In 2017 the hospital opened a new building, one that rises up 12 stories above ground and includes a top-floor lounge - the Press Box Cafe - that overlooks the field. Patients and their families gather here to watch home games through the giant floor-to-ceiling windows and away games on big-screen televisions.
At the beginning of the 2017 football season, a fan made a suggestion on Facebook. Word spread, an announcement was made, and at the end of the first quarter of the first game, the entire crowd of 70,000+ turned, faced the hospital, and waved to the patients and their families watching from their rooms and the top floor of the hospital.
And The Wave was born.
The tradition - a simple but meaningful gesture - has had a positive impact on the hospital's children and families dealing with life-altering and life-threatening medical conditions...and on the fans. And as a result, at the end of the 2017 college football season the University of Iowa received the Disney Sports' Spirit Award. "Authentic, caring, and powerful, it perfectly embodies the Hawkeye family spirit. And though it has never been about recognition, tonight, you received it anyway. Here’s to you Hawkeye Nation."
Watch this video. I promise you won't be disappointed.
You want to be a part of The Wave now, don't you? Since most of us - myself included - won't make it to Kinnick Stadium this season, let's take The Wave on the road. Who can you wave at today? Whose spirits can you lift with a small but authentic, caring, and powerful gesture?