The Kinnick Wave, the simple yet meaningful acknowledgement of the children fighting serious illnesses at the new UI Children's Hospital across the street from Kinnick Stadium has been, hands down, one of the most pleasant surprises related to Iowa football this season. It's an organic new tradition that's charmed the hearts of college football fans not just around Iowa, but across the country. Each week seems to bring some new twist or heart-warming story related to The Wave, so let's talk about a few of the most recent ones. The Illinois players and fans took part in the Wave on Saturday:
Great moment in Iowa City.
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) October 8, 2017
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Hawkeye Marching Band also showed off some impressive skill in creating a new formation that was literally a waving hand during their halftime show:
— University of Iowa (@uiowa) October 10, 2017
Although if we have to quibble -- and it's the internet, so we're legally and morally obligated to quibble -- shouldn't the waving hand be facing the opposite direction, at the Children's Hospital, rather than at the pressbox side at Kinnick Stadium? Again, just a quibble -- the formation was very impressive and the sentiment was much appreciated.
Meanwhile, after the game we found out about some Wisconsin fans who stopped by Iowa City for the Iowa-Illinois game to take part in The Wave on their way to Lincoln for Saturday night's Nebraska-Wisconsin game.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 9, 2017
Our friends at BHGP have the full story, which is definitely worth a read.
Apparently they had left Wisconsin early Saturday morning and headed for Lincoln. As they navigated their way through Iowa, it occurred to them that they were nearing Iowa City and a game was being played there. This group of five or six young guys and one girl decided to make a detour and see if they could score tickets to the Illinois-Iowa game.
They were successful.
“Did you get to see the Wave?” I asked.
“Oh yeah,” one of them replied. “That was they only reason we wanted to go. We wanted to wave to those kids.”
Meanwhile, guess who else was shouting out The Wave this on social media this week? None other than the Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, who called it "by far the best college tradition of all time." Rizzo is himself a cancer survivor, so there's no doubt that he feels a particular kinship with the kids battling cancer at the UI Childern's Hospital.
And finally, The Wave has been immortalized on a shirt as well:
My initial thought was that trying to commemorate this warm act of generosity by putting it on a t-shirt and selling it was a bit crass and unnecessary (if likely inevitable), but the money raised by the sale of the shirts will be going to a good cause -- as the site notes, 100% of the profits will be donated to The University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Look good, feel good, and do good? That's a win-win-win proposition right there. Go here to get your own Wave shirt.
Finally, if you missed the excellent ESPN College GameDay or Fox Sports video stories on The Wave, you can watch them here. Don't forget to bring tissues. And, as ever, your contributions to the UI Children's Hospital via Iowa Touchdown For Kids are always appreciated -- this year's information is available here.