I’m so sorry to all Hawkeye fans that the 2020-2021 football season will not be happening. The pandemic has ruined so much this year, and when the Big 10 made the decision to cancel their season you could hear a sigh across the state.
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I was a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan. My Uncle Bill took me to several football games in South Bend. I’ve stormed the field after a last minute win, slapped the Play Like a Champion sign, and vividly remember the feeling of game day on their campus.
It wasn’t until I came to St. Ambrose in the fall of 2002 that I understood the importance of Hawkeye football. My roommates would wake up at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings in preparation for the 11 a.m. kickoff. While we certainly supported St. Ambrose football, the Hawkeyes dominated TVs in Cosgrove Hall (the freshman dorm). You could say I’ve been a Hawkeye supporter for 18 years now (that makes me feel really old).
Have you thought about what you’ll do on the upcoming Saturdays? As of writing this, it seems some collegiate conferences are planning on having a season. It doesn’t seem likely that any Hawkeye fan would jump ship to start supporting another team.
What if we could channel all the Hawkeye football energy and lift up our community? What if you took the same amount of money that you would have spent on a typical Saturday watching the Hawkeyes and donated it? Places like the MCSA Domestic Violence Shelter would certainly appreciate the support.
You could consider helping those still recovering from the horrendous storm that impacted Cedar Rapids and Marion. Last week when my family was driving back from Des Moines, the line of utility and power vehicles heading towards the Cedar Rapids area was powerful. Stories of Muscatine people stepping up to the plate to help, like Lieutenant Greg Bock with the Salvation Army and Ashley Loveless loading a vehicle and hitting the road to drop off donations, show you can make a difference.
If the typical college football season has 12 games, you could take whatever you’d typically spend in Iowa City and multiply it by that number! Even if the amount was $25, you’d be able to donate a total of $300!
What else can we do with our free Saturdays this fall? Let’s put our heads together and find ways to giveback. That’s an Iowa thing to do. Take a negative, turn it into a positive, and lift up our neighbors in need. In the 18 years I’ve spent living in the Hawkeye State, the spirit of giving and genuine empathy we have for each other has impressed me the most. Here’s to Saturdays spent with family and friends and paying it forward all while wearing that favorite Hawkeye apparel.
Author’s Note: As of writing this column, the Big 12 is still planning on having a season. I’m certainly well aware of the amount of Iowa State fans and alumni in Muscatine County. Don’t send me hate mail–I see and respect you and your team!