Unwavering Hawkeye Support

Nov. 9, 2009

by Sean Neugent

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Winning brings out the best in people, so do close games. University of Iowa football fans have been treated to an array of both this season and they have done their part to make sure opposing teams know what field they are playing on.

With one bump in the road in losing to Northwestern, the Hawkeyes (9-1 overall) are the No. 10 team in the nation and off to one of the best starts in the history of the program. They hope that continues when they head to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to take on Ohio State in a battle to retain first place in the Big Ten Conference standings.

“Our fans were tremendous (against Northwestern),” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We appreciate that. Their support has been great.”

Hawkeyes fans remained in Kinnick Stadium for awhile after the Northwestern game. They were disappointed that the perfect season had to come to an end, but cheered on their team’s effort as the Hawkeyes headed into the locker room.

“I heard them clapping, cheering when we were coming off the field,” Ferentz said. “They’ve been great. I appreciate them recognizing the efforts of our players.”

“They have been great all year,” offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga said. “(Against Northwestern) they were really loud and excited right from warm-ups. They did a great job today.”

Hawkeyes fans have been nothing short of incredible with their support this season and it has the Iowa team grinning from ear to ear. Winning may bring out the best in people, but Iowa fans have always been there for their beloved team.

“The fans are always there for you, win or lose,” receiver Marvin McNutt said. “Iowa fans are probably the greatest fans around.”

“They’re unbelievable, our fans are the best in the country,” defensive back Joe Conklin said. “There is no doubt about that. They stay until the end and root for us — win, lose or draw, whatever the case may be, they are there for us. I can’t say enough about the fans, I love playing in front of them.”

Stress followed by pure happiness seems to be the theme this year with several nail-biters. The Hawkeyes have found a way to get the job done time after time. Two blocked field goals in a row against Northern Iowa in the final seconds propelled the Hawkeyes in the first game of the season and a last second touchdown on fourth down from quarterback Ricky Stanzi to McNutt in East Lansing helped Iowa overcome a tough Michigan State team. Those have been just a few moments that have sent not only the team into a frenzy of bliss, but the fans as well.

Iowa has already secured a spot in a bowl game and it has one more home game remaining on the schedule against the University of Minnesota. There are Hawkeyes fans all over the nation, and bowl sponsors jump at the chance to get Iowa in their bowl game, not only because the strong tradition of the program, but because Hawkeyes fans travel to see them play whenever and wherever they go.

The Hawkeyes will have a tough road test Saturday when they take on Ohio State inside Ohio Stadium with a 2:35 p.m. kickoff. You can bet that several Iowa fans will be in attendance.

“We know we have amazing fans and we want to put a good product out there, something they are proud of,” offensive lineman Rafael Eubanks said. “With the economic times we are having right now, they don’t have to come out here, but they do and we appreciate it.”