Lightning Fans Go Crazy for Hawks (or T-Shirts?)

Dec. 29, 2013

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TAMPA, Fla. — They heard cheers and saw the hands, so the University of Iowa foursome of Adam Cox, Ray Hamilton, Henry Krieger-Coble, and B.J. Lowery responded with waves.

The Hawkeye football players went on a zamboni ride Sunday during the first intermission of the NHL hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

“It was another fun experience set up by the people at the bowl game and we had a good time,” Hamilton said. “It was nice to be on the ice with buddies and teammates and experience Tampa Bay.”

Hamilton said there were several spectators in the arena wearing black and gold with the Tiger hawk logo. They came onto the ice with the Iowa Fight Song playing over the speakers.

“We had to point and show them our appreciation for coming out and supporting the Hawks down in Tampa,” Hamilton said.

Then the group had an epiphany.

“The place started going nuts and hands were flying all over,” Hamilton said. “As we started making our way around we all starting laughing because they were waving for T-shirts and couldn’t care less we were out there.”

Two buses of Hawkeye players and staff attended the game that was won by the Rangers, 4-3.

“I enjoy hockey. I love watching it on TV,” said UI defensive coordinator Phil Parker, a graduate of Michigan State University. “The Spartans had a good team when I was there; my wife is from Detroit, so we watched the Red Wings when we had a chance.”

Junior defensive back Nico Law plays the NHL video game, but this was the first time he had seen live hockey.

“I came to see a fight,” Law said. “This is relaxing.”

Iowa and LSU play in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Raymond James Stadium beginning at 12:03 p.m. (CT).