Top 5 Reasons We LOVE Iowa Football

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The leaves are turning, the temperatures are cooling off, and we’re seeing a LOT more black & gold around town!  This can only mean one thing: it’s time for some Iowa Hawkeyes football!

Whether you’ve lived in Iowa City your whole life, or you arrived yesterday, it’s no secret that football completely takes over our city every fall, and we are here.for.it.  Football is not just a game, it’s not just what happens on the field, and it is NOT just for the students.

Iowa Hawkeyes football is tradition. It’s culture. It’s family.  And if, for some reason, you haven’t caught the football season bug yet, please read on…

 

{Top 5 Reasons We LOVE Iowa Football}

1. Kinnick Stadium: Right in the heart of our community, you’ll find one of the 20 largest university-owned stadiums in the nation: the beautiful and newly-redesigned (check out that North wall!) Kinnick Stadium.  Even if you aren’t watching the game from inside the walls of Kinnick, you will no doubt feel the energy from the outside as you drive/walk by on any given Saturday in the Fall. For those of you who live in the surrounding neighborhoods, make it a point on a Saturday afternoon to get those kiddos out on a family walk to feel the excitement in the air.  Pull out all the black and gold gear, grab some pom poms, or maybe even paint faces!  (PS…be sure to watch for the announcement for Kids Day at Kinnick 2020; it’s one of the best events in town!). For more information on the stadium and all things family-friendly for game days, check out our Guide to Kids at Kinnick!

2. The Family Traditions: Whether you grew up watching it with your grandparents, joined the bandwagon as a UI student, married into it, or any combination of the above, Iowa football comes with many, many family traditions, and it’s one of the reasons we love it most.  Special game-day recipes, backyard BBQs, tailgating and more, we are on board for just about anything that will bring family and friends together every weekend!  Oh, and speaking of “on board”–another favorite tradition is the Hawkeye Express, which is a fun and exciting way to get your family to the game! Bonus: kids ride for FREE!

3. “The Wave”: In September 2017, a grassroots movement on social media quickly became one of the greatest college football traditions of all time. Just as the 1st quarter came to an end, all 69,000+ fans in the stadium turn around to face the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and they wave to the pediatric patients and their families. It is quite a scene to behold, even on your television screen, but if you get the chance to be there in person on game day, be sure to have the tissues ready, because you’re going to need them. What a beautiful, beautiful tradition! Interested in giving to the cause? Check out the whole story behind “The Iowa Wave” movement and t-shirt campaign, which to-date has donated nearly $1 million to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

4. The Food (and Drinks): If you aren’t one of the lucky 69,000 who have tickets to the game, and if cooking/entertaining at home isn’t your thing, we STILL have you covered!  The air of excitement on game day is not limited to Kinnick and the streets surrounding it; downtown Iowa City offers TONS of options for cheering on the Hawks!  Bringing the kids along? Check out our guide to kid-friendly restaurants on the Ped Mall!  Wherever you go, and whatever you order, take a moment to let all of that black-and-gold, midwestern camaraderie around you sink in, and don’t forget to join in when they start singing “In heaven there is no beer…that’s why we drink it here!”

5. The Tailgate Experience: What is college football without a good ol’ fashioned tailgate, am I right? Even if you aren’t able to make it all the way to the parking lot of Kinnick, there’s no reason you can’t pop up a tent in your own driveway or backyard and get the party started! Roll out the grills, plug in the crockpots (check out some of our favorite tailgate recipes!), and set up that bags game.  Your kiddos will love every minute of it, and if you have enough activities to keep them busy, you may even get to actually WATCH the game!

Bonus:  We’ve got you covered this year with our very own Iowa Hawkeyes Tailgate BINGO! Click on the printable below and enjoy the fun as you and your little ones search for all of the tailgate staples to make a Bingo!  Be sure to plan some fun prizes as a family, and don’t forget to post photos! We’d love to see!

{FREE printable version here}

 

We are thrilled to be partnering with the National Football Foundation in their Football Matters campaign, celebrating the indelible impact the game of football has made on millions of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, communities and fans nationwide.  Follow the Football Matters campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and help them celebrate the game of football this fall!

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