Commentary: Game day routine needs overhaul

BY JON LINDER | OCTOBER 07, 2009 7:20 AM

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No place on Earth is more special to me than Kinnick Stadium.

Raised to love the Black and Gold, I’ve seen my fair share of Iowa football games over the past 20 years.

I’ve seen Tim Dwight change the dynamic of a game. I’ve seen Drew Tate put a team squarely on his shoulders and lead it to an improbable Big Ten title.

I’ve seen Shonn Greene make Brett Bielema and the Wisconsin defense look like fools.

And I’ve loved every second of it. That is, while the play clock was running.

As much as I live for the action on the Kinnick Stadium turf, there are aspects of home games I could do without.

Several in fact.

This may be asking too much of our ever-classy fanbase, but if you’re listening out there: Stop booing Iowa players.


Nothing angers me more than hearing fellow students and Iowa alumni berate the boys in black.

I understand some (if not most) fans are completely hammered by the time they pass through the gates, but that’s hardly an excuse for such an unacceptable action.

These players aren’t trying to disappoint you. They love this program as much as the rest of us — if not more.

And I’ve always been a firm believer in cheering for someone as opposed to cheering against someone else.

But I digress.

Does anyone else take issue with the way Herky is brought onto the field?

It baffles me to think the greatest entrance Herky can muster is being carried out on a plate before every game.

If folks really want to get the Iowa faithful jacked up before the Hawkeyes swarm the field, build a little anticipation for the entrance of our lovable morale booster.

Instead of carrying Herky in, build the mascot a big birdhouse or nest between the student sections.

Picture the big hawk sticking his huge, beaked helmet out of either of those homes and imagine the anticipatory roar of the crowd.

And that’s not the half of it.

If stadium officials have the ability to put a camera on a wire and move it anywhere above the field, they can certainly put a mascot in a harness, which would really get things rocking in Kinnick.

Yes, have the Head Hawk literally swoop down onto the turf before every game.

To increase fan participation, everyone could yell “KaKaaaa” as Herky glides to the field.

My other changes to the game-day routine are not quite so sweeping.

It would be great if the “Panchero’s Burrito Lift” were scratched from the itinerary. Instead of playing that annoying song and coercing unsuspecting students into making idiots of themselves, I would love to see a Panchero’s-sponsored “Fan Lift” for the student section.

Other schools do something similar, and at the very least, it would eliminate something I imagine visiting fans get a good chuckle out of.

It amazes me to see how much people love that damn “Burrito Lift.”

We could also get rid of the smile cam altogether. Instead, open up the camera (and a mike) to the crowd, and let them get a few words in. It may go without saying, but there would likely need to be a rigorous screening process — especially for students.

Even if these suggestions fall upon ignorant ears, I take solace in that “Back in Black” will continue to blare from the stadium’s speakers. It means the Hawkeyes are taking to Kinnick, and I can deal with the rest.

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