By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – With nothing but time on my hands considering the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, I got to thinking about my favorite Iowa athletic events that I have covered since I started working for Pat Harty and AllHawkeyes.com in February 2016.
Most of my list has nothing to do with the actual games, but events that transpired before or after.
So from inspiring moments to funny moments, here are my five favorite moments from my time on the Iowa beat.
1. The Wave – If you forgot that there was a football game on Sept. 2, 2017, I wouldn’t blame you.
Because the real story of Iowa’s 24-3 win over Wyoming wasn’t what happened on the football field, it was what happened after the first quarter.
The now famous tradition of fans in Kinnick Stadium turning to wave to children in the newly built University of Iowa Children’s Hospital between the first and second quarters began on this day, and it was an honor and a privilege to witness it first-hand.
As someone who spent countless hours in the old children’s hospital when I was 16 years old dealing with a bone cancer scare, “The Wave” still gives me goosebumps and serves as a reminder of how lucky I am.
2. Iowa vs. Purdue football 2016 – This particular event has almost nothing to do with Iowa’s 49-35 win over Purdue.
What happened after the game as Pat and I were driving back from West Lafayette, however, is something I’ll never forget.
Pat and I, both Chicago Cubs fans, tuned into Game 1 of the National League Championship Series for the drive home.
Shortly after the Cubs blew a two-run lead, we were pulled over for speeding just outside of Peoria, Ill.
While we were on the side of the road for what seemed like an eternity, one of the most memorable moments in Cubs history unfolded.
With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Miguel Montero came up to the plate to pinch hit and blasted a grand slam into the right field bleachers, sending Pat and I into a frenzy while a police officer sat in her car just a few yards behind us.
We reacted similarly when Dexter Fowler followed with a solo shot in the next at-bat.
After the officer told us we were being let off with a warning, we apologized for being rowdy.
The officer replied with something along the lines of “You guys are Cubs fans, I figured you couldn’t be that bad.”
3. Iowa vs. Minnesota football 2016 – Just a week prior to the Purdue game, I got the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis with my girlfriend (now wife), Sadie.
I remember very little about the actual game except that Iowa won and it was a pretty boring game.
I had gotten Sadie credentials to sit in the press box with me during the game and assist me with shooting video during the postgame press conferences.
However, the most memorable part of this trip was after we found a spot in the parking ramp just down the street from the stadium.
Because this was a new and exciting experience, Sadie was a nervous wreck and vomited immediately after getting out of the car.
But because she is a champion, she quickly gathered herself and we made our way to the stadium.
4. Iowa women’s basketball goes to the Sweet 16 – There aren’t any cops or bodily functions involved in this memory, just an electric atmosphere in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for wins over Mercer and Missouri, and my first time covering an NCAA Tournament game.
Oh, and watching Megan Gustafson dominate in her final game in Iowa City.
5. Iowa vs. Michigan football 2016 – This was just an entertaining game to be present for, particularly being able to be on the field for Iowa’s final drive and Keith Duncan’s game-winning field goal.
I nearly got obliterated by the thousands of fans storming the field after the game, but luckily came away unscathed.
I was also the only person representing the website that day because within 30 minutes of arriving to the press box, Pat got sick and had to go home to witness the last-second win from his couch.