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Local Sports

The Kinnick waves that went viral

Krista Young didn’t expect a lot of attention. She didn’t think a simple suggestion would take off.

She was wrong, and that’s a good thing.

Young’s gesture was simple and easy. But it has reached so many people in the last week. She’s been interviewed by a representative from the hospital, the University of Iowa, her local newspaper and by Sean Keeler of Land of 10, the new Big Ten website.

“When I reached out to Hawkeye Heaven about the suggestion, it literally took a few minutes,” Anita’s Krista Young said.

Young requested to the Hawkeye Heaven’s Facebook Page that fans at Iowa games look up at the U of I Children’s Hospital and wave to the children who overlook Kinnick Stadium after the first quarter of all home games.

This past Saturday was the trial run, and it passed with flying colors.

ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt had it as part of his nightly show, and other national networks and publications also have picked up the story.

Some would say it’s just Iowans being nice. Maybe that’s true. But with all the bad that’s going on in our country right now, this little shred of good was just what the doctor ordered.

Several families videotaped the wave from their rooms inside the hospital and then posted those videos to social media sites.

Hawkeye Heaven, who has more than 100,000 followers on Facebook, used his platform to spread the news. It caught on like wildfire, and a new version of “the wave” appears to have become a tradition on gameday Saturdays inside Kinnick Stadium.

“I just think of the kids and how heartbroken I was to think about what they are dealing with,” Young sad. “It started out as a small gesture for the kids, but I hope something small can move mountains.

“I honestly didn’t think it would take off like this. I am still in a bit of shock.”

Young was at Iowa’s season-opening 24-3 win against Wyoming. She doesn’t have season tickets and may attend just one other game this season. The tradition will go on with or without her though.

“I am not looking for anything in return, and I don’t care who gets the credit for this,” Young said. “It would be cool to watch a game from one of those rooms, but that’s even asking too much maybe.”

During that 24-3 win over Wyoming, Newton native Nick Easley had one heckuva debut for the black and gold.

Easley led the Hawkeyes in catches (four) and receiving yards (77) and his 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter put the game out of reach for the punchless Cowboys.

This week, Easley will play in his first Cy-Hawk game.

The Hawkeyes play the Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday in Ames.

There are some intriguing matchups in this game.

Iowa’s running game against Iowa State’s front seven and Iowa’s young secondary against Iowa’s State’s talented crop of receivers are two of the more important ones.

Iowa manhandled the Cyclones last year in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes will win again if the offensive and defensive lines can dominate in the trenches again.

Iowa needs to keep Iowa State’s offense off the field to win. If the Hawkeyes 1-2 punch of Akrum Wadley and James Butler rushes for 200 or more yards, the visiting team will keep the Cy-Hawk trophy.

For Iowa State, the offensive line needs to protect better than last year. They have a lot to prove in this game and if they are successful, Jacob Park and the receivers can find success against Iowa’s secondary.

I don’t trust Iowa State’s defense yet. Northern Iowa went right down the field last week in its first drive and then went away from what worked after that.

Getting Manny Rugumba back on defense and James Daniels back on offense for Iowa is the difference to me.

Daniels runs the offense at center, and the Iowa offensive line does enough to give the Hawks one of their classic wins.

Prediction: Iowa 31, Iowa State 23

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