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What are your Hawkeye Game Day Traditions or Superstitions?

Do you have certain things you do/wear/bring out on Hawkeye game days?

My candle and pillow football are always near!

I’m writing this article as the typical Hawkeye fan who gives a “Go Hawks!” to fellow Hawk fans wherever I am in the world. Also, I named my son Hayden, and I have two Hawkeye tattoos. No, they aren’t different either. Both are simply Tigerhawks; I just thought I needed to put one on my ankle and one on my hand. Writing this I’m feeling a bit like a loser... Oh well. The Hawkeyes are my people. This got me thinking about what other Hawk-obsessed fans do on game days.

Wake up! It’s Game Day!!

There are not many things better than waking up on Saturday morning knowing your favorite squad has a game. I’m partial to 11am kickoffs as I don’t like to wait. I live in the Twin Cities so I don’t get down to tailgate. If I did, I would go with a later kickoff.

I typically will yell out, “Go Hawks!” to anyone or no one in my house. It doesn’t matter. I often will sing and/or hum the fight song and On Iowa. Alexa will be asked to play “Back In Black”. Of course I’m donning my Hawkeye attire. I don’t have a particular shirt or anything, but it’s always Hawkeyes. My two items I always have both have some meaning to me.

The first is a Hawkeye candle (see above) that was my dad’s. I remember he lit it all the way back in the early 80’s (probably earlier). It was and is good luck. Its life has been extended as I now just put a tea light on top of the candle and let that burn during the game.

The second item is a stuffed Hawkeye football that I purchased for my son when he was born. The football pillow will sit next to me on the couch for the entire game. At key moments during the game, 3rd downs, punts, kickoffs, etc... I will make sure I am holding the ball securely with the points covered. Ball security at home is just as important as ball security on the field, folks.

After scores? You guessed it. I will sing a super-fast version of the Fight Song. And as the clock ticks down... IIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNN Heaven there is no beer!

The Pants Traditions

I’m certainly not alone in having Hawkeye traditions. Here are some of our other staff members’ game day traditions.


As I’ve gotten older, my traditions have morphed a bit. In college, I was the guy who woke up at 6am to start pregaming in the apartment with Back in Black blaring before heading over to tailgate and try to secure primo seats in the student section. Each year that passes, that has mellowed a bit.

Now with three kids, 11am kickoffs are a problem for our slow-moving Saturday mornings. We typically get up around 6:30, right on par with the old college days I suppose, and head out for coffee and game day donuts. We’ve got a playlist of game day songs that is timed within a few second for our round trip.

After we finish those off and let the kids get in a morning show, we flip over to ESPN’s College Game Day until they inevitably get bored and we decide to stop being lazy and get ready for the day. Our new tradition this year is to throw on our Hawkeye jerseys. Each of the three boys has one with their name and current age while I’ve got a Bob Sanders in matching black.

It’s worth noting I still have to wear the same t-shirt I started wearing last year in week three. With the new jerseys, I was admittedly super nervous to jinx things, but frankly expected to lose the first two weeks anyway so decided to hedge by throwing the shirt under the jersey.

Beyond that, we now get a quick game in at halftime in the back yard. My oldest is 7 (almost) and almost understand how to play touch football while the middle one (4) just wants to run around. Both have no idea what any of the words are to the fight song but both sing along to In Heaven There is No Beer/The Victory Polka after wins and whenever the mood strikes them around the house.

Oh, and one of our favorite traditions is never watching Iowa lose to Iowa State.


My gameday tradition is simple and it starts Friday. I wear the same shirt on Friday until Iowa loses, then try out another one. I will have a separate order of gameday shirts rolling, as well. This is a superstition I have imparted on my one-year-old son, which is much trickier to manage because he’s grown like a weed and started to bulge out shirts last year as Iowa was on their six-game-winning streak. Unlike JP, I we have restarted the shirts this season.

There’s also the pregame fight song we will clap along to.

What are YOUR Traditions?!?!

Ok, Hawk fans. What are your game day traditions? Hit up the comments and let’s see what everyone out there in Hawkville does. If for no other reason, I’m hoping it makes me feel like I’m not completely weird. But either way, I’m ok with that. As always, Go Hawks!