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Fans at Holiday Bowl to do 'Iowa Wave' for sick children

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Fans at the Holiday Bowl between No. 19 Iowa and No. 22 Southern California will be asked to do the “Iowa Wave" directed at patients in a children's hospital in Iowa City as well as representatives from two children's hospitals in Southern California who will be at the game on Dec. 27.

The wave will replicate what has become a game-day salute at Hawkeyes home games to patients and family members at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The salute started on Sept. 2, 2017, when more than 70,000 fans stood at the end of the first quarter and waved to patients and families in the children's hospital, which rises above Kinnick Stadium. The patients and families waved back. Ever since, players and coaches from both teams, game officials, and others working the games also join in the wave.

Iowa fans wave to children at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital during the Hawkeyes' game against North Texas at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

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At the end of the first quarter at the Holiday Bowl, everyone in the stadium will be encouraged to stand and wave toward the east end video board that will feature the children and families at the Iowa City hospital. Sitting below the video board will be representatives from Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and individuals from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

FS1 plans to cover the event during the game broadcast so the children in Iowa City will see it.

"I’ve been to a lot of college football games all around the country in my nearly 30 years with the bowl game," bowl CEO Mark Neville said. "Without question, the Wave at Kinnick Stadium was the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced at a game. I’m so grateful that our fans attending next week’s Holiday Bowl will get to participate in college football’s best and most moving tradition.

"I don't think you understand it until you see it through your kids eyes," said Chris Kohn of the fans at Kinnick Stadium waving to the children, including his son Will, in the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital after the first quarter of their game against Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Iowa City.

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“This might very well end up being the coolest moment in our bowl game’s history,” Neville said.

Iowa is making its first trip to the Holiday bowl since 1991.