Hawkeye football superfans show front row pride

University of Iowa students and longtime Hawkeye fans wait for hours before Hawkeye football games to get to the front of the student section.


Katina Zentz

Fans cheer during the Iowa/UNI football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

There’s no doubt whether when students officially become Hawkeyes, they sign up for the traditions and atmosphere of a lifetime. However, a group of five students goes the extra mile every game to show off Hawkeye pride.

The “Hawkeye Superfan” friend group races to the front of the student section for each Hawkeye home football game. They also often wear black and yellow bibs and paint their faces.

All of the students said they have been Hawkeye fans for as long as they could remember. Being a Hawkeye has been an essential part of their lives and a tradition they will pass down to their kids, they said.

“I didn’t get involved with Iowa football; I was born into it,” UI freshman Chuck Axmear said. “Both of my parents are alumni, and there wasn’t a whole lot to do in the small towns in Iowa except watch football.”

Axmear said since his time growing up a Hawkeye fan, it was only natural for him to want to join in this new custom of getting early to game days and having the best experience possible in the student section. He said his time at the UI has been all about the atmosphere and maintaining an active role in the university community.

RELATED: The Hawkeye Spirit: Children’s Hospital and Iowa football celebrate a decade of Kid Captain 

UI sophomore Colton Musser said a lot of his passion to get to the games so early came from his sister, a UI senior who had taken part in the tradition with a group of her friends.

“I think it is so much better to watch the game when you are in the front and just become a part of the environment of being a Hawkeye,” Musser said.

Before this season, he said, none of the superfans had known each other; they had all just been fans dedicated to the front. Since then, a fellow superfan, Brandon Paquin, has helped keep the group in touch through a Snapchat group chat. (Paquin is a former DI employee.)

“We got to know each other through the hours of waiting for the games to start,” UI junior Molly Corlett said. “You really have a lot of time to bond with those around you and introduce yourself. We were all there to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and it was a perfect way to begin those friendships.”

Corlett and the other superfans all agreed that they hope to keep on doing this for the rest of their UI careers.

UI junior Casey Blaylock, a longtime front-row superfan since his freshman year, said he would describe his last two years at the university with one word: tradition.

“I started getting in the line early because of tradition,” he said. “The University of Iowa is a university all about tradition, from how we play football to the players touching the statue before the game to the new Kinnick Wave. The University of Iowa centers itself on these traditions, and it is something I am fortunate to be a part of.”