Fans weigh in on quarterbacks, wave song at Iowa football’s final spring practice

Daily Iowan Sports Reporter Chris Werner chatted with spectators about the quarterback competition and asked for suggestions for which song should accompany ‘The Wave’ next season.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa fans applaud during a spring practice at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, April 23, 2022.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

As Iowa football fans took in the Hawkeyes’ open spring practice on Saturday morning at Kinnick Stadium, Daily Iowan Sports Reporter Chris Werner took to the stands to ask about about the open quarterback competition and which song should accompany “The Wave” next season.

The University of Iowa announced on Thursday that Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave” would no longer be used for the tradition of waving to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Quarterback competition

Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras led Iowa to an undefeated record through the first seven games of the season.

After Petras sustained an injury against Wisconsin and the Hawkeyes lost two straight games, Alex Padilla stepped into the starting quarterback role. Padilla led the Hawkeyes to three victories against Northwestern, Minnesota, and Illinois.

Padilla started the Hawkeyes’ regular season finale against Nebraska, but did not come out for the second half. Petras, recovered from injury, stepped back into the playcaller role and led Iowa to a comeback victory.

In the Big Ten Championship Game, both Padilla and Petras struggled in Iowa’s 42-3 loss to Michigan. Petras played the entire Citrus Bowl to end the season.

Following the season, head coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeyes will have a wide open quarterback competition between Petras, Padilla, and redshirt freshman Joe Labas.

Of the fans in the stands, 17 thought that Petras will start the season as starting quarterback, while two thought Padilla, and nobody thought Labas. Eighteen fans deferred to the coaches decision or couldn’t pick one.

“It definitely seems like it’s going to be Petras,” Jon Linder, an Iowa alum, season ticket holder, and former DI football reporter said. “And I think I agree with that too, because of the struggles that Padilla had at times last year when protection was good. When things were on time, it seemed like Petras played well. So, I think the team was gonna go as the offensive line goes and pass protection goes this year. I was more impressed last year with Petras as opposed to Padilla when pass protection held up. But at the same time, if the offensive line is still not where they want it to be next year, then I think Padilla actually might be a better option.”

In regards to who fans think should start the season at quarterback, 21 deferred to the coaches decision, five thought Petras should stay at the helm, five thought Padilla should start, three thought Labas should start, and two said “someone other than Petras.”

“Whoever allows them to win the most football games is the person that should start at quarterback,” Matt Haddy, Iowa alum and head football coach at Clear Creek-Amana High School, said.

“I think whoever coach Ferentz chooses will be the perfect choice,” Iowa alum Jenny St. John said.

Wave song

After Thursday’s announcement that the UI is taking requests to replace Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave,” Hawkeye fans weren’t sure which song should be played following the first quarter of Iowa’s home games.

Fourteen fans, including Iowa alum Matt Haddy, have no preference on the next song.

“I don’t really have a preference,” Haddy said. “As long as the meaning stays what it is in terms of waving to the kids and doing something good for kids that are in a tough spot, I’m all for whatever they put on the loudspeaker.”

Some fans don’t believe music is an essential component of “The Wave.” Bob Foster, a Hawkeye football season ticket holder, said “The Wave” still doesn’t need audio accompaniment.

“I don’t think that’s the key, the song is not what it’s about,” Foster said. “They didn’t even need the song at first. The thing is waving to the kids, not what accompanies the wave.”

Still, nine fans wanted to keep “Wave on Wave” as the song.

Dalles Jacobus, a former Iowa football player and current budding country artist who watched the Hawkeyes’ spring practice from the stands, wrote the song “We Wave” about the tradition. Including Jacobus, seven people voted for “We Wave.”

“Use my song,” Jacobus said.

Other votes included two for “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters, “We Are The World” by USA for Africa, “Rise up” by Sandra Day, “Good Day Sunshine” by George Harrison, and two for “not a country song.”

Jake Koepnick, an Iowa alum and football season ticket holder, suggested that the kids in the children’s hospital vote for the song on a weekly basis.

“One of the suggestions I saw online was to let the kids vote on it week-to-week,” Koepnick said. “It wouldn’t necessarily need to be the same song every week. If we’re gonna have it be focused on the kids, why not engage them a little bit more?”

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