I searched the web for a picture of ambivalence and had a tough time finding one. The featured image comes close. The reason I’m ambivalent is because of a conflict I have about the Iowa Hawkeye football program, which is currently the subject of a lawsuit by former African American players compared to the University of Iowa asking fans to find a new song to accompany the traditional Hawkeye Wave, in which players and fans wave at the kids watching the game from the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
I think it’s a moving gesture. I’d like to formally nominate a new song. But I’m not sure I could call myself a fan, given the conflict between two principles: honoring the families with sick children, and also wanting a just outcome for the former football players suing the Hawkeye football program, alleging that it created a hostile environment.
I dislike bringing this up, mainly because I want to be fair to both sides. On the one hand, the former Hawkeye players and the Hawkeye football program somehow need to find justice. On the other, I really believe families love the Hawkeye Wave, and so do I. I’m very ambivalent.
I even have a song I’d like to formally vote for. It’s “I Lived” by OneRepublic. It was originally dedicated to children with cystic fibrosis and, when the music video was released in 2014, it featured Bryan Warnecke, a 15-year-old showing how he not only lived with, but triumphed over the disease.
I want the best for both sides of this conflict between ideals. I don’t know if I can count myself as a fan of the Hawkeye football program right now.
But speaking as a retired University of Iowa general hospital psychiatric consultant who once served as a colleague to the pulmonology specialists who called me to help care for the emotional and physical health of their patients with cystic fibrosis, a few of whom were living into young adulthood—they are Hawkeyes and so am I.
So, I’m voting informally for “I Lived” because I think it captures the spirit of what the Hawkeye Wave is really all about—kindness, generosity, and hope.
Featured image picture credit Pixabaydotcom.
Update April 24, 2022: I voted formally today for “I Lived” by OneRepublic. You can submit yours here.