This story starts with Chris. He’s among the finest people you’ll ever meet. When I started reading HR some years ago, I remember thinking,
“WWDMHawkeye is the type of fan I would enjoy watching Hawkeye Wrestling with.”
Fast forward a couple of years and now he’s a great friend. I sat with him at Big Tens this year and he’s exactly the type of fan you want to be around. A couple of years ago, Chris introduced me to Kevin Collins. In my opinion, the University of Iowa and Iowa Wrestling have a true asset in Kevin.
Kevin Collins had an idea at Big Tens two seasons ago. I’m having lunch between sessions with Kevin and he says,
“Wouldn’t it be cool if you gave the team a police escort in Pittsburgh next year?”
“Oh, yeah! You think they would like that?”
“I think they would love it,”said Kevin.
“Done,” I said.
I ended up working with Luke Eustice on the details of the team’s itinerary. It’s no wonder he’s been the Director of Wrestling Operations for so long. He’s top-notch.
How it happened:
One of our police cars were followed by a Chevy Suburban driven by Ryan Morningstar. Terry was his co-pilot. They were followed by the team bus with one of our cars at the rear.
My plan was constant forward motion, in honor of the Hawks, all the way to the hotel. When we got to the hotel, I was happy it went so well. However, it was the reactions of the staff and athletes that made it truly memorable. Every person who got off that bus came over shook our hands and thanked us. And had smiles on their faces.
I’ll never forget it.
I’m pretty sure Mark Ironside said,
“It’s so much better when the police have their lights on IN FRONT of you.”
Spencer Lee came off the bus and said thank you as we shook hands. He said,
“I’m from Murrysville.”
The humbleness of that young man to not assume I knew exactly who he was and where he is from speaks to his character. You all know it, but it’s worth repeating how special that young man is.
The next day I received a text message from a 319 area code thanking me for the escort and to pass along my thanks to the Sergeant who was with me. I was not sure who it was from, so I texted Kevin Collins with a screen shot of my phone and asked if he knew whose number this was. His reply,
“Probably Terry, he just asked for your number.”
I thought he was messing with me. He wasn’t. With everything Terry had going on, he took the time to do that. It might seem like a small gesture, unless you’re the fan actually getting the text from Terry Brands. Then, it’s pretty freaking cool.
It speaks to who these guys are as people. It speaks to their character. They treat people right. They appreciate their fans. It’s not like that everywhere, it’s another reason why I’m proud to support them along with all of you.