The University of Iowa’s athletic department could possibly make a decision today regarding a request made by former Hawkeye fullback Jon Lazar last week to allow a dog to lead the team onto the field this Saturday against Tennessee Tech. That dog, of course, is Hawkeye, the pooch that crippled the emotions of millions of grown men last week when video surfaced of him laying next to the casket of his owner and Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, who was a lifelong Iowa fan. The 35-year old was killed in Afghanistan on August 6, in the same helicopter crash that killed 38 soldiers.
Lazar has the right idea – the perfect idea – and this absolutely has to happen.
“It just tears you apart to see that (picture),” former Iowa fullback Jon Lazar told Hawkcentral.com Friday. “But I thought how great it would be for that dog to lead the Hawkeyes down to the field and to have the announcer tell the story of this dog. I think everybody would be crying in the stands.” (FOX Sports)
This is a no-brainer. Sure, we don’t really want everybody “crying in the stands,” but think about the standard sports/military allegiances – cannons, flyovers, gun salutes, standing ovations for military alumni at halftime – it just makes sense. Forget that it would create the most incredible atmosphere for Hawkeyes fans before game that they should win in blowout fashion. Just think about recognizing a good person.
Also, I’m aware that he’s wearing a Texas Longhorns shirt in the picture at his funeral, but I don’t really care about that. He could be wearing a shirt that reads: “I love the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox equally” and I would still check any argument at the door.