(Photo courtesy of the University of Iowa)

Of all the stories in the Bible, one of my favorites is David and Goliath. David was a poor shepherd with no fancy tools or formal training, but what he did have was a slingshot and faith in God. Sure enough, despite having little chance of beating Goliath, he knocked the giant down with a single shot.                                                                                                                                                             

Our team was definitely playing the role of David last season when we hosted Ohio State, but it didn't matter what anybody else thought about our chances. We believed in ourselves.


We were such underdogs going in that it actually played to our benefit. We played free, not worrying about the consequences, and just had fun. Of course all the games are fun, but this was different. We played with a looseness and energy that was different than all the other games, and it showed. After Ohio State tied the game at 17 in the second quarter, we scored 31 straight points. That streak saw us score more points than people had expected us to score the entire game, and by the time the final seconds had ticked away, we were looking at a 55-24 blowout.


(Photo courtesy of the University of Iowa)

As the clock hit 0, tens of thousands of students and fans rushed the field. It was so amazing to share that experience with them, although my first thought was to not do anything crazy like land in a dog pile and get injured. I did manage to stay safe, and that win felt like a culmination of all the hard work we put in and the faith we had in ourselves.


To go from the high of the Iowa State win, to the heartbreak of the Penn State loss, and to find a way to bounce back against Ohio State showed the perseverance of our team. It also showed what can happen when you put faith in yourself and God.


When our team pulled off that comeback against Iowa State last year, I was happy I could grab that win for my teammates who were from here, because the win meant so much to them. I also recognized that if you didn't grow up in Iowa, it's hard to understand the importance of winning the CyHawk rivalry trophy, and that victory at the time was more for my teammates than anyone else. Since that time, however, after everything we've been through, and the closer we've bonded together as a team, I'm more of a Hawkeye now than I ever have been before.


I'll do my best to make sure the CyHawk trophy doesn't leave Iowa City this season. As for God's road, all I know is that wherever it will take me, I am staying on His path.

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Thomas Hager3 Comments