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COMMENTARY: Emotions high amidst green effect (premium)

Posted on 24. Sep, 2011 by in Iowa Football


By Brendan Stiles


IOWA CITY, Iowa — Jordan Bernstine described the scene as “powerful.” As the Iowa Hawkeyes prepared to swarm the Kinnick Stadium turf on Saturday, they came out to thousands of Iowa fans clad in green shirts.

The Hawkeye faithful who donned green Saturday did so in support of former Iowa free safety Brett Greenwood, who is still being treated at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics more than two weeks after he had collapsed while working out at high school. But it didn’t stop there. The players’ helmets also featured a green decal on the back.

Greenwood was on the minds of Bernstine and all the other Hawkeye players as they cruised to a 45-17 win over ULM.

“We just knew that we had to go out there and do it for ‘Greeny,'” Bernstine said.

What made this seem all the more surreal was that this wasn’t a movement started up by the UI. It was the brainchild of the fans, and a sign of respect that will resonate for a long time.

This isn’t the first time the color green has made a presence inside Kinnick Stadium. Back in 2008, members of the student section donned green as a way to garner attention on the Heisman Trophy front towards then-running back Shonn Greene, who didn’t win the Heisman but did come away with the Doak Walker Award that season.

But this was a much different cause. This wasn’t a fight to help a player gain national recognition. This was for someone fighting for his life in a hospital bed right now in a similar manner to which he battled on the gridiron for four seasons as a Hawkeye.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz described it as a “hard-mindedness” that draws parallels between Greenwood when he played and the team that took the field Saturday and imposed its will on ULM.

If Greenwood could have seen this performance first-hand, he probably would have been proud. When the day does come that Greenwood can be released from the hospital (and let’s all hope this day is sooner than later), this day is one that will probably make him smile when family and others close to him tell him about this game and the support he has, not only from the program, but from the fans that made the trek to Iowa City and went out of their way to wear something other than black and/or gold.

There’s one last story to this day. When the players arrived, Brett’s parents — Michele and Dan Greenwood — were there to greet them and take part in what was an emotional day for all within the program.

“It was very emotional,” senior offensive lineman Adam Gettis said. “It was emotional for everybody. We’re praying for them every day.

“Hopefully, he can get up and do his thing.”


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