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Dog of fallen Navy SEAL to lead Iowa onto the field in opener?

Jon Tumilson Dog

There are a lot of really cool entrances in college football, from Michigan players running onto the field and high-fiving a “Go Blue” banner to Clemson players touching Howard’s Rock before racing down The Hill to many, many others.

If the following comes to fruition, however, it would easily trump those traditions on the chill-factor scale and go down as one of the most emotional and memorable entrances in recent memory.

Earlier this month, Navy SEAL and lifelong Iowa fan Jon Tumilson was one of 31 members of the United States military — including 21 of his fellow SEALS — killed when their helicopter was shot down following a mission inside of Afghanistan.  Tumilson’s funeral was earlier this week and a photo of his beloved dog laying in front of the casket throughout the entire service made headlines and caused many a room across the world to suddenly get extremely dusty.

After watching videos and seeing pictures of the poignant scene, former Hawkeyes football player Jon Lazar had an utterly brilliant idea: allow Tumilson’s dog — aptly named Hawkeye — to lead the Iowa football team onto the field before the season opener against Tennessee Tech.  Lazar told Pat Harty of the Iowa Press-Citizen that he has already broached the subject with Iowa officials and requested they make this happen

“It just tears you apart to see that (video),” Lazar said. “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.”

[/goose bumps]

Would there be a better way, eight days before the 10th anniversary of 9-11, for Iowa to honor the memory of both Tumilson and all his fellow serviceman who have given the ultimate sacrifice by having the soldier’s beloved dog lead his favorite football field out onto the field?

I implore Iowa officials to take Lazar’s idea and run like hell with it.  And, I would also urge any Iowa alumni reading of this idea to contact the school and implore to it run like hell with it as well.

This.  Needs.  To.  Happen.

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27 Responses to “Dog of fallen Navy SEAL to lead Iowa onto the field in opener?”
  1. vegas691 says: Aug 26, 2011 2:09 PM

    Make it happen Iowa!

  2. swcoach says: Aug 26, 2011 2:11 PM

    Totally agree with John and vegas on this one… make it happen Iowa!

  3. pricecube says: Aug 26, 2011 2:18 PM

    Wow … talk about an appeal to pathos…

  4. dickroy says: Aug 26, 2011 2:25 PM

    Great idea!!!

  5. lemmam says: Aug 26, 2011 2:48 PM

    pricecube says:
    Aug 26, 2011 2:18 PM
    Wow … talk about an appeal to pathos…

    pricecube – you’re a sory-ass excuse for a human being, you sick s.o.b.

    Navy Seal Jon Tumlinson fought and died so assholes like you could have freedoms, including free speech. Do the world a favor and cease posting here. What a jack-ass you are

  6. AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Aug 26, 2011 3:04 PM

    I love the idea, but as a long-time dog owner I can tell you that there’s an excellent chance the dog may not want to do it. It may still be heartbroken, it may be fearful of crowds or noise, it may not want to run, etc.

    Would you really want to honor that soldier by scaring the crap out of his dog? The dog may think the football team is chasing him.

  7. beebo18 says: Aug 26, 2011 3:06 PM

    This would be amazing. Picture in article is stiring and reverent. Make it so Iowa!

  8. dkhhuey says: Aug 26, 2011 3:21 PM

    What a great idea!!! Every time I see that video or picture it just rips my heart out and I can’t think of a better way to honor this man!!!

  9. charlieanarchy says: Aug 26, 2011 3:29 PM

    I’m a lifelong Hawkeye and think it may be a nice tribute, but how is the other team supposed to feel?

  10. pricecube says: Aug 26, 2011 3:49 PM


    No idea what your problem is but go fuck yourself.

  11. florida727 says: Aug 26, 2011 4:08 PM

    Arguably one of the greatest pictures in the history of photography. Make it happen Iowa. This is the ultimate no-brainer… and not just for the opener, this should be the opening for every home game all season long, as long as the family approves. And THEY need to be guests of the university for any/all home games as well. What an awesome tribute to a true American hero.

    BTW, “charlie”, nobody gives a sh*t how the ‘other’ team feels. If they’re not patriotic enough to feel honored by this as well, then they need to do a little soul-searching.

  12. possiblecabbage says: Aug 26, 2011 4:09 PM

    I think the people downvoting and complaining about the “pathos” comment should get a dictionary, or a college education.

    A quality that evokes pity or sadness.

    An “appeal to pathos” is rhetorical technique to appeal to your audience’s emotions and sympathy in order to elicit a desired effect. In Aristotle’s Rhetoric termed it “putting the hearer into a certain frame of mind” and named it one of the three forms of persuasion (along with logos, an appeal to reason; and ethos, an appeal to one’s morals or sense of how things should be).

  13. pricecube says: Aug 26, 2011 4:11 PM


    Wow… Thank you … I only meant to comment on the enormous emotional power of the story. I feel like I am about to be burned at the stake.

  14. stairwayto7 says: Aug 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    Who picks up the dog’s crap when he does it on the 50 yard line? Will Iowa change there names to the dogs? What happens if the dog lies down in middle of field and won’t get up and then bites someone?

  15. pricecube says: Aug 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    I did not mean my comment to be glib, sarcastic or however it was taken. I read the story, watched the video of the dog next to Tumilson’s coffin and thought it was an incredibly emotional and sad story. Clearly I offended about 100+ people and for that I apologize. Goodbye.

  16. possiblecabbage says: Aug 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    >Who picks up the dog’s crap when he does it on the 50 yard line?

    One of the grounds crew, or the dog’s handler.

    >Will Iowa change there names to the dogs?

    No, the dog is not being adopted as a mascot. Even if the dog were adopted as a mascot, you don’t have to have a dog themed nickname to have a dog mascot (c.f. Smokey the bluetick coonhound, mascot for the Tennessee Volunteers.)

    > What happens if the dog lies down in middle of field and won’t get up and then bites someone?

    The dog will presumably be leashed, else he is very well trained. Generally, you can get the dog to leave midfield and come to the sideline by luring him with food.

    The logistics here are not the problem. The problem that would keep this from happening is the University being uninterested, which is specifically why they need to be pressured over it.

  17. John Taylor says: Aug 26, 2011 4:40 PM

    pricecube has been around these parts for quite awhile and, based on what I remember of his past comments, I highly, highly doubt he meant anything close to what some of y’all are thinking he meant.

    So, let’s all just dial it down a notch or eight and applaud what would be an awesome gesture to a real hero and his family.

  18. byndpst says: Aug 26, 2011 4:40 PM

    Although it may sound like a great idea to us people that poor dog is in mourning. They know more then we give them credit for. I was at a funeral of a friend who died way too early in life. His dog was his best friend. As they lowered the coffin into the ground, his dog was just clawing at the edge. When they took the dog away & left him in a truck cab, he just howled. He didn’t eat for days. That poor dog needs some quiet time to adjust & cope with his loss. God bless you, Hawkeye.

  19. dkhhuey says: Aug 26, 2011 5:47 PM

    @price – the only people you offended are those that don’t know what the word means – and your initial comment was warranted.

  20. leboyfriend says: Aug 26, 2011 6:52 PM

    Yep. should happen.

  21. dhs39 says: Aug 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    Somebody asked “what would the other team think”. That’s easy, you invite them to run out with you. This moment is not about the competition. It’s to honor a fallen hero and his unconditionally loyal companion.

  22. cyclonebobby says: Aug 26, 2011 7:23 PM

    Im a Iowa State Cyclone fan but nothing would be a better then for this to happen on Sept 10th at the UI-ISU game. I believe that it would be the place where everyone in the state of Iowa could pay their respect to this fallen hero along with those that have fallen since 9/11.

  23. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Aug 26, 2011 8:10 PM

    Good sentiment Bobby.


    AS stated by others, the lack of education is clearly the reason for the down votes. I’ve read it again since it was first posted and cannot see the negative side that others do.

  24. rbiowa says: Aug 26, 2011 9:33 PM

    The point is to honor Jon. For the people that worry about Hawkeye, I have gone to every UI home game for years. The Hawkeye fans are very respectful.

    There is no need for the dog or the players to “run” onto the field amidst much noise. A somber walk onto Kinick Stadium (another fallen war hero) by both teams will have the same effect.

    Thank You Jon

  25. iowajagsfan28 says: Aug 27, 2011 5:58 AM

    This absolutely needs to happen.

    As rbiowa said, the fans at the stadium would be respectful, it would be silent while the dog walked on the field. Especially if they announce a moment of silence, which would make sense anyway.

    Very good story, thank you John for putting this on here.

    And thank you Jon, and the many others with you, for all you did for this country.

    God Bless America.

  26. 13pep says: Aug 27, 2011 8:48 AM

    Make it happen. We need to do whatever we can to honor all the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom every chance we get. I am sure Jon Tumilson will be smiling from heaven.

    God Bless America!!!!!!!!

  27. iowacitian says: Aug 27, 2011 3:07 PM

    Will Tumilson be wearing his Texas Longhorn shirt while he looks on?

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