Marc Korver: More than just a fan, part of our Heartlanders community
By David Fine//Coralville, Iowa – It’s 7:05 p.m. on October 22, 2021 at Xtream Arena and the Iowa Heartlanders have just dropped the puck against the Kansas City Mavericks for the first game in Iowa history. Just 25 seconds in, Iowa forward Ryan Kuffner scores the first goal off a rebound at net front, a perfect start to a successful inaugural season for the Heartlanders. Marc Korver, stationed in Section 117, Row A, Seat 1, couldn’t believe his eyes.
“I was in my seat when it happened,” Korver explained. “The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. 4,000+ people rocking that made it sound like 10,000. There’s nothing else like that. For that to be my first time ever at Xtream Arena, it hooked me.”
Thus began a quick saga from first-time observer to “Super Fan” for Korver, a true gentleman that has quickly become one of the most-recognizable and friendly fan faces supporting a team in The Corridor. It’s not just that Korver cheers and motivates, it’s the unique way he does it. A smile on his face and happy to see everyone that approaches, the Orange City, IA native is either wearing a Heartlanders jersey or one of the 20 sport coat-pants outfit combos he has accrued in part because of his moonlighting in wrestling. He owns 5 unique antler hats (seen above) – 4 of them have base colors that match his suits and the other one he can paint over.
“When I was a little kid, I went to a [USHL] Sioux City Musketeers game but I didn’t follow it much though after. I had a co-worker that was a St. Louis Blues fan, but [that first Heartlanders game] I went in not knowing what to expect. After 60 minutes of my first game, I wanted to see 600 more minutes. The Heartlanders made me a hockey fan.”
Korver’s seat location, coincidentally, made him even more likely to be recognized by Heartlanders players and fans because the team enters the ice right next to where he sits. In that first game, a memorable picture captured defenseman Fedor Gordeev scoring his first pro goal, with Korver sitting behind the glass cheering him on.
“It was crazy because Fedor, I became a fan of his because I was right there on the wall and he scored and I was there jumping into the glass with him on the other side. Everyone kinda thought I was a season ticket holder early on, but I had just bought tickets to a few games to try it out.”
The goal by defenseman Fedor Gordeev that made Korver a "Fedor Fan" for life.
Korver purchased full season tickets at the end of the year for Iowa’s 2022-23 season. And trying it out at first led to more frequent appearances from Korver at games and then at team events like the weekly radio show and postgame Mug Club at Backpocket Brewing.
“The second or third game I was on the phone and a group of fans came up to me and were like ‘you’re that guy I need a pic with you,’” Korver said. “It was just a surreal feeling to be a random guy having fun with something that I’ve never experienced. I have [coaches] Gerry Fleming and Derek Damon saying ‘thank you’ to me for bringing noise. Just wow and humbled.”
Fans around The Corridor noticed Korver’s impact the more the season went along. In one notable game against Fort Wayne in February, Korver rallied his entire section into jumping and dancing. As the rhythm bopped, he realized he was getting dozens to join in as the Heartlanders swept a pivotal weekend with the Komets. That night, amidst thousands of rowdy and happy Landers fans, Korver donned a Heartlanders t-shirt, plaid jacket and pants, black buck antler hat and a pink Heartlanders scarf. In any other circumstance but a Heartlanders game in the Iowa River Landing, such an outfit would garner a raised eyebrow. Now, it’ll be common place to see Korver at nearly every game in 2022-23, trying out new suit combos to see what works best.
Korver is one of a number of dedicated fans the Heartlanders have after a year and the group helps make it a welcoming venue for family-friendly entertainment. With supporters like Korver and a front office that is in its first full offseason, there is a high level of anticipation and excitement as promotional nights are planned to bring even more energy to the Iowa River Landing in Year 2.
“The athleticism of the players, you get a favorite player that might play in the NHL one day. This is the start of something really big in Coralville and Iowa City and I’m proud to be a part of it since opening day. You have great food options, hotels, do some shopping and then at the end of the day come see some hockey. I’m having the time of my life following the Heartlanders, and the best part is we’ve only just begun.”
Join the Heartlanders family for the 2022-23 season today! The Heartlanders 2022-23 schedule is now available at iowaheartlanders.com/schedule. The team opens their second season in the ECHL on October 21 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Idaho. Rose Club season ticket memberships, partial plans and group ticket options are available for the upcoming season by calling 319-569-GOAL and visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets.