Monday, September 29, 2008

Night Out on the Town

A week ago we celebrated a restaurant chain started by one of Chicago's famous broadcasting personalities. Tonight we'll go to the baseball rival of this franchise in St. Louis and the fine dining restaurant named Mike Shannon's Steak and Seafood.

The picture shown here is of the current spot located just outside of Busch Stadium. My wife and I were able to eat at the former location two blocks further away from the stadium, but the spot to be nonetheless. This current location has been here since the opening of the new stadium and recently the St. Louis I-Club held their annual function here this past May. An opportunity that allowed me to see the new place.

Just as the name suggests, steaks and seafood are the specialty. Quite honestly, I think this was the best steak I have ever had. Shannon's has been awarded many honors for their fine cuts of steak and various selection of seafood. While it may be a little pricey, you will definitley be rewarded with a great meal.

Shannon's overlooks Busch Stadium and has an outdoor beer garden with televisions all around and grills serving up ballpark fare. The night we were there for the I-Club outing, we were able to convince the staff to turn their TVs onto the Chicago Cubs game. However they did not subscribe to MLB's Direct TV package.

College Football Week 5

A few things to consider with the past week of College Football as we bring back by popular demand--Cheerleaders (with some love to the ladies of Northwestern...and remember, they are smart):

Apple, Cherry or Blueberry. Turnovers were a common theme this past Saturday. Many of you are aware the Hawkeyes turned the ball over 5 times, but so did Michigan (all in the first half) and Wake Forest. The Deamon Deacons lost 24-17 at home to Navy while turning the ball over 6 times.

College Bowl. For the first time since 1962 the Northwestern Wildcats have started a season 5-0. Perhaps those wins aren't over the top teams in the nation but their schedule is as tough as many others in the top 25. Duke also is 3-1 with a convincing win over Virginia. Duke's only loss of the season was at home with Northwestern in week 2. When was the last time the Wildcats and the Blue Devils each won conference games in the same day?

Another year of upsets? The last Saturday of September is the earliest a #1 team was upset. Last Thursday the Men of Troy played as if they were the unrated team playing the top team in the nation. Oregon State played beyond their potential in the year's first upset. Georgia may have been in all black and ready for a funeral, the these Bulldogs played dead as Alabama rolled in to Athens and annihilated the home team. And perhaps the SEC is the toughest conference in America. Florida was downed in the Swamp by a Mississippi team that was near the bottom of the conference a year ago.

Week 6: Michigan State

Iowa's first Big Ten road trip is East Lansing, Michigan to play the Michigan State Spartans. Game time is set for 11:02am (CT), broadcast by ESPN2. Clay Matvick and Ray Bentley will call the televised game while Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak bring you the sights and sounds on the Hawkeye Radio Network.

Announced today is the start time for the following game in Bloomington, Indiana. The game with the Hoosiers will begin at 11 am and be shown on the Big Ten Network.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hawks Downed 22-17

Four and five were the numbers of the day. Four straight downs from the eight with under ninety seconds to play which resulted in no points, and five turnovers helped give Northwestern a 22-17 victory on Homecoming Saturday in Iowa City. The loss puts the Hawkeyes to 3-2 and 0-1 in Big Ten play while Northwestern gets off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 1962.

The Hawkeyes accumulated over 400 total yards but after an early second quarter 17-3 lead, were unable to find the end zone again. Prior to half, Andy Brodell fumbled a Wildcat punt which gave the ball back to Northwestern. The drive resulted in six points and a 17-9 Hawkeye Halftime lead.

Northwestern took the lead in the 4th quarter and maintained the advantage until the final gun. Another sell out crowd silently left after the Hawkeye failed to convert on their final drive.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Last night Oregon State beat the #1 team in the land, the University of Southern California Trojans. I wrote earlier USC would not be beat and would land in the title game. That dream is over. There is much football to be played, but there are too many teams that will qualify for the BCS Champsionship Game and USC's performance on national television against a 1-2 team will not be forgotten by the pollsters.

We have elminated Ohio State and USC from title talk at this time, and one more team may be eliminated as well after this weekend. #3 Georgia has more on the line as they host #8 Alabama. The Bulldogs cannot afford to be upset at home on national television if they want to keep their title hopes alive.

Oklahoma has the tendency to be tripped up at some point during the season. They have a favorable schedule hosting Kansas and Nebraska, travelling to Dallas to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl, while finishing the regular season at Oklahoma State. Watch out there. The Cowboys have tripped up the Sooners before. The favorite team from the Big 12 North to face them in a title game is Missouri. The Tigers have to go to Austin for a showdown with the Longhorns and to Lincon to meet Nebraska. They meet Kansas in Kansas City to finish the year. I predict the Tigers to lose at least once, if not twice as well as in the Big 12 title game.

Take a look to the Big Ten. The Conference is down, but two undefeated teams have a chance. Penn State has road trips to Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will go down to two of those three. Wisconsin has the meat of their schedule in front of them. The next three weeks the Badgers will travel to Ann Arbor to meet the Wolverines, then come home to play Ohio State and Penn State. Two weeks after that is another home meeting with Illinois. I believe they will win all four, but in between Penn State and Illinois is a trip to Iowa City. That is a trap game and we'll see how Bielema's Badgers will stay grounded for this boarder battle.

The SEC will have a team in the BCS Title Game. This is the best conference for college football in 2008. Florida has two tough games, LSU in the Swamp, and Georgia in Jacksonville. They are my favorite to be playing for the national title.

Tonight's upset was exciting and it sets up another weekend of great college football. However this is the last upset of week 5. Oklahoma will not be tripped up by TCU, and if Illinois beats Penn State, is that a surprise? Post your thoughts and keep it clean.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sittin' in the Principal's Office

I'm trying to come up with a name to title my random thoughts and events that I report on. "Sittin' in the Principal's Office" best describes my time growing up in New Sharon. My dad, the High School Principal would have me wait there until his day was done and I'd go home with him. During this time I'd sit and do many numerous things, but nothing consistent. That would best describe the thoughts used under this title. Once again, if anyone has a better heading, please place it in the comment section.

  1. I've had a nice run each day this week. On Monday, the video guy I am outran two Division I football players turned coaches on a jog through campus. I wasn't going to let either Phil Parker or Rick Kaczenski beat me. My age falls in between these two former players. While on my run Tuesday I ran past former Hawkeye great, Ronnie Harmon. It has been over twenty years since his playing days, and it showed. This generation of Hawkeye students had no idea who was walking among them. Finally on today's run I saw a Chicago Cub shirt I had not seen before. "Fukodome...That What She Said."

  2. Is anyone else sick and tired of seeing the GEICO Cavemen? Your fifteen minutes of fame is over.

  3. Thoughts on the Cubs post-season pitching rotation? I say start the five-game series with Ryan Dempster at home. His record in the friendly confines is as close to perfect as any other consistent Cub starter over the years. Pitch Harden in game two, Big Z in game three on the road. Either Big Z can get a critical road win or perhaps put an end to the series that night. Of course, Ted Lilly can pitch game four if necessary. I don't want to sound as I'm taking anything for granted, but this is a very good Cubs baseball team.

  4. The City of Chicago wants to cut beer sales at neighborhood bars surrounding both the Cell and Wrigley Field following the seventh inning of play-off games, just as they do within each Stadium. We know where this is directed to. Mayor Daly, a ChiSox fan is not a fan of the Tribune Company and those under its umbrella, has shown instances in the past where he'll do anything to take a jab at the Cubs. (see falling cement chucks at Wrigley Field a few years ago). People will drink whether they get their beer from the organized local bars, or outside of them at the nearby 7-11 and drink in the streets since there is no business available to them.

  5. The attached picture is of my son at the Williamsburg, Iowa Tot Trot on the 4th of July. This is the best picture I can find of the family running in local 5Ks or 10Ks. This ties into our earlier post ragarding my runs through a most-beautiful campus.

  6. I've added an option on the right-hand pane to sign up as a follower of this blogsite. I encourage all to do so. I know many read this blog and numbers increase daily. Let your voice be heard by signing up as well as posting. But, please remember, keep it clean!

Later, ME

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Q and The A

This week's "The Q and The A" is Iowa Football Equipment Manager, Greg Morris. Also known as "The Shoe Guy," Morris hails from Solon, Iowa a small community ten miles from Iowa City. He currently lives there with his wife and two sons, one verbally committed to play for the Hawkeyes in 2010.

Date of Birth and Birthplace: March 19, Iowa City, Iowa

In Your IPod: Jimmy Buffett

Favorite Book: Hayden Fry's "High Porch Picnic"

Favorite Movie: In The Line of Fire

Favorite Meal: Pizza

Favorite Travel Destination: Brainard, Minnesota

Hobby: Spending Time with Family

Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Diet Pepsi

Grass or Turf: Grass

Play Football Day or Night: Night

Favorite Opponent's Stadium You've Been to: The Big House

Favorite Team Growing Up: Da-Bears / Cubs

Person You Most Admire: Dad & Mom

If you were not with football, I'd be: in Sales

Memorable Sports Moment: 2002 Iowa Football Season

Best Advice Given to You: Learn Something Each Day--From My Dad

Bucket List: 1. Golf Each Day 2. Travel to Washington D.C. 3. Make Sure Outdoor Events Center in Solon is Completed 4. Cubs win World Series 5. Hawks Win a National Championship

Monday, September 22, 2008

Night Out on the Town

Recognizing the Cubs' National League Central Division Title and the first time to earn that mark in back to back years since 1908, we will review a popular restaurant in Chicago, Harry Caray's.

Harry Caray's Downtown opened in 1987 and has outlasted other restaurants sporting names of larger than life Chicago athletes such as Ditka's and Michael Jordan's. This location located on 33 West Kinzie, has both a formal dining area and bar where food is also served. Downtown and an O'Hare / Rosemount location are the two Italian Steak Houses in the chain. Steaks can prepared Vesuvio or Peppercorn Style. Harry's favorite was the Chicken Vesuvio, as heard often during the Cubs broadcast.

A new location recently opened in Wrigleyville at the old Hi-Tops location. This is your typical sports bar menu with burgers the specialty. The day I was there was following an weekday afternoon game against the Orioles. The Cubs lost, but times were good with good music, fine drinks and people enjoying themselves. Dutchie Caray, Harry's wife, even made an appearance.

Week 5: Northwestern

The Hawkeyes begin Conference play this Saturday as Northwestern is the 2008 Iowa Homecoming opponent. Kickoff is 11:02 on ESPN Classic with Dave Lamont and Shaun King calling the action. Of course the game can be found on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak on the call

Northwestern enters the game 4-0 with their victories coming over Syracuse, Duke, Southern Illinois and Ohio. The Hawks are 3-1 including their recent loss at Pittsburgh.

This will be Iowa's first Live appearance on ESPN Classic. Ironically this is yet another network local cable company Mediacom does not carry on its basic package. Hawk fans recently witnessed the battle between Mediacom and the Big Ten Network resulting in a years abscence on the primary cable outlet in the state of Iowa.

College Football Week 4

The Hawkeyes would be an easy target to criticize after losing on the road to Pittsburgh, but we'll put that to rest and look at a few other items from this past weekend.

Game of the Week that wasn't on national television: Fresno State at Toledo. Two teams from non-BCS conferences engaged in an double overtime shootout finding Fresno on the victorius end of a 55-54 contest. After fighting for over 60 minutes, Toledo Head Coach, Tom Amstutz went for the victory in the second overtime while noticing his players had little left to give. The two-point conversion pass was knocked down and the Bulldogs won.

Conference of the Week: SEC. There is no doubt the Southeast has the best football in 2008. While USC should be able to win out and earn a spot in the title game, the representative from the SEC should provide tough competition after playing a near top-ten team close to every week.

Cheat of the Week: Notre Dame and Charlie Weis. During the first quarter in East Lansing, Michigan State reported a laptop in the coaching booth of the Fighting Irish. Laptops are not allowed by the coaching staff throughout the game, yet one was found with the ND staff. Coach Weis blamed it on an intern in the booth, yet I can't believe this was an isolated incident.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pittsburgh Trip

Below are photos from our trip to Pittsburgh. Although the Hawkeyes lost, I don't want anyone to think we treated this as a vacation. I have a friend who is the play - by - play voice for the Houston Astros. I was able to get tickets for me and my staff, although I could only stay for three plus innings before I had to return to the hotel for meetings.

The picture of the exterior of Heinz Field is our first look at the stadium. From the airport the buses took us through a tunnel which emptied into downtown Pittsburgh and this look of the stadium for the first time.
The Heinz Field Staff would not allow anyone to walk on the grass. All of us had to stay on the cement behind each sideline and end zones.
The Video Staff. (L-R) Bob Rahfeldt, Morgan Hawk, Nick Ehret, Matthew Engelbert. There are two other members of the staff who did not make this trip.

The Roberto Clemente Bridge that connects the downtown area to PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
PNC Park, the home of the Pirates had a couple of fine restaurants housed within that had outdoor seating outside the ballpark. Our baseball tickets were complimentary of Brett Dolan, the play by play voice of the visiting Houston Astros.

PNC Park and its famous view of the Pittsburgh Downtown Skyline.

The view from our seats.

PNC at Night.

PNC Park at Night from the Roberto Clemente Bridge
Firewaters was the place to be, outside of PNC, for all fans of the Hawkeyes. A private Hawkeye party kept many of us out until later in the night when five dollars would gain you access.
The Pittsburgh Skyline from high above Heinz Field.
The Pitt Dance team, impressively working out as early as 8am on Game Day. This performance took place during the third quarter.
The Iowa Locker room prepared for the team's arrival.
On the field prior to Pitt's arrival.

Goodbye Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium is one of the iconic figures of all sports venues. It has hosted many different types of events as well as memorable baseball games with heroic baseball players. The "House that Ruth Built" also saw outstanding Yankee figures such as Berra, Larson, Mantle, DiMaggio, Stengel and current all-stars Jeter, Boggs, Alex Rodriguez, Clemens to name a few.

My wife and I had the opportunity to catch a game in the Bronx when the Chicago Cubs visited in June of 2005. Taking the #4 train, our seats were in the last row down the right field line. As you can see from the pictures we had a great view of the stadium as well as the Bronx and I could turn around and see the New York City skyline. I do remember looking past the outfield fence and comparing the Bronx to that of a foreign country. I'm not sure why, we didn't do any sightseeing in this neighborhood, but it had a different look and feel to it.

Yankee Stadium has gone through a complete renovation in the mid-70s and the day we were there was the same day they announced the plans for the new ballpark. There is much tradition and it is sad to see it torn down for a more comfortable new ballpark. Concourses are narrow and the amenities are old, but it is "The Stadium." Although we were disappointed to see the Cubs lose, it was appropriate to hear Frank Sinatra's rendition of New York, New York following the game.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Iowa Downed 21-20

Baffled...Confused? Those are words friends have sent me through email or texts to describe today's performance at Pitt. On what was a beautiful day on the banks of three rivers in downtown Pittsburgh took a turn for the worse as the Hawkeyes could not capitalize on many opportunities. The Hawks had more first downs, more rushing yards, more passing yards yet could not put more points on the board.

Pictures from the weekend will be coming soon. Any thoughts on today's game? Please post in the comment area. Thanks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Magic Number 2

Many may have missed the exciting finish to the Cubs series finale with the Milwaukee Brewers. With men at the corners in the bottom of the ninth, down by three and two out, Geovany Soto belted a three run home run to force extra innings. In the 12th, Derrek Lee then singled in Jason Marquis for the victory making the Cubs' magic number 2. Definitely a frustrating loss for the Brew Crew, but now the Cubs could be division champs as early as Friday. With a Cubs win over the Cardinals and a Brewer loss to Cincinnati, the NL Central Title will once again reside at 1060 W. Addison.

The blog will take a hiatus until we return from Pittsburgh. The video staff is looking forward to the trip, and hopefully we will have many pictures to post upon our return. For those of you who are able to make this blog part of your daily reading, it is now possible for all to post comments. I encourage you to do so. This blog has the feel of being a new low wattage AM radio station. There are a few who read, but those are few.

I'd also encourage you to check out a You Tube video which can also be found on the web site of a tailgating party outside Kinnick Stadium prior to last Saturday's Iowa Iowa State game. Search on You Tube, "Iowa vs Iowa State ISU 2008 Mudwrestling Tailgating." Quite remarkable.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Night Out on the Town

Tonight's pick is a local favorite of the video staff. For the past ten years a popular hangout has been Quinton's Bar and Deli located off Washington Street in downtown Iowa City.

This isn't your typical bar fare. A burger and fries isn't on the menu, but any sandwich you want with many of the different deli meats. My favorite is the Hawkeye which is chicken on texas toast with Honey Dijon Mustard.

Soups are also popular. Wisconsin Cheese served in a bread bowl can't be beat. However I prefer to nix the soup and go with the large baked potatoes. Chips and Salsa are a good way to start any meal.

A prime locale to sit is in the upstairs booth which overlooks the entire downstairs. From here, not only can you keep tabs on those who come and go, but you also have a view of the many televisions located throughout the bar.

Week 4: Pitt

The Hawkeyes take their 3-0 record into their last non-conference game of the 08 season as they travel to Pittsburgh's Heinz Field to battle the Pitt Panthers. Game time is 11:02am (CT) and will be seen on ESPN2 with Pam Ward and Ray Bentley calling the action. Don't forget Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak on the Hawkeye Radion Network.

College Football Week 3

This week we'll step aside from highlighting the conference by using its logo. Instead, Brianna of the UCLA Dance Team will be our representative to distinguish that not all is UGLY from the schools on the west coast. Let's take a look at how bad the Big One, Little Nine is this week.
Beside the beating Ohio State took at the hands of perhaps the best team in the nation, USC, the Pac 10 has nothing else to be proud of after Saturday. Let's begin in the great Northwest. A week after a controversial loss to BYU, the Washington Huskies were one dog who played dead on national tv against Oklahoma. OU may be one of the top three teams in the country, but the Huskies were embarrassed. Their in-state neighbor Washington State lost 45-10 at Big 12 doormat Baylor. Cal traveled east to Maryland and lost to a team which fell a week earlier to Middle Tennessee State.

Then there were the numerous showdowns with the members of the Mountain West Conference. Arizona lost to New Mexico, Stanford lost at TCU, UNLV upset ranked Arizona State in Tempe and UCLA was blown out at BYU 59-0.

The positives of the week outside of the L.A. Colisseum? Kudos to the state of Oregon. The Ducks rallied from behind to beat Purdue in two overtimes and Oregon State took care of Hawaii in Corvallis.

USC will not be tripped up by a fellow conference school in 2008.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Q and The A

Our Q&A is gasping for breath. There is little interest from some parties to be involved. While this week's is from Head Trainer Paul Federici, this may not be as regular of a feature as previously thought.
Paul came to Iowa from the Seattle Seahawks before the 2004 season. He also worked at Vanderbilt and graduated from Penn State University.

Date of Birth and Birthplace: March 30, Findlay, Ohio
In your IPod: Springsteen, Bob Seger, George Strait, Jimmy Buffet, Norah Jones
Favorite Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Meal: St. Elmo's - Indianapolis, IN
Favorite Travel Destination: Florida Panhandle
Hobby: Anything with Family
Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Coke Zero
Grass or Turf: Grass
Play Football at Day or Night: Morning
Favorite Opponent's Stadium You've Been To: Invesco Field at Mile High
Favortie Team Growing Up: Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers
Person You Most Admire: My Father
If you were not with football, I'd be: Orange County Choppers
Memorable Sports Moment: Attending Super Bowl XIII Between Steelers & Cowboys
Best Advice Given to You: Remember Where You Came From

Saturday, September 13, 2008


On a wet and humid day, the Hawkeye football team improved their record to 3-0 following a survival win against in-state rival, Iowa State.
A defensive battle was the story of the first half as Iowa took a 3-0 lead at halftime. Iowa Sate's offense controlled the third quarter allowing Iowa onto the field for 3 offensive plays until late into the quarter.

Starting quarterback, Rick Stanzi proved ineffective and was pulled for former starter Jake Christensen. Although Christensen wasn't flashy, he played solid and moved the Hawkeyes for their only offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Special teams was pivotal for both teams. Iowa State missed on three field goal attempts while the Hawkeyes returned a punt for a touchdown, the first in three years.

The Cy-Hawk trophy returns to Iowa City as chants of "Hawkeye State" echoed throughout the stadium as time expired.

My Look at Network TV

One of the advantages of my job is the seat I have for every Hawkeye Football game. Not only do I videotape from the top of Kinnick Stadium, but I also have the opportunity to look in on Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak broadcast over the Hawkeye Radio Network as well as any of the network television announcers. Today's game with Iowa State was broadcast on the Big Ten Network with Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis to a national television audience. On Friday I had the opportunity to meet the talent when they visited the Jacobson Athletic Complex to watch video and interview Iowa's head coach and coordinators. Thom and Charles were willing to talk and discuss all aspects of college football The attached picture shows these guys in their booth within the pressbox, adjacent to our shooting location.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ticket Demand

While sitting in my hotel room awaiting team meetings for Saturday's game with Iowa State, rather than watching it rain in an already drenched downtown Cedar Rapids I decided to take a look at ticket prices on a well-known broker site, StubHub. I have used StubHub once with great success. My son and I were able to sit high behind home plate at Busch Stadium for a Cardinal - Brewer game this summer for $18 a piece.

For those of you who are looking into attending Saturday night's clash between Ohio State and USC at the L.A. Colisseum can pay a reasonable $383 for seats high on the 50 yd line. When I say reasonable, you can expect to pay top dollar for a game of top five teams which attracts many of Hollywood's A-list. $383 for a mid-field seat isn't bad. However, to attend the Notre Dame - Michigan match-up on the same day, you'll need to pony up $160 to sit on the 25 yd line. Tickets are no longer available for the Iowa's in-state battle.

Play-off baseball is very interesting. Typically a very tough ticket is the World Series. Although only one team has qualified for extra baseball, teams are able to begin selling for the post-season. To purchase through StubHub, the individual is given a money back guarrantee for your money back if your team does not qualify. Let's take a look at some prices.

  1. Chicago Cubs--$1749 is the cost of admission to Wrigley Field for the first home game of the WS. That is Standing Room Only. The cheapest seat goes for $1850. Bleachers, $2024.

  2. Milwaukee Brewers--The cheapest seat is upper deck outfield for $398. Upper deck infield is $399.

  3. L.A. Angels of Anaheim--The cheapest seat is upper deck behind first base for $369. $375 for outfield seats. For the same price that it takes to enter Wrigley Field, you can have a seat in the Angels' park just rows behind first base.

Obviously, if you are a baseball fan and just want to see a World Series game, you'll cheer for the Brewers to make it far into October. Otherwise Cub fans, dig very deep into that wallet.

A Day Away -- WHO's RV TV

A day from the game all Iowans anticipate, and Hawkeye fans have been waiting a year for. WHO-TV from Des Moines has taken their RV from Ames to Iowa City stopping in places such as Marshalltown, Newton and Oskaloosa getting a feel for the game from the fans of Iowa. Keith Murphy and his crew have settled into the UI's Hospital Parking Lot across from Kinnick Stadium on a warm and rainy afternoon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rivalry Games

Saturday two intra-state rivals will play when the Hawkeyes and Cyclones take to Kinnick Stadium's grass field. Over 75,000 will be in attendance as well as many more who will tailgate in the many parking lots soaking up the atmosphere. Just like any other rivalry game, the fans of these two teams desperately want their team to win for a year of bragging rights over the other.
A year ago, a young offensive lineman from the Quad Cities made the comment that he "hates Iowa State." This young man was criticized for making the comments and labeling them as "bulletin board material" for the Cyclones. I'm not sure I see what is wrong with the comment.

I grew up a Hawkeye fan and taught to not like the Cyclones. My mom didn't want me to use the word "hate," but that is no different from the amount of dislike I have for Iowa State.

I have many friends who have either attended Iowa State or are fans of the Cyclones. I don't "hate" them. I've been to Ames and have no positive or negative feelings toward the city. The school has an excellent academic program, but I had no interest in attending it. But as an entity, I hate Iowa State.

What's wrong with that statement? Sure, I don't have to make that comment, but why can't I. This young man didn't like the 'Clones and stated it as such. On one trip to Jack Trice Field, the home of the 'Clones, I left the parking lot with beer cans thrown at my car. Sure this may be a small minority of the fans, and there may be ignorant Iowa fans, but it is reasons like this that make me "hate" Iowa State.

Iowa State isn't the only school I hate. But many reasons I don't like a team is how I've been treated by either the school or its fans.

Iowa and Iowa State is this weekend. It is a rivalry. There are Iowa State fans who "hate" Iowa, and Iowa State fans who "hate" Iowa. This isn't anything new. Nor should it be bulletin board material. This "hate" is a given, and we should expect a twenty year old from the state to express his dislike.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


After dismissing her theory over the weekend, my wife may be on to something. She believes to know who the father of Kelly's son Sammy is on the spin-off television show, 90210.

A little background. Beverly Hills 90210 is a show, when it first debuted, I dismissed and would not watch. I was in college and had little time for tv. This show seemed a little too much for the teen crowd and I made fun of anyone watching it. After graduating, and spending time at the office on a Wednesday night with one of our students who would type statistical information into the computer for me, she insisted I watch. I still dismissed the show, but quietly became hooked. Then I met my future wife and we continued to watch it until the show ended its great run. We continue to watch re-runs. In fact, the day our son was born, we were both watching the show prior to my wife giving birth. Although we are fans, we didn't name our son after a character on the show.

We are now watching the spin-off and after the first episode my wife believed she knew who the father of Kelly's son is. As I said, I dismissed it, but I think she may be on to something.

On tonight's episode, Kelly said she and the father had a lot of history in high school, didn't see each other for a while, then hooked up. Now he wants to be back in Sammy's life.

The obvious answer would be Dylan. But my wife insists, due to the name of the child, which is also the name of the father's mom, the boy's dad is no one other than

Steve Sanders

(And Jennie Garth still looks great)

Iowa's Home Away from Home...At Home

Confused? Every week the Hawkeyes play at home in Kinnick Stadium, the team heads to Cedar Rapids to spend the night before the game. Currently the team is housed at the Crowne Plaza downtown but due to the recent flooding of the area, and financial issues outside the control of the hotel staff, we're not sure if this will be our home the entire year.

The football team has had this tradition dating back to the 1990 season. Coach Hayden Fry felt a team is better prepared if they are able to focus and have a good night's rest. Something which may not be possible in a dorm room on a Friday night. When Kirk Ferentz became the head coach, the Friday destination became the Crowne Plaza.

Those who spend the night with the team include the head coach, coordinators, graduate assistants, football operations director, trainers, security and me, the video guy. Along with dinner, snack and breakfast (pre-game meal), the team holds meetings as well as watch the motivational video which is prior to the bus ride to the stadium.

The staff at the Crowne Plaza has done an exceptional job for us in our ten years in Cedar Rapids. Now with management issues, which is out of their control, it would be easy for them to slack off of their committment. However they have rallied around the fact they take care of the football team as they prepare for each home game. Meals continue to be great, chocolate chip cookies are warm and chewy and the distractions are few. Over the years we have dealt with High School Volleyball tournaments, concerts, but nothing may compare to the WWE night prior to our first game of this season. There are many different types who attend those events.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Night Out on the Town

This week's recommended place is a Sports Bar / Restaurant in Tampa, Flordia called Hattricks. Located in downtown Tampa, Hattricks is located near the St. Pete Times Forum, the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the name indicates, this is a Hockey Bar that is also a place to take the whole family. The food is better than bar fare and with the many televisions, a game of any type can always be found.

Hatticks was a place many of us frequented while in town for the Outback Bowl in 2003 and 2005. With the game on Jan. 2 of 2006, my family and I went to the hangout for lunch on New Year's Day. The staff treated my 1 1/2 year old son very well.

Tampa is a great bowl city and Hattricks is one of the places we enjoy going back to.

Week 3: Iowa State

With the exhibition season out of the way, the Hawkeyes begin the meat of their schedule. Iowa State comes to Kinnick Stadium to attempt to make it two in a row over Iowa. A year ago, the favored Hawkeyes allowed five field goals, including one with five seconds to play to earn the win. The Hawkeyes scored their first points on an 11 yard TD run by QB Jake Christensen in the third quarter. It was the Cyclones first win of the season, and first by rookie Head Coach, Gene Chizik.
This week's game can be found on the Big Ten Network with former Chicago Cub play-by-play man, Thom Brennamen on the call. Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak have the call on the Hawkeye Radio Network beginning at 11am.
It was announced today that Iowa's first road game at Pittsburgh will be an 11am start on either ESPN or ESPN2, September 20.

College Football Week 2

The Big Ten was perfect this last weekend of college football. However, don't buy into the propoganda the Big Ten Conference is selling. On its web site, the conference used the word "Dominating" to describe the process its teams took to win all eleven games. Let's take a look at the competition. Michigan wins by ten at home over a middle of the pack Mid-American Conference team, Miami (OH). Ohio State wasn't able to pull away until late over in-state rival, Ohio. Ohio isn't a traditional power of the MAC. Teams such as Iowa, Inidana, Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue won easily over Florida International, Murray State, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan and Northern Colorado. Perhaps the more impressive victories came when Minnesota won on the road at Bowing Green and Northwestern won at Duke. Of course Duke isn't a traditional power in the ACC, but David Cutcliffe has the program in the right direction. Penn State was able to overpower Oregon State, a team which may end up in the bottom of the Pac-10.

Syracuse, it is time to move on. A year ago there was no sign of improvement yet the school decided to let Greg Robinson return for a fourth year. While I believe a head coach should have four years to establish his program, there has been no signs that make anyone think the Orange will return to it national prominence under Robinson. With a loss at Northwestern followed by a home loss to Akron and Penn State this upcoming week, Syracuse is well on its way toward another 9+ loss season.

The worst call of the week goes to the Pac 10 officiating crew in Seattle. Washington's quarterback scores a touchdown to bring the Huskies to within one with a few seconds to go on Brigham Young. While celebrating the touchdown, the Washington QB throws the ball up in excitement. The official throws the flag for excessive celebration and the Huskies kick the PAT fifteen yards further back. The kick is blocked and BYU wins. Has the college game got to the point where spontaneous enthusiasm is penalized. This is a game played by 18-22 year olds and they are supposed to have fun. Allow them the opportunity to celebrate as long as it isn't excessive or showing up the other team.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


On this Saturday afternoon in Kinnick Stadium, the ever-popular 2nd string QB was cheered as Ricky Stanzi led the Hawkeyes to a 42-0 win. While he and former first-teamer, Jake Christensen's stats were very similar, many on hand could see a different Iowa Football team when Stanzi led the offense as compared to a more lacklaster performance with Christensen.

While Maine and Florida International aren't the powers of their respective conferences, the two wins allowed the Hawkeyes to play many players and gain valuable experience in preparation for the Big Ten season and upcoming games with Iowa State and Pitt. The exhibition season is now over and games that mean a little more begin. Next week is Iowa State--a game which the Hawkeyes should be ready for as they have lost 6 of their last 9 in the series.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Upcoming Television Season

September doesn't only mean the beginning of the College Football season, but it is the official start to the new television season. While our jobs at Iowa Football keep us busy at this time of the year, our opportunities to sit in front of the television are few. However, here are a few shows that I will be looking forward to either live or recorded.

CHUCK--Due to the writer's strike of 2007 which abbreviated that season, this rookie in the line-up suffered by not fielding an entire season. The storyline is good as a "nerd" who works at a local electronic store becomes involved as a federal spy and works alongside a beautiful young woman who he becomes attracted to. A great storyline which promises to get better.

90210--Need I say more? This is a spin-off of the very popular teen soap of the 1990s, Beverly Hills 90210. A new group of kids are at West Beverly High School and they are joined alongside some popular characters of the original series. One episode has aired with great reviews, but I plan on watching it this weekend when I get a chance. My wife and I are very excited about the debut of this series.

Entourage--If you don't have HBO, you are missing a great show. I didn't start watching this show until the third season, but anxiously await every episode. HBO is known for its original programming and this is as good as HBO has created. If you haven't watched an episode, it isn't too late to start.

True Blood--Another HBO original show which debuts this Sunday prior to Entourage. This show follows a group of vampires who live in rural Louisiana. Another show which I doubt will disappoint.

Family Guy--It has been too long since Seth Green has created a new episode on Peter, Lois and their family of Quahog. Definitely not the most politically correct show, Stewie and Brian will leave you laughing for an entire thirty minutes.

The Amazing Race--11 teams picked to race around the world with the team who comes in first winning One Million Dollars. Teams are in charge of finding transportation to move from one locale to another while finishing tasks related to their local area. This show gives contestants to see the world and interract with the different cultures. This is one game show I would love to be on.

This is only a sampling of the shows I will be watching. However these shows will be recorded and not missed throughout the fall. Once January comes we can add "Lost" to our discussion.

The PA Announcer

Many who attend an Iowa Football game may wonder who the individual is whose voice bellows around Nile Kinnick Stadium. That man is Associate Athletic Director, Mark Abbott. Mark replaced long-time announcer Father Bob Holzhammer in 1999. Here Mark makes his pre-game announcements from his perch overlooking the 75,000 seat stadium.

The Q and The A

This week's Q & A belongs to Office Assistant (Secretary) Terry Armstrong. Terry is responsible for many projects, most importantly assisting the coaching staff by typing all of the game plans, call sheets and scouting reports. She reluctantly filled out this week's Q & A.

Birthplace: Mercy Hospital, Iowa City

In Your IPod: If I had one it would be current hits in both Rock 'n Roll and Country, plus a few oldies.

Favorite Book: Janet Evonvich Series of Stephen Plum

Favorite Movie: The Replacements

Favorite Meal: Pizza (extra cheese, black olives, mushrooms, and tomatoes)

Favorite Travel Destination: Haven't been, but I'd like to go to Jamaica.

Hobby: Reading, working around the yard.

Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Pepsi

Grass or Turf: Grass

Play Football at Day or Night: Night

Favorite Opponent's Stadium You've Been To: Ohio State or Penn State

Favorite Team Growing Up: Iowa Hawkeye Football

Person You Most Admire: My Niece, Chris Randall.

If you were not with football, I'd be....a secretary in another department at the University.

Memorable Sports Moment: The touchdown catch by Warren Holloway at the 2005 Capital One Bowl game against LSU.

Best Advice Given to You: Smile, it can be contagous.

Bucket List: 1-Go to Jamaica. 2-Go to Boise, ID and visit my niece Chris Randall. 3-Bungee Jump. 4-White Water Rafting.

Senior College

Over the summer a former coach and current friend, Dave Triplett asked if I would help him prepare for a series of classes aimed at retired individuals in the community. The class which focuses on football and the different coaching points of the game. Today was the first of four days for the class which is being taught in the Auditorium of the Jacobson Athletic Complex which houses Iowa Football.

Approximately 50 people are enrolled in the course which is sponsored by the Emeritus Faculty Association and the University of Iowa Alumni Association. "Trip," as seen in the picture, is discussing the coaching points associated with offense and in particular, the Zone Running Play which is popular with many college and professional programs around the nation.

This two hour class will take place throughout the fall and take a look at all phases of the game. Along with the Zone Running Play, Trip discussed many of the techniques it takes to play on the defenisve side of the ball.