Friday, February 27, 2009

IC Eels

The Iowa State Club Swim Meet for ages thirteen and above is being held at the University of Iowa Field House Pool. My neice, Sophie Shoultz is shown in lane 6 (third from the top) swimming the 1000 Freestyle. Sophie finished fourth with events to come on Saturday and Sunday.

Hawkeye Football Blood Drive

The Iowa Football team turned out Friday to donate blood. The University of Iowa's DeGowin Blood Center set up in the Hayden Fry Football Complex for members of the team and staff to donate blood. This is the third time the team has donated, the last following the record floods of 2008.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fire Prevention

Someone has been listening well when the fire fighters have arrived at his school. Tonight while mom was preparing dinner, she warned the son and I that the smoke alarm may go off due to what was being cooked in the kitchen. Once Colin heard of the warning he ran to the door put on his shoes and placed his hands over his ears waiting for the alarm to sound. It never did, but this isn't the first time the young lad was prepared. The first time it happened he ran outside for the stop sign at the end of the cul-de-sac. The second time it happened he made it out the door, but was convinced to come back in due to the below freezing temperatures.

Don't Panic

I came upon this story on and thought the world was definitely coming to an end when the ACC is still selling individual tickets for their men's basketball tournament. This is the first time since 1966 when tickets have been made available.
The ACC is the standard for college basketball in this country. It demands a great fan following from teams of Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, Maryland, Virginia as well as those teams as far south at Miami. Tournaments have been held in Greensboro, Charlotte, Tampa, Washington D.C. to name a few. This year's event will be held in the 30,000+ Georgia Dome.
Officials of the conference blame the country's economoy for the late sale of tickets. That is the easiest place to lay blame, but let's not forget this tournament is set for a dome and over 30,000 people. Perhaps they realize that many of these seats will provide a less than sub-par view of the playing floor. They will be able to see it better on the jumbotron or at home. Why pay over $300 and need binolculars. Also, many of these teams' fans want to save their money since as many as four or five have very legitimate chances of making the final four in Detroit.

Just Doesn't Get It

The Republican Party just doesn't get it. I did not watch the Presidential Address nor the rebuttal from the GOP, but the reviews aren't good for the leader of the state Louisiana.

While we are at it, maybe the party also needs to update their logo. Image is everything.

Best Beers

Came upon this link while doing a little reading on the web tonight. It has a list of this person's "Best Beers" to try.

Number two on the list is New Glarus Belgian Red. I have not tried this brand from the small Swiss village in south central Wisconsin. My wife and I have tried "Spotted Cow" as well as "Totally Naked." We recommend each highly.

Spotted Cow is the trademark beer of the company. It is found in restaurants and grocery stores throughout the state of Wisconsin as well as Miller Park in Milwaukee. Due to high taxes occurred when shipping outside the state, the people at New Glarus Brewing Co decided to keep this brew local.

On our next trip to the Badger State, we may have to try the Belgian Red.

Heisman Trophy Home Shuts its Doors

Since 9/11 the Heisman Trophy has had problems finding a home. Last Friday its newest home had closed its doors. Read the story here.

The Downtown Athletic Club suffered severe damage in 2001 and that year's presentation occurred at the Marriott Marquee in Times Square. The next year it moved to the Yale Club where Iowa's Brad Banks finished second to USC's Carson Palmer. Having attended that year, I will not forget the experience, but it took a while for my knee to heal after the Asst AD from SC, who sat in a folding chair in front of me, slide it into me in jubilation of the announcement.

Lost 2.25

Decided to watch Lost instead of the Iowa game at Michigan State. Turned back at commercials as well as keeping an eye on the game by my computer. It definitely isn't the game I saw in Iowa City weeks ago.

Good episode tonight and here is a link, and another to discuss Locke's return to the Island. Trying to find out who the "bad" guy is. Ben? Widmore? The plane seemed to land in better shape than Oceanic flight 815. Are we starting over with new "Losties" and "Others?"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hayden Fry

Tonight at the Iowa - Michigan basketball game I had the opportunity to speak with Josh Schamberger, President of the Iowa City / Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau. He informed me of exciting news to be announced this week of a relationship between Coralville and Hall of Fame Iowa Football Coach, Hayden Fry. This is good and long overdue. Kudos to Josh for this idea and one more reason to join the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium for the 09 home opener with Northern Iowa.


This weekend Colin and I decided to take a trip and visit dear old Grandmommy in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Staying Saturday night she asked if we could go to church with her on Sunday. While my wife, son and I like to think we are good people, we don't frequent church. The last attempt was Christmas Eve services in 2006 at the Presbyterian Church in downtown San Antonio. Colin didn't last very long during this Christmas service of song.

On our way to First Presbyterian in Oskaloosa I was trying to think of ways to keep the little one pre-occupied as well as Plan Bs if he just couldn't tolerate the service. We reminded him that it would last less than 60 minutes and, if he wanted to, he could play in the basement with other kids his age.

When we arrived my mom took us downstairs and he didn't feel comfortable leaving dad and Grandmommy so he decided to suck it up and sit with them. A kind lady of the church handed him a bag with crayons, fruit snacks and odd toys. Then as we walked to our seat I noticed communion plates...something my mom decided not to tell us. A serive of less than an hour now became much longer.

Colin sat up and listened to the music that serenaded the people as they entered. He also sat up and listened to the announcements. I held him as we sang and prayed together. He declined the option to walk to the front of the church with other kids in the church. We were doing well, he snuggled up to me and held onto his blanket and "Piggie," the stuffed animal that joined us on this Sunday. Then we got to the serman, and I began to notice the unsettleness set in. He declared for those in the rows around to hear, "I'm ready to go." A chuckle or two ensued. The serman was disappointing, as acknoledged by my mom as well. Then came the bread and "wine." Colin asked why he couldn't have them. I said the fruit snacks were for him, this for us.
Finally it was time to go and Colin was ready to put his coat on. However, all in all, he did a good job.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NFL Combine 2.21

Out with the old, in with the new. Lucas Oil Stadium sits behind the rubble of the RCA Dome. This is the first year the NFL Combine takes place within the new stadium. OLine, TEs and Kickers start the workout session. Rob Bruggeman and Seth Olsen from Iowa participate on Saturday.

Outland Award winner from Alabama, Andre Smith is creating the most headlines on the opening day. Smith admitted to scouts that he hasn't worked out and declined to take part in the important bench press. Then he followed that up by being a no-show for workouts the next day. It is tought to figure out how an individual with so much potential as well as his future riding on this one-time interview could take it so lightly. NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes predicted this error in his ways could cost up to $10 Million dollars.

Watching the combine is like watching the draft. It can be addictive. Especially for someone like me who knows athletes competing as well as coaches, scouts and video personnel who conduct the event. In one OLine drill at the combine shown on the NFL Network, there were many involved I know or met. Juan Castillo, OL coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and father of Hawkeye Football freshman Greg, Mike Devlin, former Hawkeye OLineman and current asst. OL coach of the NY Jets, as well as Bob Eckberg, Video Director of the Green Bay Packers. (I hope to find video and post later).

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Not Pebble Beach

Although a snowstorm was approaching and the temps hovered in the 20s, Colin decided to take the clubs out of the garage and hit a few balls around.

We followed up the day with a trip to his favorite golf course for dinner, Divots at Brown Deer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NFL Combine

The door to the NFL for many college athletes is underway in Indianapolis. Five Hawkeyes will participate over the next five days. Those are Rob Bruggeman, Seth Olsen, Bradley Fletcher, Shonn Greene, and Mitch King. The schedule of on-field events is:
  • Saturday (2.21)--Group I (Specialists and OLine), Group II (OLine), Group III (TEs).
  • Sunday (2.22)--Group IV (QBs & WRs), Group V (QBs & WRs), Group VI (RBs)
  • Monday (2.23)--Group VII (DLine), Group VIII (DLine), Group IX (LBs)
  • Tuesday (2.24)--Group X (DB), Group XI (DB)

Off the field events that begin today include the Q&A interview sessions and tests with General Managers and other team personnel.

Lost Update February 18

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big Ten Video Meeting Day 2

Day two, the final day of the Big Ten Video Meeting occurred Tuesday as many more vendors as well as much discussion was held in Indianapolis. Wavecam, Anton/Bauer, Olympic Case, DragonFly, and NL Technology were among the vendors.

Discussion involved that of the new head of Big Ten Officiating and differences made to protocol of post-game video review. Dave Parry stepped down after the 2008 season and Phil Carrola will take over in 09.

The day concluded with myself, and the video coordinators of Virginia and Wisconsin answering questions from the NFL Video Directors who were also having their meetings prior to the NFL Combine. Questions pertained to internet exchange. Not only were the NFL Video Directors meeting in Indianapolis at the Westin, but also the head coaches. Jack Del Rio of Jacksonville and Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati were spotted outside the meeting rooms. Pictures of this would not have been appropriate.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Ten Video Meeting Day 1

Today marked the first day of Big Ten Video Meetings. This is the first year the conference decided to hold their gathering in a location other than Chicago. Indianapolis is a venue in which they shared with the NFL Video Directors as they come together yearly here to meet as well as shoot the upcoming NFL Combine. While I'm gone from my family for two days, all of the NFL Video Directors are in Indianapolis from February 16th - 25th.

The first day of meetings were highlighted by presentations from LRS Sports, Sony Electronics, Webb Electronics (pictured), DV Sport, Panasonic and XOS Technologies. XOS hosted the meeting for the fourth consecutive year and treated the conference video guys to dinner at St. Elmo Steakhouse (pictured below).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pitchers Catchers Arrive

The Cubs haven't seen a title in over 100 years. I guess it shouldn't matter pitchers and catchers report on Friday the 13th.
If it isn't already ending, mark today as the beginning of the end for Notre Dame

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ESPN’s College Football Schedule

Thanks to the people at AwfulAnnouncing the following is the preliminary schedule for college football on the ESPN family of networks.

Thursday, September 3rd- South Carolina at N.C. State (September 3rd
Monday, September 7th- Miami at Florida State (ESPN, 8pm)
Thursday, September 10th- Clemson at Georgia Tech (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Saturday, September 12th- USC at Ohio State (ESPN, 8pm)
Thursday, September 17th- Georgia Tech at Miami (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Saturday, September 19th- Texas Tech at Texas (ABC, 8pm)
Thursday, September 24th- Mississippi at South Carolina (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, October 1st- Colorado at West Virginia (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, October 8th- Nebraska at Missouri (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, October 22nd- Florida State at North Carolina (ESPN, 8pm)
Thursday, Octoer 29th- North Carolina at Virginia Tech (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, November 5th- Virginia Tech at East Carolina (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, November 19th- Colorado at Oklahoma State (ESPN, 7:30pm)
Thursday, November 26th- Texas at Texas A&M (ESPN, 8pm)
Thursday, December 5th- Oregon State at Oregon (ESPN, 9pm)

February 11th Lost Updates

Preparing for Valentine's Day

Colin is shown here writing his name on his Valentine's Day cards to take to school in the morning. When Dad asked which little girl he wanted to get the best card he said Katherine. Katherine was also a classmate of his at Country Kids before both transferred to Frog Hollow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please say it is so

Today Brett Favre announced his retirement from the New York Jets. This comes almost a year after his last retirement speech. Many Packer fans did not want to see him in a jersey other than the green and gold of Green Bay. I did not want to see Brett forced to leave the game due to injury or as a loser. I wanted to remember him for taking the Pack farther than anyone else thought he could, the NFC Championship game and walking off the Lambeau Field turf into retirement. His comeback with Jets wasn't disappointing, finishing just out of the playoffs with a winning record, but watching him I didn't see the fun he had with his players or fans that he did in Green Bay. Brett, please let this be the final time you retire from football.
Miami Hurricane Football hit by budget cuts

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sittin in the Principal's Office

I do tire of these award shows becomming political soapboxes. And now there is a tribute on the Grammy's to New Orleans and how they continue to have much to rebuild. I suppose the next hour will be the salute to Eastern Iowa....

Check out the following:

Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press isn't a fan of National Letter of Intent Day.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution speaks to the budget involved in NLI Day.

The Head of Big Ten Officials steps down to oversee officiating throughout the country.

It is only February

But with temperatures in the 40s and 50s, someone was anxious to get his bicycle out of the garage. Later he rode in his stroller as dad ran.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Fine Line

Interesting read in today's Cedar Rapids Gazette by Jim Ecker on the placement of, most notably, print media at many of today's sporting venues. His most recent complaint is where they were located for Wednesday night's Iowa - Indiana basketball game at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. In order to report on the game they were forced to watch from the last rows behind the student section and band, located behind the basket. Most of their time was spent standing and watching around the many in red wigs as well as tuba players. Print media has been forced to these remote locations to allow those who donate bigger bucks to sit courtside. Ecker wasn't compaining about being moved, and I believe he understands the move, but his point is that being forced to watch from such an odd location diminishes his opportunity to do a job.

First of all, from personal experience, Indiana tends to do things backwards. Having dealt with similar staff for football games, what Ecker went through was no surprise. On a trip in 2002 we had to deal with a press box going through some renovations. The shooting platform for our cameras did not have a solid floor with dirt, mud and standing water--not conducive to electrical equipment. IU staff members were reluctant to assist until I made a loud point of how "they'd only care if this was the basketball arena."

Then on our most recent trip for football we found the two small elevators were slow and tended to cater to donor, rather than the working people. It was tiresome walking up 9+ flights of stairs to the roof of the Memorial Stadium press box.

However what the IU staff doesn't understand on this recent media flap is that there is a line between being a fan and working at the game.
Fans are there to get away from the office. Screaming, standing and supporting your team while disrupting the visitors are among the qualities of a fan. Many fans become something different than what you would see in their board room earlier in the day. They may have been drinknig and subsequently taken on a new persona.

Typicall the media sits at their seat, watches, takes notes and observes while writing a story in preparation for a deadline. They must concentrate as well write while the action in in progress. These two worlds cannot co-exist.

I must admit I have become spoiled by spending most of my time shooting from a secluded press section at Kinnick Stadium. However our most recent football game found my loaction in the middle of a Hawkeye cheering section at Raymond James Stadium. Beer was being poured non-stop in front of me, and early in the second half an Iowa fan yelled at me and my colleagues from South Carolina to "shut the camera off...the game is over." The first time was mildly humorous, but the second or third was annoying and he struggled to understand why we were ignoring him. The last thing I want to do is summon security. A similar run in with a fan occurred at the Cap One Bowl in 2005. An LSU fan called me Bob Saget, and I in return, once the Tigers scored to cut the lead from 12 to 5, said that I thought he had gone home as I hadn't heard a word from him since the first quarter. It was friendly ribbing between two as I shook his hand following the game, but not every incident ends kindly.

My point is that there is a distinct line between being a fan and being in a working capacity. Very few times do they go together. Placing print media within a student section is ridiculous. I mean seriously, who thinks of this? Ecker in the article goes on to say that many arenas are slowly moving the media further away from the court. In these economic times it is evident to give the closer seats to fans who are willing to pay the high prices. I don't think many would argue that, but if you invite the media to cover the event, you need to give them a place to do their job.
Fans are fans and they pay for a designated seat. That ticket allows some freedoms, but it should be contained to that seat. Media are there to cover the game, and if treated well, can be the best free publicity any school can ask for. But IU needs to understand there is a line. The fans belong in the stands (not on the field post game either), and the news media is allowed a place to work.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Drake - Creighton

Drake's I-80 rival got the best of them at the Knapp Center Wednesday night. Creighton beat the Bulldogs 79-68 to give the Blue Jay head coach, Dana Altman his 300th victory.

National Letter of Intent Day

Yes, this is the fax machine the NLIs get sent into. I don't get as excited about this day as many others do. It is good for the student - athlete and their family, but let the party begin once they are on campus and contributing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Swim Lessons

#3 of six swim lessons for Colin at the Coralville Rec Center. C joins two others in class as he continues to take lessons as a way to be in the water during the winter.

February 3

I tend to remember certain events that happen on this day. For example, it was a year ago that one of the greatest Super Bowls were played. The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots to end a pefect season for the AFC Champions. At halftime of the game I decided to begin blowing away the 8" of snow that fell throughout the day (as witnessed by the video below).

It was also on this day in 1993 the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union voted to discontinue 6-Player basketball, the sport I dreamed of coaching.

Also, in 1982, the day after a large snow fell on my hometown of New Sharon, North Mahaska decided not to delay school, although my dad, the principal was snowed in on our country gravel road. So he called ahead to the school to let them know we may have problems...and we did. My dad and I, along with 30 cupcakes ran into a snowdrift less than a mile from school (our house was a mile and a half from the high school). Wilbur, the high school janitor, met us in the school's plow, but there was no way we could ride in with him, nor could he pave our way. We began walking back home, but stopped at our neighbors house only to find they had left on a winter's vacation. Another neighbor found us and drove us a different way to school in his 4-wheel drive. Once at school, and without cupcakes, it was announced school would end early.

And did you ever notice that in the movie Groundhog's Day, it is today that Bill Murray can never seem to get to?

And, of course, this is the anniversary of the XFL.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Win #6

Although I was cheering for the Cardinals, this is what a Super Bowl should be. After a first quarter domination, I thought we were heading for a Super bore, but the Cardinals kept fighting back and finally took the lead.
How did Ben Roethlisberger continue to elude the Cardinal defensive pressure? Not a Ben fan, he should've been the MVP.
Hats off the Arizona Defense. They continued to stop the Pittsburgh Offense from goal line situations, except for the final drive. They earned a Safety and kept the Steelers to field goals twice when Pittsburgh made it within the five.
I do question some of the penalties, but definitely not a deciding factor in the game.

Super Bowl Open

Pretty Good!

Super Bowl Sunday Pre Game Party

Prior to Super Bowl XLIII kicking off, we felt it would be a good time to celebrate the big game at Chuck E Cheese. We took neighbor girl Ann and had fun playing the games as well as meeting Mr. Cheese. Mom, of course, played many games to earn the many tickets to turn in for prizes. Dealing with two kids, as well as the myriad running around--some with parent supervision, some with parents sitting afar--reminds us that one kid is enough.

Three Pre Game Shows

Super Bowl Game Day Pre Game Shows
NFL Network - 3 Sets within the Stadium
ESPN - 1 Set within the Stadium. One in Downtown Tampa
NBC - Three Hours of Today Show inside Stadium and Pre Game show begins at 11am CT.