Monday, August 31, 2009

Night Out on the Town

The first Night Out on the Town of 2009 is Coaches Tavern in Indianapolis, Indiana. Located two blocks from Canseco Fieldhouse, this hole in the wall offers a full "bar menu" with many drinks on tap as well as bottled. However my favorite is the pretzel bread which is served as an appetizer.
Although its location is within walking distance to Pacer and Colt home games, this is a Chicago Cub bar offering Old Style and having signs located throughout the establishment reminiscent to those of Wrigley Field.
Although the Hawkeye Football team doesn't play in the Hoosier State, those fans of either basketball team should visit this place often during the month of March.

College Football Pre Season Look

As we did a year ago, the Monday segment dedicated to college football will once again be sponsored by a group of college cheerleaders or dance team. This picture provided by is the first look at the 2009 USC Song Girls.

An emotional Rich Rodriguez faced the media to address allegations by current and former players as to the hours required by the head coach and his staff. This is yet another issue facing the 2nd year coach of the Wolverines. Since taking over he has had to deal with defections (including one to rival Ohio State), home losses to non-BCS Toledo and Utah as well as the end of the longest consecutive bowl streak in America at 33. When Rodriguez and his staff took over, college football fans knew the traditional Michigan we grew accustomed to would not be the same. But Rodriguez has frustrated more than his fan base, but obviously has created a split within the Wolverine locker room. This is the same program that appeared in the Rose Bowl three times since 2000, half of the Big Ten appearances. Although Lloyd Carr's record recently against Ohio State was dismal, the play was respectable in the final game. This is now a program which Lloyd wants nothing to do with , and it looks like many of the players agree.

Week 1 Preview--Games that I'm looking forward to.
North Dakota State at Iowa State--Enthusiasm is high in Ames, yet they open with one of the more dangerous teams in FCS. North Dakotal State is coached by former Nebraska Asst Craig Bohl. He has headed this program as it raised its level from Divsion II. At that level two years ago, NDSU defeated Minnesota and Central Michigan on their home fields. A year ago it went to Wyoming and lost by three points. They are very capable of ruining Paul Rhodes debut as Cyclone Head Coach.
Western Michigan at Michigan--Followers of the Big Ten know what the Broncos have done the last two years. Wins at Iowa and against Illinois on a neutral field have caught the attention of the other head coaches in the conference. With the recent turmoil in Ann Arbor will Western Michigan make it three straight over the nation's premeir conference?
Upset of the week--It would be easy to take Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, but after the year the Wolverines in '08 followed by the week they are enduring, it would be too easy. My upset will be Nevada over Notre Dame. Being a fan of every team Notre Dame plays grounds my expectations of the Irish. This is the same team that lost late at home to one of the worst FBS teams in '08, Syracuse. Perhaps Notre Dame has an easier road this year, but they need to play better in '09 to be considered in the nation's elite.

Beginning this weekend the Iowa City / Coralville area will celebrate one of the State's memorable figures, former Iowa Football Head Coach Hayden Fry. This Texas has done more for the University as well as the State than anyone else. By committing himself to making the Hawkeye Football program into one of the Nation's Elite put not only the school but the State of Iowa on notice. He developed a logo recognizable throughout the world that when looked at, all know it isn't necessarily the Hawkeyes, but Iowa. Over ten years ago, while on a train into Geneva, Switzerland I sat with a duffle bag with that large logo on the side of it. A passenger who currently worked outside the nation's capital asked me in an American accent, "How is Hayden Fry doing?" He had worked for a period of time in Iowa City, at a time when Fry took a lowly Division I program to #1 in the nation for six weeks in 1985. It hasn't been done since.
This Texan also recognized the importance farmers played in the national landscape. The University isn't the agricultural school in the state, yet Hayden placed a logo adjacent to the TigerHawk on the Hawkey Football Helmet letting the nation know, "America Needs Farmers."
Although a street in Coralville will be renamed "Hayden Fry Way" appropriately on a Friday, what Hayden has done for Iowa, I-80 would be the more appropriate road.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pre-Season Staff Dinner

Every year prior to the start of the Iowa Football season, head coach Kirk Ferentz has his coaches and staff over to his house for a BBQ and a chance to swim in their pool. Typically in August the weather would be warm enough for many to jump in as quick as possible. Tonight with temperatures in the mid 60s, there were few who dared to enter. However Colin took advantage of the opportunity to get into the pool.
With the temperatures cool, the food warmed us all up. Burgers and Chicken sandwiches along with sweet corn and a variety of salads were the main course while a variety of cookies as well as strawberries were there for desert. Colin is keeping it real as he enjoys with ear of corn with Monica Wilson, wife of Iowa Linebacker Coach, Darrell Wilson looked on.

Practicing the Swarm

Everything takes practice, including the "Swarm." At Iowa's Mock Game Saturday the team covered every situation imaginable including how to enter Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoons.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rain continued to pound the Eastern Iowa area and practiced moved to Kinnick Stadium. On this day the team practiced with the music blasting over the speakers as well as getting used to the new field turf, this time under rainy conditions. The field held up well and the skies dried up as the team walked off the field shortly after 6pm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Practice in the Rain

Rain or shine, practice most likely will be taken outside. Today's showers came at bad time as most of it fell during the Iowa Football workout.

Erick Tjarks is protected by rain gear, as is his camera. While it rained during most of the practice, he doesn't compare to the Christmas Day workout while in Orlando for the Cap One Bowl. On that day it constantly rained hard and we lost the operation of two cameras.
During the individuals part, Lester Erb is passing along instructions to his Running Backs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Ten Network Practice Tour - IOWA

For the second straight year the Big Ten Network brought its crew to the Iowa campus to televise an Iowa Football practice. The faces of football on the network have been travelling around to each conference institution and package an entire practice session to be aired that night in a 90 minute show. Their trip to Iowa City capped off a two-week trek throughout the upper Midwest.

The Big Ten Network football studio crew of (L-R) Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith is joined by Iowa Football Head Coach, Kirk Ferentz

Joining Howard Griffith was sideline and special feature commentator Mike Hall (Left).

The Big Ten Network had an entire set along with multiple cameras. We were asked to share a lift with one of their cameramen. For close to $7 million a year and great publicity, we co-existed with the crew for one day. However next year we hope they are better equipped with longer cables allowing us to go to heights we are used to.

Iowa Defensive Coordinator, Norm Parker joined the crew on the set for an in-depth look at his side of the ball.

Iowa Linebacker Coach, Darrell Wilson was mic'd up for a segment of the show.

For those of you who follow the Big Ten Network on twitter, this is Brent, the person supplying the tweets for @bigtennetwork. He informed us he is one of the lone Cub fans among the travelling road show. Many of the other staffers are White Sox fans who have monopolized the televisions on the trip. We informed him he hasn't missed much.

Iowa Offensive Coordinator Ken O'Keefe was on the set to discuss how they would replace Shonn Greene for the '09 season.

Cameramen covered every inch of the Iowa Football practice.

Kirk Ferentz was the last to record his segment for the show.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sittin in the Principal's Office

It has happened. #4 is now playing with the Vikings. Packer fans moved on a year ago and many should be happy with the quarterback in place. With #4 in Minneapolis and Cutler in Chicago I still believe the best QB in the division is in Green Bay. I hope Rodgers proves me right.

Congratulations to the young men of Urbandale, Iowa for proudly representing the state.

Took in a movie in Cedar Rapids. In Iowa City, both movie theaters are owned by the same company leaving little difference in pricing and food. But at the Wynnsong 12 on the city's west side was a good change. Popcorn tasted better and pricing, while still considerably high, was better than what we are accustomed to in Iowa City. But I didn't need over 25 minutes of previews before watching the 2 1/2 hour Inglorious Basterds. Dinner at the Irish Democrat afterwards was good although I'm not Irish, nor a Democrat. My wife did feel at home.

Classes are underway at Iowa and a few observations. 1) this was the first time I've seen a skateboarder and cyclist run into each on the sidewalk. The cyclist won. 2) I've never seen adults fight over who would push the "walk" button on the signal light. 3) A few young female coeds were dressing to make friends quickly with young male students.

First college football prediction of the new year: Nevada over Notre Dame at South Bend in the first week. If I'm right, you heard it here first. If I'm wrong...oh, well.

Big Ten Network Practice Tour

At the Iowa River Landing sits the Big Ten Network Bus. It has been travelling throughout the Midwest visiting all the conference football team's practices. Iowa is the final stop.

Tune into the network's coverage Tuesday night at 9pm CT. Follow the blog for pictures of the event.

First Day of Classes

Classes are underway at the University of Iowa. Weather could not be more perfect to welcome the students back to campus. Sun and temps in the mid 70s.

Students sit on the steps of the Iowa campus landmark, the Old Capital.

Students heading to and from class in front of the dorms on Iowa's West East Side. (Thank you for correcting me).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Practice Before 1st Day of Classes

A day away from the start of classes at the University of Iowa, the football team took advantage of a perfect day.

Offensive Line Coach Reese Morgan.

Erik Campbell (Right) and Phil Parker (behind Erik C.) watch the Wide Receivers take on the Defensive Backs in one on one drills.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sorry for being tardy with the latest entry, but camera issues during the scrimmage and errands on the last Satuday off took precedent.
Here Darrell Wilson gives his linebackers final instructions before starting the longest scrimmage of the fall. This was a good performance by both sides of the ball.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ice Cream!

As August Camp comes to a close, the team looked forward to an ice cream sundae. Many of the players competed to see who could make more out of the dish of vanilla. Bananas, Oreos, Butterfingers, Hot Fudge, Strawberries and whipped cream were among the toppings.

Dodging the Storms

Storm clouds were on the horizon, but rain held off as practice went under the lights for the second consecutive night.

First Day of School

Colin officially became a Wickham Wizard today as the new schoolyear is underway in Iowa City / Coralville.

As he will everyday, Colin rides the Frog Hollow bus to and from school. This may be the highlight of his day.

With his name tag securely on his Wickham Wizard shirt, he stands paitently next to his Kindergarden teacher, Mrs. Schwartzendruber...or as the kids will call her, Mrs. S.

One last wave good-bye to his parents before he enters the building.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Heavy rains brought sunny skies and cool conditions as the Hawkeyes took to the turf field for its evening practice. This was the last official "two - a - day."

Cue the Band

While the football team had a morning practice in Kinnick Stadium, the marching band had their first year students gather in the Recreation Building to work on their routines for the upcoming season. Among the songs being rehersed was Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jumping for Joy

Not the first day of school, but the day Colin found out who is teacher will be as well as his classmates. As you can see he was jumping for joy in the Kate Wickham classroom with his neighbor friend, Ann who will also be sharing his tablespace and sitting next to him. Supplies were delivered and a tour of the school was on the agenda, followed by an ice cream social. Tuesday is the first day of classes for the Iowa City School District.

Camp Continues

An afternoon practice on a very pleasant day. Running Back Coach, Lester Erb sends his players through drills.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back Under the Lights

Offensive Coordinator oversees quarterback drills during Monday night's warm-up at the Iowa Football practice. This is the last week of practice prior to the start of classes a week from today.

Back to Work

Follow Saturday's Kid's Day and Sunday's day off with meetings and a movie, the Iowa Football team was back on the field Monday morning. Wide Receiver Coach, Eric Campbell has his players in one on one drills with the defensive backs.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Video Staff Tailgater

After the first week of fall camp and the day's Kid's Day activities, the video staff got together at our house for its own tailgater.

This is an opportunity for the guys to have a little home cooking. More importantly they get spoiled by my wife's home cooking.

On the grill were hamburgers and brats, brats that were purchased at a meat locker in New Glarus, Wisconsin. These were authentic.

Afterwards Colin convinces the crew for a little basketball in the driveway.

A veteran member of the video staff, Kyle Yoder demonstrates his range on the court. However this shot came up short.

But at the end of the night a little friendly wager between Kyle and myself resulted in a game of H-O-R-S-E. I defeated Kyle H-O-R-S-E to H-O.

Kid's Day

Kids Day at the University of Iowa allowed families to attend an open scrimmage inside Kinnick Stadium. Estimated number had not been announced, but a good crowd showed up for their only look at the 2009 football team before the season opener with Northern Iowa on September 5th.
One fan watches the players walk to Kinnick Stadium.

Fans were only allowed access to the west and south stands.

This was the first opportunity for the team to practice on the new Kinnick Stadium surface.

Fans lined up along the field for a chance for post-scrimmage autographs.

The thirty minute autograph session was hardly enough, but the kids took advantage of getting signatures as possible.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tom Brands

At the University of Iowa, athletes and coaches interract. Here Iowa Wrestling coach Tom Brands stops over to watch a little football practice and get the insight from Head Football Coach, Kirk Ferentz.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pro Scouts at Practice

Regularly scouts from all 32 NFL teams will frequently visit Iowa Football practice. Already in Iowa City this season have been representatives from the NY Jets, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. This is the first of many trips as representatives will also come to town during the season. Here Washington Redskin scout Schemy Schembechler, son of Bo Schembechler looks at the Iowa talent.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Second of Two

Running Back Coach Lester Erb runs his players through drills at the evening practice.

Man Behind the Stills

For many of the die-hard Hawkeye fans, is a frequent site for information. In his third year with the department, Darren Miller is the one responsible for all of the practice photos on the site.

Two - a - Days

Iowa had its first "two - a - day" practice of the 2009 season. The NCAA does not allow having consecutive days of double practices. Here Phil Parker takes his defensive backs through morning drills.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Day of Pads

After a few days of going through drills in shorts and helmets, the Iowa Football team practiced in full gear for the first time. Here the Defensive Line runs through drills.