|Courtesy Des Moines Register|
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
|Matt from Iowa alongside Big D and Ryan from Wisconsin|
Much of what I wanted to say has been covered in a recent article on ESPN.com. Being a member of a college video staff can at times be anonymous. We are those who hide behind the cameras, rarely being seen in front of those. While many have their eyes on the on-field action, there are those recording every move of the players, seemingly non-stop throughout a practice or a game. That footage is edited and shared out to coaches and players on your own team, and games are exchanged with teams throughout the conference and country.
While many eyes constantly play, replay and review each play over and over, it is a small group of people that watch their footage. Coaches and players are the target audience for this video, but fans rarely get a glimpse of this behind the scenes world.
This tragedy strikes very close to home. While I did not know the young man who lost his life, I do know his immediate boss. He has been at Notre Dame for as long as I've been at Iowa--around twenty years. All of us in the profession have been atop those lifts getting everything a coach would want to make his team better. And whether or not we continue to get into scissor lifts, boom lifts or other shooting towers, we send other students up to capture every step, route, punt and hit. When I began working at Iowa the saying was, "Whatever the Hawkeyes are doing, we're shooting it." Big Brother we became.
The unique part of the job is the comraderie that binds video staffs across the county. Coaches may like one another, but they also want to beat their fellow friend. But in our profession our rivalries must be put aside as it is important to help one another out. We need our opponent's video as they need ours. And in the process of helping one another out, we become friends with each other.
This two-week period on the schedule features Wisconsin and Michigan State. Our team goal is to win the game, but at Iowa we share a booth as well as assisting each other to ensure they can do their job quickly, efficiently and correctly. And at the same time, we form a bond of friendship. Some greater than others, but for these consecutive weeks we host two staffs we consider friends and not opponents.
For those who follow this blog know Wisconsin's and our video staffs meet in Dubuque every Summer for a friendly, yet competitive game of golf. A lot of fun is had on that day, and that continues over to a great time in the booth during a game. Michigan State will also provide a fun experience within the booth on Saturday regardless of the outcome of the game.
Tomorrow when Iowa and Michigan State put their cameras atop their tripods, nothing will have changed. I will be standing next to MSU's Tom and our students will be in the end zones side by side. That is our normal. We will be thinking of what those in South Bend must be going through as their normal will never be that again.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Pleasure Island is part of Downtown Disney. Filled with shops, movie theaters and fine dining, it also has a variety of clubs and bars. Irish pubs, dance clubs as well as a House of Blues with live music on many nights. It has something for everyone. The clubs include techno, 80s, piano and country.
Food is aplenty, too. Seafood, Italian, as well as a Planet Hollywood and a Rainforest Cafe allow for everyone to find something for their tastebuds.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Typical for all televised games the announcers will show up to the game site a day or two before Saturday. Millen decided to get in some extra work on his teams by watching video Thursday morning.
A self-described Video Junkie, Millen enjoys the preparation that goes into his broadcast and watches as much video as he can. After about two hours in today he asked for a place to eat nearby. I suggestd a couple of different places in Coralville but declined to travel so far from the complex. The next suggestion turned to the cafeteria at the hospital. And quicker than he could set the remote down I found myself on a walk to the UIHC for lunch with the ABC analyst.
Showing him the different selections offered he settles on a deli sandwich like myself with chili and chocolate milk. We sat down and talked pro and college football as well as the time commitment it takes to balance his many duties for the ESPN networks as well as the NFL Network. At one break I told him I regretted that I brought him to the hospital cafeteria as there are so many other options in Iowa City. Downplaying it he said that he is as "low maintenance" as they come and he couldn't be happier with the sandwich, soup and chocolate milk.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
While the Heartland Trophy began in 2004, the Toolbox dates back to 1991. The current day's edition has a different look to the one that began the series.
It didn't start the year that Barry Alvarez took over as head football coach in Madison, but in year two the game took off. John Chadima, a former manager for the Iowa Football team became the Director of Football Operations for Alavarez. After a year he reached out to Iowa to see if there would be interest in playing a game between the managers of the representing teams. The game was on, and it was played on a sunny Friday afternoon inside Camp Randall Stadium. The Hawkeye managers won the first game, but the Battle for the Toolbox didn't become a yearly tradition until 1995.
The football teams of the two schools weren't on each others schedules for 1993 and 1994, but once that series re-started, the Battle for the Toolbox started a new run that hasn't had an interruption since.
Today the game has taken on new meaning. On that sunny afternoon in 1991, few were on-hand to witness it. The game was officiated among the players and the game was over in almost an hour. But today crowds show up to show their support for their son, boyfriend or classmate. Whether the game is in the Iowa Indoor Practice Facility or Wisconsin's Dave McClain Center fans, cheerleaders and mascots are found crowding the sidelines. And the game has become serious enough that the home team supplies high school officials to keep the play fair.
Friday night after 10pm will be another battle for a toolbox that has seen its better days. But this piece of equipment has meaning and history. And although the rivalry of the two football teams will no longer be played on a yearly basis, the Battle for the Toolbox is truly the biggest loser amid all of the fallout.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Coming into the game the Hawkeyes climbed to #1 in the polls with impressive victories over Drake, Iowa State, and Michigan State. Iowa was still riding the momentum off a 55-17 Freedom Bowl victory over Texas the year before and expectations had been high. Achieving the #1 ranking would be expected for many of the traditional college football programs, but for Hawkeye fans, being #1 was a rare feat.
in 1984 the Hawkeyes handed Michigan one of the worst defeats for Wolverine head coach Bo Schembechler's career, 26-0. However Michigan bounced back in 1985 with one of the top defenses in the nation. Touchdowns didn't happen against the Maize and Blue in 1985, and against Iowa the streak would continue.
It was the most anticipated game of the Hawkeye home schedule, but a match-up of #1 Iowa and #2 Michigan wasn't enough for CBS to televise nationally. The national home to Big Ten football decided to split the game across the nation and provide Georgia Tech and Auburn to a share of the country. But in Iowa the ticket was the most sought after of the year.
The game was truly a classic providing some great memories. Michigan quarterback, Jim Harbaugh fighting the Kinnick Stadium crowd noise in the Hawkeye red zone. The noise was bad enough provoking Schembechler to pull the team off to the sideline until it quieted down. However Harbaugh had to continue to try to be audible, and thus leading to the only touchdown in the game.
Defense was the story of the game. Iowa's led by linebacker Larry Station who made one of the more memorable 3rd down tackles in Iowa Football history. On the Wolverine last drive, Station made a tackle for loss on third down resulting in a Michigan punt which set up the winning Iowa drive.
But the most memorable moment came by way of walk-on placekicker Rob Houghtlin. Houghtlin had already connected on three of four field goals and supplying the only points for Iowa. But what led to him not buying another beer in the state of Iowa (per Sports Illustrated) was the 29 yarder with two seconds to go and down by one to the Wolverines.
Attempts by Schembechler to ice him, Houghtlin wasn't bothered by the extra time, and hit the field goal that is remembered by Hawkeye fans of all time. Fans stormed the field and those who didn't, did not want to leave. Pandamonium swept through Iowa City it arguably the biggest win in Iowa Football history.
Monday, October 18, 2010
|Courtesy Frat House Sports|
If you have spent time in Iowa City imagine Mickies to be the Madison version of the Hamburg Inn #2. Mickies Dairy Bar is known for its breakfasts and shakes. Of course a dairy bar in the state of Wisconsin better have good dairy and Mickies doesn't disappoint. It is a must when visiting the restaurant across the street from Camp Randall Stadium.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The course winds through downtown Iowa City into the nearby residential neighborhoods. Runners of all ages and abilities hit the streets whether with their legs, in strollers, or as one little boy did, on a scooter.
My wife and son took part in the 5K and each finished under 40 minutes, their first race of this length ever.
Attending a game at Michigan Stadium, "Hail to the Victors" is the Wolverine Fight Song that gets played over and over. It is played so frequently that a fan can't remember any other songs being played by the band (however on this Saturday their halftime show was a salute to the Peace Corps....-Weak). It is one of the more recognizable fight songs in college athletics and synonymous with college football.
As a member of the football team at Michigan players run from the locker room, through the tunnel and out onto the Michigan Stadium field hitting the banner at midfield on the way to their sideline. One of the traditions in Big Ten Football, and we had the opportunity to witness it this past Saturday as the Hawkeyes handled the Maize and Blue a Homecoming defeat, 38-28.
Next week the Hawkeyes host Wisconsin in a game televised by ABC beginning at 2:30.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The bus travels around the country covering college football. Other stops this week were Columbus, OH, Columbia, MO and following today's stop will be Lincoln, NE for this weekend's Texas - Nebraska Big XII match-up.
Coaches and players sit in the studio (see below) and are interviewed by members of the ESPN College Football Live show. Today Kirk Ferentz stepped into the seat for the interview to be seen today at 2:30 (CT).
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A production crew was in Iowa City parts of the last week shooting a feature for the popular Saturday morning ESPN College Game Day on Julian Vandervelde. Vandervelde, a starting offensive lineman on the Iowa Football team, also is known for his singing talents. As a freshman he took part of a talent show put on by the Alamo Bowl, and his performance brought his own team members as well as that of the opposing Texas Longhorns to their feet. This past spring he also provided musical entertainment when the President of the United States made an appearance on the University of Iowa campus.
Vandervelde's segment is scheduled to appear around 10am.
UPDATE: THE CURRENT SCHEDULE HAS JULIAN TO APPEAR AROUND 9:30am
Monday, October 11, 2010
|Courtesy Dallas Observer Blogs|
Finally, this tweet sparked a nerve late Saturday night:
PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
RT @ChrisGalippo: Football is only a game. I'm just glad I'm not 1 of those miners still trapped. Think they care bout USC-Stanford?
Pete Thamel is a well-respected college sports writer for the New York Times and his tweets have been insightful since I've been following him last season. But let's not try place the tragedy of the Chilean miners with that of a college football game in California. We are all praying for the safe return on these miners, but based on the recent news, and video coming from Chile, the miners seem to be in good spirits and are close to returning to their loved ones. And in fact they may not care about a Pac-10 battle that went down to the wire, they did care about their national team play Ukraine a month ago. Judging by the linked video, their spirits were high and health appeared good.
Football, and sport in general is only a game, but it does lift the spirits of a community, region or country. Tell the people of New Orleans that the Super Bowl was only a game. Still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the Saints World Championship lifted the spirits of Louisiana. Would the American hostages being held in 1980 Iran refer to the Olympic Semi-Final Hockey match-up of the USA and USSR say it was only a game? That victory provided a nation with a sense of pride it had been missing for years.
So, Mr. Thamel, the Chilean miners probably didn't care about USC - Stanford last Saturday night, but why would they? But don't dismiss Football as "only a game." And while you didn't originate the tweet, your supported it by re-tweeting it. Sport brings pride and relief like no other event in our lives.
Not only is the food good, but it is inexpensive. Many of the dinner entrees on the menu are less than ten dollars, and for a 1/3lb hamburger and fries the price will be less than five dollars.
The selection on the menu is diverse. Breakfast varies with the standard eggs and toast as well as pancakes and oatmeal. It is served until 3pm. Lunch not only has the many different sandwiches, but wraps, soups and salads. And dinner features many different entrees including roast beef, turkey and usual fixings.
As seen below the portions of the sandwiches aren't shy. At some restaurants in Iowa, tenderloins exceed the size of the bun, but are as thin as a piece of cardboard. At the Windmill Cafe the tenderloins not only exceed the bun, but are very thick. Definitely worth every penny.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
The radio personalities transcended different periods of radio since the 80s and showed a camaraderie that many wouldn't expect as they battled for ratings on each of their own stations. KZIA's own morning crew of Schulte and Swann were very involved throughout the night. Scott McGill of Scott, Mark and Cecily from KKRQ in Iowa City joined the band for one song while Tommy Lang (former KRNA and currently KCJJ) and Ted Burton Jacobson from KKRQ also could be seen within the crowd.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
"Man v Food" is a series that places the host in locally-known restaurant that features an item on the menu that is a challenge to be eaten within a certain time period. On this show that restaurant was "Jethros," nearby the Drake University campus. But the High Life Lounge was also featured for its many delicacies. Above is a clip from the show featuring the High Life Lounge.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I had the opportunity to place my flip camera in the Learfield Radio Booth of Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak. This is a clip from the 2010 Iowa - Penn State football game. A special thanks to Gary and Ed as well as Hawkeye Sports Properties.
Although the Airliner has changed hands over the years, it is still known for one thing, its pizza. Deep dish and thin crust, it doesn't matter, the pizza has been a staple of the Airliner since its inception, and its good. We should know, they are quick to deliver to Iowa Football on a Friday afternoon.
Stories abound about the popularity of the downtown restaurant. One of the better is that of Tom Brokaw hanging out there while attending Iowa. Brokaw didn't graduate from this University, but as the story goes, treated it as a second home with many of his friends he met at school.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
It was the last game of Iowa's first half schedule, who close it at 4-1. They welcome a bye this week and then have seven consecutive Big Ten games.