Friday, December 30, 2011
|The Iowa Video Staff on picture day|
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Insight Bowl kicks off at 8pm mountain time on ESPN.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
That was the last time the Insight Bowl teams will have any organized activities prior to Friday night's game at Sun Devil Stadium.
Millen's preparation begins early. Before attending practice at Chapparal High School, he stopped by the Hawkeye's team hotel to get in a video session on the 2011 Iowa team. After getting a close up look while at practice, Millen returned to the hotel for more in-depth review, and will return on Thursday to continue his game prep. Also on Thursday, he and Sean McDonough will spend time with the Iowa Head Coach, as well as coordinators and a few players for more insight into their broadcast.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
After one final press conference on Wednesday morning, the media will be closed to each team and each team's focus is on the Friday night game in the desert.
Iowa and Oklahoma kick off at 8pm in the mountain time zone on ESPN
Now I don't try to post about chain restaurants, but I could only find two in the area, and that may be the only ones. And although the sign says Mexican Grill, it offers much more than food found south of the border. Burgers, mac and cheese and other northern traditional meals were on the menu, including a few varieties of chicken strips, which was a big hit for my son.
But there was plenty on the menu if you wanted some Mexican flare. I can't pass up on any kind of seafood tacos, and while my wife beat me to order the lobster tacos, I enjoyed ahi ahi tacos. My only complaint was I could've eaten another one or so, although they were completely filled with fish, lettuce and guacomole.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The team came together with coaches and staff on Christmas Eve for dinner together. Optional services were also available for players to attend and hear the message of Christmas. Transportation was also available for players to attend local church services.
It has become an annual tradition at Hawkeye Football practices for the Hawkeye Head Coach to adorn a black and gold Santa hat. Kirk Ferentz walks around the fields coaching with the festive hat.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Other local dignitaries spoke on tips to make this bowl experience one of the team's best. Highlights included areas of town team members would enjoy during their down time, how to get around town and the different ways to have fun.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Cien Agaves is known for its tacos and tequila. The tacos are the main dish as one page in its menu is devoted to the main course. And the staff is proud of every one. You can buy the individually or group the different varieties into an entree served with rice and black beans. They have tacos to fit anyone's liking. Lobster, ahi ahi and pulled pork are just a few of the examples. Mine with the lobster were truly a treat.
Then comes the tequila and the best margaritas in the Valley as proclaimed by the Arizona Republic. It was the house variety that won the honor, but like the tacos, a page is devoted to the many different combinations of margaritas. One they recommend has a cucumber as the main ingredient.
Cien Agaves isn't the largest place to find tacos and tequila in the area as the lunch crowd fight for the small number of tables and spots at the bar in the downstairs area. But in the weekend it opens up the patio and upstairs to get the place hoppin'.
Another definite spot to stop while in town for spring training or over the holidays for the Insight Bowl.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
On the truck is everything needed to operate while away from Iowa City. Video equipment for 12 meeting rooms as well as the video office is included with items used at practice by managers and trainers as well as office supplies used by the staff to prepare the game plan against the Sooners. The Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch is the facility for meetings and offices while the team practices at local Chapparal High School.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Here the sun sets on the mountains that lie as a backdrop to the Hawkeye's Scottsdale temporary residence. A year ago Iowa called Chandler, Arizona home, but now as the visiting squad operations move to the north and the Scottsdale area. Practice takes place at Chapparal High School with the team's meeting room, video offices and day to day operations will be set up at nearby Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch. The visiting team in the Insight Bowl uses these facilities while the home team sets up to the south.
Friday, December 9, 2011
History of Monti's is fascinating and worth a read. What you need to know is Monti's is the home to the first ever building in Tempe. So original that every address in town is based off Monti's. Throughout time different businesses have occupied the current site, but today it is home to Monti's, whose manager, Michael Monti is busy running for Mayor of Tempe. If Michael is as popular as his restaurant, he shouldn't have any worries on winning.
It has some of the better steaks in the area, but it also has different seafoods, sandwiches and salads. The prime rib is one thing they are most proud of and some of the dressings are made on site with ingredients grown in different parts of the world.
Monti's is a definite treat. If you attend the Insight Bowl, Monti's is worth the trip one of the nights leading up to the game. But a building this old has its own twists and turns to it. Make sure you leave time to find your way out of these twists and turns to get to the game on time.
Those preparations began in full when the staffs met the Insight Bowl organizing committee at the Fiesta Bowl offices in downtown Scottsdale. The Fiesta Bowl also run game operations for the Insight Bowl at the former Fiesta site of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. These meetings between the bowl and team staffs go over everything from hotel and practice site details to all of the different events wrapped up in game week as well as the what will be expected on game day. It is one of the more thorough bowl staffs in the country.
|The Fiesta Bowl Offices in Scottsdale|
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
In the massive Indiana Convention Center the conference held Fan Fest in association with the game at nearby Lucas Oil Stadium. On display was a over sized replica of the trophy Michigan State and Wisconsin were fighting for. Many took the opportunity to get their picture with it as it rotated behind ropes.
It was a corporate sponsor heaven. Dr. Pepper had a major presence as it does at many of the conference championship games. Samples were being distributed by an army of interns.
This year's game will be on Friday, December 30th beginning at 9pm CT on ESPN. Announcing the game will be Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Heather Cox.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Fans of all BigTen schools attended but it had a Christmas look to it. Wisconsin fans clad in red blended in with the Michigan State green. Dr. Pepper, Allstate, and Sports Illustrated have a prominent presence too. Fans were also able to enjoy many interactive games and meet many memorable student-athletes.
Friday, December 2, 2011
|Will the Insight be Iowa's bowl destination again?|
Then there is speculation from bowl reps who get interviewed by a media outlet of a local school. I have yet to hear a bowl rep speak negatively of one school. As bowl talk goes, they'd love to have each and everyone of the teams that are qualified. And in turn the school sees every bowl opportunity as being the best thing that could happen to their athletic department. Yes, everyone has their preferences. Bowls are about selling tickets and providing a good match-up for sponsors and televisions. Bowls are also for football teams who are looking for extra practice time, prestige and of course the gifts that each participating student-athlete has earned for a long season of preparation.
All of this talk means very little until we know the outcomes of many games on Saturday. Then the discussions within each bowl office get a little more heated and the announcements are made. Its fun to talk about it, but I'm ready to talk about the match-up.
Monday, November 28, 2011
With the hiring of Meyer by The Ohio State University, it improves the quality of coaching in the Big Ten Conference. Meyer had much success at Florida and Utah before that, and much is expect in Columbus. There are still positions to be filled at Penn State and Illinois so until those are made it will be hard to debate this, but collectively, where will the Big Ten rate - as a conference - among the BCS conference schools in quality of coaches.
The debate would begin with how to measure it. Number of National Championship? Number of Conference Championships? Individual game win? Number of players to the NFL? Those that graduated?
The are other conferences that have their share of coaching changes, most notably the Pac 12. Based on Meyer's history, it brings increased credibility to the Big Ten.
|Tom Long (left) and Will Brown|
|Victory Bell fought between Duke and North Carolina Football|
|Kenan Football Complex, home to North Carolina Football|