Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Jackrabbits, Tsingtaos, ipods

  • The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are going to the NCAA tournament. No one, not even IceBorg, can convince me South Dakota State has a better basketball team than Iowa, but the Jackrabbits are part of what makes the tourney different, and cool. Anyone can make it. Plus, no South Dakota team had ever made it to the Dance.
Tourney bound.

  • I was in downtown Des Moines tonight for dinner at Zombie Burger. I had the Flamethrower, but who really cares what I ate? What is this---Facebook? Anyway, while dining it was just nice to see downtown so busy. It's thriving with several entertainment options on any given night. It wasn't always this way. Nice job, city leaders and local business folk.
  • Andy Fales gave me Tsingtao beer for my birthday. I have no idea how it tastes, but it comes in cool bottles.
  • Two years ago, Ames High School finished its second straight undefeated boys basketball season. The star of the team was undoubtedly the nation's #1 recruit Harrison Barnes. But many of us who saw games thought Doug McDermott was underrated. We feel smart now. However, I'm not going to pretend if I had to guess which one would be a Wooden Award finalist in 2012 and which one wouldn't, I'd go McDermott in, Barnes out, but so it is.
  • I'm watching "Hanna" right now. I hope it gets better.
  • Nice stache.
  • Saw "The Lorax" over the weekend. It was good, but not great. It never quite soars, but it's bright and fun and kids will love it.
  • On our radio show Tuesday, we revealed the guilty pleasures on our ipods. These are the songs you're truly embarrassed to reveal. I have more than a thousand songs, and that includes these aberrations:
When I See You Smile" Bad English

"Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy" Big & Rich

"Candle in the Wind" Elton John

"The Final Countdown" Europe

"You Sang To Me" Marc Anthony

"Dancing Machine" The Jackson 5

"Sister Christian" Night Ranger

"My Sacrifice" Creed

"Livin La Vida Loca" Ricky Martin

"Song of the South" Alabama (song, song of the south, sweet potato pie and shut my mouth)
  • Now that's embarrassing. Andy tried to top it with "Mmm Bop" and some song by Michael Bolton ("Said I Love you, but I Lied"). Our producer, Andrew Downs, did no better than N'Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye"
  • The Cubs finally win the World Series. In this commercial: 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Bloodsport, Chubby Keith, (Crap) People from Des Moines Say

Good news. Pulled out of the channel 13 parking lot tonight, and for the first time in a few days, no car was headed straight toward me on our one way street.  It remains tourney time...

New Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis comes across as a likable guy. He says Hawkeyes fans are friendly too. Davis says a group of guys who recognized him at his hotel invited Davis to a bachelor party. He didn't go, but no doubt appreciated the thought...

66 degrees Tuesday?! I need to walk to work. Safer these days anyway...

Bill Fennelly wasn't even in his news conference seat yet today when he said he can't believe Fred Hoiberg had to share Big 12 Coach of the Year with anyone...

The Cyclones are finally ranked---and it does matter. More mentions in newspapers, magazines, websites. More highlights shown outside Iowa...

Rick Brown's Sunday Register story on how much Iowa and Iowa State pay other men's basketball teams to visit our state and take a beating was interesting. It's another direction driven by money...

The NFL is violent. Many of us enjoy the bone-jarring hits. But when a team puts bounties on star players, it's bloodsport. There is an important distinction between trying to hit someone hard, and trying to injure a player so he can't return, and make money from that. Roger Goodell will, and should, hit all involved with big fines, and in some cases, lengthy suspensions...

Jimmy Buffett is a genius. Not at singing, though I enjoy some of his songs. He's a brilliant marketing machine. Buffett sells partying, beaches, and sex in every song, concert, book, restaurant, and bar. He's got it figured out. The man has already sold Wells Fargo Arena out... on a Tuesday. The modern day marketing Buffett is Kenny Chesney...

Andy Fales is fascinated when I mention that in my late twenties I weighed 25 pounds more than I do now. For some reason, he can't picture it. I got there the easy way: I saved my junk food binge-eating for really late at night after drinking a few beers. Anyway, this weekend as the Variety Club Telethon was being broadcast, Craig from Ames sent me a picture from a telethon during the chubby years:
I didn't even mention the hair.

There's a new video of "things" people from Des Moines say. My friend Ed Wilson is one of those "things".  Warning: not safe for work (profanity).

Monday, March 05, 2012

Hoiberg Wins, Loki Sleeps, Colin Eats

Remember all the skeptics when Jamie Pollard announced he'd hired Fred Hoiberg to turn the Cyclone basketball program around? It was somewhat understandable. Hoiberg had never coached a game. At any level. But now that Hoiberg's the Big 12 Coach of the Year (along with Bill Self), he's proven he can bring in talented players, and get them all pulling on the same end of the rope...

Pollard misfired on McDermott and Chizik. Both are successful elsewhere, but a bad fit in Ames. Pollard made the most of his mulligans, and hired the right men in Hoiberg and Rhoads...

Iowa State's win over Baylor was the most entertaining game at Hilton in years...

Scott Christopherson's spontaneous kiss of the Hilton court logo was a cool moment for a Senior who has always been underrated. Christopherson may look like the kid who serves you ice cream at Maggie Moos, but he can play...

Iowa had Northwestern beaten, and then just fell apart against a 1-3-1 zone like the Hawks had never seen anything so perplexing. Iowa would love those ten minutes back...

I'll miss watching Matt Gatens play. A lot. He's just a good guy, and a good player...

I'm happy to report that Loki, the dog we rescued, but who so scared her first week she wouldn't eat or sleep, now feels right at home:
Loki. (My wife wants me to mention we didn't name her. I don't mind "Loki".)

My son Colin had his 8th birthday party at Incredible Pizza. The people who work there were great, and we all had fun, but it was crazy crowded. If you're reading this, chances are you were there.

Quietest moment of the night.

Colin seemed to enjoy the Lego cake Jenny made.

I don't know where he gets it.

I received a Kindle Fire for my birthday. I'll see you in April. 
Time killer.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Cyclones Win It, Hawkeyes Blow It

By Chris Hassel

One team was up 15. The other was down 9. One team won. The other lost.

The Cyclones found themselves in a hole against 9th ranked Baylor, but it was almost as if the Hilton crowd willed ISU to victory. It's Iowa State's second top-ten home victory, and 7th straight at Hilton. The 'Clones clinched the 3-seed in the Big 12 Tournament and will play Texas in the quarterfinals. I think ISU can make a run but I'm a little worried about the game with the Longhorns. Texas needs to win to make the NCAA tourney. It's a much bigger game for them than it is for the Cyclones. I still see ISU winning and setting up another showdown with Missouri. Maybe this time the Cyclones will find a way to beat the Tigers. ISU should be no worse than a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Keep winning, and their seed will keep improving. Oh, and the Cyclones should be ranked in the AP Top 25, come Monday.

Courtesy: Des Moines Register
The Hawkeyes were cruising in front of a jacked up crowd at Carver. Iowa was up 15 in the first half against Northwestern, and them the wheels came off. For about a 10-minute span, the Hawkeyes looked as bad as they ever have under Fran McCaffery. Iowa fell behind by double-digits before clawing its way back at the end of the game. The Hawks had the ball, down 2, with 10 seconds left, and Matt Gatens never touched the ball. Many are upset that Josh Oglesby took the last shot of the game. I'm not. It was an open shot, and you could tell Oglesby wanted to take it. He said he thought it was good when it left his hand, and so did everyone else. McCaffery stood up for his player after the game, saying that he would tell the freshman to take that shot again. The Hawks will play Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, on Thursday. Iowa needs to win to have a chance to play in the NIT.

The Ankeny gave top-ranked Iowa City West all it could handle in the 4A girls title game. The Hawkettes came from behind to force overtime where they lost star player Maddie Manning who fouled out of the game. When she left the court, so did Ankeny's chances of winning another title. It's still hard to believe that the Hawkettes won four straight titles from 2002-2005. It's looking more and more impressive with each passing year.

Congrats to Grand View on winning the NAIA wrestling championship. The Vikings got to host the event, and hoist the trophy.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Girls Thriller, ISU Favored, Playoff Expansion

By Chris Hassel

I'm not a big fan of girls basketball, but today's game between Southeast Polk and Ankeny was a thriller. It doesn't matter if it was a game of darts, these two schools hate losing to each other. I will even go as far as to say that the Ankeny/SEP rivalry is better than Valley/Dowling. This one had the feel of a state championship game, but Ankeny has one more to play. Saturday night's game against #1 Iowa City West will be for the title, but I guarantee it won't reach the level of this afternoon's semifinal.
Ankeny advances to 4A title game.
Northern Iowa's showing at the MVC Tournament was horrendous. 42 points?! You can't win many high school games with 42 points. Todd Lickliter would approve.

Drake plays Creighton in another quarterfinal game, tonight at 6:00pm. Rayvonte Rice and Ben Simons need to combine for 50 points for the Bulldogs to have a chance. 

For the first time in over 10 years, Iowa State is favored against a top-10 team. The Cyclones are a 1.5-point favorite over #9 Baylor, tomorrow. I'd be shocked if Iowa State lost. A win would give the 'Clones the 3-seed in the Big 12 Tournament, meaning they would play Thursday night around 8:30 in Kansas City. With a win against Baylor and one victory in the conference tournament the Cyclones should be about a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

How is Northwestern still in bracket 'guru' Joe Lundari's field of 68? The Cats are 17-12 overall and just 7-10 in conference play, with a 2-10 record against the RPI top-50. If Iowa beats NW on Saturday it will be a moot point. There's no way Northwestern could survive a loss to the Hawks.

Someone installed a Mike and Ike's air freshener in the restroom here at work. It smells so good, I'm looking for excuses to go back in.
It's official. The MLB Playoffs have expanded for 8 teams to 10. The two wildcard winners in each league will face off in a 1-game playoff before the Division Series. I like it. Not only does it place added significance on winning your division.....but it really creates a great game 7 atmosphere right when the regular season ends. Plus, the Cubs now have a better chance to make the playoffs.

Sash Dances, Gate Still Open, Coaching Candidates

Fred Hoiberg and Fran McCaffery both deserve serious consideration for Coach of the Year in their respective conferences. Neither will win.

My easiest prediction of the year has already come true: a politician is walking on stage to Springsteen's new song, "We Take Care of Our Own". Joe Biden in Ames.

Victor Cruz can Salsa, but thanks to Oskaloosa Elementary, Tyler Sash can Interlude (thanks to AJ at CRI of William Penn for the video):

Drake looked good against a bad Bradley team in the first night of Arch Madness. Rayvonte Rice and Ben Simons give the Bulldogs a fighting chance against the Fightin' McDermotts Friday.

My son Cade finished his first season with the Des Moines Metro schools basketball program. I was really impressed with everything from coaches who put fun before winning, to an official who blew his whistle enough to teach, but not so much as to spoil the flow. There weren't even out-of-control parents. I have hope!
Perkins Penguins. (Cade all the way on left in front row.)
Shout out to the Ruby Van Meter basketball teams. They had a great night at Dowling Catholic, and  teachers and parents called in to say they're proud.

I'm not the only one who wants the open gate closed. My Murph and Andy Show radio rant about the annoying Citi card commercial touched a nerve. You know the ad. The one with the woman climbing the rock, and the banshee earworm song. Unfortunately, I also ruined listeners' days by repeatedly playing this song by the artist, LP. And yes, this is it, though at first it won't you won't recognize the song. Hang on. Then try to shake it.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Somebody Left the Gate Open

Will whoever left the gate open, please close it. I'm tired of hearing that song while the woman rock climbs thanks to her Citi card...
Close the gate please.
Do you know why Waukee students wore green at girls state basketball, even though their school colors are purple and gold? So we'll ask. Those rascals. I hear they're up to something new for Friday. Hey, whatever works. Won at the buzzer Wednesday...

If you want a good seat for Southeast Polk vs Ankeny Friday afternoon, get there early...

Iowa State had its chances against #7 Missouri, but the Cyclones had too many turnovers, and failed to stop the basketball far too often on easy Tiger breaks. Missouri's speed gets some credit, but the Clones have to make better decisions and get in better position come tourney time. Baylor won't be easy either. The Bears present match-up problems. Sold out Hilton on Senior day will help...

Nice win for the Hawkeyes. Nebraska had owned Iowa in its first Big Ten season in all sports but wrestling. Nebraska even handed Iowa its most perplexing conference basketball loss. Nice to return the favor. Fran McCaffery really has the Hawks headed in the right direction. Eight Big Ten wins---at minimum---is promising progress...

I'm happy for the IceBorg. No one loves Colorado State basketball more than that guy. Well, I'm guessing. I've never known anyone else who followed Colorado State basketball. I digress. Huge win for the Rams over UNLV should put them in the tourney. And for those of you who live near 1801 Grand, I'm sure Zach apologizes for the noise Wednesday night around 11...

Iowa State's football contract with Paul Rhoads makes sense for all involved...

I think Hawkeye fans should be happy Greg Davis is their offensive coordinator...

I hope Bobby Valentine keeps taking shots at the Yankees...

Does Chris Hassel know Taylor Swift went out with Tim Tebow?...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DJK CUT, No Thrones, Tweet Confession

  • The Barnstormers paraded Derrell Johnson-Koulianos around so much when they signed him, it seemed he was the new face of the franchise. It's one of many reasons I was stunned the Stormers cut DJK. Head coach Mike Hohensee told me DJK just wasn't picking up the indoor game, and there were no off-field issues. Derrell also stayed on high road, but reading between the lines, I wonder if his heart was truly in it (or if the effort was). The CFL provides a last chance at pro football...
  • Being undefeated doesn't mean you won't be one-and-done at state. Three previously perfect girls teams are already out...
  • Congratulations to Waukee, Valley, Ankeny and all the boys teams who just made reservations for the Iowa boys state centennial celebration. 100 years. Impressive...
  • Indiana looks like a mediocre basketball team much of the time, but the Hoosiers have now beaten three top five teams...
  • I don't get the Game of Thrones phenomena...
Andy Fales loves this.
  • I tried to support NBC, and I've seen the great reviews, but Smash isn't for me...
  • My friend Andrew Downs just sent out a tweet that reads, "Just went to musical, Bring It On. No my account hasn't been hacked." I think it might actually be him...
In Des Moines.