Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thoughts before the Big Game (and a blog invitation).

Here's what's on my mind today. Please let me know what you think...

UNLV: One of the worst displays of sportsmanship I've ever seen. First of all, the receiver was nowhere near in-bounds, but even if UNLV's head coach got bad information, yelling at your players, "WE'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!", is flat out embarrassing. The Rebels made fools of themselves stomping up and down on the ISU logo and taking 20 minutes to leave the field. As my friend Ryan said, it's not every day you can't get people to leave Ames for Las Vegas.

By the way, Andy Fales followed head coach Mike Sanford with a camera as he jogged around demanding a review. Watch the meltdown UNLV Coach's Meltdown, and yes, it includes Sanford's unfortunate fall as he runs back onto the field.

Tailgating at Jack Trice: Great and getting better all the time. No school in America has improved its game day atmosphere more than Iowa State the past ten years. It's not Georgia, Nebraska, or Iowa yet, but it's a good time.

I met a lot of nice people and had the honor of signing the Webster City Short Bus. One of the guys on the bus said to me, "Hey, I saw you at a Springsteen concert a couple of years ago, and you were wearing an Iowa shirt. " I told him I know it's hard to believe, but I don't have a Cyclone or Hawkeye heart. I back both. Speaking of that...

Watching the Hawks at a Cyclone game: I was late going into the ISU - UNLV game, but not because I was playing beer pong or needed one more funnel. I brought my TV to watch Iowa at Syracuse. Dozens of people stopped by at various times to watch, and not once did I sense a Cyclone fan was truly rooting for Iowa to win. I was, to the chagrin of some fans there, but most were bleeding Orange at that point. The one exception: people who thought if Iowa lost it would make them madder for the Iowa State game. But all told, it's a myth that most Iowa State fans cheer Iowa when the two teams aren't playing each other, and vice-versa. It's a heated rivalry, as it should be.

ISU's slow start: There is no way a football team that plans to be good should go to the final play against average teams like Toledo and UNLV (Toledo lost to Western Michigan Saturday. Western Michigan, not Michigan). I was in the stands as UNLV slowly worked its way back into the game with a back-up quarterback. It was one of those nights where suddenly fans had the thought, "Hey, we could lose to UNLV!". ISU needs to step it up. And have I mentioned, THROW BLYTHE THE BALL.

Iowa survives double overtime: First the good: that Hawkeye defense. That was a goal line stand for the ages. The bad: The dropoff from Tate to Manson. Jason Manson seems like a good guy, but there may not be a bigger dip in college football than the one from Tate to Manson. If Tate's healthy, Iowa beats ISU and contends for a Big Ten title. If he's not, Iowa goes 8-4 and thanks the football gods for a friendly schedule.

Prediction: Iowa 24, ISU 13. I'm 12-3 picking this game, but all three of my misfires have been underestimating the Cyclones. Know this, McCarney will have the Clones breathing fire, as always; but I think this time Ferentz makes sure Iowa matches Iowa State's emotion.

Fred Hoiberg: A true role model. He was here at the station last week talking about his brush with death. Then he sat a few rows in front of me at the football game. The Mayor made one Cyclone fan very happy by signing her Hoiberg jersey. How did she know he'd be there?

12 years ago, I did play-by-play for an ESPN+ Cyclone game that went to the final play at Nebraska. Hoiberg helped win it for ISU. My voice was giving out from shouting over the crowd, and while I was interviewing Fred, my voice cracked. Without missing a beat, Hoiberg said, "Puberty, Keith?". I was speechless. For some reason, "puberty" struck me as a word you can't say on TV. It's not, but I had no comeback. Classic Fred.

UNI: How in the world did UNI lose to a division 2 team? It's inconceivable. It's like UNI beating Texas. I still can't believe it, and I went to a division 2 school. I'd like to say it's not that big of an upset, but it really is.

The Biggest Loser: Not Syracuse. The NBC show. My friend, the Round Guy, is on the premier Wednesday night. He's worked hard and lost a lot of weight. I'm proud of him. It's not easy to drop pounds for a guy who loves food as much as RG.

Invincible: I loved this movie. Yes, it's familiar, but it's also mostly true. It's a real life Rocky story. Strongly recommended. A-

Crank: If Jason Statham's in a movie, I'm there---and not just because he has a real cool buzz cut. However, I made the mistake of seeing this one with my mother and 19-year-old niece. This movie is rated R for hardcore sex, violence, profanity, and drug use. It's as R as a movie gets. Even though I'm 42, my mom is still my mom, and my niece is still a little girl. I couldn't have been more uncomfortable. I'm not even sure if the movie's good. However, I am sure you should think about who you go see it with. C- for Crank. I think.

Shawn Terrell: Have you seen our new guy? He's got it. We're lucky to have him.

Courtney Greene: Check out her comments in this blog two entries ago. Spot on analysis of "me first" celebrations. Nice job, Court. You can catch her Saturday mornings on Today in Iowa. She'll tell you what she thinks on that show too.

SoundOFF 500th Show: Here's a blog exclusive for you. You're invited to a big party we haven't announced yet. Please mark your calendar for October 14th. Andy, Round Guy, B-Ross, the whole gang and I will host a 500th show celebration from 6 p.m. to Midnight at Legends in West Des Moines. It's going to be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.

Thank you for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

Come on Murph, you may root for Iowa, but you must lean towards ISU. ISU fans like you, whereas Iowa fans could probably care less.

Anyway, Andy Fales deserves free beer for the rest of the year, or some other deserving tribute, for following the UNLV coach around. It was hysterical!! Good job!

Anonymous said...

anonymous, typical squawkeye... you think if someone doesn't love the hawks and hate the clones, they must be a cyclone. give me a break. i hear murph likes iowa more but i really dont give a crap. get a life and enjoy another loss.

Anonymous said...

Jeesh, I think you should look into some Prozac. You have it opposite, I'm a Cyclone fan. I've always enjoyed watching Keith ever since he hosted the Johnny Orr Show.

Stout Family said...

wow- that iowa v. iowa state is a hot button these days! GO HAWKS! Growing up in MN you root for the Vikes & the Gophers-- and so I will always root for the BIG 10!!!

I think the Big 12 North and south thing is a little lame....but it's the only way ISU has any shot at a top finish! However, since iowa City is 90 minutues away it sure is FUN to take in some of the games and festivities in Ames...

Ohhhhh- and the coverage of the UNLV coach is Amazing...I love the clip b/c you can hear Andy asking questions nad you can hear & see how IMMATURE this coach was...should he be fired????

HAve a great day and we cannot wait to celebrate 500 Sound Off shows next month!

Mike said...


I was at the UNLV game as well and will agree with you that the UNLV coach should be embarassed by his activities at the end of the game. Where we disagree might be that I don't fault him for his initial reaction to the percieved lack of a replay. I believe that he let his emotions take over and go WAY out of control, thus leading to the much downloaded reaction. It's a given that he's got to be a better example of leadership for the young men on his team. What led him to the breaking point may need a better look.

I fault the game officials- MAC officials, I believe- for their downright criminal job of communicating the specifics of the game with the coaching staffs and the crowd. There were several instances leading up to the end of the game, the 2nd to last play reception/fumble replay that stopped the clock at the end of the game for UNLV included, where those of us in the crowd were turning to find someone with a pair of headphones, hoping for an explanation from the radio broadcast. They should be reprimanded for their communication skills and vilified for their sprint off the field at the end of the game. It's their job, and moreso their duty, to have stood out on that field after a crazy end and explained to the UNLV coaching staff that a review was done and it was clear that the receiver was out of bounds. The reaction of the coaching staff is nipped in the bud if the head referee has the huevos to stay on the field and explain the call.

I wonder if we wouldn't be talking about a much different story if it were Todd Blythe who came down with that one-handed reception out of bounds in front of the student section to end the game. How would the uninformed ISU fans and coaches reacted to the complete lack of information? There's some potential for disaster there.

The bottom line as I see it...

UNLV Coach- complete jackassery
Game Officials- put him out in the pasture and swatted him in the rump

Thanks for the blog and your hard work on the newscasts. You and the rest of the sports team do a great job of mixing in solid information and fun features.


Anonymous said...

That is priceless...
Can anyone tell me what the UNLV players were chanting at the end? It sounded like "bad hosts." Could that really be it?

Anonymous said...

Nothing like getting roasted by your own media.

Anonymous said...

They were chanting "Rebels" as they are the UNLV Rebels. Lame.

Anonymous said...

WAR Keith Murphy and Andy Fales!

Love Sound Off! Big ups on your 500th