Are you kidding me?! I'm going to have to be fitness celebrity John Basedow for Halloween SoundOFF?? What exactly is a "fitness celebrity"? (If you somehow don't know who John Basedow is, watch ESPN on Mediacom for at least 15 minutes, you'll quickly learn how to "turn your life around".) It's not too late to change the vote. There's a poll on our sports page. I suppose it's better than being Pedro again.
Andy won't be humiliated. His vote is leaning heavily toward Earl Hickey of "My Name Is Earl". Not only is that a funny look, that's a funny show (even if it should pay royalties to the great "Raising Arizona"). Actually, Earl looks a lot like my Senior picture. Hey, it was 1982. Everybody wanted to look like the Bandit.
Staying with TV shows, NBC is moving Friday Night Lights to a later time in hopes of saving this terrific show. I agree with Chad's comment on this blog last week that the jerky camera movements grow a little tiresome, but the show rings true---especially for those of us who were around high school football in the South, where it means way too much to many people. Monday at 9 this week. Give it a shot.
What's going on with Grey's Anatomy? The past two weeks the show has made Izzie look absolutely ridiculous. Are they trying to remind us it's only a TV show? Last week, in a completely unbelievable plot, Izzie stood outside the hospital in the same spot debating whether to go in---for 12 hours! This past week, she walked around with a crumpled up check for nearly $9 million dollars, and then she pinned it to her fridge! Yeah, that's believable. Find this woman a new storyline, or write her out of the show.
I've given up on ABC's The Nine. Just took too long to develop. I also bailed on NBC's Kidnapping. Not enough revealed each week. 24 is that rare show you know won't tie everything up each week, but enough happens to make it worth your time. It's a tough act to pull off.
I'm hanging with Studio 60, but I think it helps that I work in television. My parents and girlfriend both tried the show, but didn't love it. I love Aaron Sorkin's writing, so I'm hoping he can steer this show back toward the pilot's tone---or his early West Wing years.
My older kids love "Heroes". Against all odds, this has become NBC's biggest new hit (next to Sunday Night Football).
Enough TV, let's do a few quick hitters on sports:
World Series: If you're a Cardinals fan, or Tigers fan, you probably love it. For the rest of us, it's been a dud. No real drama, other than Kenny Rogers got caught cheating but won't admit it. Feels like the Cardinals will win in six, and that will make Andy Fales unbearable for Cubs fans like me.
Cyclone fans calling for a new football coach: Pointless right now. The team has four games left and Jamie Pollard says he won't evaluate anything until after the season. I believe him. I also believe Pollard thinks Dan McCarney is the right man for the job. Pollard knows his history and appreciates what Mac's accomplished at Iowa State. However, Pollard needs to raise $130 million dollars. If too many fans give up on McCarney, Pollard will have to make a change. Iowa State needs to sell more football season tickets, not fewer, and to do that fans need hope. Nothing sells like hope. ISU has missed too many opportunities for that elusive "next step" in the Mac era, and hope is dying fast.
Hawkeye fans want Christensen: It's natural for fans to want the chance of greatness, which they know does not exist with Jason Manson (at least not at quarterback). Manson has looked awful in his two meaningful games, although to be fair, they were both tough road environments (at Iowa State and at Syracuse). I'm with the fans on this one though. Start Christensen. Let him build his confidence against overmatched Northern Illinois.
Tate's Surgery: We broke this story, but could have done better. We had the timeline wrong on Tate's surgery. Two sources in the Iowa football program told us Drew was having surgery on his left thumb Monday. Unbeknownst to them, University Hospitals was unable to fit Tate in until early Tuesday morning. I apologize for the error. We expect 100% accuracy and should have pressed our sources more. I also should have altered the wording to "Drew Tate is scheduled to have surgery". Fortunately, a third source gave us exact details of the surgery several hours before Iowa released or confirmed any information. This allowed us to get to the point we expect all the time: 100% accurate.
Ferentz fired up: I love it that Kirk stands up for his players. Isn't that what you'd want if you played for him? Or had a son playing for him? This week's news conference was the most interesting of the year. In other words, not boring. And I hope you saw Shawn Terrell's coverage Tuesday night at 10. He did a great job of showing Ferentz Unplugged.
Drake's Dollar Night: Okay, so next to nobody showed up. Still, it was a great idea. Dollar admission, dollar hot dogs, dollar popcorn. The weather was miserable, and so was the game. San Diego steamrolled the Dogs, but this idea should return (the dollars, not the steamrolling). It's a great stadium, nice family atmosphere and pretty good football. More should try it. (Full disclosure: we planned to go Saturday night, walked outside, went right back in and watched a movie. $1 is not a bargain when it's cold and wet.)
Some more things I really like about Des Moines:
Tasty Tacos: Alan suggested this one. Alan's right. These are the best tacos in the world. That's right, the world. I don't even mind standing in a long line. Delicious.
Bauder's Soda Fountain: Also a viewer suggestion, also right on the money. I go for the grilled cheese and vanilla shake. Like going back in time. You expect Marty McFly and Biff to pull up on the stools next to you.
Ed Wilson: I love Ed. People always ask me what Ed's like. He's just like he is on TV: funny, bright and energetic. What doesn't come completely across is how nice he is. Ed would do anything to help a friend, and in my case did. I'll never forget how great Ed and his wife, Angela, were to me during the rough period when I suddenly found myself as a single dad.
Erin & John: I look forward to seeing these two every day. John is the kind of person we'd all like to be. I call him the "king of credibility". He's much more intelligent than I is, but he never makes me feel that way. Also a big sports fan. Gotta like that (and yes, John, I know "gotta" is not a word).
Erin is smart, personable and real. I think the reason so many viewers feel like they know her is she doesn't "act" on TV, she's herself. Fortunately for her, it's hard not to like the real her.
I know, I know... "does he really like the people he works with that much?" Yes. I hope you're just as blessed as I am.
I've been on vacation a few days here and there the past few weeks. I'm prepping for a long run in November, trying to spend as much time as I can with the kids.
Thank you for all the feedback. I always read it, and appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.