Saturday, December 30, 2006

Now that's "Hawkeye football".

I only have a few minutes before the newscast, but wanted to express how impressed I was with Iowa's effort in the Alamo Bowl. Where's that team been since September?

I shouldn't be surprised, although I am, because Kirk Ferentz told me two weeks ago that he was re-energized and refocused on returning Iowa to "Hawkeye football"; that's the kind of play we've come to expect from Ferentz-coached-teams. More hustle, harder hits, fewer penalties, etc. Somehow it all went missing for most of this disappointing season and Kirk didn't pass the blame. He took responsibility and said he needed to make sure the Hawks did all the little things. Today in San Antonio, they did.

Well, almost. The game first turned on the ineligible receiver call. At first blush, I thought it was a horrible call, but upon further review of both the play and the rule book, I think they got it right. Chandler was in motion, so to be eligible he needed to either be on the end, which he wasn't, or in the backfield, which he really wasn't either. He was slightly behind the line, but not enough. 21-3 turned into 14-10, and the penalty had nothing to do with whether the play worked. The second biggest impact play was the ill-advised trick play with the game on the line late in the fourth quarter. It's true, if it worked, we'd all praise the daring call, but Iowa needed three points. This is one time conservative would have made more sense.

Other than that, a good all around effort from the coaches and players, especially Andy Brodell, who left the Longhorns stunned that a white guy from Iowa could run that fast, and Drew Tate, who once again proved he has enough heart to nearly make up for his temper. Nearly.

Great game. Glad I got to see it. I also think we witnessed that Kirk Ferentz will not let the "little things" slide again. I also hope everyone in Hawkeye country, including the coaches and players, realizes Iowa should have won this game. Big improvement, but not all the way back yet.

Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you just blow the guy?

Anonymous said...

I agree completely Keith! The game completely changed after that touchdown was nullified and then the interception.

American007 said...

I hope this puts a BIG dent in the cult of Colt McCoy for a while. And Texas should understand that for a defending Nat. Champ to be seriously challenged by a 6-6 that honestly didn't deserve to be there is NOT an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

Texas looked extremely sloppy,yet they still beat Iowa. What does that say? The Hawks have been so overrated for so long it makes me sick. Every year I have to listen to the Hawk fans talk like they will be playing for a national title, and every year they get pounded by the good teams in the country. And then I have to listen to them cry about it until the next season. I'm glad they lost. And I wanted to say something about sports sound off too. You guys know that there are 3 major universities in this state as well. Why does most of the broadcast always have to center around the Hawkeyes? I mean maybe people want to hear about some of the think. You guys dont care about anybody elses opinnions if its not the same as yours. You laugh and make jokes about people who call in and write e-mails, do you think that is right? Try being professional, and non biased. I will be honest with you Keith, I cant stand to watch your show anymore because everytime i do, I want to punch Andy in the face. Where did you find this guy? If you are going to be a professional sportscaster, then act like one. Have a good holiday, and I hope you read this.

Keith Murphy said...

Dear Anonymous,

As promised, I always read the feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to write, especially at 6:12 a.m. on New Year's! Are you up early, or still up?

The Hawks were way overrated this year. No argument. To say they always "get pounded by the good teams" shows your dislike for Iowa prevents you from being fair.

I'm aware of the four, not three, major universities in our state. Viewers and buzz drive the SoundOFF show topics. Two weeks ago SoundOFF revolved around Drake basketball, two weeks before that it was all about Iowa State hiring Gene Chizik.

One constant I can count on is that some Cyclone fans think I'm a Hawkeye and many Hawk fans think I'm so pro-ISU, we should just call the show Cyclone SoundOFF. Those accusations of bias, however off-base, won't change. It's the same reason when Iowa plays on national TV, I can always count on a Hawk fan writing in to say the announcers were for the other team. When your own fandom is not objective, anyone who is, seems against you. I accept that.

I welcome all opinions and often learn from contrary voices. SoundOFF itself thrives because of differing viewpoints. It would be a boring show if I insisted on like-minds. I respect all those who are thoughtful.

I'm sorry you don't like Andy. I think we're very fortunate to have him. Andy is the rare sports voice in this state who will tell you exactly what he thinks without regard for public opinion polls, research trends, or winning popularity contests. He's honest, and funny. He's a big reason more people watch SoundOFF than ever, even if you don't.

Have a great 2007. I hope we'll win you back.


Becky said...

you are a class act

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that caught Drew Tate's post-game comment about how much he loved Iowa and how there's no other of the "48 states" that he'd rather live in? Good lord, I hope he's not a geography major . . .

Keith Murphy said...

I almost dropped my teeth when I first heard Tate talk about the "48 states", but to be fair, I went back and listened again. I think what he was saying is he can't imagine living anywhere besides Texas or Iowa, none of the other 48 states. At least I hope that's what he meant!

Keith Murphy said...

p.s. You can watch the interview and judge for yourself. It's in the post-bowl reaction on the sports video box.


Anonymous said...

I know you have a difficult job covering all the sports during your segment, but the coverage after the Hawkeye game was very poor. You only put a small clip of Coach F's post-game and nothing from any of the players. As usual, I had to turn to Channel 5 and Channel 8 to get the coverage I thought it deserved. I have been a loyal fan of WHO for many years, but when it comes to sports, the other two channels beat you! The other channel's sportscasters can't even compare to your crew, but the selected coverage is better! Sorry!

Keith Murphy said...

You are very observant about Saturday night's newscast. Since this blog is all about honest dialogue with viewers, I'll provide full disclosure.

Andy and Shawn had the misfortune of a camera that wouldn't work in San Antonio. It happens. If you ever work with a computer, you understand. They hustled all week, and with the help of our friends at KWWL, provided news features and sports coverage into every single evening newscast. However, we were, understandably, at the mercy of KWWL's schedule, so after the game, we did the best we could with what we had (including a lengthy feature by Andy on the Hawkeye fans at the game). When Shawn and Andy returned Sunday, we ran extensive interviews with Ferentz, Tate and Young---again with KWWL's help, and if you missed it, you can watch the post-game at

As for a typical week of coverage, I strongly disagree with your assessment, but respect your right to see it that way. Our competitors do a good job, and it makes sense that some people are loyal to them, just as many are loyal to us.

I also appreciate your compliment, and as always, welcome your continued feedback.