Friday, February 16, 2007

Scattershots: ISU tickets, NASCAR cheating, and the perfect Valentine's present.

Have you ever heard Keno Davis on the radio? He sounds so much like his father, Doctor Tom, that it freaks me out. I listened to him for 10 minutes on KXNO's Cotlar & Company this morning before I realized it was son, not dad. I'm not overselling this; you have to hear it...

Iowa State announces it's more than halfway past last year's record total for football season tickets. That's definitely positive, especially with 1,200 new customers. Another way to look at it, ISU still has nearly 30,000 empty seats for the Iowa - Iowa State game. More work ahead...

What an embarrassing week for NASCAR. If you're not cheating, you're not trying. As Harry Hogge said to Cole Trickle in "Days of Thunder", "There's nothing stock about a stock car, Cole." Amen. If NASCAR officials really want to stop the cheating, they need to suspend the drivers, not just the crew chiefs. For goodness sakes, Jimmy Johnson won the Daytona 500 without his chief last year...

Shawn Terrell reported an excellent piece on "No Pass, No Play" this week. It showed all sides of the argument and sparked much discussion around the station. The thing I noticed is---and it's not surprising---people come at this from their own backgrounds. Those who grew up in homes where education was stressed and good grades were a must, cannot understand how it's too much to ask that high school athletes pass all classes. Those who didn't, better understand how an "F" happens. In an ideal world, you'd go case-by-case, but there's no way to make that work, not that I can see. The most negative system quirk to me is that many kids are like I was, so into sports, they'll avoid challenging classes so there's little chance to fail...

Andy Fales' story on the Iowa Stars showed the AHL franchise is succeeding in Des Moines more than you might think from seeing video of all the empty seats. As the Stars point out, you can take their average crowd at Wells Fargo Arena and easily fill 95KGGO Arena where the Bucs play. However, it also shows how crowds create atmosphere. The Bucs play in a lovable old dump of a building, but it's electric on game night, while the Stars play in a beautiful state-of-the-art building that's too vast for actual crowds of two to five thousand. It's like the difference watching a funny movie on DVD vs. catching it in a sold out theater. Both are enjoyable, but the energy of the crowd makes for a more memorable experience. Having said that, I've always enjoyed Stars games, and the hockey is top notch. The organization appears to be learning about the market as it goes, just as you'd expect and hope. When in doubt, look to the I-Cubs. That's the way to do it...

Illinois is retiring Chief Illiniwek. It's time...

I thought Tom Vilsack did fine on the Tonight Show. May have tried a little too hard to be funny, tough to pull off when you're following Jim Carrey. On the plus side, Vilsack raised his national profile considerably, and made a positive impression, but did he come off as Presidential?...

Raise your hand if you thought Iowa would have the best chance of making the NCAA tournament? My hand is on the keyboard...

"Friday Night Lights" just keeps getting better. If you're not on board yet, please join. The recent two-parter on subtle racism was fantastic. The coach, his wife, and daughter are the most realistic family on television...

I got a fantastic Valentine's present: "The Departed". Sure it's brutal, bloody and full of more F-bombs than a Chris Rock concert, but I love it! Thanks Jenny...

7 comments:

Robert said...

Can I get the recipe for Keith Murphy Slaw?

Anonymous said...

I saw the Star's segment and thought it was a pretty negative piece. It dosn't surprise me though since both you and Andy have been Anti-Stars since day one.

I noticed the story was shot at a weeknight game. A time when any team would have low attendance. The frigid weather didn't help either. Why not come out on a weekend. Nearly 7000 people at last Saturday's game. Twice the amount that attends the Bucs games.

Anonymous said...

The Iowa Stars? Give me a break. Competitive eating is a more popular sport than hockey.

Keith Murphy said...

Robert,

Still working on the Murphy Slaw recipe. I'll let you know when I get it just right.

Anonymous,

We shot the Stars story on both a weeknight and a weekend night. We also made the point that you could easily fill 95KGGO Arena with an average Stars crowd.

As Andy's objective piece correctly states, the challenge is the atmosphere, not the fans. It feels too empty even when there are 5,000 fans at WFA. Bottom line, Andy asked the right questions and provided accurate answers. To suggest there's some "anti-Stars" bias shows the lack of objectivity lies elsewhere.

Thank you for the feedback.
Keith

Anonymous said...

No offense to anybody, but I have to get this off of my chest...NASCAR SUCKS!

Adam said...

When it comes to racing, NHRA Drag Racing is definitely more exciting than any other form of auto racing. Nothing like seeing a 8000 horsepower car do the 1/4 mile in 4.5 seconds. Especially seeing it in person.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, it only lasts 4.5 seconds. Then you have 20 minutes of track and car prep to get the next run off.

Not sure how you can find that more exciting than a NASCAR race with the kind of finish that Daytona had.