Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here's a paraphrased example of a phone call from a viewer we can count on at girls (and boys) state tourney time: "I just watched your so-called newscast, and I noticed you don't think Iowa City is in the state of Iowa. You sure found time for Waukee, Dowling, and Roosevelt, but not time for every team. And you call yourself a complete broadcast... (click)" (Teams subject to change from year-to-year, but you get the idea.)

These calls, understandably, ring in because people who have relocated to Central Iowa want to see the old Alma mater or hometown. Unfortunately, on days when a lot is going on (take Wednesday for example: Girls State, Kansas at ISU, Iowa at Penn State, ISU women at Missouri, Indiana State at UNI, Bucs sold, IRL merger, boys basketball substates...), we have to make choices, and towns or schools in the channel 13 viewing area come first. Nobody watches us in Iowa City, unless they have a really BIG antenna (or they're on

Having said that, I'm often amazed how far our signal goes. I'm always happy to hear, and sometimes surprised, who's able to watch. I appreciate the feedback too because we need to know. We're trying to do the best we can. I've added scores or highlights in future sportscasts many times because I learned we're on in a place I wouldn't have guessed.

I wish I could say we'll cover Ft. Dodge as much as Des Moines, but the reality is proximity matters when it comes to coverage logistics. I'm sorry we can't be everywhere. It would make my inbox and voice mail a much more pleasant experience this time of year. I only ignore the people with no manners...

Big props to Shawn Terrell. Tuesday night he and Andy Fales covered the Drake game at Missouri State. Shawn drove back half the night, woke up Wednesday morning, reported live from Girls State at 5 & 6, then zipped up to Ames where he reported on Iowa State's loss to Kansas. He even found time to feed Jayhawk interviews to the NBC in Kansas City. Shawn, take a bow. And a nap.

I'm finally going Hi-Def. I think I was one of the final holdouts in the newsroom, but I decided I want to see the glorious grass of baseball fields in HDTV. I'm told it doesn't disappoint. I don't want to start a cable vs. dish war, but we stuck with Mediacom, and so far, I love it. The digital recorder improves on TiVo, the signal, compared to basic cable, is sharper even on non-HD channels, and with Mediacom phone and Internet, I was surprised at the bundled up price. Less than I expected (though I still need the Big Ten Network, and wish I had NFL Sunday Ticket.). I already have that, "why didn't I do this years ago" feeling. Then I remember the answer: cost of the 4o" Sony HDTV I wanted. Two years ago, it was $2500+. Last week I found it for $1300 locally, and $999 online with no tax or shipping. The picture is glorious. Can't wait to see the Cubs blow it in high definition.

Spiderwick Chronicles at the Science Center of Iowa's Imax screen is awesome. The kids will love it, parents will like it, and you'll make up for the additional box office charge at the concession stand. SCI's prices are reasonable, especially when compared to the ridiculous $4 Coke and $7 bag of popcorn at the chains.

Even with the win over Butler, Drake looks vulnerable. Adam Emmenecker is everything you want in a student-athlete, and deserving of all the praise, but his one flaw, the inability to shoot the 3, has defenses starting to sag off him. We'll see if it matters in St. Louis and beyond.

Do you think we've over-covered Drake? Under-covered? Just right? Vote at on the sports page.

Have a great weekend! I can't wait to see Semi-Pro. Andy makes fun of me, but what can I say, Will Ferrell makes me laugh.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Did you see Leonard Houston nearly hit his head on the rim at Butler? It was unreal. The human pogo stick provided the best highlight in a game full of them. Drake proved it's for real.

The Bulldogs won at Hinkle Fieldhouse and dropped six spots behind Butler. That makes about as much sense as Flavor Flav.

Did you see Chris Hassel get flat run over at Hinkle Fieldhouse? Happened on national TV. Fortunately, Chris' hair never moved. We call it the tidal wave. Big wave up front, and enough gel to make Pat Riley insecure.

I watched the game at Legends on Court Avenue, and it was awesome. Standing room only, people decked out in blue, loud cheers for Drake. It's just hard to believe it's happened.

Did you catch Adam Emmenecker on SoundOFF? I hope so, but if not, I urge you to watch the video back on the sports page. He's a reason this team has an approval rating Barack Obama would kill for. Emmenecker walked-on at Drake, has four majors and two minors, and should win MVC player of the year.

I'm not sure I can add much to the Hawkeye arrests story. It's beyond embarrassing. I know several hardcore Hawk fans---I'm sure you do too---who can't even spin this nonsense. 14 players arrested in a year, and that doesn't even count the two who were suspended and then left school for unnamed reasons. The number could grow. I'm sure no one is more frustrated than Kirk Ferentz.

What a shock. Sounds like they're coming after Roger Clemens for perjury. After watching him try to keep his story straight, while throwing several people close to him under the bus, including his wife, I'd say he issued a challenge. Seriously, is there anybody out there who really believes Clemens? I know he's just one of many cheaters, but I think his ego kept him from doing the smart thing. We're happy to forgive, but you have to own up.

Great news that we now have ESPN radio in Des Moines. 1700, The Champ, will broadcast ESPN 24/7. There are no daily local shows yet, that I know of, so KXNO should continue its strong ratings. Cotlar and Company, The Jon Miller Show, and Marty and Miller all do well, in part, because they stress local. However, sports fans win when we have more options. Just as you wouldn't want just one local TV station (though, we'd like to be it), more than one sports talk radio station is a big plus. (Remember when there were three? KXNO was the last one standing.)

Happy Birthday, Shawn Terrell. Shawn turned 30, and in an effort to hang on to his 20's, held his birthday gathering at the downtown Liar's Club. Now this is the new hot spot for those who want to see and be seen. I'm sure I would have loved it 20 years ago. It took me 20 minutes to get a beer (not exaggerating) and 15 minutes to use the bathroom. I did enjoy that trip because Andy refused to let a woman use the men's room unless she was willing to use a urinal. We did have a good time despite the overcrowding, and the music was great. I think they felt sorry for us old folks and played a lot of 80's tunes.

Want to bring out the passion in people? Ask how they feel about smoking in public places. As I write this, Andy is about to give his opinion on our 10 p.m. news---and if you've watched Andy for any length of time, you know what side he's on---but the e-mails have been non-stop, and the issue threatened to take over SoundOFF Sunday night. Personally, I can't wait to pick a place for eating, drinking, or being entertained without giving thought to breathing second-hand smoke and stinking up the house with my clothes. My mother is a lung cancer survivor so I'm not capable of objectivity on this argument.

I saw U23D with my little guys, Colin and Cade. I probably would not have gone if I knew kids had to pay full price, actually more than full price, $8 at Cobblestone. Between the3D projector and Buddy Holly glasses, I'm sure theaters take on additional overhead. Anyway, the 3D technology is finally worth seeing. There are times when it appears Bono or the Edge are leaning out over you in your seat. It's a cool movie to experience for anyone, and a must for U2 fans. It's rated G, and the kids enjoyed it too. Never too young for exposure to classic music. B for U23D, unless you're Jon Miller reading this, then it's A. My highlight, no surprise, "Where the Streets Have No Name".

I love the space program, especially the old Apollo days, so I enjoyed In the Shadow of the Moon. It's a documentary about fulfilling Kennedy's challenge of walking on the moon by the end of sixties. Of course, we did it, which goes to show the value of goal-setting, among other things. There are many rare film clips of the moon and the Astronauts walking on it. Fascinating, and still hard to believe (the movie even addresses the conspiracy theories). B

The Academy Awards show was dreadfully dull. Maybe it was the writer's strike being settled so late, because not even Jon Stewart seemed to have much of a pulse.

Enjoy My Dad is Better than your Dad.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Iowa is smart to give Kirk Ferentz another year. He needs it for recruiting, and Ferentz deserves more patience. Some fans don't want to admit just how hard it is to win big at Iowa, and Ferentz had one of the greatest five year runs in school history.

I don't think Ferentz will duplicate the success of the top ten years, not three in a row, but if things break just right, he could get Iowa back to January. Fair warning, it's getting harder, not easier. (See Minnesota and Illinois' latest recruiting classes).

Indiana is doing the right thing: getting rid of that snake, Kelvin Sampson. I know Sampson's not stupid, so he must be arrogant. There's no other way to explain his actions. How could he do the same foolish things again, after nearly not being hired out of concerns for that nonsense in his past at Oklahoma? It's testament to how some people don't change.

I predict we'll hear Steve Alford's name as an IU candidate, from a national sports reporter, by the end of the day Friday. Not much of a prediction, really. It's going to happen.

Adam Haluska traded to the Rockets. Hopefully, he can find some playing time in Houston.

Good bounce back by Adam's little brother, Sean. Sean couldn't hit sand falling off a camel for weeks, but he's hot now.

No matter how much the Iowa women's basketball team wins, people outside the loyal core of fans don't show. The Hawks should make the NCAA tournament, which will help Des Moines' hosting a bunch. If ISU makes a run and gets in too, they'd both end up in Des Moines. Count on it.

The UNI basketball program has slipped since Greg McDermott left. Too soon to tell if Ben Jacobson can get it back to where it was just a few years ago.

The AHL franchise owners for Des Moines need to dump the name Stars before next season. Pick a nickname unique to Des Moines, and use a logo and colors that get people excited. There are next to no Dallas Stars fans in Des Moines, so it never made any sense to try and ride those coattails. These aren't the Cubs we're talking about. Create a brand that remains no matter which NHL franchise provides the players, and most people won't notice when those inevitable changes take place.

More proof women shouldn't use magazine photos for comparison. Check out Danica Patrick in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I did. As research. For work. Anyway, I've seen Danica up close, and she's cute, but she looks nothing like the spray-tanned, airbrushed figure you see in SI, not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just not real.

I watched Andy's recommendation King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. Since I have little interest in video games, and I've never played Donkey Kong, I kind of dreaded watching it, but 30 minutes in I was hooked. Like most good stories, it makes you openly root for the "hero". I can't believe I'd recommend this too, but I am. My stepsons wanted no part of the movie, and they didn't move for 90 minutes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The theme for Drake is "Believe", and I can't believe what I just saw. The Bulldogs blew an 11 point lead in the second half, and missed two shots to win at the buzzer. The Dogs even snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when Josh Young made an uncharacteristic mental mistake in the final minute.

The Knapp Center rocked like never before all night, and the crowd was just waiting to explode when Drake won. The Bulldogs would then cut the nets down to celebrate their outright conference championship (Keno Davis opted to not cut down the nets at UNI. Class move, and the right move.) Instead, people just sat in their chairs stunned that the Dogs had lost. Next to no one moved for what seemed like minutes.

A little perspective is needed, and Keno and the Boys provided it. They seemed less devastated than several people in our newsroom (paging John Bachman, Erin Kiernan, and Chris Hassel). The head coach correctly pointed out if either of Drake's final shots had gone in, we'd talk about another exciting win. Josh Young seemed okay despite the rare brain cramp. And Klayton Korver talked about how money Bradley was down the stretch. Plus, when you're 23-3 and you've already won the MVC, how bad can it be?

Now, the Dogs need a good showing Saturday. If they lose at Butler, that means they'll have lost three of four and Drake will be in danger of falling out of the top 25, not to mention a decent seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The Bracketbuster is still big, but it lost a little something, thanks to Bradley.

I thought I'd seen my quota of bad basketball after Iowa's second half against Michigan last week and Iowa State's awful first twenty minutes against Nebraska Saturday. I was wrong. The first 10 minutes of the Northwestern at Iowa game set basketball back about 100 years. Northwestern is terrible. Iowa was too. Against the Big Ten's worst team, and one of the nation's worst defenses, Iowa scored 1 point in the first 9 minutes or so. Airballs, turnovers, traveling... the Hawks did it all, and Northwestern was right there stride-for-ugly-stride. Iowa did win, and a win is a win, but all the progress Iowa seemed to be making two weeks ago is suddenly stalled. I have no doubt Todd Lickliter can coach, but the Hawks need to get it going again. Hope, and therefore season ticket sales, depend on it.

I'm headed home to watch a documentary called The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. It's about Donkey Kong, which I know nothing about, but Andy says that doesn't matter, it's great. It will give me something to do between trips to the bathroom. We have a house full of boys projectile vomiting like fire hydrants. Anyone else have the flu? If you don't see me tomorrow, you'll know what happened.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We just finished SoundOFF a few minutes ago. As usual, Andy made me laugh several times, though for a change, it was Andy who lost it and couldn't recover. The following page from our friends at the sent Andy into a rare laugh-lock:

It's a really juvenile picture, but like many things at the Pickle, perfectly captures the absurdity of the Rodriguez vs. West Virginia nonsense.

After we gave a "Thumbs Down" to Iowa State's top football recruit, Sedrick Johnson, for sending a Letter of Intent to two schools---ISU & Texas A&M---I was asked on air if Johnson was from Texas. I wasn't sure. I thought so, but wasn't 100%, so I asked. I've already heard from three Cyclone fans who wonder how I can be so "unprepared" and "poorly researched". I'll tell you how: because I'm not a hardcore fan, and unlike them, I don't care about specific recruiting at all (general, yes). I've learned over the years to wait and see who shows up and who turns out.

So, the critics are right. I will not be doing a lot of research on Sed Johnson's high school stats, favorite ice cream, or player he most looks up to . I leave that for the fine folks at,, and Once the recruits get here, I promise we'll keep an eye on the players, and as always, tell you what we think.

Keno Davis came in for a segment on SoundOFF. As you'd expect, he was good. Davis avoids a lot of coachspeak, which makes him infinitely more interesting. Hopefully that continues. He talked a lot on air about all the stuff you'd expect, but off air, he asked who he'd been compared to this week in our Look Alikes segment. Keno and his wife, Krista, watch SoundOFF and they've been getting a kick out of all nominations: Dermot Mulroney, Mel Gibson, Dan Winters... to name a few. Those are all good-looking guys, which happens when you're 23-2. Go 2-23 and the uglies start showing up. If you have a Keno look alike idea, send it to:

A bunch of us went to the Bucs game Saturday night. The place was packed, and the energy unbelievable. The Bucs responded by scoring a season high 7 goals, and that means DONUTS! Free Krispy Kremes for everyone.

Even if you're not a wresting fan, you should take great pride in our state tournament. It's the best in the nation. No other state is close. Well done by all involved.

I watched Zodiak this weekend. Long movie, but good. I knew the ending, which will leave many people unsatisfied, but it's a true story (on the Zodiak serial killer in California). B

It's 12: 15 a.m. and I have to have two of the kids at the dentist at 7:30 a.m. Better go.

Stay warm. Have a good week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Indiana better learn from Ohio State's mistakes and be careful, but this mess must end with Kelvin Sampson fired. I never understood why Indiana would hire a guy already knee deep in violations and scandal, not to mention a horrible graduation rate. Say what you will about Bob Knight---and I've said plenty---his players went to class, and Knight didn't cheat. Choke yes. Cheat no.

Did you see where Pat Knight recommended Steve Alford? If there's one place Alford might be as worshiped as he thinks he should, it's Indiana. However, with each passing year, fewer kids, even in the Hoosier State know who Alford is/was. So it comes down to coaching, and Steve's not bad, but he's not good either. Indiana demands more than mediocre, but the Hoosiers shouldn't have sold their souls for Sampson. They got what they deserve.

How proud were you to see your tax dollars at work in that Clemens vs. McNamee circus? McNamee's a weasel, but I think it's pretty obvious he's finally telling the truth about Clemens. Everyone else McNamee says he injected with HGH or steroids backs the weasel. Clemens looked horrible as he tried to keep his stories straight. What a shame he didn't just do what Pettitte and Giambi did. Admit, apologize, help others. We love to forgive people in this country.

Any final shred of hope I held out for Roger telling the truth disappeared when he claimed he had no idea McNamee was injecting Clemens' wife with HGH! And then when Roger's wife 'fessed up and complained of circulation problems, Roger didn't send her to the doctor. He didn't beat up McNamee. He didn't even fire McNamee. Give me a break.

The most embarrassing part of watching all that waste of our money at work was some of the politicians falling all over themselves to try and help their "hero". Why did even this become partisan politics? Because Clemens is good friends with the Bush family? Aren't we better than this? Riveting theater, but disgusting at the same time.

If you ever wondered why the former Cyclone Stadium is now Jack Trice Stadium, please read:

I know some coaches think a loss is never a good thing, but it probably is for Drake. I don't think the Dogs ever got too caught up or too cocky, but it's a good reminder before the tournaments start. When you haven't lost in three months, you forget how bad it feels. (I guess you do. I never played for a team that went very long without losing, so this is conjecture on my part.)

Which TV personality makes you hit the mute or turn the channel? I'm not very critical when it comes to other sportscasters because I truly appreciate how hard the job can be, not to mention I've received my share of mail from people who can't stand me on sight. That kind of thing doesn't bother some people; it does me. Anyway, maybe he's a nice guy, I have no idea, but ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is a channel-changer for me. My Dad has two: Chris Berman and Stuart Scott. My mom can't take Katie Couric.

I just received a book for my review: Buff Dad. Chris and Shawn are having a field day with this one. The book says moms aren't the only ones to gain weight when kids come along, so Buff Dad promises it can whip me into tip-tip shape in four weeks. First Basedow, now this.

Maybe I'll start tomorrow. No, March. Well, perhaps after the NCAA Tournament. Don't want to rush into anything.

I thought Andy Fales and Jeriann Ritter did a great job switching jobs this week. I just never know where I'll see Andy next on channel 13, and that's a good thing.

I got sucked into American Idol again. How did that happen? I'm not proud.

U23D won't arrive this weekend as expected. I'm bummed. My buddy Ryan says it's amazing.

I looked in on Sean Keeler and Randy Peterson's chat on the Register's website. It's a good idea and interesting. Contrary to some opinions, Sean is not for Iowa and against Iowa State or vice-versa. Both sides make that same accusation, and it's one to which I can relate. Randy has done a nice job for decades.

Herbie Hancock won the Grammy for album of the year? You've got to be kidding. At least it makes me think of Tommy Boy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Wrestlers... Clear the Mats!" It's time. The country's best state wrestling tournament starts Wednesday. If you're looking for a great book, check out Four Days to Glory. If you're looking for Matthew Modine and Madonna, check out Vision Quest. Tell Steve Perry I said hello.

I spent some time interviewing several of the key Bulldogs: Keno Davis, Leonard Houston, Klayton Korver, and Josh Young. I couldn't be more impressed. These guys give you unrehearsed, un-coached answers---a rarity these days. Their excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. The Dogs are having a blast, and they're fortunate to have a coach who isn't trying to scare them out of having fun. Keno's telling his players to enjoy every minute of the incredible ride. It's also apparent that you can win with true student-athletes. These guys aren't headed to the NBA, and if you've watched any of the stories on Drake, you know they didn't come to school to major in pro basketball.

After taking a beating on the feedback of this blog for saying Keno Davis was the mid-season national coach of the year, I was happy to see Dick Vitale call Keno the front-runner for the end of the season honor, while USA Today named Davis as one of four candidates in the running. He should be.

Drake has a tough stretch the next two weeks, and if they can win three out of five, it would be impressive. We'll know a lot after the Southern Illinois game. The Salukis are 59-1 at home against MVC opponents since the 2001-2002 season.

Did you see both Villanova and Rutgers (women) get hosed by bad calls in the closing seconds on the same night? Vivian Stringer had the meanest look this side of Gene Keady (but without the comb-over).

Props to Johnston's Lori Bjork. The former Dragon just scored her 1000th point at the U of Illinois.

From the can't make it up department: Dolly Parton postponed her tour due to back pain.

I missed Andy Fales on 95KGGO Tuesday morning. I heard I missed an entertaining show with Lou, Round Guy, and Heather, though I still find it hard to believe Andy woke up before 7.

Purdue leads the Big Ten. I can't believe that. I was in Vegas and saw Iowa State beat the Boilers. Those two teams have gone in different directions.

It's great that both Hilton Coliseum and Carver-Hawkeye Arena will host the NCAA Women's tourney, but that means in 2009 and 2010, we'll need a local team to do well. As Drake found out one year, if there's no team from Iowa, there's nobody in the stands.

Who would win a fight between Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart? We may find out but my money's on Tony.

Who would win a fight between a taco and a grilled cheese sandwich?

Movies I'm looking forward to "Netflixing": Gone Baby Gone, The Assassination of Jesse James, and We Own The Night.

Lincoln led just one time against Urbandale in the showdown of conference champions. And it was the only time that mattered. 33-31 Rails, which sounds like a score from my dad's playing days. I think they jumped center after every field goal, though I don't think they had to take the ball out of a peach basket.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The new Rambo is the most violent movie I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot of movies. I can't believe how brutal it is. If a movie ever inched close to an X-rating for mayhem, this is it. Hundreds of people, including women and children, are blown up, burned, stabbed, gutted, beheaded, hanged, gunned down, and in one case, killed by throat-ripping. The action is tense, the storyline compelling, and the character, Rambo, interesting, but my goodness, it's hard to watch. I really liked First Blood, and thought the sequels were silly but entertaining, but I didn't have the stomach for Rambo. I'm still trying to shake it. I'll grade it a C.

To my surprise, I actually enjoyed The Devils Wears Prada more than Rambo. I rented this for Jenny because Shawn Terrell made it sound like a chick flick a guy could tolerate. (Actually, I think Shawn watched it by himself, but that's beside the point). Devil has a Pretty Woman vibe, minus the prostitution. Meryl Streep, as always, is phenomenal. B+

I didn't like The Brave One as much as I expected, but the mild-mannered woman turned vigilante movie is worth seeing for Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard. They're both better than the mixed message of the story. B

I watched 3:10 to Yuma again. If you love Westerns, and even if you don't, make sure you see this. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are top notch. (How is it possible Bale has 0 Academy Award nominations?). I'll upgrade this from A- to A upon a third viewing.

That concludes tonight's Murph at the Movies. (the title forced me to refer to myself in the third person. Don't worry, Keith Murphy will not refer to himself as Keith Murphy).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

To honor the incredible success of the Drake Bulldogs---20 straight wins and counting---I
thought I'd drop a few pictures of great Drake basketball moments throughout history into my blog this week. Hope you enjoy.

Andy and Shawn made it back from Normal, Illinois. After calling twice to tell me they couldn't believe how many cars they had passed in the ditch, they called me to tell me they were now in the ditch. Fortunately some nice people from Urbandale took pity on our stranded travelers and drove them the final two hours to Des Moines. Shawn and Andy even made it to Wells Fargo Arena for the first Van Halen song.

Sammy or David Lee? I'd rather listen to Sammy and see Diamond Dave in concert.

College football signing day does nothing for me. You just never know what you have until several years later, and every coach says they "really like their class".

Iowa State would be a much better basketball team this season with Lucca Staiger. The guy can flat out shoot the three like you can't believe, and the Clones need that threat desperately.

Leave Britney alone.

It's good to have Dick Vitale back, even if he is a little quieter.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You don't have to buy Drake merchandise, or openly root for the Bulldogs, but how can anyone not respect this team? It's unbelievable.

I thought the streak would come to an end at Illinois State. At halftime, I felt smart. By game's end, I was glad to be wrong. These guys won't quit. Down 11? No problem. Just keep hustling until the shots start falling.

Anyone who doesn't appreciate just how hard it is to win 20 straight---regardless of the conference strength---doesn't follow college basketball. 20 in a row is staggering for an overly talented team. For a squad that starts two former walk-ons, it's beyond comprehension. During this great run, Drake could have lost to any team it played.

Several of the people in our newsroom who don't follow sports have taken an interest in Drake because the Bulldogs humility and positive spirit is contagious. They're not cocky, they're having fun.

The Dogs all but locked up a conference championship with the sweep of Illinois State. Drake leads by four with six games to go.

By the way, great job Tuesday night by Andy Fales, Shawn Terrell, photojournalist Trent Reicks, and engineer Mark Hoffman. They drove through a snowstorm to bring our viewers terrific coverage of a big game not on TV. Wake up Missouri Valley! This is 2008.

It's nice to have such a positive story to cover.

We love it. And Iowa State should too. Maybe no one will notice how Hilton Magic seems to have left the building.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bob Knight retired mid-season. Why? He wants his son, Pat, to be the next Keno.

Knight was a great coach, especially in the 70s and 80s. He could teach the game of basketball like no other. It's too bad his boorish behavior often overshadowed his genius---and even his well hidden soft side.

99% of Knight's players swear by him, even if he swore at them.

Drake ranked 15th in the country!? Miss Clio didn't see that coming.

Drake's BracketBuster is at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse. That's got road trip written all over it. Anyone who's seen the final game in "Hoosiers" needs to visit the site of Jimmy Chitwood's buzzer-beating jumper.

I hope Wesley Johnson can play against Texas A&M or it could be a long night for the Cyclones.

Super Bowl XLII goes down as the most watched TV show in American history next to... M*A*S*H. I love Mash. My dad got me hooked on it, and my son, Cody, loves it---but we'll never again see the day where a scripted show draws 100 million people.

I suppose I deserve Erin showing that highly embarrassing picture of me posing as if I were a cross behind The Bandit and Ron Burgundy. I know I showed pictures of Erin cheering the Bulldogs in blue Spandex. But Erin looked good. I just look goofy. It's not a fair trade! Blog with one eye open Erin Kiernan.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oops. Got that one wrong.

I thought the Patriots would win, and finally silence those '72 Dolphins. Didn't happen. The Giants pulled one of the all-time upsets, and deserved to win. They outplayed the Patriots. Period.

I think that was the most exciting Super Bowl I've ever seen, mostly because the stakes were so high and the underdog won.

Maybe karma finally found the Patriots. After all, they did cheat.

Iowa State's Ellis Hobbs received a lot of pub this season, most of it good, but he'll now be seen forever getting burned by Plaxico Burress on the game-winning touchdown.

I thought overall the ads were so-so, though Will Ferrell made me laugh out loud, as usual.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Casey Blake is the most down-to-earth six million dollar man you'll ever meet. He still lives in Indianola, just opened The Yard with this brother, and signed a new one year deal with the Indians. Good guy.

The Drake critics are starting to surface. Yes, Drake's schedule is soft, but 18 wins in a row is impressive no matter who you play. If it were no big deal, Drake wouldn't have the nation's second longest streak. It's arguably even more impressive because the Bulldogs have won so many close games. It's a lot easier to run off long winning streaks when most teams you play are overmatched (see Memphis and Kansas).

I'm glad Wesley Johnson's foot shows no structural damage. He's fun to watch, and Iowa State can't afford to lose him for long.

Imagine what Todd Lickliter will do when he has more Big Ten caliber talent.

The Hawkeye wrestling program has its swagger back. Credit Tom Brands.

Big thanks to the anonymous Drake fan who watched SoundOFF and then donated 2,000 T-shirts. The White Out was a huge success. Andy Fales hasn't worked that hard in a while.

Speaking of thanks for anonymous contributions... I owe someone BIG TIME for those fun pictures of Erin Kiernan back in her Drake Bulldog cheerleader days. Unlike my old college pics, Erin looked good, not embarrassing. I think this also confirms we can't expect objectivity from her (at least where Drake basketball's concerned).

The Super Bowl spread is 12. Look for the Patriots to win by more than that.

Friday Night Lights has its mojo back.