Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Heard anything on Drake lately?


Yes, we're covering the Bulldogs a lot, and they deserve it.


Not to go too far overboard, but the Dogs delivered the kind of story that made many of us---certainly me---fall in love with sports in the first place. Like you, I've had it up to here with juiced up baseball players, arrested Hawkeyes, and the sex scandals of high school coaches.


Here come the Bulldogs to remind us of the good stuff. Stuff like teamwork, chemistry, unselfishness, joy, camaraderie, discipline, hustle, humility, and academics. These guys are true student-athletes, not NBA majors.


I can't tell you how many people have called, written, or stopped me to say how refreshing they find these Drake Bulldogs. "Refreshing" is the word used most often, and I agree. "Contagious" probably places second.


I strive for objectivity at all times, but as I've said before, no one is completely objective. However, a reputable journalist should always offer full disclosure. To that end, I find it hard not to get caught up in what these Dogs are doing, and the way they're doing it. If they slip, we'll report that too, but I doubt they realize how much they've raised the spirits of many Iowans during this otherwise dreary winter.


I realize a few people want to put a turd in the punchbowl. Life offers some unhappy people who want to pull others down, but I think the vast majority of Iowans know they're seeing a once-in-a-decade story, maybe once-in-a-lifetime; others may genuinely not like Drake. I never forget that my grandmother went to see ET and hated it. She thought it was a stupid movie and didn't really care if ET lived or died. My best friend and I went on a double date in high school to see Kramer vs. Kramer and his girlfriend rooted for Meryl Streep. Andy Fales roots for the bull in a bullfight, which is more understandable than not backing Dustin Hoffman. You just never know what others see.


A few buzzkills who read this blog scoffed at me, and many of you, a few weeks ago for suggesting Keno Davis as front runner for national coach of the year. This just in: The Sporting News named Keno Davis National Coach of the Year.

One of my favorite SoundOFF moments happened this past week when Adam Emmenecker and Klayton Korver got off the bus after winning the MVC Championship and came straight to the studio with their trophies and net. They could have slept, partied, watched ESPN, or knowing Adam, studied, but they wanted to share their high with the rest of us, and they were giddy. Again, it reminded me why I love sports.

A shout out to Andy and Shawn Terrell for doing such a good job in St. Louis all weekend, and Chris Hassel for anchoring our coverage here so I could go with my family to Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to tour the White House and Capitol, along with the other monuments and it was a patriotic thrill. Big thanks to Congressman Boswell and his staff for all their hospitality.

A few days in our nation's capital serves as a stark reminder how much terrorists changed the world on 9/11. Flying makes you feel like a suspect, and though you understand it, even appreciate it, it is inconvenient and frustrating. You can't get near anything in DC without going through a metal detector, and you wouldn't want to.

I did miss my new TV while I was gone. I'm like a kid with his new all-time favorite toy. HDTV makes me want to see everything in high def. I'm re-watching movies, following games I usually ignore, and feeling let down when something is not in HD. It really is awesome. I can't believe I'm about to type this, but I could even see myself staying home to watch a game on TV when I could be there in person. Yikes.

It really is Hilton South for the Cyclone women in Kansas City. Did you realize no Big 12 team has won more tourney games there than ISU? The Clones are 14-5, and I think after that blasting of the Buffs, I-State is in the NCAA tournament, which would be great news for the Des Moines economy and next week's NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

36 comments:

pulsebert said...

Wow a Kramer vs. Kramer reference.. I remember seeing that with my parents. What's next, The China Syndrome? Did you go to the Spy Museum in DC? I was less than a mile from the Pentagon on 9/11, yeah it really changed DC and the world.

Keith Murphy said...

I did go to the Spy Museum. After all the free tours and memorials, I had sticker shock, but it was interesting, especially the war stories. Naturally, the kids enjoyed the gift shop most. I started installments today.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate what the Bulldogs have done.It's great to see athletes competing for athletics,not personal glory. Which brings me to the point of my post. I realize that it was a big weekend, Drake wins the MVC tourney, Boys state basketball,and such, but there was no mention of the Wartburg Knights winning the NCAA (yes, that NCAA) division III National (yes,the whole United States) Wrestling (I hear wrestling is popular in Iowa) Chanpionship (yes they beat everyone else).This event was held in Cedar Rapids, four Iowa Conference teams finished in the Top Ten and two others made the top 25.I realize Waverly is not in your viewing area, but many students from the TV 13 viewing area go there,as well as the other Iowa Conference schools. These student-athletes do not get athletic scholarships and compete because they just love the sport. Name any sport and the Iowa Conference has teams ranked nationally and compete for championships. They deserve a few seconds of recognition for their efforts.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention in my previous post that this was Wartburg's sixth national wrestling championship to go with their sixteenth consecutive Iowa Conference championship.

Anonymous said...

What a great post above. Kind of echoes my thoughts about the UNI football team this fall. I sure hope the next time they have an undefeated regular season we see some coverage of that other MVC team in the state.
Not to take anything away from the Dogs, certainly...it'd just be nice to see some balance when other colleges in the state do well too.

Shawn said...

How about some coverage for the NIACC Trojans or the ECC Panthers as well!!!! You need to cover the community colleges up here in the northern part of the state much more than you do.
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Come on people. With as many colleges and universities in Iowa, one channel cannot possibly cover them all to the extent that you as a fan wish. I think Channel 13 does it right. They run the ticker with all the scores, will have a small sound bite in the sportscast when warrented, and goes all out when it is a huge story, like Drake this year, or like ISU b-ball in their prime, or like Iowa football a couple years back. Have some perspective from time to time.
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Controversial topic of the day: When will Keno leave Drake?? I think it will be in the next year or so. You need to strike while the iron is hot and hit can't get much hotter than this.

Anonymous said...

Shawn, you miss the point. This team won a national championship in a major NCAA sport and got next to no coverage. All Iowa Conference teams have student athletes who are familiar to sports fans in central Iowa. It owuld be nice to get them the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

I though UNI got some decent coverage on their football playoff run this year. Central has been undefeated in the regular season for the last two years but they had to win two playoff games to get some video on a sportscast.

Melinda said...

Wow, I just watched the Cyclone women win again today!!! I think Ezell (spelling???, sorry), made 8-3 pointers this time even though she then had to foul out to keep the clones going. What an ending to that game in overtime!

On a side note for Keith...too bad it wasn't broadcast in HD. :)

Anonymous said...

This one's for Mr. Fales. 99.9999999% of us couldn't care less about any of those schools. Obviously, you are on the internet so why don't you quit your bitching and go find your own info.

Anonymous said...

I watched the ISU Women, and I got it in HD. (We have Dircet TV.) What an awesome game!! Those girls are a blast to watch! The cyclone website has some home video coverage of behind the scenes from KC. Really great to watch. You can see the bus ride down, their study table, and before and after the game pep talks. They do a different installment daily. When Fennelly talks to his team, he puts things in life lesson terms. Very inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Fales would appreciate that 99.9999999% of us should know when an Iowa school wins a national championship in a major sport. If you're proud of Drake and their accomplishments this year, you should be proud of another Iowa school representing us in the same way.

JJ said...

Channel 13 has the best sports team in da biz! Best week of sports I've seen in a long time and sound off too! Why aren't we seeing more of Chris on the show? He's high-lar-e-us!

Men's Bball: Drake
Women's Bball: ISU
Wrestling: Iowa/ISU

Should be one heeeeck of a weeeek!
Go Maroons!

jj said...

Did I mention Andy is a cute piece of man meat? Is he taken?

Matt said...

Andy's hair is so hardcore. i think he can take out his enemy with one stare

Fottballdaddy said...

Keith, you haven't weighed in on the Iowa Conference issue. I'd like to hear your take on why there isn't more IIAC coverage in central Iowa.

Anonymous said...

see above.

Matt said...

another lost by iowa today to michigan, what a bad year for iowa. makes me thankful for Drake

Anonymous said...

People! People! Give him a break! He's not Superman, he can't cover everything!

For the one post talking about Wartburg, how about we post something else that, in between each sentence, has parenthesis and make it harder to read.

For the other poster, nobody cares about the NAICC. It's not newsworthy, unless if they did something amazing and out of the ordinary, so why waste air time and blog space to even cover it?

Cut Keith a break, if you want all of those teams and sports to be covered, then get a job in TV broadcasting yourself.

Anonymous said...

"For the other poster, nobody cares about the NAICC. It's not newsworthy, unless if they did something amazing and out of the ordinary, so why waste air time and blog space to even cover it?"

Many of us don't care about Drake either. In fact, most DRAKE fans didn't care about Drake until this year. Drake was basically begging fans to show up last year. Even gave students FREE tickets to try to muster some support. They are winning and that makes them newsworthy. The posters above are just saying that when the IOWA conference has 6 teams in the top 25 and a National Champion, it may be more newsworthy that Adam Emmenecker's chosen field of study or Klayton Korver's favorite color of tulip.

Anonymous said...

Hey, way to poop all over Drake's success story. You must not be a true sports fan. Yeah, I questioned your Fanhood, what about it?

Anonymous said...

It's funny how people become English scholars when they want to disagree with something but don't have a valid argument.

I don't think anyone wants to diminish Drake's accomplishement, but when something like a NCAA national wrestling championship is won by an Iowa school,people should be made aware. No one is asking for a five minute feature, but it takes less than ten seconds to say "Congratulations to the Wartburg Knights for their sixth NCAA Division III national wresting championship. Three other Iowa Conference schools also finished in the top ten."

Anonymous said...

I agree, it's not like it was a dual meet win over the Eastern Montana School of Rodeo, it was a NCAA national championship. People don't care beacuse they don't know the quality of athletics at the Iowa colleges all over the state.

Anonymous said...

yeah, they pretty much suck outside of drake...oh, and wrestling (yawn).

Matt said...

how could anyone not respect drake this year? they gave us something to cheer about this winter while the hawekeyes were doing bad. made the winter seem shorter at points. i do agree they did have somewhat of an easy schedule but they still gave us something to cheer about

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE watching Drake play basketball. Never have I enjoyed watching a team like I have the Drake Bulldogs of Des Moines, IA. GO BULLDOGS in the NCAA tournament. And yes, Keno does deserve the national coach of the year!! Keno and his players remind me of a family. They respect each other, and they respect the other team players. Never a game goes by, that one or more of the Drake players isn't seen helping their opponent up from the floor. That is true sportsmanship, and yes Drake has that also. The Drake players aren't out there for themselves, they are out there for their team.

Anonymous said...

I've had farts that lasted longer than the time they give Keith and the boys to do a sports segment...get off of his back about a D-III wrestling title, it got the coverage it deserved.

As for UNI football fans...the only thing you should be complaining about, is the choke job your team pulled in the playoffs, which killed A LOT of the coverage that was heading their way!

Anonymous said...

I agree the westling championship is old news by now,but what about the other iowa conference sholls that are nationally ranked? If Iowa or Iowa state get anywhere close to the top 25, it's page one news. It's hard to find a NCAA sport thet the IIAC doesn't have teams nationally ranked, ofteh in the top five or ten. This is no less of an accomplishment in D3 than in D1. If you think people don't care, then look at the above posts.

Anonymous said...

Maybe when a D-III school starts drawing as much as a 1-A highschool in attendance, you can make that "people care" statement. Fact of the matter is, there's not a enough time to mention everything, from every angle, that everyone wants mentioned!

Is it less of an accomplishment? No! Is it less newsworthy, unfortunately, YES!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see how many 1-A football teams averaging over 4000 paid attendance for every game every year. Obviously you've never attended either

Anonymous said...

Not sure when football became part of the discussion, considering D-III schools routinely get mentioned for it during the newscasts.

According to the NCAA The Iowa Conference wasn't even in the top 5 in attendance last season and that 5th spot's attendance was at 2,641. Attendance for the playoffs was a puny 2,185 per game..."Obviously" you're trying to cover all of the state's D-III attendance with a Central and Wartburg colored football blanket.

Anonymous said...

As was stated before, Drake had a serious attendance problem until they started winning and Keith and Andy started begging fans to come to the games.I distinctly remember a t-shirt giveaway to try to up attendance when the Bulldogs winning steak was relatvely young. Although it wasn't sponsoed by the station, a feature piece was done about Andy handing out the shirts. Maybe if he handed out gifts at a Simpson game they'd sell ut every time also.

Anonymous said...

I suppose now that the wartburg wrestling championship was mentioned Sunday night, all of us Iowa conference supportes will go away, or that is what was hoped for. Sorry to say but we'll be around for a long time. How about a mention of the women's track tean who finished second in the indoor nationals?

Anonymous said...

If Billy P's chess team won a national championship,they should be mentioned too.

I can see by your vocabulary that you must be an on-air talent of huge proportions. Good luck in your career.

Anonymous said...

From what I've observed here is that there seems to be a predjudice against the Iowa Conference from a large group of people. This surprises me, because these schools are just as good of a story as Drake, and for the same reasons. NCAA Division III athletes do not get athletic scholarships, so they are actually paying for the privlige to compete. All IIAC schools excel in at least one sport, several who are competitve on a national level. I myself cannot see why these young men and women's accomplishments are not newsworthy or commendable.

Anonymous said...

There's no predjudice against the Iowa Conference. However, there's a developing predjudice against fans of the Iowa Conference who are suffering from a bad case of "what about us?"...