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.