Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chop or Flop?

So it is indeed... the Iowa Chops. It's interesting, and not necessarily positive, that the naming of the team has brought, by far, the most interest in Des Moines' AHL team. You knew once the organization revealed the name, it would be a collective yawn, like it was for the Stars (or would be for the Ducks), or you'd have half the people hating, slamming, and scoffing. Guess which happened? I've heard from many people who absolutely love Iowa Chops, and others who feel a lot like the Des Moines Register's Sean Keeler. Sean blogs, "Terrible. Simply terrible. Boring and tasteless in one foul swoop." I disagree, but I love that Sean brings it strong.
*
As many of you know, I pushed hard for Iowa Chops on SoundOff (which is an opinion show), so I've heard some praise, and I've taken some lumps. I do know the organization paid attention to all the feedback on our show, and the fact Iowa Chops won two separate viewer polls. It's a fair point that the host influences the votes of some people, but Andy and I are paid to give our opinions, and we do. That won't change.
*
I love the name Iowa Chops. It's unique, it's strong, and it's local. Although the world famous Iowa pork chop figured in my affection for the name, I did not have a wild boar in mind for a logo. I was picturing a hockey stick making a chop motion or something not involving a pig, but that pig is what a lot of people love. The merchandise was selling like crazy at the Chop Shop. (Yes, the puns could get tiresome quickly.)
*
Shawn Johnson and Lolo Jones represent Iowa about as well as we could possibly hope. They deserve a huge sendoff, and we're going to try and give it to them Monday at noon at the Iowa Events Center. It's free, and it should be a lot of fun. The Isisirettes will start rocking the house around 11:45 a.m., videos will play, Iowa icon Simon Estes will sing the national anthem, and both Lolo and Shawn will speak. I'm honored the Governor's office asked me to help put the event together and to emcee. I didn't talk to a single person who paused. It's just been, "What can I do?". I think that's a reflection of how proud people are of Shawn and Lolo---not just for their amazing talent, but for their character. Monday at noon. Please help spread the word.
*
Speaking of Iowa icons, Andy Fales' story on Bob Feller was fantastic. You can watch it on the whotv.com video player. Feller had a baseball career only a handful of pitchers can match, yet he's most proud of his military service. Nearly 90 years old, and still saying exactly what he thinks.
*
Nile Kinnick would have been 90 Wednesday. Hard to believe Kinnick's been dead for nearly 70 years, and yet he and Feller were born the same year (1918).
*
Chris Hassel appears on TV several times a week, yet he sent Shawn and me a giddy text message because when Geovany Soto homered Tuesday night, Chris could kind of be seen along with hundreds of other bleacher bums at Wrigley Field. I can't explain it, but I can relate. I get excited if you can tell it's my bald spot in a newspaper picture of some athlete being interviewed. I'd get a toupee but then I couldn't pick myself out.

Keith
,

14 comments:

IAgal said...

I feel that those commenting on how much they hate “Iowa Chops” should be ashamed. Especially those commenting about it making Iowans appear to be hicks. I am not yet decided on how much I like the name, but I do like the way it reflects a big part of what Iowa is about. A majority of Iowans are “pig farmers” and I agree with Murph that the Iowa pork chop is a great thing to base it around. However, I liked the idea of having a wild boar as the mascot b/c it makes the team seem more aggressive. Arkansas razorbacks works well as a mascot, why NOT use a boar? But back to the “Hicks” comment… You yourself are making a generalization here. It’s insulting that you see all pig farmers as hicks! (No, I am not a pig farmer myself) All of your comments are demeaning to the farmers of Iowa! Shame on YOU anonymous!!! What are YOU thinking?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

iagal - "A majority of Iowans are pig farmers"

Oh really?

From the IowaPork.org website...

The number of pig farms decreased by 83 percent in 25 years. In 1978 there were about 59,000 Iowa pig farms and in 2002 there were 10,205 pig farms in Iowa.

"but I do like the way it reflects a big part of what Iowa is about."

Again, really?

Pigs once viewed positively across Iowa may now be viewed negatively. Pigs in rural Iowa were once called "mortgage lifters" and pig manure odor was the "smell of money." But in 2004, Iowa State University's Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll found that when rural Iowa residents were asked their preferences about rural development activity, hog confinements ranked below prisons, solid waste landfills, slaughter plants and sewage treatment plants as desirable rural development.

Maybe you and the team should have done your research first?

Anonymous said...

Get off your high horse iagal. I was not being demeaning to farmers. I have all the respect in the world for them - I know several personally, & do NOT think of all farmers as hicks. I believe YOU are the one making the generalizations now! I merely used that as an example to make a point. Clearly that went over your head. So many times that is how IA is depicted to the rest of the country, & I have always hated that. Rarely do we see IA depicted as what we REALLY are - full of art, culture, divesity, etc. Believe it or not, there's a lot more to our fine state than corn, cows, or pigs. I am so proud to be an Iowan (have lived here my whole life,& have no plans to leave), but no, not proud of the name/mascot of our new hockey team. And after seeing other posts, listening to radio call-ins, and talking with others in general, I am not the only person that feels this way - I am speaking on behalf & in agreeance with of a lot of people.
I do agree with you, however, that something a little more "fierce" looking would have been better for the mascot.
Now back off!

Sara said...

I was thinking of the Emilio Estevez movie the other day. Since we're affiliated with ducks now but not really ducks, I suppose the repetitive quacking won't work. Can you picture one of those end of a game exciting moments with the entire crowd shouting "oink oink oink oink OINK!" I don't know why that makes me laugh so hard, but it does.

I'm not a pig farmer, but I still like the name. I guess I also like that Des Moines flies under the radar. If everyone knew the truth about the awesomeness that is Iowa, more people would swarm the state. While we could use a few more people, I want to make sure we leave room for some pig farms. Bacon is delicious.

Sara said...

I know doubleposting in the comments is lame, but it just occured to me that Miss Piggy would be a perfect mascot! You get the pig part and the karate chops. Get me a Muppet on the phone stat!

shane - marshalltown said...

We should call Dana Altman and have him teach us that amazingly awesome, totally cool, "pig sooey" cheer thing that he loved so much during his long, legendary career at Arkansas...

It's a no brainer...kinda like how you just know that, no matter what you choose, uptight whiners are going to come out of the woodwork to complain about it...

If I'm Chops ownership, I'm loving every second of this...much the same way as the BCS likes having everyone talking about them, no matter which side of the line they're on, it's free pub...

Anonymous said...

I'm re-posting this:

Okay, I haven't commented in a while and I figured it'd be a great time to.

The Iowa Chops? Seriously? I mean, this is a really bad name. It's stereotypical and insulting. I hate it when people do this stuff because it makes people from other states think this is what we are all about.

How many times have you seen an Iowa, ISU, or any game in Iowa on TV and all they show is the old barns, cornfields, and broken down tractors with tall grass around them? I know I've seen too many. Iowa has a lot more to offer than just the countryside, but many people in America may not know this.

You go to the Fareway meat counter and order Iowa Chops, it's not a name for a hockey team.


--Gary

Anonymous said...

I thought iowa chops came from pork......not pigs.

Tim said...

Keith - With at least two potential Olympic gold medal winners from Central Iowa, why aren't you guys sending anyone to cover them? I can't believe you're relying on the Register for TV reports???

Anonymous said...

In response to Sara;

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-aJ6bTnco00

shane - marshalltown said...

"I'm re-posting this:"

Way to re-post that take...it wasn't bad enough the first time...

Anonymous said...

That's an easy one to answer Tim! WHO's insurance doesn't cover pollution related illnesses...Not to mention, the Mega-Doppler payment is due that week...

shane - marshalltown said...

^^^Shane - Marshalltown...who forgot to sign it...

travis said...

keith o anyone else-
any more updates on how mediacom-btn talks are going???