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.
MORNING BUZZ: Rulings, Votes and Voice
6 months ago