- I know, I know... I'm a little slow on the update. I'd have been here sooner but I'm putting the last of my savings under the mattress. Thank you for your patience.
- A lot has happened since we last chatted. Let's review some of it.
- Gene Chizik came out and denounced a rumor he regretted taking the Iowa State job. This was a questionable move on Chizik's part. 99.9% of the people were not even aware of the rumor, but many of them became aware when Chizik brought it up at a news conference. Chizik felt strongly he needed to shoot it down before the rumor became "fact" on the recruiting trail, and in the whispers of big donors, and it does appear he killed the gossip. File this one under: risky but probably worked.
- Did you see Chris Hassel plowed at the Penn State-Iowa game? And by plowed, I mean run over, not drunk. A Penn State football player with the license plate "47" slobberknocked Chris into lala land. Chris was okay. The camera was not. #47 escaped with a one point loss.
- Gary Barta was right to send a note of concern after several arrests and injuries (not counting Chris) , but nothing will change. As long as there are hardcore fans, especially drunk ones, storming the field after a big win will continue.
- How 'bout that video Shawn Terrell shot of the older lady, a Hawk fan, at the Purdue game wearing a sweatshirt that reads, in big letters, "Iowa F---ing City"? I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
- Went to a party for the Iowa Chops at Skybox Lounge. Hockey players, generally, are among the best professional athletes to cover. They're usually nice, polite, and ready with a joke. Not all are handsome, but as Andy noted, it's always fascinating how many attractive women show up when future millionaires are on the loose and unattached.
- We went from the Chops party to Bucs game. Actually a Bucs game kind of is a party. You can always count on a good time, as long as you're not easily offended and you don't mind the smell of beer. It also helps this season if you don't mind seeing the home team lose. I thought the Bucs would be much better under J.P. Parise, but lately they're just plain bad.
- Saw "Changeling". Another excellent movie from director Clint Eastwood. Like all his films lately, I walked out saying, "That was really gripping, moving, and heartbreaking. I doubt I'll ever watch it again." If you saw "Million Dollar Baby", you know what I mean.
- Also saw "Quantum of Solace". I love Daniel Craig as James Bond. I know some fans of the series miss the playboy at the party shagging girls and tossing one-liners, but Craig is going to get to that place one movie at a time, and this one is all about pissed off vengeance. You feel the violence. It's not your father's bond. If you loved Jason Bourne, you'll love this Bond. The comparison is inevitable. The past two Bourne movies are much like this Bond. Though "Solace" isn't as good as "Casino Royale", it's much shorter and filled with non-stop action. I loved it.
- For you parents out there, or closet animation freaks, "Madagascar 2" is a winner. It passes my test of tolerable for mom & dad. Actually, it's even better than that. The equal of the first one, though not as fresh. Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, and especially Alec Baldwin do great voice work. (If Alec Baldwin's voice was a food, it would be oatmeal.)
- I sat down with Shawn Johnson for a half hour last week. It's hard to believe how much she's grown up, but that's what happens to teenagers. You go a few months without seeing them, and you can't believe the change. Shawn's had a blast on tour, though I think she's tired. I wouldn't be surprised if she sat out another semester at Valley High School, but Shawn tells me she'll definitely return for her Senior year. She said she misses the "drama" of high school life, but found plenty of similar angst on a bus full of teenage girls. I can imagine.
- Occasionally when I look at the iconic Hawkeye logo on the side of an Iowa football helmet, I'm reminded that someone had the ridiculous idea to change that logo to a more fierce Hawk (Hawk on crack, some called it). Rank that one right up there with New Coke and Mutt Lange trading in Shania Twain.
- The Tigerhawk is easily one of the best logos in sports. Instantly identifiable almost anywhere in the United States. Iowa State's Jamie Pollard would be the first to tell you how much that'$ worth.
- Pat Forde with ESPN calls Ames the worst town in the Big 12? No way. I spent a month in Stillwater one weekend. That place is the armpit of the Big 12. I was by myself, doing play-by-play for ESPN+, and made the mistake of going to see "Leaving Las Vegas". When it was over, it was all I could do to keep from drinking myself to death. Instead I went out to Stillwater's finest restaurant. I always enjoy Sonic.
- Why do some people come in and start a conversation as you're typing at work? Isn't it obvious you might actually be in the middle of a thought? Does this happen to anyone else? It happens to me at least once a day. That's why this sentence makes no thank you, I just ordered popcorn from my son's Cub Scout fundraiser.
- I went to the post office in Beaverdale yesterday, and the line was backed WAY up. I tried to figure out why, and then it became apparent. The lady who wants a detailed description of every single price option available to her in North America. Meantime others are burning a hole in the back of her head with their stares, but oblivious, she now wants all the confirmation and insurance options.
- I appreciate all the DVR suggestions. I'm going to try "11th Hour", "Family Guy", "Wire" (with the help of Netflix), "Prison Break" (more Netflix... must start at season 1), and "Real Housewives of Atlanta". You were right, it's strangely watchable, like the conceited person in a bar who can talk about herself for two straight hours.
- "Friday Night Lights" was going to be canceled by low ratings, but NBC worked a deal with DirecTV to keep it on the air. DirecTV has exclusive rights in the fall, and then NBC starts airing those episodes in January. I can't wait. I miss the Taylors.
- Good to see Anthony Edwards back on ER. It was a reminder how good that show used to be. Talk to me Goose.
- Props to UNI head football coach Mark Farley for kicking Johnny Gray and Victor Williams off the team. It could cost UNI a shot at the national championship, but it's good to know Farley will do the right thing. Most coaches don't. They offer excuses why the kids "deserve another chance", when what they mean is "it will be harder to win without them".
- It may not be the most important story, but thanks to the Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson for calling out Iowa on that ridiculous streak of "sold out" football games. When an entire section is nearly empty, as was the case a few times, it's not sold out, and there aren't just "single seats". It's no coincidence the streak ended days after the Register exposed Iowa. Iowa has some of the best football fans in America, no exaggeration or stat- padding necessary.
- If Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter had played the entire game against Iowa, I think the Hawks lose. He marched the Boilers at will.
- Iowa State fans showed up stronger than expected for the final game. It wasn't quite as cold as Ed expected, and more than 40,000 die-hards turned out anyway. Well, for the first half.
- Drake looked like a team with a new basketball coach Saturday night. Give the Dogs another month before pressing the panic button.
- Some people are just funny because they're good story-tellers. In that category, Mike Kiernan. He's funny talking about making instant mac & cheese.
- My wife gave me an iPod nano for our anniversary. I have no idea how to use it, but I don't plan on sleeping until I figure it out. I haven't been this excited since I got Rock Em Sock Em Robots.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Hassel slobberknocked, Stillwater tops Ames, and Fear the Tigerhawk.
Posted by Keith Murphy at 4:33 PM