Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for December 20th

  • A guy in the middle of a passionate bar argument just texted SoundOFF. He and his buddy are arguing whether the Iowa Hawkeyes, without Anthony Tucker, could beat Ames High School. They were serious. That's how bad perception is for Hawkeye basketball right now...
  • By the way, I wouldn't mind seeing that game, though I'd still pick Iowa to win. However, the Hawks have no one who could slow Harrison Barnes at all. He could pick his point total.
  • This is silly. I'm being sucked in.
  • Todd Lickliter is a nice man, but he must feel he can't catch a break. He comes back from serious surgery, coaches Iowa to a win over Drake, and gets woken up in the middle of the night with news his second leading scorer has been arrested (again).
  • I want this to work out for Lickliter. We need good guys to succeed whenever possible, but it's getting harder to imagine this turning the corner to Big Ten title contenders anytime soon.
  • Meantime, Steve Alford is 12-0 at New Mexico. Alford does well at mid-majors.
  • Back to Ames. That Little Cyclone team is really good. No one around here will beat Ames. Harrison Barnes is so dedicated and focused, he won't allow his team to take a night off. That's unusual for a 17 year old. Most of us were checking out the cheerleaders between plays at that age.
  • I'm one of those guys who doesn't go to the doctor unless I have a bone showing, but I should have gone sooner with my recent sickness. By the time I got to Mercy, I felt like I was dying. That's just stubborn and stupid.
  • The Colts are 14-0, but scare no one. As long as Peyton Manning's the quarterback, they should.
  • Andy and I completed the nacho pub crawl with our wives and friends this weekend. We hit a lot of places. Our top 5: 1) The Library 2) Victor's Sports Club 3) Hessen Haus (sausage nachos) 4) Limey's 5) Trophy's
  • I don't think I'll be able to eat a nacho for at least a month.
  • The Saints and Cowboys were playing during part of the pub crawl. We may be nowhere near Dallas, but we ran into a bar full of Cowboy fans at several stops. No wonder NBC is sticking with Cowboys-Redskins Sunday night.
  • Vikings fans, are you concerned? There is no doubt Brett Favre's late season fade continues. He's still good, but he's cooled WAY off.
  • Finally saw "Funny People". Like Hancock, it's a movie that starts with promise, and then jumps the tracks to Suckville about halfway through. Funny People has its moments, but it's WAY too long, and strikingly uneven. Disappointment.
  • I love year-end lists, and this year is even better because we get decade-end lists too. I buy all those magazines, and a lot of other crap I don't need that they put near check-out because they know I'll grab some of it while waiting in line with my last minute Christmas shopping.
  • I went shopping at Target Saturday afternoon. Why? Why would I do that? It was BONKERS.
  • Someone just asked me my favorite Christmas movie, and though I want to say something like, "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Christmas Story", I think I enjoy Christmas Vacation more than anything. I know it's stupid, but Clark and Cousin Eddie crack me up. I've also moved the silly but charming, Elf, in to the yearly rotation.
  • I love Christmas. How can you not love Christmas?!
  • Will the bowl games ever get here? Andy and I are headed to the Orange Bowl, Chris Hassel and Dave Olson are going to the Insight Bowl.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Things I'm Thankful for...

In no particular order, and off the top of my head, a few of the things I'm thankful for:

  • Tasty Tacos
  • My DVR
  • HD
  • Having my dad show me all the old haunts in the hometown where he grew up
  • Seeing that not much has changed in the Vermont town I grew up
  • The Patriots throwback uniforms
  • Sheriff Buford T. Justice
  • Guys movie night (for guys who like really silly movies)
  • "Band of Brothers"
  • Guinness at Cooney's Pub
  • Wrigley Field, Fenway Park
  • The new and improved Kauffman Stadium
  • Guys weekend in Milwaukee (or Denver)
  • Iowa starting 9-0
  • Paul Rhoads replacing The Chiz
  • Andy Fales' unique perspective
  • Goody's Powder when I have a really bad headache
  • My bosses at WHO TV encouraging and supporting a radio show
  • The bosses at KXnO asking me to host a radio show (with Andy)
  • The passion people in Iowa have for local sports
  • Taking kids to a movie that grownups can enjoy too (e.g. "Up")
  • Lolo Jones personality (and yes, the looks to match)
  • "Ask Gary Dolphin"
  • My parents health, and never ending support
  • Special Olympics Iowa
  • ipod, Blackberry, laptop. What did I do without these?
  • Coldplay & Bruce Springsteen live at The Well
  • Shawn Terrell's story on the Haluska brothers
  • Thanksgiving football, dinner, nap, movie
  • Twitter & Facebook. I think.
  • An unexpected email or call from an old friend
  • The steak sandwich at Noah's Ark
  • Nachos at Library
  • Sweet potato fries at Jethro's
  • J. Benjamins restaurant
  • Weekends at Clear Lake. Unless it's -20
  • Liking everybody on the anchor desk
  • Making sure you and all your friends have Gladiator nicknames (I'm "Old School", my wife is "Smash")
  • Vacation in Mexico
  • Trip to Florida ("trips" have kids)
  • Tailgating with friends at Jack Trice Stadium
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
  • The Dan Patrick Show
  • Reading the Des Moines Register and USA Today in the morning
  • PTI
  • The nice guy at Whylies who exchanged my glasses when I picked out welding goggles
  • for great Adidas kicks, shipped overnight for free
  • Raccoon Valley Little League
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Making a new friend, and knowing you'll remain friends for life
  • Lip balm
  • Pets who are potty trained
  • Diet Pepsi, diet Sunkist lemonade, and sugar free energy drinks
  • Grace Club for kids at Grace Methodist church
  • The Des Moines Playhouse
  • The Varsity Theater
  • Deck parties with friends
  • Tailgating at Iowa Speedway
  • Good friends I love and enjoy
  • BCS bowls
  • Matinee movies
  • Reading Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated
  • A trip to the book store with time to kill
  • Our pleasantly worn Beaverdale home
  • The Drake Relays
  • Freedom of speech
  • People who serve our country
  • The proud look on the face of a soldier when you surprise him or her with a simple, "thank you"
  • Laughter at work
  • The Iowa Cubs at Principal Park, especially on a summer night
  • Buc Beer Night at Buccaneer Arena
  • The look on my sister's face when she got to hang out with the Dancing with the Stars cast
  • People who enjoy their job, or start looking for another job
  • Watching kids watch fireworks
  • Sitting down for dinner with the family, no matter how busy we all are
  • Tabasco sauce on popcorn
  • Half Diet Pepsi/half 1% milk
  • Saturday Night Live, The Mentalist, 30 Rock, The Office, The Middle, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, 30 for 30, Real Sports, Community, Rescue Me, Sunday Night Football, Friday Night Lights, Glee (I know, I can't believe it either.), and 24
  • Val Kilmer in Tombstone
  • The album "Van Morrison at the Movies"
  • M&M's mixed with peanuts
  • Salsa that's hot, but not tongue damaging hot
  • Waiting until after Iowa's final drive at Michigan State to start the Gold Medal Gala
  • Having a forum to indulge stream of conciousness
  • My wife Jenny's art at Squiggles & Tandem Brick
  • When B-Ross hits the DUHHHHHHH sound effect
  • Bill Murray comedies
  • Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Roger Rosenblatt's book, "Rules for Aging"
  • Viewers & listeners who make me re-think by using constructive criticism
  • The Iowa Barnstormers III
  • Hoosiers, The Natural, all the Rockys but V.
  • The fact I got that boom boom pow
  • And above all else, my wife and kids. Without them, nothing above matters. Except the Tabasco sauce on popcorn. That's good no matter what.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for November 12th

  • My friend, Todd Roland, a former sportscaster and current good guy, was the officer shot in the hand Wednesday night. Get well soon, Todd. We're thinking of you.
  • I love Christmas, but I'm not ready in early November. Christmas Carol will have to wait.
  • Speaking of Christmas and waiting, not to mention my own hypocrisy from the above sentence, I took the kids to Bass Pro Shops Sunday to see Santa. The wait was four hours! No, we didn't wait. I can't shop for the outdoors that long.
  • It's long been believed teenagers can't keep secrets. Meet Harrison Barnes. Mr. Barnes can keep a secret.
  • I really like James Vandenberg. He looks like the high school kid who comes by and offers to mow the yard for $20, and his voice breaks like he's too young to be in his second year of college, but he's genuinely engaging without trying too hard. I think he'll play better Saturday than many people expect. Don't underestimate what a game plan designed with his inexperience in mind can do.
  • The aforementioned game plan should include Tony Moeaki.
  • Our Lincoln (high school) insider, B-Ross, says Adam Robinson is going to do everything he can to take the field in Columbus.
  • How does a heavy underdog team with less talent and a back-up quarterback making his first start find a way to win on the road? Watch the Iowa State at Nebraska game.
  • The Iowa State football seniors have played for three different head coaches. They deserve a nice send-off Saturday. Bowl eligible would be nice too.
  • Best line on the Cyclones this season goes to Ryan in Clive: " Iowa State is a 6-6 team with 2-10 talent."
  • I was listening to Jon Miller and Jim Zabel host WHO's radio Sound-Off (and they're a good team), and this one caller said, "and that's all I have to say". She then talked another 10 minutes before another, "and that's all I have to say". Five more minutes. Rinse and repeat.
  • It's hard for me to see Bobby Bowden go out this way. He deserves better.
  • I hate instant replay. I know once in a great while, video helps get a call right that impacts a game, but I can't stand what it does to the natural rhythms of a game. Now when a player catches a TD pass in the end zone, you don't fully celebrate, you wait for the inevitable replay, the painstaking delay, and the endless speculation about which way the call will go.
  • Never trust a receiver who says he caught the ball. How many times does a receiver (or d-back) talk a coach into a challenge when he clearly trapped the ball?
  • Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin hosting the Oscars?! I'm in.
  • I'm not ready for basketball. Trying, but not ready.
  • Killers Live at Royal Albert Hall is a great concert CD (and DVD).
  • Did anyone rehabilitate his image more in recent months than A-Rod? Amazing what a little clutch hitting will. Penny Lane didn't hurt either.
  • When did Sammy Sosa turn into Powder?
  • Can't wait for Colts-Patriots.
  • Power to the people! Nice job by Des Moines' Dan Cataldi. He and two friends started an online petition for the Chiefs to cut Larry Johnson before LJ became the Chiefs career rushing leader. 35,000 signatures later, it worked (or at least it didn't hurt).
  • Demi Moore is 47? Favorite Demi movies: A Few Good Men, About Last Night, One Crazy Summer, St. Elmo's Fire.
  • If Tom Brands is talking, I'm listening.
  • My new favorite SoundOFF segment, "Ask Gary Dolphin". Funny.
  • James Vandenberg says he's anti-Facebook. Interesting.
  • You know what does suck about Facebook... when you request to be someone's friend, and you know that person, and you're not accepted. That sucks! Or at least that's what Andy told me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for October 30th

  • I wish every Saturday could be like October 24th. I've never seen our state in a better mood. No one should doubt the power of football for positive community spirit.
  • Hawkeye fans shouldn't waste time being angry at this TV talking head or that sports talk radio host. Just enjoy the ride. The BCS, flawed as it, almost always sorts itself out.
  • Paul Rhoads emotional, raw, real locker room speech to his team generated more positive publicity for Iowa State in one week than the entire two year Gene Chizik era.
  • Loved hearing stories from Cyclone and Hawkeye fans about how nervous they were in the final minute last week, and how they celebrated when the clock hit zeroes.
  • Lot of debate who deserves national coach of the year more (if the vote took place now): Rhoads or Kirk Ferentz? The right answer is Ferentz. If Iowa State had won at Arrowhead and at Kansas, you could make the case for Rhoads, but since the Cyclones didn't, you can't logically go against a coach who overcame numerous key injuries and led his team to wins at Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State (not to mention, Iowa State).
  • I apologize to all the State Fair goers who cast their kernel for Iowa as the state team to win the most games. I thought the answer would be UNI. Right now, I thought wrong.
  • How can the Big 12 have a TV contract this bad?! Iowa State has already had three games not televised. It's not 1985.
  • Tim McClelland is MLB's best umpire, and a first class guy. Yes, he missed a call or two, the other 99.99% he got right. We just don't see those on an endless loop. Human error is unavoidable in baseball.
  • I like the Yankees in 7.
  • I haven't seen the Des Moines Bucs this year, though I'm looking forward to it. Are they looking any better?
  • My son was home from school with the flu and wanted to watch the latest Indiana Jones movie again. Boy, it sucks even more on a second viewing. The first hour is so promising, fueled in part by nostalgia, but once it turns to aliens and spaceships and too many special effects, it loses its way, and can't even recover with a nice ending.
  • Upset of the movie year: the rave reviews for Michael Jackson's, "This Is It".
  • My wife wants to see Paranormal Activity. One of our photojournalists, Travis Jungling, tells me it scared the living crap out of him. He's no Hassel either. He's a man's man.
  • I'm reading "Blind Side" because Jenny wants to see the movie with Sandra Bullock. When you're wife wants to see a sports movie, you celebrate. The book, so far, is terrific.
  • New TV shows I've added to the DVR: The Middle, Community, Parks & Recreation (greatly improved, and needed to be), The Good Wife, NCIS LA, Glee (sue me) and Trauma (but not for much longer). What am I missing?
  • Let me know if you hear anything about Brett Favre this weekend.
  • Andy and I enter the weekend without a costume decision for Halloween SoundOFF. Once you've been Basedow, it's all downhill.
  • New SoundOFF feature starts this week: "Ask Gary Dolphin". Mail your questions on any subject to Dolph will answer them weekly. Well, I think it's Dolph. Maybe not.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for October 19th

  • The Denver Broncos should never, ever wear those poop brown throwback uniforms again. It's not just that they recall the Padres at their Taco Bell worst, no one remembers the Broncos in these. If you're going back in time, pick out some of the sweet Orange Crush era uniforms. (Props to Southeast Polk's Kyle Orton on leading Denver to an unfathomable 6-0 start.)
  • Powder blue shouldn't work, but gosh it sure does on the Chargers.
  • The Patriots in the throwbacks, hanging 59 in the snow on the Titans, is a postcard. You just can't beat that Patriot snapping a football on the helmet. As for the Titans, it's too confusing and painful when they wear Oiler uniforms. It's also painful and confusing when the Titans quit trying in the second quarter.
  • A good friend of mine called me from Metallica Thursday night, and the Wiggles Saturday night. Only parents understand.
  • I just can't get into this baseball post-season. I'm trying, but I just don't have a rooting interest. I do like Kate Hudson though, and she's on TV more than anyone.
  • Is there a sadder commentary on the relentless pursuit of fame than "Balloon Boy"? Is there any way to blame this on Jon & Kate?
  • I work at an NBC station, and I like Faith Hill's "Waitin' all day for Sunday night", though surprisingly, I prefer Pink's year one version. I digress. No one jump starts a sporting event like Mr. Hank Williams Jr. For decades now, I try to be in front of the TV when Hank shouts, "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!" It's not new, but that song works. I concede Faith is quite a bit better looking than Hank.
  • I still don't think Iowa goes 12-0, but I see nothing worse than 10-2, and 11-1 most likely of all. 10, 11, 12... whatever... it ends in a January bowl.
  • Hawk fans should enjoy every second. This happens once ever 25 years or so. Don't worry about the loss, enjoy the wins. Ignore the buzzkills. This should be the best of times.
  • The Hawkeyes have guts, chemistry, and swagger. There are far more talented teams. Many of those teams have already lost. Can't do better than 7-0.
  • Iowa State got a mulligan when Gene Chizik bolted for Auburn. Iowa State is much improved under Paul Rhoads, and for the first time since Dan McCarney left, the players are all in. The Cyclones are a few plays from 6-1, and in future seasons, they'll learn how to win those close games (like Iowa did this year).
  • I was wrong. UNI can lose to another division 1AA team. I'm shocked. And the Panthers lost at home in front of a record crowd.
  • Nebraska is one of the greatest places on earth to watch a football game. You have to respect the proud history in Lincoln. But my goodness, some of those Husker fans take themselves, and football, WAY too seriously. We've been having some fun with that on SoundOFF. The fans still don't realize we're joking.
  • Shawn Johnson's agent has done a masterful job. The celebrity shelf life of an Olympic athlete is typically so short, it borders on cruel. The fact says Shawn is the most liked sports figure in America is a testament to Shawn's appeal (and smart planning).
  • Are any of you forced to watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta? I've made mistakes. This must be payback.
  • Jeff Pearlman's latest book, "The Rocket that Fell to Earth", is the mostly fair, almost always fascinating story of Roger Clemens and his blood thirst for immortality. It leaves no doubt Clemens is a serial cheater and liar, though also thoughtful at times.
  • I want to see, and don't want to see, Paranormal Activity.
  • Jon Miller's site is all new, and for the first time all free.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for October 5th

  • As I write this, the ESPN announcers are going over the top on the Legend of Brett Favre, but he's somehow lived up to the hype---if that's even possible. Probably not. Like many of you, I grew sick and tired of Favre's annual diva act, I had Favretigue, but there's no doubt he's good for the NFL, and good for the Vikings. I keep watching.
  • Look for the Packers-Vikings game to be the highest rated program in the 30 year history of ESPN.
  • I like these old school Vikings uniforms better. They are not quite as Arena-league looking. The Packers are classic (as always). When the helmet matches the pants, you're off to a good start.
  • The Favre commercial where he can't make up his mind about buying a TV is funny and smart.
  • I'm excited about Michigan at Iowa, but not like I expected last week. I thought Iowa would drill Arkansas State, and Michigan would win at Michigan State, and we'd have the makings of a classic. Instead, it's just a good match-up, not a great one.
  • I picked Iowa to go 9-3 and Iowa State 5-7. I think Iowa will exceed my expectations, though if Ricky Stanzi doesn't stop making ugly plays, Iowa will lose three games. Don't forget, that road schedule is brutal. 12-0 is not going to happen.
  • No one in Iowa City was excited about playing Arkansas State. Not fans. Not coaches. Obviously not players. However, the Red Wolves found a hole in that Iowa defense other teams will try.
  • Bottom line: 5-0. First time under Ferentz. 90% of the teams in the country wish they were 5-0.
  • Iowa State fans deserve better. They are so loyal despite years of gut punches, and then they suffer another one Saturday, this one more cruel than most. We all take the PAT for granted, which is what made the high-to-low crash so much harder for Clones fans.
  • I said all last week the K-State game was a pivotal one for Iowa State, and I'm not changing views now. I think a win made a bowl possible. Don't see it happening now.
  • It's hard to get too excited about UNI games until the playoffs begin. Obviously the Panthers will be there, and they're so good, it's national championship or bust.
  • Can anybody beat Dowling Catholic this season?
  • It was great to see the old Seinfeld cast on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not a great show, but had its moments.
  • Shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office love to make us squirm, but nothing was more uncomfortable than watching David Letterman confess how sex with staffers led to an extortion attempt. The unsuspecting audience kept laughing because they were waiting for a punch line. Smart of Letterman to get in front of the scandal, but still hard to watch, even harder to turn off.
  • This is exactly what I need: The 100 Greatest Hits of YouTube in 4 minutes:
  • Andy and I love talking sports movies on SoundOFF and our KXnO radio show weekdays from 2 to 4.

Keith's Top Ten

1 Hoosiers

2 The Natural

3 Rocky

4 Fields of Deams

5 Brian's Song

6 Bull Durham

7 Jerry Maguire

8 Miracle

9 Longest Yard (original)

10 Major League

Andy's Top Ten

1 Hoosiers

2 The Natural

3 Bad News Bears (original)

4 Rocky

5 Big Lebowski(?)

6 Hoop Dreams

7 Bull Durham

8 Major League

9 Dale Earnhardt Story

10 Slap Shot

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for September 28th

  • That's why the Vikings signed Brett Favre.
  • I'm all for democracy, but Fox 17 is going to have to take voting rights away from the people if they're going to pick a dog like Packers-Rams over 49ers-Vikings. It seemed bad from the start, and got worse when the Vikings home opener ended with one of the most exciting plays in franchise history. Come on fans, live up to KDSM's trust!
  • When the Sunday Night Football game ends, can NBC please just wrap it up quickly?! Do we need more analysis after five hours of it?
  • I really like this Iowa Hawkeye football team. That was no fluke at Penn State. The Hawks gave up a touchdown on the first play, and then DOMINATED. Norm Parker's defense is the best in the Big Ten.
  • Make it 7 of the past 8 for Kirk Ferentz against Joe Paterno. Iowa looked so smart and well coached at Penn State, the broadcasters couldn't stop talking about it.
  • I think this was the biggest win of the Ferentz era. Unlike the others, there is no previous loss, so it's all still out there for Iowa. (Vote your choice on our Web poll.)
  • Hawk fans are going to go bonkers, and they should. This is the fun part.
  • Big Ten quarterbacks will see Adrian Clayborn in their nightmares.
  • Here's how credible the coaches top 25 poll is: Penn State is ranked four spots higher than Iowa.
  • Don't look now but Iowa State is 3-1. Check that, go ahead and look. Iowa State is slowly improving---something it didn't do last year---and a win against beatable K-State Saturday would leave ISU two wins from bowl eligibility.
  • Great job by Iowa State honoring Army Saturday night. Several goose-bump moments.
  • Why isn't there a Steak-N-Shake in Central Iowa?
  • I hope the Iowa Barnstormers move up without losing their fans. Affordability, fun, and football are the three main draws at Stormer games.
  • I think I was the only person in Iowa not at the Dave Matthews Band concert.
  • I was at Bruce. That was a great show. Best I've seen from Springsteen. And he turned 60 two days later.
  • Smart move by Harrison Barnes. Announce your college choice before the season, concentrate on Ames winning another state championship.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for September 15th

  • I don't think Iowa State's as bad as the Cyclones looked Saturday, and Iowa's not quite that good. But make no mistake, Iowa ended all discussion about who's better. That was an old fashioned butt-whupping. I picked Iowa, but not by 32.
  • Worst part about Iowa State being thumped? Not getting to watch a frustrated Andy Fales press the Jack Trice Stadium "play" button for Sweet Caroline. (I've noticed Iowa State only plays the American classic when the Cyclones are winning, tied, or on a roll. It hasn't been played much the past few years.)
  • Austen Arnaud is a good guy who had a terrible game. If he doesn't greatly improve his accuracy and reads in the Spread, Iowa State won't win more than two games.
  • As Ricky Stanzi goes, so goes Iowa. He and Arnaud had a "who can suck less" competition going in the first quarter, but Stanzi won in a landslide. Against good BCS teams, he can't start as slowly as he did against UNI and Iowa State. If he does, Iowa will lose.
  • Kirk Ferentz won't be able to keep true Freshman Brandon Wegher out of the line-up for long. Electric.
  • Paul Rhoads does not want to talk about the road losing streak. Okay. But everyone else will talk about it until it ends.
  • This just in: The road losing streak will end Saturday at Kent State.
  • The best quarterback in Iowa this season is UNI's Pat Grace. He's our Tim Tebow.
  • I ate my first Smashburger this week. Mmm. Good. We still need a Steak-N-Shake around here, but Smashburger will do for now.
  • The first Jay Leno Show was better than I expected. Jay looked relaxed and the show hit the ground running. That's not easy. The temptation when you start a new program is to try and jam too much entertainment into one show, and come off like you're trying way too hard. Jay is not edgy, but he's familiar and comfortable. I think that will appeal to a lot of people looking to laugh and relax before bed. One thing's for sure, NBC can't do any worse from 9 to 10 than it's done the past five years. We know. Our newscasts have had to pick the ratings up off the floor, and climb way up the ladder.
  • Kanye West will never live down that idiotic interruption. People forgive most law-breaking before they do self-centered rudeness. Props to Beyonce for showing how to be a big star and still have class. I will give credit to Kanye for what appears to be a sincere apology to Taylor Swift and the rest of the offended world.
  • I'm surprised Kanye doesn't play tennis. What in the world was Serena Williams thinking?! Even mild-mannered Roger Federer acted like a complete bully this week. As USA Today asked, "What Happened to Civility?"
  • The Patriots should never go back to their old uniforms. The AFL throwbacks were sweeeeet. Bills, Chargers, even the Raiders--- they all looked better Monday night, or am I just being nostalgic?
  • Thanks to all who made RVTV fun---especially the people of Grinnell, Ft. Dodge, Carroll, Ames, Iowa State University, Wilson Auto, Bob & Jo's RV in Guthrie Center, our photojournalists, sales associates, and whoever sent several cases of NOS sugar free energy drink. It kept us going on little sleep.
  • The passing of Patrick Swayze saddens me. What other classically trained ballet dancer could pull off being a tough guy bouncer (or "cooler")? Road House is my all time favorite guilty pleasure movie. Of course, it's nonsense, but it's never boring. RIP Patrick. Long live Dalton.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Scattershots for September 2.

  • Jewel Hampton being out for the season is NOT devastating to Iowa. However, it does hurt.
  • Jewel, the folk singer, could rush for 3 yards a carry behind Iowa's offensive line.
  • Increasingly, college football teams must carefully consider their first game opponent because the opener has become a dumping ground for suspensions. OWIs, PAULAs, whatever. Got to sit those guys down for one game. The running total going into Suspension Saturday: UNI 5, Iowa 3, Drake 3. Subject to change.
  • UNI is a 1AA elite power. With all due respect, Iowa should still roll the Panthers by 20.
  • I think the Iowa State - North Dakota State game will be over before halftime. The Cyclones will show off their new offense by scoring at will.
  • Don't forget Grand View at Drake Saturday night. First time the Dogs have played a Des Moines opponent since 1918. Remarkably, the Cubs were already 10 years into their title drought.
  • This year's RVTV road trip to the Big Game starts in Grinnell Monday, goes to Ft. Dodge Tuesday, Carroll Wednesday, and lands in Ames at Jack Trice Stadium Thursday until Saturday night. We'll also do the "Murph and Andy" radio show on the road. Come see us, if you get the chance. And if you have a story idea,
  • Things I'm really looking forward to on RVTV: camaraderie, meeting viewers/listeners, staying in town squares, local restaurants and bars, watching stupid movies only guys love, laughing a lot, working outdoors, waking up a few feet from the big game.
  • Things I'm not looking forward to RVTV week: the smell, the lack of sleep, trying to wake Chris up, the possibility I'll accidentally drink from a spit cup, using kybos, gaining five pounds, drinking so much sugar free Red Bull I can't fall asleep, the feeling of claustrophobia while showering, missing my family.
  • Why in the world would the Vikings split Favre out wide so he could throw a (cheap) block?
  • Michigan, and likely every other college football team, spends way more than 20 hours a week on football. The key is all players know there's nothing voluntary about voluntary workouts.
  • What a start to Football Friday with the Ankeny-Waukee double overtime classic. Don't know how Valley-Dowling can top that. Can't wait to see them try.
  • Love how Dowling Catholic, which plays its home games at Valley Stadium, moves this game to Drake Stadium to try and take the Tigers out of their comfort zone. Smart.
  • Inglourious Basterds is a must see, if you can take the bursts of graphic violence. Original, suspenseful, and thrilling---with a dash of Tarantino weirdness.
  • One of my pet peeves: the kids knowingly put the lemonade jug back in the fridge with just a couple ounces left in it---not enough to have a glass---but enough for them to convince themselves they don't need to take a minute and make a new batch of Crystal Lite.
  • My son, Cade, tried out for a play at the Des Moines Playhouse last week. He was so nervous, but he dug deep and gave it his best shot. He didn't get the part, but he did learn he's capable of anything. That's an awesome lesson.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scatterthoughts for August 27th

  • I already miss the Urbandale All-Stars. They played well, played hard, and played for love of the game. The boys also gave refreshingly honest, and often insightful, answers to Chris Hassel's questions.
  • Can you imagine being 12 and winning a World Series game?! I wish.
  • Ames High's Harrison Barnes talked with Andy and me on our radio show about his final six. He gave solid reasons for all six---Duke, NC, OU, KU, UCLA, Iowa State---but I found most interesting his comments about Duke helping make him a good man.
  • The older I get, and the more I go to Major League baseball games, the more I appreciate Principal Park and the Iowa Cubs.
  • It sounds like Brett Favre has little support in the Vikings locker room. Where's the loyalty from his teammates? He's being treated like he didn't sweat and toil through training camp with those guys... Right. Never mind.
  • The daughter of former Roosevelt track star Kim Carson has Acute Leukemia. Bailey is 5 years old. Saturday at Lillian's in Valley Junction, unique handbags are being sold with all proceeds going to Bailey. If you can, please stop by "Bags for Bailey" between 1 and 3.
  • Rusty Wallace says we all need to pump our brakes about a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Iowa Speedway. It's good advice. Nationwide Series is enough for now, and far more affordable.
  • I know Valley lost 20 starters, but I'm not too worried about the Tigers struggling, are you?
  • How can the Cubs be this bad? And the Cardinals this good?
  • I've made fun of the Bengals for years, and now I kind of like them. That's the power of HBO's Hard Knocks. I even get a kick out of Ocho Cinco.
  • USA Today came up with every college football team's "Golden Years". For Iowa, it's 1956-1960 under Forest Evashevski. For Iowa State, 2000-2005 with Dan McCarney.
  • Need help coming up with a fantasy football team name?
  • Alright, I admit it, the new guy for Journey is really good. I still prefer the original.
  • Come on football season. Get here!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for August 14th

  • "Idiot of the Week" award to the Cubs bleacher bum who tossed a full cup of beer at the Phillies Shane Victorino. The Cubs players look bad enough this season, the fans don't need to make it worse.
  • I didn't think it was possible but HBO made me care, if only for a short while, about the Cincinnati Bengals. "Hard Knocks" combines great storytelling with incredible access.
  • My dog just took a dump on my Eagles gear. I had no idea he had been watching TV.
  • I know Jeff Samardzija said as far as he's concerned you can take Des Moines off the map, so why can't he stay away? (Just kidding, Jeff. We all understand your preference for Chicago, so stop throwing batting practice.)
  • Tough break---literally---for Iowa's Jordan Bernstine. Bernstine worked hard to take the #1 corner spot. He'll still have two seasons there when his ankle heals.
  • I have no idea how Jerry Crawford finds the time to run the Iowa Energy and manage the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • The Barnstormers had to have a hangover after that disappointing loss to Green Bay, but Brian Villanueva got carried away.
  • Green Bay head coach Bob Landsee embarrassed himself, his family, and his organization. I can't believe a grown man---a leader---would act like that. Sure, a few Barnstormer fans got carried away, but nothing excuses the Blizzard hothead.
  • Bruuuuuuuuuuce! Springsteen coming to Des Moines. The Well is having a career year.
  • Good to see Mario Andretti, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne all in Knoxville this week. That's a pretty good trio---though Kahne doesn't look old enough to have his license.
  • I think it's far from over for Rick Pitino. Look for the coach to take more heat as his reputation takes more hits.
  • I love the Iowa State Fair---though a little goes a long way. One day is plenty.
  • If you haven't been yet, put the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on your bucket list. Unless you don't love baseball, then make room for something else, like visiting the Pyramids.
  • The best kickoff time for me, and my tailgating wants, is 2:30 p.m. in Iowa City and 5 p.m. in Ames.
  • Todd Blythe is now receivers coach at Valley High School. The rich get richer.
  • Michigan putting Ohio State stickers on tackling dummies shows who's on top and who has the inferiority complex.
  • Was anything more predictable than the David Ortiz "accidental supplements and vitamins" defense?
  • At least Josh Hamilton was accountable. Eventually.
  • T-Pain sings the new Dolphins fight song. It's the old Oilers fight song, which was originally the Dolphins fight song. Got that? Here it is. Get ready for more auto-tune:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scattershots thoughts from August 5th

  • Iowa State football has such a different vibe around it right now. Even if the Cyclones don't win much, they'll have more fun, and the fans will too.
  • Paul Rhoads can't contain his excitement, and it's contagious. Iowa State needs that.
  • Great decision to put the names back on the jerseys. Nothing is more hollow than, "we play for the name on the front of the jersey". The names are for the fans (but players like the recognition too).
  • Media days are interesting. We ask countless questions, even though practice hasn't started yet.
  • Paul Rhoads wants to raise expectations, Kirk Ferentz will try to downplay them. It's the smart play by both men.
  • If Iowa played in the Big 12 North this season, I think the Hawks contend for the division title, but I'd still pick Nebraska. As for the overall champion, that team is coming from the South.
  • Jason Campbell on the cover of Sports Illustrated? I love when SI arrives and that's a dud. Kind of the way I felt when Entertainment Weekly just sent its vampire edition.
  • The Cubs and Cards trading first place in August is awesome.
  • Bills vs Titans in the Hall of Fame game Sunday on channel 13! Meaningless, but still exciting.
  • I hope ESPN is aware the Red Sox & Yankees play this weekend.
  • New traffic cameras in Heath, Ohio helped the city issue 10,000 tickets. Now that's good safety.
  • LenDale White lost 30 pounds by giving up tequila? I'm surprised my college roommate wasn't manorexic.
  • Great news for GI Joe fans. The movie with terrible buzz is reportedly good---especially for kids.
  • Still haven't seen "Funny People". I think it has a chance to contend for favorite Adam Sandler movie. I rank them: 1)Happy Gilmore 2)Wedding Singer 3)Reign Over Me 4)Big Daddy 5)Billy Madison 6)50 First dates 13)Waterboy
  • The AFL folding will make the Barnstormers franchise more valuable. Keep the ticket prices reasonable, and even more fans will follow.
  • AAU Junior Olympians are spending money all over town. I see them everywhere. Thank you for stimulating our economy.
  • The U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway was well planned, well executed, and well worth the sunburn I suffered by tailgating for 8 hours. I forget as my hair thins, more scalp is exposed. I'll use sunblock as hair gel next time.
  • My wife and I are taking my dad to visit his older brothers this weekend. We've worked in a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I can't wait. Haven't been there since I was a kid. I'm sure I'll feel like one again Saturday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scattershot thoughts from July 29th.

  • I was wrong. Brett Favre won't start the season in a purple 4 jersey. To again quote Clark Griswold, if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised.
  • "You're our guy, Sage. We believe in you. We have all along. The guys who kept texting Brett have your back too... unless they're texting Tavaris. In that case, they're completely behind him."
  • I think it takes a person with a sick mind to do the things Michael Vick did, but I do believe after nearly two years in prison, the NFL needed to reinstate him and let the market decide. I still hope no one hires Vick, and I'm not convinced anyone will--- at least not this season.
  • It's great to have the Cubs and Cardinals trading first place back and forth this late in the season.
  • 45 up and 45 down from Mark Buerhle is once in a lifetime stuff. If you live to be 100.
  • Urbandale is the best city in Iowa. Really? Urbandale? I know a lot of people with sweet homes in U-dale, and the high school sports teams show up strong, but I don't really even think of Urbandale as a city. Quick, what do you picture as the Urbandale landmark? Cobblestone theaters?
  • Iowa ranks as the 12th best party school in the country. Parents hate this, students love it.
  • Good news and bad news for Marshalltown's Jeff Clement. Good: he's traded to a team who wants him. Bad: it's the Pirates. Jeff's a good guy. I hope he finally breaks through.
  • I've changed my mind about Pete Rose. I think he belongs in the Hall of Fame as a player, but there would have to be a mention he bet on baseball as a manager. It will never happen.
  • I wasn't the only one who thought Gene Chizik was a bad fit for Iowa State. The more the players open up, the more we see how glad they are Paul Rhoads is the head coach.
  • Kirk Ferentz doesn't care how many games you or I think his son should be suspended. Ferentz will do what he thinks is right. I respect that, even as I disagree.
  • I loved our video of the river rescue heroes being honored by the city, and they're all in their sweaty work clothes, and they just want to get back to the job. It's that humble mindset that led to their selfless acts in the first place.
  • Phil Mickelson wants to buy 105 Waffles Houses. How much does this guy love "Tin Cup"?
  • Interest in the WNBA is dropping. Dropping from what?
  • The Barnstormers playoff opponent changed because the scheduled team didn't pay its bills. That's a first. And good thing the AHL didn't do that this past season or the Chops wouldn't have played much.
  • Of all the "Dancing with the Stars" celebrities, I was most impressed by Steve-O, of all people. (He and the naked guy, Gilles, from "Sex and the City" spent the most time with fans.) Steve-O signed countless autographs and posed for dozens of pictures, some with Girl Scouts who you hope know him from dancing, and not butt-rockets.
  • I think Shawn Johnson is again giving serious thought to competing again in 2012. I think she was leaning the other way until a few weeks ago.
  • I can't believe the "shocking twist" in "Orphan". The "Sixth Sense" can sleep easy.
  • "G.I. Joe" looks cheesy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts from July 20th

  • Smart move by the University of Iowa to extend Kirk Ferentz's contract through 2015. It won't keep him in Iowa City if he wants to leave, but it's looking more and more like this is Kirk's last job. It's a good fit.
  • No raise and Ferentz still stands to make a minimum of $21 million. Not to mention 35 hours a year in a private jet. K-Diddy.
  • Jamie Pollard and Iowa State leveraged their top asset, the Iowa football game, to raise money two years ago. You had to buy Cyclone season tickets to see the game in person. I understood it, but didn't support it. I thought it took too much liberty with the leverage. Conversely, this year's $99 season ticket fan packs, one which includes the Iowa game, are a great idea at a time when many people could use a break.
  • Terrific new commercial for Iowa State football. Hits all the right notes in the post-Chizik debacle era.
  • Which soap opera lasted longer, Guiding Light or Favre the Viking?
  • Good to see Lolo Jones run the fastest 100 meter hurdle time in the world this year. Lolo needed a confidence boost. She got one in 12.47 seconds.
  • I am sickened by what Michael Vick did, and wonder if any decent person is capable of such cruelty and torture, but I think the NFL should reinstate Vick and see if any team will hire him (I don't think a team will, at least not this season). Andy thinks the NFL should ban Vick for life. (Be sure to watch Andy's passionate and well thought out take in the video player on the sports page.)
  • I am really disturbed by the Erin Andrews peephole video taping. It's such a creepy violation of her privacy, and I can't imagine how shaken up she is. I hope it doesn't hurt her confidence or career in any lasting way.
  • I love the Tom Watson story. One of golf's great appeals is that you can play it competitively for a lifetime. Watson nearly winning the British Open doesn't weaken or change my opinion of what golf is, and isn't, at all.
  • Thank you golf fans of Scotland for showing us a tournament free of knuckleheads yelling, "Get in the hole" every time someone swings.
  • I didn't like "Bruno". I laughed hard several times, and I think Sasha Baron Cohen is a fearless talent, but I found the movie disturbing, graphic, and, at times, mean-spirited. I'm shocked it wasn't rated NC-17.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, "High School Musical 2" at the Des Moines Playhouse. My two youngest boys loved it. Wholesome entertainment is most welcome after the Bruno sleaze-fest.
  • Let me get this straight: Nastia Liukin wins the ESPY for Best Female Athlete, but Shawn Johnson wins the ESPY for Best Female Olympian?
  • This weekend, Nastia competes at Vets, while Shawn dances across the street at the Well. What are the odds?
  • After the second episode of the new "Entourage", I figured out why the critics are beating up the new season. It was one of the weaker offerings ever. I'm hoping Vinny and the boys bounce back.
  • Jeremy Mayfield's stepmother signs an affidavit she saw him use meth more than 30 times, and his response is, "She's a whore". This does not help convince people you're not on meth.
  • PETA wants an I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Cow. Good luck with that.
  • The most insightful and fair article I've seen on the movement to make Michael Jackson a victim: (Thanks to Ryan in Clive for sending this)
  • I didn't think a mash-up with Rick Astley and Nirvana could work, but this is oddly fascinating:
  • Congrats to the Barnstormers on making the playoffs. Tickets now on sale. They put on a good show---especially if you have a short attention span.
  • Where was I?
  • I love going to I-Cub games---even when it's 55 degrees in mid-July.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Murph's Stream of Consciousness for July 15th

  • I love the All-Star game. The introductions are my favorite part. Makes me feel 10 again. I love the step forward and tip of the cap.
  • The pregame was terrific. Loved the All-Stars Among Us tribute, including all living Presidents.
  • To my relief, Sheryl Crow didn't butcher the Anthem as I've seen her do in the past. She was okay.
  • It was great to see the Cardinals Hall-of-Famers, especially Stan Musial. I know some Cardinal fans are disappointed Musial didn't get the Ted Williams treatment from players, but if the same feeling's not there, they shouldn't force it.
  • Barack Obama can work a locker room like no President I've seen. He needs to work on that rainbow first pitch though. Not as bad as his bowling, but a clear sign of someone who hasn't thrown a baseball much in his life.
  • Major cool points to the President for wearing a White Sox jacket and not pandering to Cardinals fans. Do you think Hillary Clinton would have done that?
  • Game was pretty good too, though the National League can't get out of its own way. At least this year John Bachman wasn't worried about whether the outcome would keep the Cubs from having home-field advantage in the World Series.
  • Keno Davis is averaging more than one contract extension per year.
  • I was skeptical about the Chiefs paying $63 million for Matt Cassel, a guy with one year as a starting quarterback since high school, but the NFL Network's Paul Burmeister tells me he thinks it's a smart move.
  • Paul also said he has serious questions about the leadership of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
  • Paul's most underrated NFL player? Peyton Manning. Think about that for a minute.
  • Tony Romo reportedly dumped Jessica Simpson the night before her birthday. Andy thinks this was to save money on a gift.
  • Florida's Urban Meyer says he'll never coach at Notre Dame. Based on the track record of college coaches who make statements like this, it's time for Charlie Weiss to watch his back.
  • UNI is putting in new turf. Thank goodness. The Panthers old field feels like worn out cheap carpet spread over a concrete floor.
  • It's good news that Jewel Hampton may be in uniform for the UNI game. We had two different sources tell us Hampton partially tore his ACL and would likely miss considerable action. Kirk Fernentz---through Gary Dolphin---says Hampton did injure a knee ligament, but doctors think he should be ready for the opener.
  • The more I get to know LeBron James, the less I like him. He's a once in a lifetime talent, and as far as I know, a law-abiding citizen, but he has some punk tendencies. We saw the first sign of it with the bad sportsmanship after the Magic crushed the Cavs, and another look when LeBron (reportedly) conspired with Nike to prevent anyone from seeing the King get dunked on. That's just stupid. Plus, it only makes us want to see that tape more.
  • NASCAR says Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for meth AGAIN. Keep this guy off the track.
  • Brett Favre says he'll let the Vikings know by July 30th if he's their quarterback. In other news, Brett Favre will announce July 30th that he's coming out of retirement to quarterback the Vikings.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts from July 7th

  • I am 100% confident our Hawkeye Insider, Jon Miller, is correct: Jewel Hampton injured his knee. I don't think it's a strain. (update on 7/10: Gary Dolphin said on WHO Radio that Kirk Ferentz told him Hamilton did, in fact, injure a ligament in his knee during non-contact drills, doctors want another look, but at this time, they don't think surgery is necessary. Hamilton could be ready for the season opener against UNI.)
  • Can someone please just rip the band-aid off the Iowa Chops? It hurts to do it this slowly.
  • Steve McNair's violent death and tainted legacy will give straying married men longer pause than anything since the movie Fatal Attraction.
  • I can't believe how much Michael Jackson polarizes people. I'm in the fan camp, though he lost me the past 15 years. The weirdness overshadowed the talent.
  • I think Jackson's death, and the over-the-top news coverage, did remind many of us of Jackson's stunning catalogue of music, videos, and live performances. Underrated writer too.
  • It took dying, but Michael Jackson is finally back on top, more popular than ever.
  • My Heisman handicap going into next season: 1) Tebow 2) McCoy 3) Pryor 4) Bradford 5) Everyone else
  • Does Rasheed Wallace make the Celtics the team to beat in the East? Or did Shaq elevate the Cavs?
  • "Major League 4" is in the works. Anyone think this is a good idea?
  • Andy Roddick did more for his image while losing than any time he ever won. Roddick's match with Roger Federer was epic. Roddick answered all questions about his heart, head, and stones.
  • I still think Federer vs. Nadal at last year's Wimbledon was the greatest tennis match of all time.
  • The Williams sisters are underrated. Not just in the rankings, but as historical sports figures.
  • I hate being right about fans cheering cheating Manny Ramirez like some kind of returning hero, but few can resist the power of celebrity these days.
  • Good to see Tiger Woods showing a little personality by interviewing himself after winning his own tournament. Chris Rock shouldn't get nervous, but it was better than RoboTiger.
  • The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is disgusting and riveting. Once a year is enough.
  • Do you watch HBO's Real Sports? Lenny Dykstra is nuttier than a squirrel turd.
  • The World University Games experience for Craig Brackins and Lucca Staiger will be one more piece of the puzzle in Iowa State finally have a good season under Greg McDermott.
  • I know the movie "Bruno" will make me uncomfortable from start to finish, but I can't wait to see it. I just won't see it twice. I fell out of my seat laughing at Borat, but I've never been able to watch again. I suffer from secondhand embarrassment.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Scattershot thoughts from June 29th

  • Parkersburg has provided us with endless examples of how this town represents the best of us, but none better than the support of the Becker family.
  • I've thought this before, but now it really hits home. Tiny Aplington-Parkersburg has four players in the NFL. That's unbelievable. Thomas must have been some coach. Word is, he was an even better man.
  • I still can't believe the 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson's death on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and other networks---days later. I guess it's the perfect storm of worldwide famous entertainer with a stunning body of work and long history of creepy weirdness dying before his time under mysterious circumstances.
  • Back before all the plastic surgery, molestation accusations, and prescription drug addiction, I saw MJ in concert. It was the best live performance I've ever seen.
  • Farrah Fawcett got a raw deal even after the end. She went from headline to footnote. I had her iconic poster on my wall way back when. It seemed racy at the time. Tame now.
  • I found myself following USA soccer this week, and like many bandwagon jumpers, I actually thought we might be having the long promised breakthrough moment with the win over Brazil. No way to lose a 2-0 lead in soccer! Never mind.
  • Albert Pujols is not human.
  • Manny Ramirez is.
  • Could anything upset Cubs fans more than Mark DeRosa going to the Cardinals?!
  • The Cubs don't have what it takes to win a championship. They may not even have what it takes to win a mediocre division. Too many headcases, too few leaders.
  • A reminder, it's WimbleDon, not WimbleTon.
  • Chris Evert is right: too much grunting in the women's game. On "Murph & Andy", we played a clip of Williams vs Sharapova. One listener said he thought he was listening to Cinemax.
  • I really thought Shawn Johnson would return for her Senior year at Valley. I think there's next to no chance we see her competing in London.
  • I hope all Lolo's bad luck and misfortune is used up long before London. That woman deserves gold.
  • The girls "sport" with the most disabling injuries---by far---is cheerleading.
  • Josh Hamilton is a guy I'd pay to see, especially batting practice. It will be a bargain if Hamilton swings at Principal Park to start the fireworks early.
  • I'm proud of Chris Hassel for completing his Hy-Vee Duathlon.
  • I love vacation with extended family and friends. It's fun, but not exactly relaxing. The only reason I enjoy seeing a vacation end is so I can catch up on my rest.
  • Disney World in June has a lot of happy faces---and they're all 8 and under. The parents look miserable.
  • Another NASCAR Sprint Cup race decided by fuel conservation strategy. It's like having a lead in the 6th inning and hoping for rain.
  • Shawn Terrell will watch the Coke Zero 400 just to show support for the sponsor.
  • Henrick Motorsports moved into our Daytona rental as we moved out. They jokingly complained about us leaving them "crappy beer". It was Bud Light Lime.
  • Kids say Transformers 2 is better than the first. Adults say it's too long and too loud. I haven't seen it. I did see "Pelham 123" with my dad. Pleasant surprised. We liked it.
  • I hope Ricky Rubio somehow plays for the T-Wolves. We need a reason to remember Minnesota has an NBA team.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts from June 18th

Even the Vikings owner knows Brett Favre's calling the shots... The AHL business model in Des Moines was destined to fail from the jump... I love the U.S. Open at Bethpage... As I was sitting in my favorite recliner, my wife called to inform me she had just sold something on Craig's List: MY FAVORITE RECLINER!.. A guy who corked his bat also corked his body? Say it aint So(sa)... Signing Pedro Martinez would fix all the Cubs hitting problems... Shawn Johnson laughed at the Onion... Jose Canseco went from looking like a cartoon to actual being one, but the whisteblower still did more for the game than most, no matter his motives... Jamie Pollard is doing a good job in the areas his boss cares about most. That's the reason for the vote of confidence... Has anybody checked on the Barnstormers this week? When you see someone choking like that, you should always make sure they're okay... I'm not a fan of watching someone win a race because some other driver mismanaged his fuel. I want to see speed, not conservation... Good for Kyle Orton... High School umpire Don Briggs was smart to let the story of him ejecting an entire crowd die down, but most people just wanted to pat him on the back... The movie "Major League" is 20 years old? How is that possible? "Up your butt Jobu"... I watched three movies on DVD this week. "Run Fatboy Run" was better than expected, "Righteous Kill" worse than expected, and "U571" just as expected. Gripping... Coldplay at Wells Fargo Arena was one of my three favorite shows of all time. Great seats, good friends, and a band working hard to make it a memorable night... NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Donte Stallworth indefinitely. Good. Taking a man's life, while driving drunk, should cost more than 30 days... Kirk Ferentz sent the wrong message to his team, the media, and Iowa fans when he reacted defensively and sarcastically to questions about his son's arrests and suspension. He's just sick of it... Paul Rhoads, a first time head coach, will make more than five million dollars over the next five years, and he's the lowest paid coach in the Big 12? When did the train jump the tracks... I'm going on vacation. It won't be to the Boundary Waters... For anyone interested, I'll update the family circus on Twitter (keithmurphy13). I promised Andy I would no longer take a laptop or get emails on Blackberry. I'm trying... Finally, good luck to Chris Hassel in the Hy-Vee Triathlon. And by that, I mean good luck to anyone running or biking anywhere near Chris. His wife, Kristin, will do the swimming. She's normal...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts, June 12th

Tim Floyd is likely the sacrificial lamb for all the scandalous accusations lobbed at USC's athletic department. As one writer put it, Floyd was the 13th most important coach at USC---behind Pete Carroll and his 11 football assistants... Floyd always knew the coach with the best players usually wins, and he was willing to do just about anything to get those top recruits, but I'm still stunned he's yet to speak up and say he didn't pay cash for O.J. Mayo... Floyd always had a wandering eye. If it weren't the Bulls, it would have been someone else. For every job he's taken, he's quietly pursued two others... None of that changes Floyd's significant contributions to Iowa State basketball for a short time. It was a great run... Worst thing Tim did was allow his players and assistants to get the news from the media that he'd resigned... The Pens and Red Wings deserve a big audience for game 7. At least more viewers than "I'm a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here"... I'm watching the NBA Finals, and it's felt less interesting than several earlier series' this post-season, though that makes no sense with two OT games... Kobe's easy to appreciate, hard to love... The last thing NASCAR needed for its constant battle with redneck stereotyping is a driver reportedly testing positive for Meth... Raul Ibanez came to his own strong defense. I don't think we've seen anyone firmly deny steroid use like that since Rafael Palmeiro or A-Rod. Bad examples. Actually, I believe him... How fast did the Royals go from 18-11 to 24-33?... The Brett Favre soap opera is like a bad movie. I should turn the channel, but I can't... Speaking of bad movies that suck you in, Road House tops my list followed by Tango & Cash and Saving Silverman... Letterman already beating Conan. That didn't take long... Megan Fox has hammer thumbs. Why do we find a supposed flaw on one of the hottest women in the world? Must make us feel better about our messed up selves... The Venezuelan government has banned Coke Zero. Shawn Terrell better stay out of that country... Movie you watched with your parents you wished you hadn't? For me, it's Something About Mary and Crank... Kyle Busch looked like a complete doofus smashing that guitar after winning in Nashville... The Hangover is hilarious, though we don't need any more R-rated comedies with frontal male nudity played for laughs... It's not good for the Cubs when Bob Brenly is urging any Little Leaguers watching to turn off the TV... Phil Mickelson never looked more human than he did when talking about the love and admiration he has for his wife, who has breast cancer... Britney Spears is coming to Des Moines? Thank goodness it's Iowa-Iowa State football week or my wife would have me at Wells Fargo Arena... Did anyone watch the Major League Baseball draft?... Not much beats a summer deck party with good friends... The last thing Rick Stanzi needs is comparisons to a young Tom Brady... I'm sorry to see Little League season winding down, but it will be nice to have time for something else on weekends...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts for June 6th

Since Chris Hassel was willing to openly talk about how much "The Notebook" makes him cry, I'll say how amped I am to see Coldplay in Des Moines Friday night... Growing up, the two movies that always made me cry were "Brian's Song" and "The Champ". As an adult, it's "Field of Dreams" and "Saving Private Ryan"... George Karl says Jesus couldn't defend Kobe. That's silly. Jesus could turn Kobe to stone... The NBA Finals ended after one game. It's over... Any Bronco fans who defends Brandon Marshall has his or her head buried in the sand... I think Randy Johnson will be the last 300-game winner I see in my lifetime, and I'm hoping I live for a while... Whenever I get a news bulletin from the Des Moines Register, I worry Principal has had to lay off more people... How about Tiger's chip-in at the Skins with Jack? Awesome... Former I-Cub Randy Wells has pitched well enough to win several times. Welcome to the Cubs, Randy... Kate Hudson & A-Rod? At least Kate doesn't artificially enhance... All you need to know about some college football fans losing all perspective is that Tennessee's quarterback reportedly received death threats... I thought the Royals would matter this season. They do when Greinke's pitching... The #1 auction item request from the Old Yankee Stadium? Urinals... The Phoenix Mercury wearing an ad for Lifelock is the tipping point for a trend we'll see a lot more of. Heck, when you get right down to it, we already see it in college football with Nike... Nice 2 for 1 coaching deal at Iowa State with Chris Bono joining his friend Kevin Jackson in the wrestling room... Sammy Sosa says he'll wait patiently for the Hall of Fame. That's good Sammy, because that wait will end as soon as the Hall opens a wing for strongly suspected steroid cheats... Tony Larussa sues Twitter. I read about that on Twitter (keithmurphy13).... I'm watching "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here" to see if Spencer Pratt is as big a D-bag as Hassel says he is. He is. Or he's a genius... Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, died. I saw her at Peoples in Ames 15 years ago. She was great... There's definitely a double standard for drug cheats in the NFL. It hardly came up when Rodney Harrison retired from the Patriots and joined the NBC Sunday Night Football team... Eric Peterson reports Cael Sanderson tries not to go out when he's in Ames because of some knucklehead hate from wrong-headed Cyclone fans. Cael delivered 4 national championships, a gold medal, and some class. Be disappointed, but wish him well... Apparently Charles Barkley can say whatever he wants.... LeBron was fined and did apologize. I guess that ends the discussion about whether he was wrong... It's too early to put your Chops gear on e-bay, but it doesn't look good. Worst case scenario is a lower league putting a team in WFA. Yuck... Soccer will never pull crowds in America as long as 0-0 games are common (and they are)... Will Ferrell scored all kinds of cool points for me on "Man vs Wild" in the Arctic Circle. He didn't just do a cameo. He got into it. "Land of the Lost" still looks awful though... I missed Andy on KXnO this week but really had a good time with Chris, Shawn Terrell, and Bryce Miller. Thanks guys...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Remember Chuck Harmison?

Harmison led Ames to an undefeated basketball season 33 years before Harrison Barnes did. Harmison later went on to play for Iowa State and then bounced around pro basketball like Paul Shirley, only before Shirley.

Anyway, for those who remember Harmison, or know him as the CEO now, a journalism teacher in Kansas made a documentary. If you have any interest, contact: Michael Swan at Rubi Slipper Productions, 1403 Park Ave. El Dorado, KS 67042
Cell: 316-323-9049

The documentary will likely not hold the interest of anyone who's not familiar with Chuck, but for those who are, it's a 30 minute trip to a time that seems even longer ago when watching video.


(scattershot thoughts below)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts from June 1

LeBron James showed bad sportsmanship. Period... The Principal Charity Classic is fun, well run, and hopefully not done... The last remaining survivor of the Titanic just died, and she never saw the Cubs win a World Series in her lifetime... In a long series featuring the NBA's no doubt, best two teams, the Lakers win... Did I really hear Charles Barkley call Kenny Smith "Numb Nuts" live on TNT?... The Stanley Cup is decided... The NHL playoffs are awesome, but they don't deliver enough viewers to keep from being bumped off NBC by "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here"... Roger Federer will win the French Open and stake a claim to greatest ever... NASCAR has done everything but give Dale Jr a head-start. He's just not that great a driver... "Twilight" won best picture at the MTV Movie Awards. Did kids actually watch the movie?... Shawn Johnson was there. Shawn Johnson is everywhere... Do you think Bruno teabagging Eminem was real or staged?... Can't wait to see what Conan does with the "Tonight Show", but I still miss Carson... Whatever happened to Arsenio?... Iowa-Iowa State kickoff time of 11 a.m. is too early... My schoolboy crush was Brooke Shields. Ah, "Blue Lagoon"... Matt and Miller are good together... Deace and Miller are good together... Nachos and Miller are good together... I'm taking the kids as an excuse, but I can't wait to see "Up"... "The Hangover" looks like the funniest movie since "Role Models"... Worst MLB uniform ever? Gotta be the '76 White Sox in shorts and pointed collars... I'm tired of rain...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Snookie's, Beam Me Up, Johnny Orr Floor,

  • Maybe it was all the crappy weather over the weekend, but gosh the sunshine feels good.

  • Is there anything better than Snookie's ice cream (an Iowa Icon) on a hot day?

  • I can't wait to see my first I-Cubs game of the year Friday and my first Barnstormers game Saturday. I also need to get to the new Kauffman Stadium in KC. Andy gives it rave reviews, even after buying 2 sandwiches, 2 fries, and 2 beers for $45.

  • The Iowa Speedway just does it right. We had a great time there this past weekend, even though it felt like January at Lambeau Field.

  • Johnston High's Brett Moffitt doesn't look old enough to have his license, but the dude can drive.

  • If you ever wondered how much better some older guys can play golf than you, check out the Principal Charity Classic. Not only will the Champions Tour golfers leave you in awe with their skills, it's a really well run, first class tournament.

  • The new Star Trek is fantastic. I don't even like Star Trek, and this movie delivered. The chemistry, spark, and tension between young Spock and young Kirk makes the movie. It's obvious director J.J. Abrams grew up on Star Wars and not Star Trek. People applauded at the end in the theater where I saw it (Cobblestone).

  • I"m happy my young friend, Shawn Johnson, won Dancing With The Stars. Shawn looked so excited, and she told me a long time ago it was her dream to be on the show. I never missed watching Shawn dancie, but I couldn't get into the rest of the show at all. Not so my mother. She watched each week with two cell phones and the house phone so she could vote more times for Shawn---not making that up. Mom called me in tears when Shawn won.

  • The 30 Rock finale was genius.

  • Mark Cuban needs to remember apologies should be delivered face-to-face whenever possible, not on blogs.

  • NBA finals will be just what the Commish wants: Lakers vs. Cavaliers.

  • Iowa State should honor Johnny Orr with "Johnny Orr Floor" or "Johnny Orr Court" or at least a street out front of Hilton Coliseum. Andy's Iowa Icon story on Johnny was a reminder of just how much Orr did for not only the Cyclone basketball program, but Iowa State's identity. Johnny Orr created Hilton Magic and set the stage for higher levels of success by Tim Floyd and Larry Eustachy. He is an Iowa Icon, and he's earned more than a banner hanging from the Hilton ceiling, though that is a good start. He's nearly 82. Don't wait too long.

  • "We're going to take it one game at a time" was our sports cliche bracket winner when the Des Moines Register's Bryce Miller took on Andy. The underdog, "We shocked the world", finished second.

  • Tana Goertz "37th hole" reference has taken on a life of its own.

  • There are new "Big Ol' Fish" pictures here at Clayton Welch of Prairie City caught this Big Ol' Bass in a pond. Check out more pictures of ginormous fish here.

Is Brett Favre a Viking yet?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Floyd's No Fool, Big Baby's a Man, I'm Done with Crackberry (sort of)

  • Tim Floyd strikes me as a coach who would do just about anything to land a recruit, as long as Floyd stays within the NCAA'S gray areas. I have a hard time believing a smart guy like Floyd would hand over an envelope stuffed with $100 bills. I have no trouble believing someone was handing money to Mayo. It never added up that he picked USC. Especially with Floyd's frequently told story of how he didn't even recruit Mayo; Mayo reached out to him.
  • Hear those crickets? Not a lot of outrage or panic about losing the AHL, or Iowa Chops. Can you imagine what it would be like if the I-Cubs were in jeopardy?
  • Mark Cuban, where did you grow up? Real man 101 teaches you to never disrespect someone's mother. Billion dollars doesn't buy common sense.
  • Big Baby is a big man. He took the high road when he apologized to that kid he accidentally bumped after hitting the game-winning shot in Orlando. The kid's dad demanded an apology? Give me a break. It was an accident and no big deal. Entitled whiners wear me out. For once, I wrote that and I'm not talking about the NBA guy in the story.
  • Ron Artest watched someone die on a basketball court from a table-leg-stabbing?! Artest really is tough. Kobe better keep that in mind.
  • Bobby Jenks: "Yeah, I was throwing at him." Good for you, Bobby. Someone should tell the truth. I support the minimal $750 fine based on the honesty principle. Jenks can find $750 in his change jar.
  • If Roger Clemens had just kept his lying mouth shut this week, no one would have noticed yet another book trashing his reputation. Clemens can't get out of his own way.
  • No regular season NFL game, let alone the Super Bowl, should ever be played in London.
  • Bobby Scales, 31 year old rookie, is a great story. Only Andy would ignore it.
  • Props to Ellis Hobbs. He kept his promise.
  • Had a great weekend at Honey Creek Resort on Rathbun Lake. Hard to find nicer people than those who are wandering the halls at that place. We also attended a breast cancer fundraiser at the Skein Block restaurant on the fabulous Albia town square. Albia has everything, except T-Mobile cell service.
  • Speaking of that, I've removed all email and Facebook settings from my Blackberry. Friends did an intervention. I was becoming that guy. When you start to ignore face-to-face communication, if only for a moment, for the unlikely chance something important just dropped into your cell phone, you're missing the big picture. Can't be that guy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mariah vs Favre, Greinke vs NASCAR, Hassel vs Hurdles

  • Bigger diva: Mariah Carey or Brett Favre?
  • I've been saying for weeks Favre would end up in a Vikings uniform, partly because he wants to stick it to Packers management, and partly because the Vikes have everything in place for a Super Bowl run, except a pro bowl caliber quarterback. Favre won't win a Super Bowl in Minnesota, and he's been bad in the playoffs for years, but he's the best option available, and it will be fun to watch. We'll have a good seat for the circus.
  • The best story in baseball is Zach Greinke. I love that he didn't want to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and when they put him on anyway, Greinke predicted it would be the worst seller in a long time. Or at least since SI put NASCAR on the cover.
  • Darryl Strawberry claims he slept with 1,000 women, or as Wilt Chamberlain calls it, a down year.
  • My educated guess is that A-Rod used steroids beyond the admitted years with Texas, but I hope Selena Roberts has more proof than the hearsay and anonymous sources in her book.
  • Love the story of the Cubs' Bobby Scales. 31 years old, substitute teacher in the off-season, 11 years in the minors, and he finally plays in the Show. This is a script Dennis Quaid would love.
  • Get the NHL teams out of the sun, and back to the cold where they belong. NHL didn't work in Phoenix? Duh.
  • Ovechkin vs Crosby deserves more viewers.
  • Has Lil' Kim always looked like that?
  • The reviews for Star Trek are so strong, I may have to go see it. I've never been a Trekkie or Trekker or whatever they call themselves, but neither has JJ Abrams, and he directed.
  • Steve Deace says Wolverine sucks. And we know how much Deace loves Wolverines.
  • Get the guest appearance Emmy ready for Michael J. Fox on Rescue Me.
  • Congrats to Chris Hassel for winning an IBNA award for "Outstanding Sports Coverage" for his reporting on Lolo Jones. Goes without saying that did not include the video of Chris running the hurdles.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reno Hightower, Earworms, Chocolate Colored Tux

Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball. I don't even see how you can debate it. Who's second?...

Go Big or Go Home. That's what the Vikings did on draft day. Percy Harvin will either be a star or a bust...

Shonn Greene did the right thing. He's nearly 24. He was the first pick on day two. He's in a perfect situation. And there's next to no way Greene would have a better season. The guy was great...

0 players drafted from Iowa State. That's how you go 0-8 in the Big 12...

Sage Rosenfels is right. It's absolutely ridiculous Matthew Stafford, who hasn't played a down in the NFL, will make far more than Tom Brady (and just about everybody else) this season...

The Cubs will come around. Cold bats, wounded players and still at .500...

Head coach at Iowa State is still one of the top five wrestling jobs in the country. Jamie Pollard can hire a guy who leads the Cyclones to a national title in the next three years---as lon as half the team doesn't leave for Happy Valley...

NBC's Chuck Todd says ESPN has helped created a society with short attention spans. Ya think...

The Register reports Des Moines could have a team in a proposed professional track league. Don't bother...

NASCAR ratings, attendance, and buzz are all way down. Why?...

"He's wearing the white shoes!" How can you not love Reno Hightower...

Anyone believe the Amish really build those fireplaces?...

I still can't believe Burger King has built an ad campaign for kids meals around the song, "I like Square butts and I can not lie"...

Andy and I spent 30 minutes of the "Murph and Andy" show talking about what Stephen King calls earworms, songs you can't get out of your head, even if you want to. For me right now, it's Poker Face, $5 Footlong, and thanks to Andy, "Daniel", as in Daniel my brother...

I'd like to apologize in advance for the soon to be seen 1982 chocolate colored tuxedo I thought looked good...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brackins, Cael, Lolo, KXnO

  • I apologize for the delay. My boss wants us all to turn in our prom pictures to go along with the "13 Fascinating Facts" at, and I've used all my available time to think of ways to avoid embarrassing myself with the Burt Reynolds Bandit look.
  • Cyclone fans have remained resilient despite numerous kicks to the gut, the most recent by Cael Sanderson. The loyalty and faith were returned by Craig Brackins. There is no doubt in my mind he would have been a first round NBA draft pick, guaranteed to make more than two million dollars. He says he has unfinished business at Iowa State. It's a smart move. Big picture, I believe Brackins will have a longer career and make more money. He needs to bulk up, and improve even more. I'm sure he'll do both.
  • No one needed that good news more than Greg McDermott, not even Jamie Pollard. It's interesting that Brackins says Mike Taylor had a huge influence on Craig staying another year at Iowa State. Taylor says the NBA is a job, a grind, and enjoy college while you can. Taylor also spoke highly of McDermott's integrity and genuine interest in what's best for Brackins. This endorsement, from a guy who was kicked off the team by McDermott. Says a lot.
  • No one knows for sure why Cael Sanderson left Iowa State for Penn State, but I think three things mattered most: More money, Iowa Hawkeyes, less pressure.
  • Lolo Jones is a force of nature. It's fun to see her charisma lift the spirits of everyone around her. Kind of like Craig Brackins in Ames.
  • Andy and I really appreciate all the well-wishes, support, and enthusiasm many of you have shared for our new radio show on KXnO, "Murph & Andy". We just completed the first week, and we had a lot of fun. We knew it wouldn't be easy, especially this time of year, but thanks to Jon Miller, Corey Coon, Greg Chance, and others, we're learning on the job. Thanks for listening in when you can.