Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ferentz entrenched, The Manzier, and why Slumdog is worth a million.

  • Kirk Ferentz isn't going anywhere. Hard to believe it was less than three months ago when many Hawkeye fans wanted Kirk gone. It's helped that Iowa football players have stayed out of trouble, but who are we kidding, it's all about winning. Team wins, fans love the coach. Hard to imagine Iowa could find a better fit than Ferentz. Ten years at one school is going the way of the affordable season ticket.
  • Passionate Big Ten fans, like my friend Hunkahawk, can try all they want to spin this bowl season, but the scoreboard doesn't lie: 1 win, 6 losses. The conference should send a thank you note to Iowa's football team (and one to South Carolina's). I think the Big 12 is a tad overrated too. Plenty of O, not much D.
  • I watched the Outback Bowl again. Iowa would have beaten a lot of good teams on New Year's day, but the Hawks didn't have to. On second viewing, South Carolina is worse than I realized. Steve Spurrier looks completely frustrated by losing, and his players look like they don't want to play for him---or themselves. That team was a dysfunctional mess. I worked in Gainesville when Spurrier arrived to coach Florida. My guess is he doesn't want to work as hard as he needs to. The man lives on the golf course. SC doesn't pull the recruits Florida does. I don't see it getting much better in Columbia.
  • I applaud Boston College Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo for taking a hard line stance against the wandering eye of head football coach Jeff Jagodzinski. DeFilippo hired Jagodzinski with the understanding he'd be there for the long haul (sound familiar?). When DeFilippo learned Jagodzinski wanted to interview for the Jets job, just two years into his five year deal, and without asking permission first, DeFilippo hold him, "Do it, and you're fired." Jagodzinski called his bluff (what he thought was his bluff), and DeFilippo fired him. Good. I'm sick of these coaches signing long term deals and then leaving whenever they feel like it---without penalty. The student-athletes can't do that, even if the coach leaves a trail of broken promises in his wake. However, if the school fires a coach, they still owe him millions. It's been a one way street for too long. Time to bring it back to some common sense. As soon as I heard Gene Chizik interviewed at Auburn, I said, and believed, Jamie Pollard should tell Chizik, "Hope for your sake Auburn hires you because you have no job to come back to here." It's ridiculous. Bravo Mr. DeFilippo.
  • Paul Rhoads is an unproven head coach, which makes him a somewhat risky hire. Rhoads is also a defensive coordinator by trade, so hiring an offensive coordinator was his first big test. He aced it. Tom Herman wore out the scoreboard at Rice, and proved he could do more with less---absolutely essential for success in Ames. Rhoads is quietly putting together an impressive staff.
  • Jon Miller knows his stuff. I kept track this season. When it comes to the Hawks, the guy knows what's going to happen 90% of the time.
  • Not sure which moment from SoundOff is more burned in my brain: Cy handing his cell phone to Andy and asking him to take a picture of Cy and Jon Miller, or the guy from the RV walking into the studio wearing that Manzier... Who am I kidding---it's Manzier.
  • Utah just blew up the fraud of a national championship known as the BCS title game. The Utes are 13-0 and beat six bowl teams including Alabama (easily). How is Utah not the champ?
  • Most exciting basketball game this week was UNI winning at Creighton. Didn't see that coming. Panthers looked great. Dana Altman looked as uncomfortable as he did doing that Arkansas Pig Soooieee chant.
  • Cowboys cut Pacman Jones. See the Scorpion and the Frog.
  • Jenny and I were planning to see "Marley and Me" Saturday night. Erin and Mike Kiernan invited us to "Slumdog Millionaire". Score one for Team Kiernan. Slumdog Millionaire is the best movie I saw this year. I had to drag Jenny---she didn't think it sounded like anything she'd like---and she loved it. It's stunningly original and will make you feel all the emotions. It's an A . Go see it. You'll be glad you did. And let me know what you think (like I have to add that).
  • Gran Torino's next on my must see list. "GET OFF MY LAWN."

Time to clean out my cluttered 2008 closet of entertainment highs and lows. Off the top of my head:

  • My favorite movies this year: Slumdog Millionaire, Role Models, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Iron Man, Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace, and Step Brothers.
  • Great movies I wouldn't watch again anytime soon (too depressing): Changeling, In the Valley of Elah.
  • Movies I found disappointing: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (title should have been a hint), Cloverfield (nearly puked, and it sucked), Speed Racer, Walk Hard, and Hancock (second half).
  • Best acting I saw all year: Heath Ledger/Batman, Cate Blanchett/Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Gene Chizik/Firmly Entrenched in Ames.
  • Three songs I couldn't get out of my head, even though I wanted to: I Kissed a Girl, Womanizer, and 5 Dollar Footlong.
  • Favorite TV shows: The Mentalist, Life, Entourage, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live (thank you Tina), House, The Office, Real Sports, Costas Now, Colbert Report, Daily Show, American Idol (sue me. At least I'm honest :-), and reruns of M*A*S*H and Seinfeld.
  • Shows I wanted to love, but couldn't: Lost, Heroes, Mad Men (maybe I needed more than one episode).
  • Show that went off the crazy cliff: Grey's Anatomy.
  • Show that almost made me get DirecTV, but I'm glad I waited for NBC return: Friday Night Lights.
  • TV show I haven't seen that 10 people have told me I must see: The Wire
  • Best mini-series I saw this year: John Adams (if you don't count my fourth viewing of Band of Brothers).
  • My favorite TV moment of the year: Andy Fales' return on SoundOff.
  • Most heartbreaking TV moment: Lolo Jones kneeling on the Beijing track in disbelief, tears in her eyes. (Western Kentucky's lucky 3 finishes second.)
  • Inappropriate song my kids love that sounds like songs I loved when I was a kid: All Summer Long by Kid Rock.
  • Most confusing song to my 4 year old, Colin: I Kissed a Girl (sung by a girl!)
  • Favorite three albums of the year: Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Accelerate by REM, Magic by Bruce Springsteen.
  • Favorite book of 2008: Why We Suck by Denis Leary.
  • Favorite year of all time: 2008. Go figure.

All the best in 2009,

Keith

32 comments:

Kirk Diggler said...

I understand the frustration with coaches coming and going faster than peach cobbler in Oprah Winfrey's house, but I disagree with BC's athletic director's decision. I do, however, believe that these crazy contracts that are offered coaches should come with heavy penalties if the coaches opt out early, ala Rich Rodriguez.
If WHO-13 took the same stance as the BC AD did, Andy Fales would still be fetching Len Dawson coffee and picking up his dry cleaning.

Anonymous said...

So Keith, do you think Sandy Hatfield-Clubb should have fired Keno after he interviewed with Providence after 1 year as the head coach?
Didn't think so.

Keith Murphy said...

Kirk Diggler (funny name),

In some cases there are heavy financial penalties, as there should be, in some there are not.

I don't blame the coaches---their agents are brokering one-sided deals to benefit their clients---but loyalty and keeping your word should count for something.

I don't think the hammer should fall in every case. To answer your question, no I don't believe Sandy Hatfield-Clubb should have given Keno an ultimatum, but Gene Chizik? Absolutely. Unlike Keno, Chizik and Jagodzinski were hired with the understanding they were in it for the long haul---the faces of their programs. Their A-D's, especially Pollard, put it all on their coaches integrity and five year plan. Two years in both are trying to find better jobs?! Sure, go look, but there's no job for you here when you return. They'd be ineffective anyway. If Auburn had made a late decision to not hire Chizik, anyone paying attention in the state of Iowa would know he didn't really want to be here. End of the era.

As for Andy, he went to his employer in KC and asked to be released from his contract for personal reasons. KMBC graciously agreed. I'm sure the fact Andy wasn't the face of KMBC had something to do with it. It sounds like that "face" might be Len Dawson if your job description for Andy is accurate. I'm just glad Andy came back to Iowa, and wanted to work at 13 again. As I've said before, it's an unexpected second act which I appreciate every day.

Thanks for the feedback. You may be right, I may be wrong, but we feel the way we feel. It's fun to discuss.

Keith

Anonymous said...

Keith - regarding all of the movies and tv shows on your 2008 list, the big question is, where do you find the time to watch all of these? I thought you had kids, a wife and a job.

WindBreak247 said...

You scared me there for a sec, Keith. I was afraid you were about to completely neglect Friday Night Lights in your lists. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

So, I NEED to know... when does Friday Night Lights start back up again? With our dvr, I haven't seen a preview in a while! Our whole family has been waiting!

WindBreak247 said...

It is 1/16 (next Friday) on NBC.

Anonymous said...

"If Auburn had made a late decision to not hire Chizik, anyone paying attention in the state of Iowa would know he didn't really want to be here. End of the era."

If Auburn decided not to offer the job....it would have been VERY interesting to see how Pollard would have handled it. He had just offered an extension (unbeknownst to pretty much everybody, including the media, apparently), which undoubtedly would have increased the buyout from where it was before.

I would like to think that Pollard would have canned him as he would obviously be a lame duck coach at that point. But I'm not so sure he would have.

Bryan

Keith Murphy said...

I'm not always the best at checking the feedback in timely fashion, but since I'm watching the BCS Championship game (thanks for working Shawn), and Fox is running four minute long commercial breaks every few plays, I have plenty of idle time.

To answer a couple questions, we go to the movies with the entire family once in a while, though we don't go to see "My Bloody Valentine" or "Saw". It's often me taking the little guys or guy to the stuff older kids don't want to see (I took Colin to "Tale of Despereaux" today. It was good, for an animated fairy tale.), and Jenny and I try to have date night every other week (I'm even bored at all this information, and I'm writing it.) I watch most of the TV shows on DVR when I get home from work at 11. You asked...

As for Chizik and Pollard... I was shocked Jamie offered Chizik a two year contract extension after two years of mostly bad football. I just didn't see the promising future Jamie did. However, it should be noted Chizik did not accept the additional two years---at least he hadn't yet---so if he did return from Auburn, and Pollard kicked him to the curb, he'd only be owed four years. But I think Chizik would have returned to his job in Ames. Iowa State is trying desperately to raise money, and just paid off Wayne Morgan and Dan McCarney. More debt would be a tough sell in this economy.

Speaking of McCarney, Go Gators!

Keith

Tim + Janice said...

"Speaking of McCarney, Go Gators!"

I'll second that!!

Dave said...

Why does "I Kissed a Girl" stick in our heads? I agree with you. No matter where I am in the house, when that commercial comes on the TV, I am mesmerized...Why???

Kirk Diggler said...

-Free creditreport.com
-Im gonna blow my head off
-when I next hear this song
-They analyze Murphy's blog posts
-and tell Shane he's a jerk
-then go back to their cubicle
-and pretend to do their work

Yee-haw

Hawkeyemkn said...

Same reason "Don't Worry Be Happy" stuck in our heads what 20 years ago?

Congrats to Mac, I hope that national championship ring he has now can get him another coaching job.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait till Iowa State fire Van de Velde and brings in McCarney as the Athletic Director. That will be sweet justice!

Anonymous said...

"I can't wait till Iowa State fire Van de Velde and brings in McCarney as the Athletic Director. That will be sweet justice!"

I hope this is sarcasm, but I have a feeling it isn't.

Bryan

Anonymous said...

Huh??? Look ISU fired Coach Mac for no good reason and I think Coach Mac would be professional enough and inspired to take over the A.D. job. Plus he would do a great job.
I think it would make a great homecoming. I don't know how that could seem sarcastic.

Anonymous said...

"Huh??? Look ISU fired Coach Mac for no good reason and I think Coach Mac would be professional enough and inspired to take over the A.D. job. Plus he would do a great job.
I think it would make a great homecoming. I don't know how that could seem sarcastic."

Van De Velde is not the current Athletic Director and he wasn't fired when he left town. His contract was up and they decided not to renew him.

Bryan

Shawn said...

Say it aint so......an entire blog with no Shane!!! He's either got a life or is still cowering in the corner from the beat down he took in the last blog. My vote is for the latter.

Anonymous said...

Bryan, are you telling me Coach Mac wasn't fired. That's just stupid.

Anonymous said...

"Bryan, are you telling me Coach Mac wasn't fired. That's just stupid."

Please point to one of my posts where I said Mac was not fired.

You misread my previous post. I said that Van De Velde was not fired.

Bryan

Anonymous said...

Keith,
I liked slumdog millionare. I am happy that it won 4 golden globes. Hopefully it will bag some oscars too. I think the credit goes to the screenplay and the narration using flashbacks. Also I loved the music.
The opening scene where kids run thru slums is actually shot in Asia's biggest slum called Dharavi in Mumbai and the actors were actual kids living in that slum. All together a great underdog story and great film.

Raam

Anonymous said...

Did you know that when they made Marley and Me they used 472 dogs? Absolutely incredible!

Anonymous said...

472 dogs? I find that hard to believe. Maybe 4, but get out of here with that 472 crap.

Anonymous said...

472 dogs? I find that hard to believe. Maybe 4, but get out of here with that 472 crap.

Kirk Diggler said...

Stupid computer, by the way that was the Diggler.

Anonymous said...

It's true, they used one dog for every day of the year. Look it up Kirk.

Bobbi Dooley said...

Are you for real?

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked there were only 365 days in a year....

Anonymous said...

I heard one time they used 101 dogs for a dog movie. But no way 472. I can't remember what movie that was, but I know there were exactly 101 dogs in it. They all looked alike too!

Anonymous said...

472 dogs for Marley and Me? Dude, you must be Podolaked or something.

Anonymous said...

That's what I read, 1 dog for every day of the year. Or maybe it was 1 dog for every day and it took 472 days to shoot, something like that.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how they chose which one gets to die at the end??