It's Shawn... and to be clear, the title of this entry is not a reference to my St. Patrick's Day plans. On Tuesday, Chris Hassel accompanied the UNI basketball team on its charter flight to Oklahoma City. Chris claims he used to be scared of flying, but no longer is. No one in the sports office believes him. Is it really possible to out-grow a phobia? I sat next to Chris on a flight back from the Outback Bowl last year... He popped three quaaludes from taxi until take-off. Okay I'm kidding, but he seemed very uneasy. Anyway, the point of this little diatribe is that we're in the midst of a very fun, yet hectic week in the sports office. Look for Chris' reports on the Panthers throughout the week. I'm heading to Omaha to cover NCAA wrestling.
As I write this, Iowa has not yet hired a new basketball coach. I don't expect Gary Barta to make an announcement for at least a week, probably longer. 24 hours into the search, there has been plenty of speculation, but no confirmation on any of the candidates Barta is targeting. Why does it feel like Barta is going to have a hard time selling this job to his top three or four choices? Probably because the job isn't nearly as attractive as it was when Barta hired Todd Lickliter three years ago. Hawkeye fans expecting a home run hire are being delusional. Speaking of Lickliter, how long will he bite his tongue? To my knowledge, no media outlet has been successful getting him "on the record." The longer he stays silent, the bigger story that will become.
So I've added "renew driver's license" to my list of uncomfortable experiences that adult males must endure every five years (you might be able to guess some of the other experiences on that list). My trip to the DMV on Tuesday was every bit as brutal as I thought it would be. One positive... good people watching for the hour(s) spent waiting. Not as good as the State Fair or Iowa Speedway, but what is? As a former sports reporter at Channel 13 once remarked... "Are there any normal people that drive?"
Happy St. Patrick's Day.