Thursday, March 31, 2011

Longoria's AK-47, Canseco2, Weather Fales

When a standout high school player transfers to a nearby school, I usually hear from a number of different people about why it happened. I just always hope the move is what's best for the kid, and what the kid really wants. There are a lot of over-involved parents, coaches, and "advisers" these days...

Cornerback Shaun Prater is one of Iowa's Rhabdo 13. Prater says he knows on the outside, hearing players were in the hospital for nearly a week sounds bad. Yes, it does. Fortunately Prater and the others are reportedly doing fine...

Rusty Wallace is the face of the Iowa Speedway, and he couldn't be better at his job. I interviewed him twice Wednesday, and both times Wallace had me ready to buy season tickets. And I don't even need them...

Evan Longoria brought an AK-47 to spring training? He called the assault rifle a  personal item, which makes it sound like a toothbrush...

Matt Painter insulted Purdue by flirting so openly with Missouri, but hey, it worked. Painter cashed in and got what he wants...

I still don't care about the Barry Bonds trial...

And I still can't believe Jose Canseco had the nerve to send his twin brother Ozzie in his place to fight, and Ozzie asked for the payment in cash. I also can't believe someone offered Canseco 5K...

Opening Day is here. I hope Andy took his snow shoes to Cleveland...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Magic & Bird, Junker Junked, One Shining Moment

As I type, re-watching Magic & Bird: Courtship/Rivals on HBO. Outstanding. Third viewing...

Expect a lot of talk after HBO airs its Real Sports story Wednesday on Auburn's "Pay for Play" accusations by former Tiger football players. I don't think any of it will surprise you, but it will leave you shaking your head...

The resignation of Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker after revelations of shamefully scandalous money payouts has put the Fiesta's BCS status in jeopardy. It's also more proof of the runaway hypocrisy of big-time college football...

Armen Keteyian reports CBS will go back to the late Luther Vandross for One Shining Moment after a year of trying Jennifer Hudson. Hudson can sing, but there's only one Luther...

The Cubs will be better than expected. Mike Quade is what that team needed...

Opening Day Thursday. Spring is here. Can't wait...

Men's NCAA basketball tournament: no 1 or 2 seeds. Women's: all 1s and 2s...

How much do you think Cavalier fans enjoyed seeing LeBron and the Heat lose in Cleveland...

The Barnstormers signed a new kicker. I guess if you win a football game despite missing six extra points, you don't expect that to happen again...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bonds Yawn, Rhabdo Mystery, Juice Cleanse

Why are we spending all this money on Barry Bonds? Do we need a trial to know he lied about using steroids? And does it make any difference? Look at him. Eyes don't like. Plus, his trainer, Greg Anderson, isn't going back to prison again because he has nothing to hide under oath. Time to move on. Most people don't care...

Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga is fun to watch. She's great. Just ask Iowa...

The National Strength and Conditioning Association says the University of Iowa football training staff misused a workout that led to 13 Hawkeye players being hospitalized. The NSCA also says the Iowa staff misinterpreted one of its studies to support the workout. Yet somehow, the U of I's investigation led to no one being found at fault for anything--- just the workout. For more on the latest excellent work by Tom Witosky of the Des Moines Register, visit ...

I can't take much more of the slacker on the couch singing, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."...

I think with a lockout looming Harrison Barnes should return for another year at North Carolina, have some more fun, and get even better. But the guess here is he'll enter the NBA draft. Who could blame him. Either way, look for HB to keep everyone guessing. He enjoys that...

Another 21 points Monday night for Barnes' Ames running mate, Doug McDermott. Creighton won game 1 of the CBI (not to be confused with CSI)...

My wife decided we need to "clean out our systems" with a juice cleanse. I drank 20 ounces of what looked like my front yard. I was supposed to stay on this cleanse for three days. On day 1, I ate a Snickers bar at 5 p.m...

Nostradamus Didn't See VCU Coming

March Madness indeed. VCU vs Butler in the Final Four?! How did that happen? And how did two people in ESPN's bracket contest actually forecast it? Anyway, I love it. I know some love the name brands, and I can go that way too, but an 8 seed vs an 11 for a spot in the championship game is one thing that makes the NCAA tourney so great, and what the BCS misses. David can bring down Goliath...

Kentucky vs  UConn brings those name brands to the other semifinal. I suppose it's logical to think the winner's coming out of this game, but what's been logical so far? For the first time, no 1s or 2s in the Final Four...

I'm surprised at the minor Harrison Barnes hate still flowing out of our fine state. Yes, Team Barnes fumbled the announcement of where he was going to school---Cyclones felt misled and hurt, though I know that wasn't the intent---and yes, Barnes left us for greener pastures, but who can blame him. He's an actual student-athlete who just had a great NCAA tournament and represents Iowa with class...

I think Barnes needs to think long and hard before turning pro, and I'm sure he will. The NBA seems destined for the same lockout nonsense the NFL has going right now...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Domino's Chicken, Kansas Comet, Twist Cone

This has been one of the best NCAA tourney's in memory. The majority of games have come down to the final shot, and Saturday was no different. Butler and UConn both survived last-second shots, and both schools are on their way to the Final Four. For the record, I had UConn losing in the Sweet 16, and Butler losing in the opening round. If VCU can shock Kansas, Sunday, we'll have a Butler-VCU semifinal. Absolutely incredible.

Speaking of incredible, Harrison Barnes has become the first freshman in NCAA history to score 20-plus points in his first three tournament games.

Why is the Domino's chicken guy so upset?

Sayers wanted to be a Hawk
 Gale Sayers was at the Bob Feller Museum, signing autographs for hundreds of Central Iowa sports fans. Sayers shared the story about how he wanted to become a Hawkeye. The Hall of Fame running back told us that he was all set to sign with Iowa, until he visited Iowa City. According to Sayers, Iowa head coach Jerry Burns didn't give him the time of day, so Sayers decided to go to Kansas. He's held a chip on his shoulder ever since.

The perfect combination
of light and dark
Any idea why some McDonald's don't have twist cones? I like the chocolate and the vanilla together, but a lot of places only have vanilla. Very frustrating.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Sweater Vest, The Manzi, The Kicker

The sweater vest is in hot water, again. Jim Tressel reportedly forwarded emails to Terrelle Pryor's mentor, instead of Ohio State or the NCAA. There's now talk that OSU is considering suspending Tressel for spring football. Every week, Tressel sinks deeper and deeper. Some Buckeye fans have gone so far as to start thinking about his possible replacement --- that's when you know it's getting serious. I think he'll be all right, but the OSU image is taking a serious hit.

Apparently it was casual Friday
 Ricky Stanzi stopped by the Murph n Andy show, today. 'The Rick' opened up about his draft stock, and his Iowa past...but my favorite part was when I asked him what the dumbest question a reporter ever asked him. Without pausing, he brought up a question some idiot asked after Iowa lost on a last-second field goal to Illinois, in 2008. That idiot was me. I specifically asked him that question because I'll never forget how mad he was when I posed this question to him after the game, "Are you guys sick and tired of losing all these close games?" To which Ricky shook his head in disgust and said, "No, we like it! Of course we hate it." Luckily, he's a nice enough guy to have a little fun with it.

Harrison Barnes is playing like a champion --- and he's 3 wins away from becoming one. North Carolina spanked Marquette behind HB's 20 points and 6 boards. In my opinion, he's one win away from turning pro.

Have you ever seen two worse sweet 16 games, going on at one time, than the first two games on Friday? It was so bad, I was actually looking forward to the Southwest Airline and NAPA commercials.

Yes, this is Josh Harrellson
 That Harrellson dude for Kentucky just pisses me off. If I was 6-11, and weighed 350 pounds, I'd probably do something about it.

The Barnstormers came from behind to beat the defending champion Spokane Shock, but the real story was the place-kicking. Iowa's kicker, missed 6 of 7 PAT's! The only thing worse than that, is the fact that the game was being played on national television, and you had to have direcTV to see it. What is wrong with Mediacom? How do you not have NFL Network, yet? How do you not have the Golf Channel, yet? I feel like I'm living under a Nazi regime.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jacobson Rumors, Visser's Hair, Dylan Covers Black


The NCAA tourney is back --- thank you Lord. Some people say the worst sports day of the year is the day after the All-Star break in baseball. I think it's the Monday after the 1st and 2nd rounds (now 2nd and 3rd rounds) of the NCAA Tournament. After 4 straight days of madness, we have to suffer through 3 days of absolutely nothing.

Harrison Barnes tells Sean Keeler that his decision on whether or not to go pro hinges on North Carolina's success in the NCAA tourney. I take that to mean, if they win a title, he's certainly gone. I highly doubt the Heels will get that far, but I wouldn't be surprised if HB jumped to the pro's if UNC makes the final four. Right now, he's projected to go somewhere between 1 and 5. That's awfully tough for a 19-year-old to pass up. He says he's going to do what's best for him, and his family. I put it at 60-40 that he stays one more year.

Ben Jacobson's name is being thrown around in relation to the Missouri head-coaching opening. I think 'Jake' is worthy of being considered for the job, but I really don't think he would be a good fit at Mizzou. Tiger fans are used to seeing a fast-paced brand of basketball --- and that's just not Jacobson. You also have to consider the fact that his coaching protege failed miserably at Iowa State (another Big 12 school). There is one stat working in his favor, however --- coach has never lost to Kansas.

Veteran sideline reporter, Leslie Visser, is catching a lot of heat for her new hairdo. I'd pay money to hear Gus Johnson call the madness that must ensue when she does her hair every morning.

Lolo Jones has yet to commit to the 2011 Drake Relays. Relays Director Brian Brown says they've made an offer, and they're waiting to hear back from Lolo's agent. Brown says he isn't too worried, yet. It would be a shame if Des Moines track and field fans miss out on their native daughter.

It has been brought to my attention, by a blog reader, that Bob Dylan is in on the Rebecca Black craze. Here's Dylan's cover of "Friday" ... it's the bees knees

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

IC Ticket, KF Blasts Media, Bull-crap


It's nice to see things are back to normal in Iowa City. Yes, the IceBorg officially became a member of the Iowa media, today, when he was ticketed in the station car for parking by the Iowa football offices. Other than that, nothing new over there at Iowa. Kirk Ferentz did the expected by calling out the national media for its handling of "Rabdo-Gate". He called them a bunch of "drive-by shooters". I can't argue with him, too much. There were some members of the media (mostly national) that were blowing things a little bit out of proportion. But, let's not forget, Iowa has the only football program in the nation that had to hospitalize 13 players at once.

What I don't get is how the committee said the squat exercise was to blame, while placing no blame on anyone at the U of I. Didn't a trainer or strength coach order the players to squat? If the squat is the problem, then the person making the orders is also a problem. I'm not saying he should be fired, but I'm a bit confused as to how there was no fault found with anyone.

Brandon Wegher is no longer a Sooner --- come to think of it, I'm not even sure he was in Oklahoma long enough to be considered a Sooner. The former Hawkeye left the program, this week. OU head coach Bob Stoops seems pretty bent out of shape about it: “We’ve got a few backs as it is,” Stoops said, “so we’ll be OK.” Next stop; Grand View University?

Kirk Ferentz was, again, asked if he would allow Adam Robinson back on the team. Ferentz, again, said he hadn't given it a thought. A-Rob is still enrolled at Iowa despite being kicked off the team in January. If he ever wears the black and gold (yellow) again, I'll be stunned.

Missouri head basketball coach Mike Anderson is rumored to be leaving Columbia, for Fayetteville. Andy and I were having a discussion as to whether or not that's a step up, or down. Andy thinks it's a step down, but I think it's lateral at worst. Arkansas is just 15 years removed from its two-year run as a national champion, and a runner-up. Missouri, on the other hand, has never made the Final Four. Missou has done more lately, but Arkansas has better tradition. The question is, who would you rather recruit against? Kansas, or Kentucky? Pick your poison. I think it's a good move. The dude can coach.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I hadn't seen this Rebecca Black video until today:  Apparently, it's been the talk of the twitterverse since last week, but I somehow missed it. The singing is horrid, but the writing is even worse. It turns out that Black didn't even write it...she hired a songwriter. Must be the same guy that wrote the movie Gigli.

The Bulls are in first place in the Eastern Conference. If Mediacom didn't employ a bunch of St. Louis Cardinals lovers, I might actually get to watch a game. FSN Midwest over Comcast Chicago? Cardinals vs. Cubs, Blues vs. Blackhawks, Rams vs. Bears...please it's no contest. If I wasn't in an apartment that faced only British Parliament satellites, I'd have DirecTV in a heartbreak. That's my number one reason for wanting to buy a house.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Fault Found, Tiller or Jantz, Ken Toughens Up

The University of Iowa will announce Wednesday its findings in the investigation of why 13 Hawkeye football players were hospitalized with rhabdo following off-season workouts. My prediction Tuesday afternoon was the report would say the workouts were too intense, but no player took an illegal substance. The Des Moines Register has already obtained a copy of the report, and though I was close, it's even more forgiving. Not only does it say squats led to the injuries, and no legal or illegal substances contributed to the injuries, it also says the investigation finds no wrongdoing on the part of any coach, player, trainer, or physician. How can this be? At the very least, someone designed and supervised a workout that didn't take into account the players' weeks off, and called for an unreasonable amount of reps and workload...

A school that wants to win will hire Bruce Pearl. The guy can recruit and coach. That's a combination that doesn't stay unemployed long, violations or not...

I was excited to see the Big Ten was taking hockey more seriously, but then reported Iowa has no plans to add hockey. Now I don't care...

Jerome Tiller is #1 on the depth chart, but I've yet to talk to a Cyclone fan who doesn't think Steele Jantz will be Iowa State's quarterback. The unknown is always more exciting, especially after seeing Tiller struggle to move the Clones against Missouri. Still, Tiller has plenty of motivation to prove people wrong...

Anyone who saw Michael Keaton's hilarious take on Barbie's boyfriend Ken in the movie Toy Story 3, knows Ken could use some testosterone. Keaton played Ken as a dandy. As part of Ken's 50th birthday celebration---he's 2 years younger than the cougar Barbie---Mattel had a contest to find the new face of Ken. The winner: former Cyclone football player Kurtis Taylor of Fort Dodge. Though the doll won't be changed to Taylor's face, he did win the reality show, "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend". No pressure. Here's a picture of ol' #47...

The End, Pearl Out, Reader In

And then there were none. UNI loses in the CIT ending the season for all the Big 4 teams, and ending the question, "What is the CIT?"...

Remember when Bruce Pearl was the overwhelming fan favorite to take over the Hawkeyes? Now Pearl's out of a job, despite unprecedented success at Tennessee, and Illinois fans feel karma took 20 years but eventually came a calling...

Lisa Stone coached Drake to a Sweet 16, with many of Lisa Bluder's recruits, then Stone bolted for Wisconsin. The dream ended Monday. Barry Alvarez fired Stone...

Spring football starts this week. It's not the real thing, but it's something...

Fascinating debate on our radio show Monday. Does a wrestler with one leg have an advantage? Sounds ridiculous, but many wrestling fans say he does because of all the increased upper body size and strength...

Sports Illustrated's best pictures of the week features a great one of Iowa State's Jon Reader moments after Reader won the state title at 174:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Charles in Charge, Pollard Hires Winners, Rango

  • One sign how much the quality of NCAA basketball suffers with the one-and-done players is all the mental mistakes at crunch time. I feel like we saw more in one weekend than we used to see in ten years. Is it different, or are we just more aware with HD, multiple camera angles, and super slo-mo?
  • If your bracket is not blown to bits right now, you're either really lucky or really good.
  • As far as I'm concerned, networks should have Charles Barkley comment on everything.
  • Harrison Barnes is showing why he was a pre-season All-America. It was hard to have him leave our state, but under the circumstances, who could blame him.
  • Jamie Pollard hired national championship coaches in football and wrestling. Pollard has an eye for talent. Unfortunately for Iowa State, Gene Chizik and Cael Sanderson won those titles after leaving Ames unexpectedly.
  • Iowa vs Gonzaga was the most entertaining women's basketball game I saw all season.
  • And to think I always thought Dionne Warwick seemed like a really nice lady.
  • Saw Rango this weekend. Good, not great, and some of the ugliest creatures in the history of animated movies. There's also a snake bound to give kids under 5 nightmares.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Awful Ending, Gus the Gangsta, Goodbye "Red"

The NCAA Tournament is back on track. Just about every game came down to the wire, Saturday. As I began to type this paragraph, I just witnessed the worst ending to a tourney game in memory. Butler deserved to beat Pitt, but not like that. I'm of the belief that a foul one minute into the game isn't nessessarily a foul with one second left in a game. Players should decide the final moments of a tight game, not the officials. That being said, the two players that commited the fouls should've never put the refs in that position. It's a shame.

I can't stand the fact that every NCAA Tournament court looks the exact same. I miss the days when you knew where the heck the game was taking place. Pretty soon they're going to stop letting teams wear its own uniforms, so that all teams have to wear black and white.

Gus Johnson...please go away. I used to like listening to him about 10 years ago. He was fresh. Now, he seems be suffering from 'Chris Berman Syndrome' --- he's too caught up in his own shtick to actually announce a game. I hate him even more now that I know he's a 43-year-old dressing like a 17-year-old.

I had a chance to meet George "Red" Frye, this year, in Albia. He gave me a signed picture of him that I have hanging on my fridge. I had no idea who he was before I met him, but I knew all about the "Ironmen" team of 1939. The guy not only played with Nile Kinnick, he was one of the reason's Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy. As a center on the offensive line, you'll see Red in a few pictures, and and a huge sculpture. Red is seen as the lead blocker for Kinnick in the famous relief sculpture on the south side of Kinnick Stadium.

I started to come to grips with just how important Red was to his hometown of Albia when I heard the voice of one of his friends on the phone. He was an important player, but an even more important man. The funeral is on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at First Christian Church in Albia. Visitation is open to the public, on Monday at 1 p.m. Red's family will be present from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sinnott Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Albia.

How many people knew the UNI women had a basketball program? Be honest...

That didn't take long. Less than two years after bolting Ames in favor of State College (and a lot more $$$), Cael Sanderson is once again a national champion. When you consider the fact that most thought Iowa would struggle to crack the top 5, before the season started, they placed pretty well too.

Is it just me, or does it seem like commercials just keep getting worse every year? It would seem that the philosophy behind most marketing campaigns is to annoy the crap out of everyone, to the point where they're going to run out and grab your product to shut you up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hawks Humbled, Tourney Letdown, Wife Returns


Iowa's 3-year reign as NCAA wrestling champs is just about over. The Hawks have basically been eliminated from championship contention. The only thing that could make it worse, is if Cael Sanderson's Penn State team wins it all.

I agree with Keith's point about moving the wrestling tournament to April. There's absolutely no buzz when it takes place on the same weekend as the opening round of the basketball tourney. Wrestling has a tough enough problem, as it is, getting any kind of coverage.

Day one of the NCAA tournament was perhaps the most excited opening day in in history. Day two, meh. I guess I picked a good day to come back to work. Four of the first five games, Thursday, came down to the final shot. Only one, to this point, has done the same on Friday.

Is anyone else as tired of these NAPA commercials as I am? I guess you can give them credit for spending a little more money that "5 Hour Energy".

Harrison Barnes had a fantastic NCAA tournament debut. HB tallied 24 points and 16 rebounds. If he plays like that the rest of the tourney, UNC could go a long way, and Barnes could be on his way (to the NBA).

The IceBorg drew one of the toughest assignments in Channel 13 history, today. He was stuck with the task of finding highlights from a season in which no big 4 team even came close to making the tourney. He's been locked away in the edit bay for 8 hours, and I think his montage is up to 20 seconds long.

The wife has been gone all week --- tonight, she returns. She asked me when she was on her way back if I had vacuumed while she was gone. I said yes, even though I hadn't. It wasn't a lie, however, because I ran home during my dinner break to sweep things up.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bracketbuster, Wresling Head-Scratcher, Grand Marshal Kiernan

What a great start to The Tourney. The Morehead State win over Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals was David over Goliath, if Goliath had 100 times the budget...

NCAA tournament, beautiful weather, St. Patrick's Day... just three of the reasons so many people found a way to NOT work. Be a tough day to just call in sick. Even if you were sick, would anyone believe it?...

Wrestling needs all the attention it can get, so why in the world do they start the NCAA championships the same day the nation turns its eyes to the basketball tourney? It makes no sense...

I would never count out Tom Brands and Iowa, no matter how young the Hawks are...

I don't have a daughter, but my life as a dad still zips in front of my eyes during that commercial where the father is talking to his daughter as she's about to drive off in the Subaru. The girl is about four when she says, "Daddy, OK!", then moments later, she's 16...

Brad Banks is named Barnstormers starting quarterback Thursday, just as he told us Tuesday...

The Energy finishes out their home basketball regular season this weekend. I'm told the Red Panda Acrobats halftime show is not to be missed. That's what I'm told. Haven't seen it...

Props to my friend Erin Kiernan for serving as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade and helping draw a record crowd. Because I like Erin so much, I'm not even bitter about the sunny, perfect weather. Did I mention it was rainy and cold last year as I waved a frozen hand from a snowmobile? Anyway, the Register had fun with our two year run of Marshaldom:

Spring Break, Terrell Exits, IceBorg Enters

Had a great time on a brief spring break trip with the kids made possible by the mediocrity of our NCAA men's basketball teams. We flew Allegiant Air direct to St. Pete, Florida, and thanks to Colin being 7, didn't have to deal with the ridiculous cattle-call known as open seating. Baggage to beach took less than 45 minutes. We stayed at a resort full of families from Iowa. We spotted Hawk Crocs by the pool before we even checked in, saw an I-State fleece moments later. As usual, Iowans lived up to their reputation as the nicest people around. One cool guy even gave us a $250 coupon for food and drinks. We burned it up in less than a day...

Many of you have asked where Shawn Terrell is going. Right now, he's in Vegas, but only as a visitor. Shawn would like to stay in the Des Moines area. He's worked in television sports for more than 12 years, and that's 12 years of Friday and Saturday nights. Shawn's ready for a schedule that allows for football as a fan. It was Shawn's choice to leave, and he does so with our backing, blessing, and best wishes. We appreciate and will miss Shawn's award-winning work. I'll be surprised if we don't continue seeing him pop up on the local media scene in some way, shape, or form. You can reach Shawn through Twitter. He's TerrellShawn...

Chris Hassel takes over all weekend anchoring duties, and the weekdays I'm not in. In the past, Shawn and Chris split Saturday/Sunday. Chris is most known for his memorable characters and impressions on SoundOFF, but he's also as talented as any young sports anchor/reporter in the country. We're lucky to have him, and look forward to his expanded role...

Next man in is Zach Borg, better know as The IceBorg. He'll report from all over Iowa, and occasionally anchor.  Zach was a hard-working intern for us six years ago. He's a Des Moines native who somehow graduated from Colorado State. Even more puzzling, he follows the Kansas City Chiefs and Colorado Rockies. Anyway, Zach paid his dues in Fargo and Missoula, though he's the kind of guy who's happy anywhere. Zach was the choice of Chris, Andy, Shawn and me, not to mention, most importantly, the boss. Zach's now where he always wanted to work, and that's cool.  He loves to tell overlooked stories off the beaten path, especially those from youth leagues and high schools. Please send your story ideas to
As Zach drove from Montanta to Iowa in his 1994 Chevy Blazer affectionately known as the Borgmobile, he stopped for a self-portrait at Mt Rushmore:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tourney Time, Fly Zone, Keith Returns


Some of my friends are already asking me who I have in the final four (men's, of course). I'll be honest...I haven't even had time to look at a bracket, yet. I do know that it's going to be awfully hard to pick against Ohio State. When you have great guard play, 3pt shooters, and a big man inside, you have it all. By the way, I hope you're not in the same pool as a Hassel. My Dad and I clean up, in March. Good luck, you're gonna need it...

Thursday's opening round (now called the 2nd round) is my favorite day of sports, all year. It would be nice to have a rooting interest, but sometimes it's better not to. In 2006, when 3 seed Iowa lost to the team that shall not be named, the entire tournament was ruined. I plan on firing up the grill, grabbing a few adult beverages, and taking it all in. I'd do it on Friday, too...but I have to work.

Ladies first, except in college basketball. The men had their selection show on Sunday, and the women got theirs tonight. Iowa State, Iowa, and UNI, are all dancing again this year. I'd like to get excited about it, but I don't see any of these teams making a run in the tourney. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly eat my words.

A year ago, Cyclone fans were all jacked up about landing highly touted recruit Eric McKnight, from North Carolina. One year, and 1-point a game, later...he's gone. McKnight decided to transfer, and from what I hear, that's a good thing for both parties.

If you saw SoundOFF, you're aware that I bought a car from a rotten-toothed British dude, in a Minneapolis strip mall. And, no, I'm not making up the fact that his fly was down the entire time.

The wife is out of town all week. Any ideas for things that I absolutely NEED to do? I have a long list, myself, but I know there are some things I'm not even thinking about.

While Andy and I were slaving away at work, Keith sent us this picture of him slaving away on vacation. The tide is about to turn...Keith returns Tuesday. Welcome back to reality!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Read Me (or Don't)

Great headline, huh?

Two of the best stats on Twitter today...

@poundHassel points out that the Hawkeyes and Cyclones are a combined 0-10 in their respective conference tournaments since 2007.

@SeanKeeler points out that the state's Big Four basketball teams all lost in the opening round of their respective conference tournaments for the first time since 1999.

I guess we'll have to rely on the state's women's teams for any measure of post-season success. UNI and Drake open play at the MVC Tournament on Friday.

Did you see the finish between Norwalk and Waverly-Shell Rock? Even in defeat, Norwalk's players and coaches were "wowed."


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

State Buzz, Keno Buzz, Bees Buzz

The Providence Journal reports Keno Davis could be out as soon as this weekend. Davis has five years left on his contract. I think he left Drake for Providence with his eyes wide open. It's a tough gig, but he'll leave with millions he couldn't have earned at Drake...

Hoover and Ankeny in the boys state basketball semifinals Friday. The Hawks are my sleeper pick to win it all, but Hoover will try to grind and frustrate Ankeny out of its game...

If ever a game were a microcosm of a season, it was Iowa State vs Colorado in the Big 12 tourney. You know what happened, and we'd seen many times before. Cyclones finish 16-16, which despite all the missed opportunities, is still better than most anyone predicted...

The ISU women are headed to the NCAA tournament, but they look like a first round win and done to me...

We're taking the kids on a spring break trip. Trip, not vacation. As we were packing, my wife found $55 in her beach bag. At first I was excited. Then it occurred to me there might be untold riches spread throughout all the different places she's unknowingly left cash...

My 10-year old son, Cade will play for the Burlington Bees in the Raccoon Valley Little League. I didn't even realize the Oakland A's had a single-A affiliate in Iowa. Now I know. We'll have to road trip over there since Cade will now want Bees gear...

Memo to Tom Brady's wife, Giselle: please stop making Tom look ridiculous...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Second Chances, Adjustment Bureau, Soccer Champs

Jim Tressel cheated. There is no spin. Tressel knew the players were in clear NCAA violation, he knew it for months, he didn't say anything because it would hurt the football team. But come on, it's The Ohio State! You already have the biggest budget, best facilities, and top recruits. You don't need to take this kind of chance. Tressel's bosses say they never considered firing the championship-winning coach, but he will serve a two game suspension, pay a $250,000 fine, and give a public apology after hearing a public reprimand. Embarrassing for a guy who's had Buckeye fans vigorously defending his integrity at every turn. How's that decision to allow the "suspended" players to play the bowl game look now?...

Iowa State defensive end Jake Lattimer faces recent charges of assaulting a peace officer and interfering with official acts, but those remain allegations. What's more disturbing, and in the books, is the Hutchinson News report of Lattimer's guilty plea to assaulting a Hutchinson Community College student in 2009 (Lattimer played football at Hutchinson CC). Lattimer and a friend admitted to beating a yell leader and breaking his jaw. Lattimer was sentenced to two weeks in jail, two years probation, and no alcohol. To be clear, that happened before Lattimer enrolled at Iowa State. Read the Hutchinson News report here: We haven't heard the last of this...

While Cyclone coaches, and fans, weigh how they feel about Lattimer's future, Hawkeye fans are trying to get their mind around Hawkeye's report that Fran McCaffery offered a basketball scholarship to a man who served nearly four years in prison for armed robbery. Anthony Hubbard is now 25, and he can play. He also gets good citizen reviews from his current coaches. So how do you see it... Everyone deserves a second chance? Or too much risk at a university that's had enough bad pub for one year (though not in basketball)?...

No way the Cyclones were going to lose their final basketball game to Nebraska...

Cyclone fans have to choose Wednesday: men or women's basketball? Hilton Coliseum aattendance would make you think it's a close call, but most fans will pick the men... (The women start 30 minutes earlier too.)

I saw the Adjustment Bureau. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt have so much chemistry, you actually believe in their love-at-first-meeting. The movie itself is sci-fi strange, and has some holes, but it's never boring. You can wait for the video...

Congratulations to Iowa's first youth soccer team to win an Olympic development national championship. We're talking title. The boys were all born in 1994. Here's a pic of the champs:

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hawkeye-Husker vs Black Friday

Iowa-Nebraska the Friday after Thanksgiving is a great idea, and a natural. There's no shortage of hype for the Hawkeye-Husker rivalry, and it's only just begun...

Iowa knocking heads with Nebraska in the final game of the Big Ten season, with a possible Legends championship on the line, will feel like it's taking over two states, but there's more than enough room for the Iowa and Iowa State rivalry. One early, one late. And yes, typing the word "Legends" felt as silly as it reads...

There's nothing wrong with crying in sports, unless it's early March and you're the Miami Heat...

Can't knock UNI for accepting a bid to the CIT, even though I wasn't sure was it was until Monday. The Panthers lost seven of eight, and a home game probably sounds pretty good about now...

Pat Knight is no Keno Davis...

Loved Andy Fales' story on the daily steps of Bondurant-Farrar's Chris Norton. Everything truly is relative. If you missed it, you'll find it in our news page video player...

Hawks Cool Boilers, Glass Houses, Celebrity Nutjobs

  • March Madness won't be much fun for fans of our state's men's basketball teams. We're going ohfer. However, the Cyclones won two of their past three games, and the Hawks pulled off the signature win of the season by upsetting #6 Purdue Saturday. 
  • Purdue had been on a hot streak, Iowa a cold one, so no one saw it coming. It was no fluke. Iowa outplayed, outworked, and outcoached Purdue.
  • Nice to see Carver-Hawkeye Arena that loud and energized again. It had been a LONG time. That's the biggest Iowa win in years. How far back do we have to go? Iowa had lost 25 straight to top 25 teams.
  • The Hawks need more shooters and size, but Fran McCaffery found Basabe and Cartwright. That's promising.
  • Iowa will play Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament. Can't see that ending well for Iowa. Then again, I didn't see Iowa beating Purdue.
  • Iowa State draws Colorado. The Buffs will have no fans in KC, and ISU just beat CU, so there's an opportunity.
  • Two Cyclone football players arrested over the weekend, Lattimer and Howard. Worth repeating: this is why fans shouldn't throw rocks. They live in glass houses.
  • Tired of Charlie Sheen yet?
  • The Celebrity Apprentice looks chock full of nutjobs. I'm definitely in.
  • Anyone see Rango? I need a review.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Estherville - Lincoln Central has a unique nickname: the Midgets (or Midgettes for girls teams). E-LC's run to the 2A title game at the Girls State basketball tournament had a lot of people inquiring about the orgin of the nickname, so I started asking around at Wells Fargo Arena. According to some folks from a radio station in Estherville, the nickname originated from a newspaper account of a basketball game between Estherville and Jackson, MN a number of decades ago. The under-sized group from Estherville beat a group of taller players from Jackson, leading the reporter to write “the midgets were a tough bunch,” or something to that effect. The nickname stuck. The radio announcer told me the school voluntarily toyed with the idea of changing the mascot name a few years back, but there was strong opposition from the community to any kind of change. I guess no one outside of Estherville has complained about it, even though in this day and age, political correctness is more and more important for publicly funded institutions.

And now you know the rest of the story. Shawn Terrell... good day.

Dogs Exit, Hoiber vs Alford, Kody's All Heart

  • Drake didn't last long at Arch Madness. The Bulldogs were wildly inconsistent all season. Mark Phelps needs to figure out how to get his young Dogs on the same page more often.
  • Greg McDermott and Ben Jacobson are best friends. They don't enjoy coaching against each other, but they'll have to get used to it.
  • Doug McDermott is a great kid who had an unbelievable first season. He could have played anywhere.
  • Harrison Barnes is over the pressure or jitters or adjustment or whatever bothered him early this season. He's North Carolina's go-to-guy now. Ask FSU.
  • It's so hard to watch girls at state basketball when they lose and realize it's over.
  • The Barnstormers quietly had an exhibition game Thursday night. They looked good too.
  • Former Hawkeye Robert Gallery has had enough of Oakland. Who could blame him.
  • Cyclone and Hawkeye fans enjoyed Fred Hoiberg knocking Steve Alford out of the Shots from the Heart tournament for the American Heart Association. Hoiberg made 102 straight free throws. Yes, 102. Alford---one of the great shooters in college basketball history---made 52 in a row. Impressive. Hoiberg advances to the Final Four of coaches.
  • I loved getting to know Kody Ingle and his mom in Chris Hassel's terrific story. Last I knew, Kody left for Creighton after leading Southeast Polk to state last year. Kody decided he wanted to be closer to his mom while she fights cancer. Kody transferred to Grandview University in Des Moines. Kody' Ingle knows what's important. You can see the story in our video player.
  • Friday night I'm hosting a birthday party for my son at Pump It Up. Pray for me.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Cyclones Win Again, Iowa Gets It Right, Happy Birthday Colin

  • From losing streak to winning streak---that's GOT to feel good for the Cyclones. Good for them.
  • Iowa ran into a revenge buzz saw at Michigan State. There was no doubt that would happen after the Hawks embarrassed Tom Izzo and the Spartans in Iowa City. Plus, Senior Night.
  • Former Spartan starter Korie Lucious played in two Final Fours before he got sideways with Izzo. Lucious is now headed to Iowa State, the latest Big Ten castoff to find a haven in Ames. Fred Hoiberg is taking some chances, but he's earned the right to find out if he can turn these guys around.
  • The Sports Illustrated cover story on a six month investigation into college football law-breakers found of the pre-season top 25 teams, Iowa tied for second with the most players having a police record (18). It's more unwanted negative national publicity for Iowa, but the university learned from previous mistakes and got out in front of the story. Iowa's sports information department pointed out all 18 players were charged with misdemeanors, and most were alcohol related. Does that make it okay? No. Does it matter? Yes. Iowa handled this well.
  • The Sports Illustrated article was convoluted and disappointed. It actually raised more questions than it answered.
  • I thought Ankeny's Maddie Manning was fouled on the final play against Linn-Mar, but it wasn't as clear cut as I expected from reading emails. I thought Manning would be hacked with brass knuckles. She wasn't, but I'd agree Kia Stokes did foul her. Refs have a hard job.
  • Good to see Kyle Orton supporting his Alma mater, Southeast Polk. Orton's in town for a passing camp with Sage Rosenfels.
  • East looked great. East and channel 13 alum Courtney Greene was in the house. She looked great too.
  • I received more birthday wishes this year than ever before. That feels really good. I appreciate it. Who doesn't like feeling special on his/her birthday.
  • And with that, happy birthday to my son, Colin. I can't believe he's 7.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Another One Gets Away, Oh My Aching Arm, Miller & Deace

  • Matt Woodley is a Valley alum, but he was all Waukee Tuesday night. Congrats to the Warriors, Hoover Huskies, and Ankeny Hawks on punching their tickets to the boys state basketball tournament.
  • Watching Taylor Greenfield play at girls state, it's hard to accept she's leaving our state, but Greenfield's going to Stanford---who could blame her? Greenfield is playing a different game than the other girls on the court.
  • My right forearm is aching so much right now from what I guess is carpal tunnel syndrome, it hurts to type. Any suggestions?
  • Parenthood deserves more viewers. Good show. At NBC, we need all of those we can get.
  • The Charlie Sheen Show kept me amused and entertained---until the kids came up. I had forgotten about them. Wasn't as funny after that.
  • Miller & Deace didn't stay quiet long. The former KXNO morning team will do a weekday radio show outside the Des Moines market for Sports Byline USA beginning March 14th from 9-10 a.m. Not clear yet which Byline affiliates will carry Miller & Deace, but here they are:

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Basketball Overload, Sheen 24/7, Wonderlic Fales

  • Chris Hassel covered six girls state basketball games for us Monday. First one started at 10 a.m. Final one ended at 10 p.m. That's a lot of basketball.
  • Charlie Sheen is either high, crazy, or a genius. Maybe all three. Whatever he is, Sheen's providing his finest performance in years. His interviews are far more entertaining than Two and a Half Men. It might be his best act since he hijacked Ferris Bueller's Day Off with a memorable cameo.
  • Watching Crazy Heart as I type. Dang, Jeff Bridges is good. This movie is a lot like Tender Mercies.
  • Dan Wetzel reminded me of one of my favorite quotes today. It came up because of the ridiculous attention paid to the NFL combine. When Earl Campbell couldn't run a mile, Phillips said, "When it's first and a mile, I won't give it to him". Perfect. Man, Earl could run the football.
  • Andy took the Wonderlic test during our radio show today. He was dealing with a lot of distractions and still scored above the NFL average, which I doubt he'd see as a compliment.