Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hawks/Huskers Pregame, Eyes Of Texas Are Shamed, Giving Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I know the buzz is largely gone, but I can't wait for tomorrow's Nebraska-Iowa game.  I think during the game things will heat up, and I have a feeling something will happen to start cementing this as a real rivalry on the field tomorrow.

In many ways Nebraska reminds me of Michigan (who of course they lost to 45-17).  The Huskers are a great running team, but if you force their run first quarterback to pass they can be had.  Taylor Martinez is a that he comes from the leather helmet era and looks like he doesn't know how to throw a pass.

That said, I don't know that Iowa can take away the Huskers running game enough to win, though the Hawkeye defense has played relatively well the last three weeks (I give them a bit of a pass on MSU because of terrible special teams and turnovers putting them on short fields).  Ultimately, I just can't see the Huskers losing on their senior day either.  I'm guessing Nebraska wins 24-20 and it's a long year of smack talk from the children of the Corn ahead.  But I REALLY hope I'm dead wrong here.

As I finish this blog I will be going home to sleep for about four hours and then get up to make the drive to Lincoln.  Yes I know I should have booked a hotel.  Procrastination has always been a pain in my ass.

Chris Hassel will not be making the trip with me tomorrow.  I must admit I'm a bit disappointed,  I was looking forward to seeing both Husker fans reaction to him and his reaction to being in enemy territory.  Then again, I won't have to carry a weapon in case someone were to take a swing at Chris or try to shoot him.

I'm not going to debate that the Oklahoma State win is the biggest in Iowa State football history.  But I do think a win over Oklahoma will be just as monumental within the football office.  The Sooners are 68-5-2 (what is it with this 2 ties in every series thing anyway?) against the Cyclones.  ISU lost by 52 in Norman last year.  The Cyclones were ranked 9th in 2002 and got drilled by 39 in Norman.  ISU hasn't beaten OU since 1990 (surprisingly they have more wins in Norman, 3, than they do at Jack Trice, 2).

Ndamukong Suh isn't a dirty player, he's just stupid.  Grow up kid, you're too good for that crap.  Unfortunately if he read this he'd probably just try to kick me too instead of take it to heart.

I'm watching Texas and Texas A&M play for what may be the final time in a LONG time.  It's an absolutely shameful night for college football (which is saying a lot since there's been plenty of shame to go around this year).  Tonight we really begin to see the effect of conference realignment, and it stinks.

But it can't all be blamed on that.  The bottom line is that these two schools have grown adults who are in a pissing contest, and the losers are the fans.  If either school wanted to make a non-conference date to play together, they could easily buy out whatever patsy they have on now and do it.  I saw a similar thing in North Dakota where the two state schools stopped playing in 2003 as they changed divisions and still have yet to play even though they are both on the same level now.  Instead the egos of a few are winning out over the needs of the many and best interest of the state.

As it is Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful that our state schools, Iowa and Iowa State, haven't gone that route.  They've each had a lot of great moments outside of the CyHawk game this year, but can you imagine how much less fun this year would have been without that classic?  Can you imagine not having that game to look forward to every year (especially as weak as non-conference schedules typically are)?  The rivalry is always hot, but at least the people in charge in Iowa City and Ames listen and see what is in the best interest of the fans.

On that note, I hope you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends and good food.  Unfortunately I couldn't spend it with my immediate family, but I've been blessed to find a second family of sorts through my work here.  Keith and Jenny Murphy opened their home to me for dinner and I can't thank them enough.  I really hope all of you get a chance to work for and with a guy like Keith, no matter what you do in life.

I always take stock in what I'm thankful for on this day, and I'm honestly overwhelmed this year.  I'm working at a place I grew up watching and at the station I've always wanted to be at.  I'm thankful for being given creative freedom at a place that understands the value of local sports in its community.  I'm thankful for every chance I get to stand on the sidelines at Kinnick, Jack Trice, Hilton Coliseum, the UNI Dome, and all the places I watched as a kid but could never afford to go to.  And I'm thankful to work with some of the best people in the business at WHO-TV.  I hope everyone is counting their blessings, large and small, on this day.

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