De-cluttering a Few Things: July 15, 2013

Hard to believe it's been a month since I visited this place. The Land of Mouse was quite a place to see.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I visited this place. The Land of Mouse was quite a place to see.

A few thoughts to de-clutter as I start preparing for the prep football season, which starts in about 45 days.

Aaron Hernandez:  unless this story turns into O.J. Simpson part deux, Hernandez is in big trouble. Then again, anything can happen in a trial (see O.J., Duke Lacrosse, Casey Anthony, et al.). The point is this: if the prosecution doesn’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a suspect committed a crime, they have no case.

Stewart Mandel/Kirk Ferentz:  I guess Mandel was looking for a topic (hey it’s July, not much is going on), decided to throw something up against the wall and came up with the “worst coaches in college football” list, ahem, “right now.”

As Nipsey Russell famously said in “Wildcats”: “riiiiiight.”

Have Iowa struggled over the past few years? Yes. What is that attributed to, besides coaching/Ken O’Keefe/predictable defense/recruits not panning out? Yes, I’m looking at you Grant, Hassel, and the rest of you. And don’t tell me it’s Ferentz’s salary. That’s no longer an excuse to use.

Nearly every Division I-A coach in the six major conferences are paying their coaches in the range of $1-$5 million a year. USC paid Pete Carroll nearly $3 million/year and USC ended up on probation(!) and he skips town. Nick Saban gets $5 million/year and Lane Kiffin get about $3 million. .

It’s called paying the going rate. The next guy who comes to Iowa City will expect to get paid more than Ferentz and you know it. Also know this, his name won’t be Steve Spurrier or Will Muschamp. Iowa isn’t in that blue-blood group of college football royalty with Michigan, Notre Dame, and Bama. So, stop acting like we are in that group.

If anyone who thinks Nick Saban or any top notch coach in America is willing to come to Iowa City and coach the Hawkeyes, you would be wrong. Iowa is a “second-tier” program in their eyes.

No matter how you look at it, the south cares more about football than we do. They got big boosters who are not afraid to back up the Brinks truck to pay for the best coach on the market. And, they’re willing to break laws as well.

There are more Bill Knapps and Dick Jacobsons in the south than here in Iowa. Bobby Lowder and Phil Knight isn’t walking through the doors anytime soon.

And Iowa isn’t Alabama.

For anyone who thinks it’s a travesty that a football coach is the highest paid employee in Alabama and Iowa respectively, may I direct you to Pennsylvania. A college president is the highest paid employee there.

That said president let a pedophile assistant football coach prowl around campus and did nothing to stop it.

That’s your real travesty.

Nobody circles the wagons and drive SI’s Richard Deitsch crazy during the Home Run Derby telecast, like…. #backbackbackbackback (Sports Illustrated)

MLB All Star Game: Thom Loverro wrote about the possible reason for the decline of popularity and interest of the MLB All-Star Game. My opinion: not every team is needed to be represented in the All-Star game, and not all of them have to play in the game, regardless of what their incentive-laden contracts say.

Two can play at this game: Kate Taylor of the NY Times has an eye-opening (not so surprising) article on how women on college campuses are choosing not to pursue relationships and opting for casual encounters, similar to men.

How about these apples, Stephen Bloom!: The 80/35 festival, was a great one. It was my first one, since my family did not hold our annual 4th of July gathering this year. Good weather, great crowds, and different genre of music, headlined by David Byrne and St. Vincent, and Wu Tang Clan. David Byrne went as far as to write his thoughts about Des Moines in his online journal.

David Byrne and St. Vincent performing at 80/35. (

When you read this three-part essay about his time in Des Moines, it’ll make you appreciate having a celebrity write about how lucky and fortunate we are to live in Iowa and what we have going. Yeah, we’re not boring, right?

A tip of the fedora… to Geoff Conn. Geoff has accepted a full-time position with KVVL and KNIM radio in Maryville, Missouri. Geoff is one of the good guys in Des Moines/Central Iowa local radio, especially his work in sports. But above all, he is a man of humility and respect. Grand View University is losing a great announcer and ambassador, more importantly I can’t say how happy I am for him for this opportunity.

Tidbits: I went in for a checkup at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) in Iowa City late last week for my diabetic retinopathy. Around Memorial Day, there was hemorrhaging of the vitreous in my left eye. My specialist here in Des Moines referred me to Iowa City to determine if I will need a surgical procedure to clean out the hemorrhage.

It was determined I will not need surgery. The hemorrhage has dried up to a point where it does not interfere with my vision, basically the central part of the retina. I will continue receiving laser treatment and medicinal injections to the eyes as preventive maintenance. Down the road, I may need it, eventually, but right now it’s encouraging news to hear.

I hate to miss working football games with everyone’s friend Paul Yeager this fall.

There is no cure for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, only continued treatment for it is the most effective way to keep my eyes from going bad again.

That is good news, considering next month will mark one year since my health problems started. There are some rough days and encouraging days, but I’m slowly starting to feel “normal” again, whatever the “new” normal is. That’s quite alright with me.

With that, I’m grateful to the eye clinic at Broadlawns and UIHC. I would be in a world of trouble without them over the past few months.

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