“Just the Facts Ma’am”

Last month I wrote on how we should “get the facts” first and let things play out, rather than spouting about what we heard and posting it on Twitter, message boards and various social media platforms, without confirming it.   Sadly, many of us that can’t seem to abide by this, because we’re back at square one.

Now, here’s my four cents worth, a few days removed from the story of the 13 UI football players who were hospitalized with symptoms of rhabdomyolysis:

  • I didn’t have a problem with what Gregg Doyel wrote.

Here me out, folks.  Yes, Iowa fans were furious when he suggested that someone should be fired for 13 players ending up in the hospital for rhabdomyolsis.  Doyel main concern was about the players’ health.  If you think I’m crazy, I encourage you to read Doyel’s column from August 2010 about his concern about players adding on weight and putting their health at risk.

Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports online. Don't send him hate mail, because he will make you a topic in his "Hate Mail" every Thursday.

He didn’t write the August piece to be a smartass, though he has the reputation of being one, but with the issues of concussions, painkillers, and other health issues that players face during and after their careers are over, is one of debate and discussion.

  • How is Iowa SID Phil Haddy not take some responsibility on how convoluted the last two press conferences have went?

Yes, everyone expects the athletic director and the coach to be there and to answer all  the questions, but given the way the “pressers”, as media professionals call them, are arranged and handled, it is the sports information director’s job to make sure the pressers go smoothly, communicate press releases, et cetera.

  • I want to give Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation a nod for his piece.  He is the closest person to the athletic program with regards to media, for he is the sports director at WHO radio and runs Hawkeye Nation.

Jon succinctly wrote, as Jim Mora would eloquently said…

I take Jon Miller’s view of the situation over that of Pat Forde and Jim Rome.  Jon, Marc Morehouse, Mike Hlas and others who are embedded in Iowa City work hard to get the story accurate and right, and make fair criticisms and offer praise.  That is what reporters do.  They don’t sit behind a microphone like Rome and form opinions based on “second-hand” heresy.

Jim Rome may have a lot of listeners, but Doyel can and will eat his lunch. Plus, Doyel is on the road covering stories.

In case you didn’t know, Forde and Rome has never liked Ferentz.  They have never given him praise for the good things the program has done.  All that Ferentz gets is scorn if one small thing goes wrong.

Forde thinks that Ferentz is a fraud and can’t coach.  Pat, if a guy can beat Michigan 3-4 times in the last 10 years, goes 7-2 versus Joe Paterno, and win 3 straight bowls game for the first time in school history, I guess that coach knows what he is doing.

I used to enjoy listening to Rome when I was younger.  Not as much today, because he is closed-minded and think that what comes out of his mouth is pure gold.  He still harbors a grudge back in 2002, when Ferentz politely declined to be a guest on his show.  Rome’s response was “What does he think he is, Bear Bryant?  Guys like him are a dime a dozen.” He has went as far to block Iowa callers from responding and talking about the team.

That’s not professional.  That’s childish.  Sadly, he continues to conduct his show in that manner.

Forde and Rome have shown in the past their unwillingness to respond to Iowa fans.  Both of them will not come on local shows to openly discuss their issues about Iowa and why they don’t like Ferentz.

Give Doyel credit on this:  he read Jon’s blog and responded to it.  Will Jim Rome do that?  Hell no.

Kirk Ferentz and Iowa SID Phil Haddy. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Gregg Doyel is a bigger man for being willing to hear a different view. He may not agree with Miller, but the fact that he acknowledged it and tweeted it speaks volumes.  That is why I like him and read his columns.

It’s funny, last month we, the fans, wanted the coaches and administrators fired.  That is, until the football team beat Missouri.  But we hate it when someone else who doesn’t live here pops off about our school and we become defensive. Welcome to the world of hypocrisy.

Welcome to college athletics.  If your team is mentioned across the nation, then you have to be ready to deal with the bad, as well as the good when it comes to your program.

The New World Order of the Big Ten Conference

The Big 10 Conference + Nebraska (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

On Wednesday, the Big 10 Conference announced the newly created divisions.  I don’t need to break it down for you, because the Big 10 took care of that themselves.

The talented Pete Jones of “Des Moines is Not Boring” was unhappy about the pairing of Iowa and Purdue in the “cross-rival” game.  In fact, everyone was unhappy about it.  As I put it, to quote Meat Loaf, “two out of three ain’t bad.” I would rather have Nebraska and Minnesota, lose Wisconsin for two years, and make Purdue a rival for the good of conference.  It’s business, eyeballs, and ratings.

The New World Order

Last year’s 11-5 Iowa win over Penn State didn’t move the ABC national ratings barometer.  Never have, never will.  Nebraska vs. Penn State in the past have moved the meter.  It’s a sexier match-up between two tradition-laden programs.

Yes, Pete, it’s not fair and shouldn’t matter, but the Big 10 needs as much national exposure to bolster it’s “brand.”  Just like we do when we have to promote our blogs, our skills, and our names.

Let’s look at the big picture:  Iowa is a big winner with this division set-up.  Michigan’s struggling and Nebraska will be getting their feet wet.   Minnesota and Michigan State are, well, Minnesota and Michigan State, and Northwestern will be a thorn in Iowa’s side.

Winner winner chicken alfredo dinner.

Be happy that Iowa will continue their rivalry with Minnesota.  That game has a lot of history and they play for Floyd of Rosedale.  Be happy that Iowa will finally get their wish and play Nebraska every year.  Expect to skip Thanksgiving dinner and start tailgating in Lincoln that night.  The Hawks and the Huskers will play the Friday after Turkey Day.

Don’t let a little hang-up like having the Boilermakers as a “cross-divisional” rival be a big issue.

Mmmm, turkey, football, Cornhuskers...

Live coverage of Nebraska BOR meeting

It's high noon in Lincoln.

I’m working on a few things, non-sports related, to post in a few days.

But if you think I’ve grown tired of the Big 12 breakup, you are so wrong. The Nebraska Board of Regents is meeting as we speak.

If you have nothing to do, or do not want to listen to the Cubs and White Sox start their weekend series at Wrigley, you can tune into KOZN-AM 1620 (ESPN) out of Omaha , as they are covering the developments in Lincoln.  Currently, the Board of Regents are now meeting in a closed session, with the formal announcement that the Huskers will leave the Big 12 and join the Big 10 expected before the end of business today (that’s 5pm to you and me).

I apologize for the histrionics of the show hosts.  They can’t wait to join the Big 10.

This hour’s conference break-up report is brought to you in part by the Cubs and White Sox rivalry, presented by BP.

BP, where oil and water don’t mix!

Big 10: Nebraska (done deal), Texas, Texas A&M (if you believe what KCTV-TV in K.C. says)

Pac 10: The Texas triple axis

MWC: Iowa State, K-State, Baylor

Independent: Kansas Basketball

Who just screwed themselves: Missouri, Notre Dame (goodbye lucrative TV contract and goodbye BCS money!)

“Head east, Big Red”

Load up the wagon, Ma, we're heading east....to the Big 10!

Sean Callahan from Husker Illustrated has reported the inevitable, and I say this with caution, that the Board of Regents at the University of Nebraska will meet on Friday morning and is likely to vote in favor of leaving the Big 12.

Later on that day, the Big 10 is expected to extend the invite for Tom Osborne and the Big Red Nation to join their league.

As Horace Greeley would say today:  “Go east, young man.”

The Huskers have called Missouri and Colorado’s bluff, and the covered wagon wheels are now moving…to send the Big 12 off the cliff.

It’s on like Donkey Kong now, kiddies.

Today’s ever-changing conference comings-and-goings:

Big 10: Nebraska

Pac 10: Colorado and all of the Texas schools, sans Baylor

Screwed: Missouri and Baylor (welcome to the club fellas), the Kansas schools, and ISU

Who should start a new conference?: the teams in the screwed category plus Utah, Colorado State, and Tulsa.  It’s the “new” Big 8!

It Could Happen…

University of Pittsburgh Panthers

BenMaller.com, run by the popular Ben Maller, host of FSR’s overnight weekend show, is hearing that the Big 10 may have their 12th member.  Rumors are floating, according to reports, that Pitt has started telling their athletes that they getting out of the Big East.

Decide for yourself:  yay or nay on Pitt??