“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.


Player Haters: A Lesson From Boise State

Cinnamon Rost owns and operates 1809 Design. Check her out!

After years of dreaming, planning, and devising a business plan, you have finally opened up your own business.  You cultivate new clients, provide the best service, and is highly regarded as a rising upstart.

But, there are those who are either jealous or strongly feel that you don’t belong in their league.  They bend the rules and expect you to fail.  They’ll pat you on the head and say “nice job” and behind your back they wished you go away.

How do you deal with “player haters” like these?

The Boise State Broncos. Click to see the three plays that put them in college football's elite.

Ask the Boise State Broncos about that feeling.

On Monday, the Broncos continue building their reputation as a great team by beating Virginia Tech, 33-30.  And yet, college football critics still look at the Broncos as a team that have no place in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) discussion with Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, and yes, Iowa.

Boise State has done everything that is required of them to do.  They go out and play teams from high-profile conferences, take their lumps, and find a way to turn those lumps into big wins.  They went undefeated and hasn’t broken any NCAA rules.

But, to their critics, like Gary Barnett and Colin Cowherd, they would rather see Boise go away.  The Broncos are “messing up” the status quo that is the BCS.

“They don’t play anyone outside of Oregon St. and Virginia Tech this year.” It’s not their fault the teams in the WAC conference is bad.  Boise St. has to play them.  It’s on the other schools to play better and win games themselves.

“If they had to play (fill-in the school)’s schedule, they would finish in the middle of the pack.” So freaking what?  Alabama, with the schedule they have, could end up in the middle of the pack.  It’s called luck and good play.

“Boise State is ‘taking’ someone else’s BCS spot, if they go undefeated.” If the Broncos do “steal” that spot that they “don’t deserve”, they shouldn’t apologize to anyone.  The team that gets slighted probably should have done a lot more to solidify their resume.

There are plenty of "haters" out there who don't you to be in their league.

Seriously, how many “haters” do Boise have?  In business, how many “haters” do you have? If they’re spending so much time criticizing you, telling others that you are an “one-trick pony”, it’s likely that they’re losing business…to you.

Take Boise’s attitude and apply it to you goals:  keep doing what you do best and do it better. Ultimately, everyone will have to accept you, whether they like it or not.

You are here to stay.

Monmouth @ Wartburg game pics

Wartburg opened their 75th season of football Saturday hosting #17 Monmouth at Walston-Hoover Stadium.  The Knights rolled over the Fighting Scots, 27-7, limiting the Scots high-flying offense, led by QB Alex Tanney, to 226 yards (2 total yards rushing).  The Scots were averaging over 400 yards per game.

Here are some pictures from the game.

The outside of Walston-Hoover Stadium.
View from the pressbox looking east towards Clinton Hall. Notice the two banners "Wartburg" and "Be Orange" affixed to the dorm building.
View from the south endzone.
A packed house at W-H.
View from inside of the pressbox
Play on the field.
Post-game fireworks as part of the football program's 75th anniversary.
More fireworks.
View from the stands looking towards the south endzone and The W (Wartburg-Waverly Wellness Center)

Small College Football: A Love Story

Everyone knows about Iowa and Iowa State, but have you… (Wartburg Circuit)

It’s hard to believe that we’re 10 days away from the annual Iowa/ISU game.  Around this time every year, everyone starts talking about the Hawks and the Cyclones, planning tailgates, and having big events to celebrate this yearly clash.

I’ve been fortunate to go with my friends to watch Iowa and ISU.  But when I try and encourage them to go see a small college football game, they scoff at the notion, simply because it’s not Iowa or ISU.

…considered watching Central, Coe, and Wartburg this year?

The Iowa Conference is one of the most premier leagues in NCAA Division III and plays the best football in this state.  To be quite honest, sitting in a stadium with 7,000  fans is a little less frightening that being packed like sardines in a 70,585 seat Kinnick Stadium.  Going to a small college game is special and quite foreign for the average big-name Division I-A football fan.

But, as many of you Cyclones and Hawkeyes fans will ask:  why should we care about schools like Wartburg, Coe, and Loras? Here are my reasons that you should experience a small college game.

Luther (blue) vs. Central (white)
  • You could spend up to $100 to nab two tickets to see a game at Kinnick or Jack Trice Stadium.  It’s only $7 a piece to sit in picturesque venues like Carlson Stadium, J. Leslie Rollins Stadium, or The Rock Bowl.
  • Game-day in Iowa City and Ames isn’t the same as it it in Indianola, Waverly, or Mt. Vernon.  I love the smaller atmosphere, intimacy, and the charm that small college athletics offer.
  • Tailgating is smaller and more intimate.  You’re not weaving through a crowd of over 35,000 to get to your tailgate site.  We party and celebrate as much as the big schools do, but you’ll never have to feel crushed in a crowd to have fun.
Coe (white) vs. Cornell (red), the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi River.

If Iowa and ISU wins 6 games, they get to go to a bowl game.  In the IIAC, whoever wins the conference title is the only one from the league to go to the playoffs.  Nine teams fighting for one spot in the post-season.  No one takes a week off during the season.

In the “Neil Suckow” Bowl in 2006, Wartburg students made up these shirts to poke fun at Coe. Suckow transferred from Coe to Wartburg the previous winter.

Why do I love small college football?  Because it’s not Division I-A, where coaches have to run their programs like CEOs, face the pressure of “win now”, and players don’t leave early for the NFL.  You’ll never see that in Division III, Division II, and NAIA.  Coaches get to coach, the players play for their school and for each other, and fans support it because they believe in small colleges and the value they provide to a community, a student body, and to its alumni.

If writing a 550-word post about this isn’t good enough, well, this video should hopefully do the trick.  This clip represents every school in the Iowa Conference and why it’s special to those who graduated from these member schools.

Lord Football Has Returned

Will the Hoover Huskies (green) turn things around on the gridiron? We'll find out tonight when they host Indianola at McGrane Stadium.

August might be the dog days of summer, but to millions of us, August gives us an opportunity to prepare, plan, and salivate at the notion that our favorite time of the year has graced us with its blessings again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, August marks an important month in the lives of a large sector of our fellow Americans. It’s a huge part of who we are, what we believe in, and in most cases, no one can object to. There is aura in the air anytime we think of this occasion and the next six months we’ll spend enjoying it like a deity.

Tyler "Bleeper Bleeping" Sash will be patrolling the defensive backfield for your Hawkeyes.

Kids, it’s Christmas Time once again.

Football’s back.

Lord Football returns, giving us gifts of hard hits, big plays, and fantasy action.  The Lord doesn’t discriminate, nor does he plays favorites.  The game of football is for all to embrace, with its pageantry, the scenery, and the countdown to kickoff.  Oh the wonder! Athlon, the NFL Network, the Iowa Prep Fanatic, and College Gameday.  Facepaint, pom-poms, and pulling out that old team jersey on game day.

It’s about the Bears, Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings.  It’s about the Hawkeyes, Panthers, Cyclones, and Bulldogs.  It’s also about the Storm, Mustangs, Kohawks, and yes, Knights .  It’s too hard not to include the Maroons, Bluejays, Scarlets, and Huskies.  For a certain few, it’s the Titans, Hurricanes, or the Rocks of Rock Island.

Monmouth (red) remembers how Wartburg (white) ended their playoff season on this touchdown catch by Justin Vetter in 2008. The rematch is on September 4th in Waverly.

Our nation should deem August 1st as an official start to the football season every year because this game, football, is one of passion, loyalty, and pride.  You rejoice on every touchdown, you cringe when they fumble.  You cry when they lose and yes, you cry when they win.

Football is a game that bring those from and far and wide to catch up on life, dissect each play, and come up with catchy chants to put down the opposing team.  Yes, my brethren, it is time for football.  No longer shall August be the dog days of summer as it has been referred to.

Get ready to take the field and march towards touchdowns galore!

Report: Colorado to bolt on Wednesday

"We're out (maybe?)!"

Chip Brown of the Texas Longhorns message board, Orangebloods.com, is a busy boy these days.

Brown has reported, from two sources, that the University of Colorado is expected to announce that they will leave the Big 12 and head to the Pac-10.  But there is financial catch if the Buffaloes want to break camp. In order to leave, Colorado will have to pay a $1o million (penalty) fee.

I’ll believe it when I actually see CU officials get up on the podium and say “we’re out” in their best Cosmo Kramer voice.

I guess we won’t have to hear Dan Hawkins talk about the Big 12 again like he did in this classic rant:

Parity Rules on Saturday Afternoons

It’s an interesting question, who is the best college football team, that is.  So many pundits, so many arguments.  But, let’s be realistic here.  The best team, uh I should say the best (Division) 1-A team, is not Florida, Alabama, Texas, TCU, or Boise State.

No one stands out as the best team right now.  Since getting knocked out versus Kentucky, Tim Tebow has been pedestrian-like for Florida.   Alabama is the SEC’s version of Iowa:  phenomenal defense, and just enough offense to get by, even with RB Mark Ingram.  Texas can’t seem to get out the gates at the start of their games, only to flip on the switch in the 2nd quarter.

There are plenty of flaws with the Top 25 teams.  To add, there hasn’t been one “standout” game for either team to show that they are the cream of the top.  With that said, Florida and Texas, barring any major upsets, will meet for the B(C)S (or Big Six) championship.  Alabama has the most to lose, because their weakness on offense will catch up to them.  Mark Ingram can’t bail them out every time.