Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Feb. 6, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on the day of the big (pro) gridiron game...
Yes, Hawkeye basketball fans that was a 10-point second half deficit on the road -- a 10-point second half deficit on the road -- Fran's squad erased en route to its 64-63 victory yesterday over Indiana inside a loud and proud Assembly Hall. Wow. What a game. Wow. What a win. Wow. That's back-to-back Big Ten victories by a team that keeps getting better and better and better. The Badgers visit Carver on Wednesday. I invite you to climb aboard the bus now by purchasing a game ticket or two.
Asked last Wednesday if, in so many words, there was a rush to judgment last week when 13 members of his football team were hospitalized, Kirk Ferentz suggested the following: "I would say know the facts and I would encourage people to know facts and know the people involved. (That) would be my suggestion." Later, our head coach football coach offered a little more... "It's the world we live in and I understand that. This is just wishful thinking, (but) anybody that's going to author a comment, written or verbal, (it would be good) to have all of the facts and know the parties involved. That's not realistic and I know that and you weather it and you stand by what it is you do and who you are."
"Stand by what it is you do and who you are." Pretty powerful words, don't you think? And, from where I sit, Kirk does this time and time and time again.
A jolly and very successful green giant fell to the earth Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That giant was Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans. They fell to a low that Izzo himself said was new territory for him and his program, a program that is without a doubt the stick by which all other men's basketball programs in the Big Ten measure themselves. We all know and like Izzo. He's a fun guy and a great coach...so he'll figure his team out. However, let the record show that the visiting Spartans lost by 20 because Fran McCaffery's Hawkeyes played their game at a level this group had not achieved until Wednesday evening. They shot. They passed. They defended. They "turned" (the Fran-ism for "created turnovers"). They turned the "turns" into points. They pushed it when the opportunity presented itself. And, of course, they finished. It was a beautiful thing, a really beautiful thing.
It's Super Bowl Sunday and I think it's going to be an absolutely fantastic game - that I plan to enjoy AFTER returning from Carver-Hawkeye Arena where Bluder's Bunch will entertain Penn State on Mediacom Court beginning at 2 p.m. My pick? I'm going to suggest that Brian Bulaga's incredible ride will reach silly heights.
The Iowa football staff officially welcomed a bunch of newcomers into the family this week. As always, thr group includes a very good number of multi-sport student-athletes, student-athletes with leadership credentials, and so much more. If you haven't had a chance to review the resumes and watch the free video, HERE is a link to bookmark and visit over the next few months to familiarize yourself with the names, some of which you'll hear about often in the coming weeks and months, and others you'll hear about a year or two from now when they've successfully climbed the depth chart.
By the way, take a look at the video of the quarterback from Florida. I'll be the first to tell you I'm no football coach, but, I think you'll agree with me after taking a peek: The kid throws a nice pass.
I can't imagine you are not aware that the Heartland got socked with a little snow the other day. However, did you know that it was the most for Iowa City in one punch since 27 inches fell on a single day back in the winter of 1951. Folks, they didn't have snowblowers back then. My back hurts just thinking about that.
HERE is a link to an entry in the Gazette's Mike Hlas' "Hlog." Like Mike, I didn't realize the "Iowa Football Club" existed...but I am not at all surpised. The club also has its a presence online: HERE.
I remember being impressed during the non-conference season when Bryce Cartwright went coast-to-coast in Carver. Today, the UI's starting point guard is -- as they say -- getting a lot of love these days and deservedly so. It was his short jumper that gave the Hawkeyes their margin for victory yesterday in Bloomington, Ind. Cartwright's line was impressive: 15 points and 8 assists in 33 minutes of big-time basketball. "I'm very proud of him," Fran said before yesterday's game during his pre-game chat with the voice of the Hawkeyes, Gary Dolphin.