Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
April 20, 2011
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Random Thoughts" is a weekly feature of Hawk Talk Daily, a daily e-newsletter distributed to 60,000-plus fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes. To be added to the distribution list, call us at (319) 335-9431.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on a disappointingly cold and rainy Tuesday in the Heartland...
So, I'd just like to know who among us played the dirty joke on Mother Nature? I mean, c'mon, now. Seriously. One of us did something that didn't sit right with her. A week in the low 50s and an Easter Sunday that might have a hard time getting past 55 degrees? This is the third week of April and while I'm not eager to jump straight into summer, I thought I had put away the winter coat two weeks ago.
Speaking of cold, it was COLD Saturday at Kinnick. In fact, I can't think of another spring game/practice day that was colder and, in fact, I couldn't really come up with a colder game-day either. The Iowa-Penn State game a few years back when Daniel Murray became an Iowa folk hero was close. Maybe the difference was that Saturday was cold and wet...the kind of cold and wet that drilled down deep into your bones.
I had the opportunity to shake the (very strong right) hand of Chad Greenway Saturday. Smart guy, that former linebacker of ours. He and his wife and two children had settled into some comfortable chairs in the suite Gary Barta calls home on game days instead of battling the elements that were wreaking havoc on those in the grandstands. I asked Chad if he thought he was going to be a working man come August and he smiled and said, "Sure hope so." We also laughed about the next step for he and his wife: Going from man-to-man defense to zone if they decide to have a third child. "I'm pretty good in zone coverage," he smiled.
It sure was good to also shake the big hands of Eddie Podolak Saturday. He, too - like Greenway - looked great...and said he's feeling better every day. My only question for Ed was whether he planned on walking to work on Saturdays next fall and I got that really big Eddie Podolak smile followed by a "You bet, buddy boy!" Eddie also said that he appreciates tremendously the thoughts and prayers of Hawkeye Nation and can't say enough about the support he's receiving from a long list of folks that are making his rehab work go so smoothly. The next order of business on that score is to get into the water: "I can't wait to work on my backstroke," he said with a chuckle.
Last week was a good week for lots of reasons including, most notably, it included an opportunity to listen to our defensive coordinator, Norm Parker. Wednesday at noon was Norm and Ken O'Keefe's opportunity to answer questions from the media who report on the goings-on with our football program. Make no mistake, like everyone, I watch the press conference and read the transcript with delight because Norm never fails to put a smile on your face once or twice or three times. This week's beauty was a thing related to beauty: Asked if the offensive coaches share their thoughts on the defensive players and vice versa, Norm offered the following: "Yeah we do a little bit, but you've got to be careful because everybody thinks their daughter is prettier than the other guy's daughter."
One final thought on the spring football game/practice. The brisk weather kept a good chunk of fans home and that's unfortunate because, for many, it's a trip they don't make in the fall. So, here's hoping that Mother Nature smiles on the annual "Kids Day" event next August. And, since I put it out there, no, I'm not 100 percent certain of the date of that activity this year...but I will find out and include it in the next installment of "Randoms"...
Unfortunately, it was pretty much college golf weather last weekend at Finkbine, but the frigid conditions didn't derail Mark Hankins' squad, winners of the Hawkeye-TaylorMade Invitational by two strokes thanks to a solid performance in Sunday's 18 that was paced by Vince India's second straight one-under 71. "Sometimes when you come out in the spring, it's hard to continue the success from the fall. I'm glad to keep this momentum going; it's turned out to be a pretty good year," India, a senior from Deerfield, Ill., said after tying for medalist honors. "This keeps our momentum going as a team. It's nice to get the win after messing up at LSU (placed third). It re-affirms the fact that we are a good team, we beat some good competition this week. It is a confidence-booster heading towards the post season," he added. Iowa travels to Ohio State this weekend in its final tune-up before the 2011 Big Ten Conference Championships at Purdue the last weekend of the month.
A little over three weeks of the Major League Baseball season is in the books. That season won't end until, quite possibly if not likely, early November. That's a long one, my friends. Now, having said that, the playoff have just begun for the NBA and NHL and those league's respective champions will get crowned just before we celebrate our nation's birthday. Those are long ones, too. Perhaps, I'm not looking through the correct cut of the prism...perhaps these seasons aren't long to the fans who follow those teams.