Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
May 29, 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 the Sunday prior to another Memorial Day in the Heartland...
Ask just about any member of my family and they'll tell you, "Rick loves to mow the lawn." I do. I'm not really 100 percent when it started, but I always remember enjoying the task. I really like mowing the lawn now because - as I've mentioned before - it's quality "think time." I mowed last night and found myself thinking about Dan Gable, our former wrestling coach...as if you needed that detail. (As one of my children would say, "Duh. I'm pretty sure they would know that. You're talking about Dan Gable.") I was focused on what made him the very best at what he did and arrived at the obvious: He led by example and, perhaps more importantly, he sure appears to be the ultimate motivator.
I've written before how much I admire the work of Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. I think I've also mentioned how much I admire Tom Brands. He talks the talk and walks the walk, as they say. My admiration for both climbed another couple rungs when I saw this: HERE.
Speaking of coaches who accomplished some remarkable things, as his team gets ready for the 2011 NCAA Championship this week down in Oklahoma, you do have to give a tip of the fedora to the work Mark Hankins has done in his first four years in Iowa City as the head Hawk for the UI's men's golf program. Earlier this week, Golfweek offered a nice look at what Hankins has accomplished. I invite you to check it out by clicking HERE.
We're going to celebrate Dan Saturday night at the Coralville Marriott. There's been a committee that's been driving this event. And, as always with committees, a few do and/or contribute more than the others. That's true on this one, too, and at the top of that list is Les Steenlage, a long-time member of the UI Athletics Department staff and the guy - as in "The Guy" - in Carver when it comes to our wrestling program. Of course, the committee has also been motivated by the Gable girls -- Dan's daughters -- and I've watched with admiration a handful of others who don't shy away from displaying their affection for Dan. Kudos to the group for a job well done. As Les noted recently in an e-mail, it's been "a labor of love" for a man that is oh so very deserving. The members of the committee and one or two others are the only individuals that are aware of the full schedule for the evening and I can tell you without hesitation that Dan will enjoy himself - as will the more than 800 expected to be in attendance - and he and his wife and his family and his many friends will remember this night for a long, long, long time.
Iowa's runners and throwers were in Eugene, Ore., this weekend working for the opportunity to advance the national championship to be staged later this month in Des Moines. Yeah, as "Wiz" noted recently, this year's NCAA meet will be a "home event" for the Hawkeyes. It's been a remarkable year for the UI track and field squad and some of the best is yet to come. Click HERE to read about Saturday's results.
Iowa and Nebraska will kick at 11 a.m. next November. Some have grumbled that this event didn't rise to the level of a 2:30 p.m. kick but I kinda like it where it is. The Hawks can wake up, grab some breakfast, get taped and play football. No need to kill time in the hotel.
The first annual Ladies Football Academy presented by McGrath Automotive Group and United Healthcare is just days away but the opportunity to participate hasn't passed. Click HERE to join the fun and it's going to be a blast and, best of all, it's all being done in support of the Iowa Children's Hospital. Heck of deal.
Speaking of golf, my son and I travelled out to Solon Saturday morning for a quick nine holes with my brother-in-law and his daughter, who will be playing collegiately next fall. The young guns caught the old guys on the last two holes to win a match that will happen at least one more time this summer. And, alas, Ryan took a 3-0 lead in the summer series with me thanks in great measure to an approach shot from about 40 yards out that turned what appeared to be a likely bogey six into a birdie. More importantly, while I grabbed a bite to eat in the clubhouse I was pleased to listen to chit chat that was a little about graduation parties and much more about Iowa football and men's and women's hoops. As evidenced by this week's news on ticket sales for the home games of Ferentz's squad - we can accommodate the demand - Hawkeye Nation is excited. That's a good thing...a really good thing.