Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
June 6, 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 -- - IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on a beautiful summer Sunday in the Heartland...
The UI and a ballroom filled with more than 850 friends, fans, peers and family celebrated Dan Gable last night at the Coralville Marriott. The once-in-a-lifetime salute to a real American icon concluded with the announcement that a statue of Dan will greet visitors to Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning next April. It's to be installed outside the Arena's west entrance in time to greet the thousands of wrestling enthusiasts that will attend the 2012 United States Olympic Wrestling Team Trials. The sculpture will be the handiwork of Larry Nowlan, the artist responsible for three works of art on the UI campus including the statue of Nile Kinnick that greets visitors to historic Kinnick Stadium. Here's a link to a brief story about last night, a video that was shown after dinner, and some photographs of the event and the clay model that UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta unveiled last night: HERE. As for the statue, pretty cool, to say the least.
How about a tip of the fedora to Mark Hankins' UI men's golf team? Sure, the Hawkeyes didn't advance to match play at this week's 2011 NCAA Men's Golf Championship. However, their 10th place finish is the best in school history and bests both their national ranking entering the tournament and their seed in the championship. You can watch a post-event video featuring Mark and his talented junior, Chris Brant, HERE. I have to tell you, I was awfully impressed with Mark's candor in this interview. It's not easy to talk about coming up short of a goal just minutes after the realization that an important goal wasn't going to be achieved. But, you could tell that he was proud of what this Hawkeye team - and its two seniors - had achieved....as he should be.
Speaking of Mark and his post-event comments, he'd made reference to a bad final nine on Day 1 proving to be too much for the Hawkeyes to overcome. So, I guess it is true...you can't win the tournament on the first day, but you can lose it. I agree with Mark - and, of course, that's easy to do - when he says with pride that his squad didn't "lose it" until the 54th hole. That's gritty.
What do I think of the UI men's basketball team's non-conference schedule? It is absolutely, 100 percent perfection for Year 2 of the Fran McCaffery era at of men's hoops at the UI.
A little more about golf....my son gave me an opening yesterday on the final hole of our nine at Finkbine. I needed it and - fortunately - I took advantage of it. I made my putt and halved the round, so our next nine will be worth two points in the summer-long head-to-head competition. It will be a very important nine holes, too. Maybe a better word would be "decisive." A win by Ryan and he takes 5-0 lead. A win by the "old man," and I cut it to a 3-2 margin. I may have to take my brother-in-law's advice and begin to work a little harder to "get into" Ryan's head a little more. Nonetheless, as good as it felt to make the putt that Ryan refused to give, the best part about Saturday's round was the fact that we had a third with us. My wife -- and Ryan's mom -- joined us and smacked it pretty good for someone who hadn't gripped a club in two years.