Kirk always sees the coming season a little differently than the rest of us and he proved that again during the Davenport Quarterback Club's annual lawn party.
July 3, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on a holiday Sunday in the home of the Hawkeyes...
Happy Independence Day! One of these years, we'll get to Washington D.C. or Boston on this particular weekend and witness firsthand the spectacular that is the July 4 celebration in those history-filled towns. Until then, however, I'll gladly settle for the fireworks in the Heartland.
Last week the Quarterback Club in Davenport hosted a handful of UI Athletics Department staff at its annual lawn party. An elegant event, this always is, staged in Davenport's historic "Outing Club." I had a great evening, spending most of it in conversation with Bob, the now-retired former CEO of Triple A of Iowa, and Loretta, the wife of Jerry, a retired physician and the grandfather of a soon-to-be freshman at the UI. Best news of the night for me? The newest Hawkeye has already purchased his season tickets for football and men's basketball!
And, if you in the audience and were listening closely last Tuesday night in Davenport, you learned something - again - from Kirk. Our head coach was talking about the coming season and he noted the addition of Nebraska as one of several "new preparations" for his staff. New preparations? Several? So, think about it: Two new non-conference opponents, the aforementioned Nebraska, brand new coaches at Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan, and a date with Purdue - not a new coach this season, but a new coach and opponent for the Hawkeyes based on the Big Ten Conference's new schedule for 2011.
It's now just 63 days before....FryFest 2011! Check it out HERE.
I read two quotes from our starting quarterback last week that put smiles on my faces. The first was in The Gazette. Marc Morehouse was writing about the summer jobs that some of the Hawkeyes are involved in the summer. James Vandenberg is spending a portion of his summer working for the National I-Club where, according to James, "I write thank you's, call people, do work with (Matt Henderson), grab coffee." That coffee thing made me chuckle. You can read the full story HERE. Then, later in the week in an article that appeared in hawkeyesports.com, our official daily e-newspaper, James offered this: "If I am not ready now after three years then I'll never be ready." I really smiled when I read that one. You can read that full story HERE.
This is the time of year where I occasionally have an opportunity to spend some time with participants in our corporate sponsorship program. One such opportunity occurred two weeks ago when a group of agents from American Family Insurance - a long-time advertiser on the Hawkeye Radio Network - visited Kinnick. I always enjoy the opportunity to bring groups like this to the playing field of Kinnick Stadium and talk about game days in our football facility, our athletics program as a whole, our coaching staff, our student-athletes, what it really means to be a member of the grandest athletics conference in America, and to inform them that we judge our success three ways: Do we compete for championships? Do we graduate our student-athletes? Do we contribute to the community? And, of course, a fourth unspoken but understood measure of success: Do we generate 100 percent of the financial resources required to be successful at the aforementioned three? I dare say we had a pretty good year.
My source for legit feedback from PTL and GTL action is telling me only good things about the performances of current and soon-to-be-Hawkeyes. It's fun again, folks!
And, since there has been no family (or work) golf since Ryan took a 7-0 lead - I think he's avoiding me, I write with a chuckle -- 'tis all for now. Have a great holiday.