Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Sept. 9, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: Later this month, the UI Athletics Department will officially introduce its new free daily e-newsletter, "Hawk Talk Daily" -- "HTD" for short. However, we decided to re-introduce a popular column from last year's "Official Sports Report" -- OSR -- this week to celebrate the start of the 2010 college football season. If you want to make sure you are on the list to receive HTD, send an e-mail to email@example.com with "HTD" in the subject line. We'll keep you posted as the launch of HTD nears. Enjoy!
IOWA CITY, Iowa --Some random thoughts for the Friday - the day of a big game - and day before the big game...
Yes, there's a big game being played today - Friday, Sept. 10. Iowa versus Iowa State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Coach Sharon Dingman's Hawkeye volleyball team will entertain the nationally ranked Cyclones. If you're in town, stop by. If you planning to arrive in town tonight but fear it may be too late, change your plans and get to the Arena by 7. I guarantee you'll get an enormous bang for your buck ($3 actually). And, you could be a winner of some great door prizes including the chance to be one of just six finalists for a trip for two to the football Hawkeyes' next bowl game.
Friday is another big Day 1 of a big weekend for the UI and the UI Athletics Department. It begins with the National I-Club's traditional breakfast and concludes with the 18th annual Kinnick Society event. There's also the aforementioned volleyball match and a great event for the Iowa Corn Growers Association inside the Paul W. Brechler Press Box. And, as far as Saturday goes, it's just a big, big day across campus...just the way it's supposed to be.
Saturday is one of the many reasons why I love working where I work. There is simply nothing that compares to a football game day on a college campus like the UI's. And, the excitement and energy and anticipation simply ratchets up on game days like we will all enjoy on Saturday. Heck of a deal.
It's said that football teams make the greatest improvement between game 1 and game 2 of each season. OK. So, let's hope that happens for Kirk's squad...and that, administratively, collectively we're better than we were last week on managing what's happening outside the stadium pre and post-game, and at the gates. To continue the football analogy, we had a few turnovers last week and have called a few audibles. However, it needs to be noted that the game plan - little to no tolerance for the extreme and illegal - hasn't changed. I'm confident we will be much more fan-friendly and that we've addressed the challenges at the gates into Kinnick...but I'd ask that you click HERE and familiarize yourself with the game plan for Saturday anyway.
Speaking of Saturday pre-game, please make this mental note: If it rains significantly Friday, grass parking lots used on game days may be affected. The UI will share any decisions on this topic with media...but to be safe, you might check hawkeyesports.com before you begin your trek to Iowa City.
Sports is a game of numbers and one that I liked last week and I'm sure Kirk did was this one: 1. Just one penalty called against his team in its first game of the new year. That's one better than last year's season opener and by a team that included, most notably, a few first-time starters in the offensive line.
I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to watching Jewel Hampton again. He was sure fun to watch two years ago. Wasn't he the rookie that had trouble with his socks staying in place?
Have you ever heard the phrase - or something closely akin - "Putting 10 pounds of flower in a 5-pound sack"? Well, that's what happens when 40,000 fans of college football try to enter Kinnick in the last 20 minutes before kickoff. Ain't gonna happen, folks. Just too many bodies and not enough spaces. So - again - consider leaving your pre-game festivities just under an hour before kickoff and enter the gate nearest your section of the stadium. It's the best bet if you want to enjoy "Back in Black" to its fullest.
Speaking of rain, it was this event two years ago that proved to be the "tipping point" for the decision to replace the drainage system below the playing surface which, of course, triggered the decision on the playing surface. And, yes, like you, I sure do like the look of our playing field. Simply beautiful to look at from inside Kinnick and simply stunning on television, particularly in high def.
Speaking of high definition television, the Big Ten Network's picture is second to none. The Klatt family always DVR's the game to watch on Sunday. When we sat down last Sunday, I was once again blown away by the picture. Heck of a deal.
I spent a little time with Fran McCaffery this week. The two of us were joined by the voice of the Hawkeyes, Gary Dolphin. They were recording some commercials that you'll soon be hearing on the radio. In no particular order, I love Fran's energy, enthusiasm, wit and confidence. If you're undecided about whether to plan on a winter in the Arena with the Hawkeyes, take the plunge and help make the rebuilding of our men's basketball happen that much quicker. You can then say, someday very soon, "I was there when..." Heck of a deal.
Oh, yeah. I love Dolph, too. A great Hawk who gets better and better and better. You'd be hard-pressed to find a college football radio broadcast that's better than the Hawkeye Radio Network's with Gary, Ed and Rob?
Did I mention there was an important volleyball match Friday night in Carver? If you're a UI student, wander over. You, too, will be entertained. And...if you're among the first 20 or so, there's a free ticket to Saturday's football game and Iowa's game with Ball State - the Throwback Game - waiting for you -- if you make the investment in a men's basketball season ticket. Do the math: Two football tickets worth $50 each ($100) for 17 men's basketball games at a cost of just $75. I think you come out ahead on that deal!
Just noted that 2:30 p.m. Iowa time Saturday is chock full of great college football: Iowa-Iowa State, Ohio State-Miami, Oklahoma-Florida State, Michigan-Notre Dame. That's not a bad lineup for the second week of the season.
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and is an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athelics Department.