Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Oct. 29, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on a Sunday in late October...
There's no doubt that I'm probably like a lot of you out there. As I wake this morning, a long line of leaves slicing across my backyard are waiting for me my return. You see, I'm about 80 percent home on this annual task. I'm quite certain every leaf in every tree that dots our homestead fell straight down to earth this year and hasn't moved one foot in any direction. No...it sat there maybe for days, maybe for weeks, waiting for me, rake in hand. Maybe I'll finish the task this afternoon...or maybe not.
The silver lining from yesterday's visit to Evanston? That's easy. Clearly it was the return to the gridiron of running back Damon Bullock. If Eddie said it once to those listening on the Hawkeye Radio Network, he said it or something very similar 10 times yesterday: "Man it's good to have him back on the playing field." For the record, Bullock gained 107 yards on 22 carries, much of which - according to Eddie because I'm just a fan who isn't smart enough about the game to know this stuff - came on cutbacks at the line of scrimmage after NU linebackers had committed to the direction taken by the offensive line. Bullock also had five catches for another 41 yards.
Here's a link to our take on the game: HERE.
Here's a link to some video: HERE
The NCAA released its annual report on the classwork of student-athletes nationally and, in the case of ours, they should take a long and deep bow: Iowa set new school records for graduation rate - as measured by the federal government - and in the NCAA's "Graduation Success Rate," a tool the NCAA introduced eight years ago. You can read the details HERE. The bottom line, however, is straightforward: At the UI, student-athletes are expected to compete for championships and compete in the classroom and, in the latter, they are achieving at a higher level than ever before and at a level that is the envy of the vast majority of their peers.
A tip of the fedora to Ron Rainey's UI women's soccer team. The Hawkeyes walked onto the Iowa Soccer Complex turf yesterday afternoon know this simple fact: Beat Wisconsin and advance to the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. Lose and the season is over. So, Iowa blitzed the Badgers with 11 first half shots on goal and took a 1-0 lead into the intermission thanks to a header by Dana Dalrymple. Then, less than two minutes into the second period, the Hawkeyes' Chloe Lacasse scored her lucky 13th goal of the season to put the game out of reach for the visitors and send the Hawkeyes packing next weekend. You can read about the win HERE and you can watch some video HERE.
I don't understand the obsession by some media and fans about night games in November. Yes, there are beautiful days in the month of November. No doubt. I remember the Saturday two years ago when the Hawkeyes were playing the Gophers on what was some pretty frozen tundra in Minneapolis in the season finale. That same day, the thermometer pushed into the 50s in Iowa City. Having said that, most evenings in the Heartland in the 11th month on the calendar aren't just chilly, they are downright cold and that's reason enough to leave sleeping dog alone.
Well, ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit scoffed at the idea. "Iowa? C''mon," he snarked yesterday morning early in what is two of the best hours of television for fans of college football "It's a nice graphic," he added. The ESPN GameDay crew was reporting on the Big Ten Conference and available for all to see was a graphic showing the top four teams in the Legends Division...with, of course, the Hawkeyes standing there with just one loss. Well, Kirk, as your good buddy Lee is prone to snort with a smile, "Not so fast, my friend." Like it or not, our beloved Hawkeyes have a very good opportunity to remain very relevant in the discussion of who winds up in Indianapolis. Yes, let's take 'em one game at a time...but each of Iowa's remaining four games including those in Ann Arbor and in Kinnick the day after Thanksgiving loom large for what is still today a very determined Iowa football team.
The Board of Regents on Thursday gave approval to the UI's request to name its new golf training facility the "James M. Hoak Family Golf Complex." I bet you didn't know Jim was a roommate of Nile Kinnick. That must have been pretty cool. You can read more HERE.
My mother once told me you only make fun of the ones you love. In the case of men's college basketball coaches, I think one could probably amend this accurately to: "You only make fun of the ones you respect." So, I think it's a good sign for fans of the Hawkeyes that Fran's peers in the Big Ten enjoy chiding our head coach for his passion because they know that it probably takes a back seat to his coaching ability. Speaking of hoops, here's a link to a nice piece about Iowa's rookie big man, Adam Woodbury: HERE.
Want to get out of the house today? Well, if home is close to Iowa City you should note that they are rowing on the river today. The Hawkeyes are playing host to the annual Head of the Iowa. Competition begins at 10 with the place to be being Iowa City City's Park and/or the Park Road bridge that spans the Iowa River. Here's a little more about the who's, what's and where's: HERE
Election Day is creeping closer and closer and, if you are like me, it can't get here soon enough. I have a headache directly attributable to the "He said this" and "He said that" advertising of the past three, four, five, 10 months. Here's an (astonishing) number for you: According to Iowa Public Radio Friday morning, it's likely the folks behind the campaigns for our candidates for the nation's highest office will have placed orders for more than 1 million television commercials when the final buzzer sounds. Yes...1 million! And, no, that isn't just for the state of Iowa - although it feels that way. This is a number that represents the schedule nationwide. Nevertheless, it's still a big number and, as those of us in the Heartland know, we've been introduced to more than our fair share.
I say this just about once a year, but I'm inclined to offer it again today. I listen to the play-by-play of our football games on the Hawkeye Radio Network pretty much from start to finish each week and I'm proud to say that there can't be many much better than ours. Dolph and Eddie and Rob are accurate - I know this because I'm either watching the game live or live on television - fair, honest, critical when necessary, and, yes, a little black-and-gold when the situation calls for it.
OK. Here's one more invitation to become eligible to win four tickets to Iowa's football game against Purdue two weeks from yesterday in Kinnick. All you need to do is click HERE and take a peek at the October edition of Hawk Talk Monthly. I know you'll enjoy what you see...and you could be our guests for the Hawkeyes' annual celebration of America's veterans.