Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Dec. 26, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Some random thoughts from the Valley of the Sun...
One season ago, Iowa closed the book on the Big Ten Conference's 2009-10 bowl season with a dominating performance over Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. This season, the Hawkeyes play in the Big Ten's bowl season opener. For the record, the more I see of the Hawkeyes and the determination on their faces, the more I expect an effort much like that of last year on the night of the 28th.
From the "If's and but's were candy and nuts" file: I am squarely in the camp that a healthy Matt Gatens probably means three more wins for Fran McCaffery's UI men's basketball team. He is that important and that talented. Now, having said that, the past is past, so - as I gaze forward - I find that I'm also very comfortably in the camp that it will be a very entertaining Big Ten hoops season for fans of Fran's squad.
Last September I reminded fans of the Hawkeyes attending games at Kinnick that it is physically impossible to get 70,000 spectators into the facility in 30 minutes, hence, our recommendation to start making your way to your seat about an hour before kickoff. Well, the revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena has eliminated one ticket sales location for the 2010-11 season...and, therefore, for fans attending the home events of Fran's, Lisa's and Tom's teams, here's a suggestion: Leave home about 20 minutes earlier than normal and 30 minutes if your plan is to buy tickets at the door. In fact, if you can, purchase your game/match tickets in advance. You'll be happy you did.
My son and I knocked around the little white ball earlier in the week. I live by one rule when enjoying the opportunity to play golf in December: It's a big-time bonus so there are absolutely no complaints about "my game" or "my swing" or whatever. It's golf in December and my game isn't all that good in July, so how in the world can I complain about it when I should be shoveling snow. And, for the record, I'm sure some of the residents who live adjacent to the course we played would agree wholeheartedly with my assessment of my game.
Did you know that the first 10 years of the 2000s is the most successful decade in the history of Iowa football by total number of victories? It's true. Iowa will enter the 2010 Insight Bowl with an 80-45 record, three wins better than what was achieved by Hayden Fry's Hawkeyes in the 1980s.
I noted on my way past Kinnick Monday morning that a black "IOWA" flag was flying on the first flag pole to the west of the scoreboard. That means Iowa will be wearing black as the home team i:n the 2010 Insight Bowl. The Hawkeyes are 6-2 in black so far this calendar year: 1-0 in black in the aforementioned Orange Bowl victory and 5-2 in black in games played this fall at Kinnick.
I smiled when I read this one from Kirk on Coker: "We're only playing one game. Right now, Marcus will go as hard and long as he can." Seems to me a comment like that is the kind that that puts a smile on a guy as talented as Iowa's 6-foot, 230-pound freshman.
If you haven't noticed, Lisa's team is a good one. Well, actually, it's a very good one. So, if you're going to attend just one home game of Bluder's Bunch this season, attend the game on Saturday, Jan. 8, against Ohio State. The Buckeyes were picked to win the league... The Hawkeyes have proven more than capable of laying claim to that title themselves... Should be a heck of a game. Tip is set for 3 p.m. in the Arena. Put it on your calendar.
So much for warmth in the desert.... If the current game-day forecast holds, it will likely be in the 50s at kickoff and may, depending on the sky, dip well into the 40s by the fourth quarter. Seems to me those temperatures will be infinitely more challenging for the fans inside Sun Devil Stadium than the two teams on the field.
I have to admit I'm still baffled fact that Iowa and Missouri haven't played a football game in 100 years. I'm not directly involved in our football scheduling, but, if offered a vote, I'd vote for a home-and-home with the Tigers a little more often than once every century.