Friday, April 28, 2017


If Ali Farokhmanesh's basketball coaching career at Drake is any more dynamic than his playing career was at Northern Iowa, the Bulldogs are headed to some very big things.
New Drake coach Niko Medved said today that Farokmanesh [pronounced fuh-ROAK-muh-NESH] will be the newest member of his staff.
In a way, Farokhmanesh is already a collegiate basketball legend.
I mean, 7 seasons ago--on March 29, 2010--the guy made a 3-point shot heard around the world when he played for Northern Iowa.
It was so stunning that Farokhmanesh wound up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The photo is included here.
As a Northern Iowa senior, he earned honorable-mention all-Missouri Valley Conference honors, averaging 9.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game, as UNI went 30-5, including an upset of top-seeded Kansas to reach the NCAA Sweet 16.
In that game, Farokhmanesh had 16 points, including a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to clinch the victory that got him on the cover of the national sports magazine. He also provided the heroics in UNI's second-round victory over Nevada-Las Vegas.
"It's a great day to add Ali to our staff here at Drake," Medved said. "As a coach, Ali is the entire package. He has tremendous character, is a great communicator, he knows how to teach the game and is a tireless worker. Ali has deep roots here in Iowa and had a storied career as a player in the Missouri Valley Conference. He has also developed many important recruiting ties during his [three years on the staff] at Nebraska ,and will hit the ground running."
At Nebraska, Farokhmanesh managed and oversaw the off-the court responsibilities of the basketball players, including the implementation of mentoring programs and community outreach. On campus, he directed recruiting operations, including on-campus hosting duties.
Farokhmanesh said, "I am very exciited to return to Iowa and
the Missouri Valley Conference. I have so much respect for Coach Medved and the programs he has developed, so this opportunity is very special for me. I look forward to helping Niko build the Bulldog basketball program and to being part of the Drake family. My family is excited to be a part of this outstanding university and the community."
Said Nebraska coach Tim Miles: "I'm excited for Ali to join my good friend Niko Medved at Drake. Ali has been a tremendous asset to our program for the past three years and we will miss him greatly, but it is great to see him get the opportunity to get on the floor and on the road recruiting. I have no doubt he will do a tremendous job for Drake basketball."
Drake's sports information staff contributed to this column. Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.


 The National Football League draft, which began a few minutes ago and is being viewed by thousands [or is it millions?] of people on TV, has taken on a life of its own.
Thar's not necessarily a good thing.
There are some first-round choices who will be instant multi-millionaires, but there will be plenty of other players picked in the later rounds who will be fighting for their football lives when the draft finally ends during the weekend.

Just because some elite running back was a standout in the Southeastern Conference or some 310-pound lineman muscled his way through collegiate games in the Big 12 Saturday after Saturday during the 2016 collegiate season doesn't signify automatic stardom, or even a roster spot, in the NFL.
Indeed, just a small fraction of the guys who were strapping on the pads in college will hear their names called in the draft.
Those players will be looking for jobs in accounting, engineering and teaching just like the college graduates [or non-graduates] who never put on a jockstrap or shoulder pads.
The point I'd like to stress is that just because a player isn't chosen in the NFL draft certainly doesn't mean he's a football failure.
Or any other kind of failure.
The chances are pretty good he'll make a lot of money doing something other than memorizing a playbook.

Monday, April 24, 2017


After going through most of my life without having to do much grocery shopping, l've been spending considerable time lately doing just that.
It seems like I'm going to either Fareway or HyVee [or both] every other day.
Indeed, I visited Fareway this morning, and managed to spend $37.01 in virtually no time.
I prefer Fareway over HyVee for several reasons.
One is that I don't have to take the groceries out of the cart at the checkout area. The checkout person does it.
Another reason is that someone--usually a kid aged 16 or 17--wheels the cart to my car and unloads the groceries into the trunk.
Yet another reason is the conversations I get into with whatever kid is wheeling the grocery cart to my car.
I'm sure you get into the same type of conversations when you do your grocery shopping at Fareway.
All of the carryout kids are polite. They always ask if I have any plans for the rest of the day.
I'm fairly certain Fareway's management instructs them to do that.
The checkout lady asked me the same thing today.
After joking today to the kid unloading my groceries that my only plan for the day was to try to stay out of trouble, he said he had a specific plan in mind for a later time.
"I'm going mushroom hunting," he said.
"Morel mushrooms?" I asked, trying to indicate to the kid that I know something about mushrooms.
Actually, the only thing I know about mushrooms is that I've never met one I didn't like.
I have a friend who wants to stay as far away from mushrooms as she can.
She has no interest in hunting them or eating them.
I'm different. I have no interest in hunting them. All I want to do is eat them.
Getting back to the Fareway carryout kid, I asked what he does with the morels after he finds them.
" I could sell them at a good price or take 'em home," he said.
"How does your family prepare them to be part of a meal," I asked.
"Just fry 'em up," he answered. "They taste great."
[A morel mushroom is pictured.]
Conversations on other days with other checkout kids have also been interesting.
A couple of years ago, a kid informed me that he was the Valley High School football player who kicked a long field goal that beat Johnston in a playoff game.
Another kid told me that he attends Roosevelt High School in Des Moines and is 6 feet 4 inches tall.
"I have a twin brother who also is 6-4," he added.
A while back when I was at Fareway on a Saturday, the girl wheeling the cart to my car asked, as instructed, if I had any plans for the rest of the day and night.
"I'm hoping to go to church at 5 o'clock," I said. "How about you?"
"We're having a party at our house," she said. "I know my sister will get drunk."
That's probably more information than I needed to get in a parking lot.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cubs Are Ready for AARP


The Chicago Cubs should be
proud of themselves.

They became the posterboys today of both AARP and Medicare.

Bronson Arroyo, a 40-year-old pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds; ended the Cubs' 4-game winning streak, 7-5.

Arroyo's fastball has the velocity of the changeup thrown by pitchers half his age.

Rumor has it the Cubs were looking for a shuffleboard matchup later in the day at the Old Soldiers Home.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Music In the Night

Our granddaughter Claire is in her second year of performing with the acapella vocal group Boots & Cats at the University of Nebraska.

She is pictured with the group at its spring recital. In the photo, she is the featured singer in the group's presentation of "Hide Away."

Also pictured is Claire with her West Des Moines grandparents Ron and Maxine, and her parents Mark and Polly.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My iPhone Thinks It Knows What I'm Doing


I'm wondering if something like this has ever happened to you.
I was scanning several web pages on my iPhone a few minutes ago when the following message suddenly appeared on the phone's screen:
"Ronald Wesley Maly is drinking Coors Light with Craig York at Starbucks located at 2800 University Avenue in West Des Moines."
I didn't know my iPhone or Apple, the company that manufactured it, cared so much about what I was doing on a Thursday afternoon.
I'd be tempted to call it an invasion of my privacy, but actually the message is so full of errors that it's hilarious.
When the message popped onto my phone, I was not at a Starbucks coffeehouse nor was I drinking Coors Light nor was I anywhere with Craig York.
I was [and still am] sitting on my Lazy Boy in the living room of my home.
I then was drinking coffee I brewed in my own coffeemaker, and I'm drinking coffee out of the same pot now.
Also, I am assuming Craig York, a relative of mine from Ladora, IA, was [and still is] working at his job in the eastern half of the state.
So the rumors of Craig and I enjoying Coors Light together this afternoon [as enjoyable as that sounds] are greatly exaggerated.
Another thing. As far as I know, Starbucks does not serve or sell Coors Light.
As I wrote earlier, do any of you get messages like that on your iPhone or any other phone? Let me know.

The raisin supreme looked too good to me today to pass up at Village Inn's free pie day. Everyone else in our group of writers, broadcasters, movers and shakers approved,