Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No Bear Meat for Me At This Tailgate


I guess this could happen only in Minnesota. My son and I were attending a football game the other night at Concordia-St. Paul, and
wandered over to a tailgate party that was still going on inside the stadium at halftime. They had the usual brats, burgers and fixin's that make tailgates famous. But that wasn't all. Suddenly, a woman working the tailgate came by and wondered if e wanted to "try some bear meat" instead of the usual fare. My son sampled it, and said it was good. "No, thanks," I said. "I'll pass on the bear." By the way, Concordia's nickname is the Golden Bears.

Monday, September 16, 2013

For Sale At a Book Store Or Web Page Near You

The second updated edition of Ron Maly's best-selling book, Tales from the Iowa Hawkeyes Sideline, is now available at Amazon,, Barnes &,,  eBay,,  Barnes & Noble and other leading book stores everywhere. The book, originally published in 2003, chronicles the proud football tradition at the University of Iowa.  Ron had just as much fun writing the third edition of the book as he did the first two, both of which were best-sellers. You will enjoy reading about such high-profile Hawkeyes as 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, Alex Karras, Randy Duncan and Bill Reichardt, plus coaches Howard Jones, Dr. Eddie Anderson, Forest Evashevski, Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz. Questions? Contact Ron Maly on Facebook or at

Well, I guess not all of the 56,000 or so people in Jack Trice Stadium at Ames on Saturday were watching the Iowa-Iowa State football game. Some of them were spending their time breaking into the Iowa locker rooms, and stealing items belonging to the coaches and players. The Ames police and Iowa State security people who were supposed to be watching out so that things like that don't happen were obviously watching the game, which was won by Iowa, 27-21. Shame on those thieves and shame on the police and security people. There's no excuse for any of that. The police should take a pay cut, and so should the security people. To me, it was the strangest happening at an Iowa-Iowa State game since Bret Bielema, then a Hawkeye senior linebacker, met then-Iowa State coach Jim Walden at midfield following another Iowa victory at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, and told him: "You're a big prick, and I enjoyed kicking your ass for five years."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

LeVar Woods' Phone Missing from Locker Room At ISU

A tweet Sunday from LeVar Woods, an Iowa assistant football coach:

Sorry to anyone that tried to call/text me last night w/o a response, but my phone came up missing from the ISU locker room after the game.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Just the Way I Predicted It


As for the Iowa-Iowa State football game in
Ames, it finished exactly the way I predicted: A 27-21 final score, with both teams keeping their bowl hopes mathematically alive.

That Old Give-Up Attitude


I've never felt that Nebraska's Bo Pelini was
God's gift to football coaching. Now I think even less of his abilities. I watched a few minutes of the Cornhuskers' game against UCLA on TV today, and came away wondering if Bob Devaney, the late Nebraska coaching legend, is rolling over in his grave. UCLA stuck it to Nebraska, 41-21, after outscoring the Huskers, 31-0, in the last half. Pelini was helpless and so were his overmatched players in a game viewed by more than 91,000 fans in Lincoln. Indeed, it looked like some of Nebraska's players quit on Pelini [and their teammates] late in the game. It got so embarrassing for Pelini and Nebraska with less than 2 minutes remaining that UCLA coach Jim Mora instructed his players to kick a field goal instead of having his quarterback take a knee. Which tells me Mora is a pretty good coach, and also an asshole.

Don't Blame Me

At least Valley's band performance was outstanding


Don't blame me for what happened last night at Valley Stadium. We had to make an early exit from the Valley-Southeast Polk football game because Chloe and Claire were already at the house for their visit and the Tigers seemed comfortably in control of the game with a 14-6 lead at halftime. Family always comes first, of course. Southeast Polk seemed more prepared to play when the game began, but Valley seized the momentum later in the first quarter, and appeared headed to its second victory in three games. It was the type of game in which Valley coach Gary Swenson seems to do his best job. I mean, when the team isn't getting it done, he does. The guy hasn't won five state championships by accident. But nothing of that magnitude happened  in this game. Southeast Polk outplayed Valley in the last half, and I guess Swenson got outcoached, too. As the old coaches used to say, I guess Southeast Polk wanted it more. There was no excuse for the Rams' 24-21 victory, which was attained with a field goal when the numerals :04 were on the clock at the south end of the field. Like I said, don't blame me. Maybe, just maybe, the Tigers aren't as good as I thought. But did I tell you, the Valley band was great, as usual.

The football's showing wasn't so hot

Thursday, September 12, 2013

For Sale At a Book Store Or Web Page Near You

The second updated edition of Ron Maly's best-selling book, Tales from the Iowa Hawkeyes Sideline, is now available at Amazon,, Barnes &,,  eBay,,  Barnes & Noble and other leading book stores everywhere. The book, originally published in 2003, chronicles the proud football tradition at the University of Iowa.  Ron had just as much fun writing the third edition of the book as he did the first two, both of which were best-sellers. You will enjoy reading about such high-profile Hawkeyes as 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, Alex Karras, Randy Duncan and Bill Reichardt, plus coaches Howard Jones, Dr. Eddie Anderson, Forest Evashevski, Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz. Questions? Contact Ron Maly on Facebook or at

Memo To Al: It Won't Be a Tie

I went over to see my neighbor Al, the health nut, this morning. I didn't know this was his day--or his month--to change the oil in his 2003
Roland H. Thompson
Ford pickup, but there he was, wearing coveralls and sliding under the truck on his creeper. "Got any thoughts on the Iowa-Iowa State game?" I asked Al.  "I think it'll be a tie," Al said. "Ties aren't permitted anymore in college football," I pointed out to Al, who was trying to make a joke because he doesn't think either team is very good. Al, of course, is a huge Northern Iowa fan, and has been flying the Panther flag on his pole since the Fourth of July. So he won't be going to the Iowa-Iowa State game in Ames unless somebody gives him a free ticket. "I'd probably have second thoughts about driving up there anyway," Al said. "Why?" I asked. "I think it's going to be a decent game." "The main reason I don't want to be there, especially in the tailgate area, is because I've heard that the paper is sending that clown Daniel P. Finney up there to do a feature story on the tailgaters," Al said. "Finney is famous for eating and using other peoples' names. He's always first in line at the all-you-can-eat greasy-spoon buffets around town, so I'm sure he'll be spending a lot of time looking for free food in the tailgate area while he's interviewing fans. I think the last time the paper did a project like that when they sent Russ Karnes to the State Fair to find out how much he ate out there. I'm pretty sure Finney will outdo Karnes in a bigtime way. Both of those guys weigh more than the offensive linemen at Iowa State and Iowa."  "Well, maybe Finney will be going to the tailgate area posing as Roland H. Thompson, one of his other names," I pointed out. "Then whose byline will be in the paper?" I asked. "That's Rick Green's problem," I answered. "And Finney also is Green's problem."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Not Sure UNI Could Beat Dowling

My neighbor Al, the health nut, came over at mid-morning for a cup of Italian Dark Roast, so that gave me a chance to congratulate him and his Northern Iowa Panthers for their
football victory last week. "Best team in the state, obviously," Al said. "Not so fast, Al," I countered. "I saw Dowling beat Valley last Friday at Drake Stadium, and I'm not sure UNI could beat the Maroons. I think the Dowling coaches do a better job of recruiting than UNI."  "You're probably right about that," Al said. "The good thing is, we won't have to play Dowling,". "Anything else new?" I asked Al. "Not much," he said. "I was getting some groceries at Hy-Vee a few days ago, though, and that's where I read the paper, of course. I canceled my subscription a long time ago.  I noticed that there was a letter to the editor that ripped Daniel P. Finney, the clown reporter who goes by phony names sometimes when he's pissed off at his bosses. "What did the letter say?" I asked Al. "Oh, it pointed out that Finney didn't know what he was writing about when he did a story on what it costs to go to college in the state of Iowa," Al answered. "I'm glad you read the letter, not me," I said. "I long ago quit paying attention to anything people like Finney write. Actually, maybe the story was written by someone using Finney's name or one of his phony names. You're getting too deep for me on this crap. Have another cup of Dark Roast, and don't tell me when you read the paper at Hy-Vee again." 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wrestling Reinstated In Olympics

Ron Maly doesn't talk about it much, but he knows his way around a competitive wrestling mat. Not that Ron pulled off any fireman's carries, pinned anyone or got pinned, mind
you. Just that the veteran sportswriter covered a number of matches in the old days--like the Olympic Trials in Brooklyn Parrk, MN; the NCAA meet at The Armory in Ames; the Big Ten meet at Iowa Fieldhouse in Iowa City; he attended the victory party somewhere in south Iowa City after the Hawkeyes won the championship; he was on hand for lots of meets in which Dan Gable was either a competitor for Iowa State or a coach for Iowa; he made it to a spirited Wisconsin-Iowa meet in Madison and...well, that gives you an idea. All of that is a lead-in to what Maly is writing about today. He couldn't figure out what was going through the minds of Olympic officials when they said a while back that wrestling would be banned from future Olympics. Why that decision was made, Maly didn't know. But now that's all changed Wrestling is back at the Olympics. It was reinstated for the 2020 Games when, the Associated Press wrote, the International Olympic Committee overturned a decision many members thought was a mistake. I know Dan Gable is happy about all of this.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

See You In the Playoffs


If there could've been a finer atmosphere for a high school football game than Drake Stadium last night, I'd like someone to point it out. 

On a marvelous [very hot at the start, very pleasant after the sun went down] Friday, Dowling was the better team in the emotional matchup with crosstown West Des Moines rival Valley, and came away with a 37-26 victory in front of a huge crowd that likely would not have fit into Valley Stadium or any other high school arena. 

The game was played inside 14,557-seat Drake Stadium, of course, because it was Dowling's home game, and you'll never catch the Maroons' administration scheduling a game at Valley when the Tigers are the opponent. 

That would have made it seem like a Valley home game. 

The game was closer than I expected. 

I wanted Valley to win, but beforehand I saw little chance of that happening. 

Tom Wilson's teams at Dowling are always good early in the season; Gary Swenson's Valley teams get better as September turns into October. 

This game was so well contested that Wilson wasn't able to practice his fake punt play in the second half, like he did a few years ago when Dowling had a 30-point lead in the last half. 

These teams will play again this season. Count on it. 

It will happen in the playoffs, and the result might not be the same as it was Friday. 

Valley learned a lot about itself in hanging tough with the Maroons on a so-called neutral field. 

The Tigers wouldn't have made it so close in this game without the presence of Connor LaGrone, who for some reason again came into the night as Valley's No. 2 quarterback. 

That surprised me the previous week when he came off the bench to spur the Tigers to victory over Waukee, and it surprised me again this time. 

LaGrone is Swenson's best quarterback, and it's not open to debate. 

Good luck to both teams the rest of the way. See you in the playoffs, Maroon fans.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jessa Hansen Joins Gymnastics Coaching Staff At California

California women’s gymnastics coach Justin Howell has added two-time all-Big Ten 
honoree Jessa Hansen to his coaching staff.  The four-year letterwinner from the 
University of Iowa will serve as assistant coach to the Golden Bears.

 “I am thrilled that Jessa has joined our Cal family. Jessa was a phenomenal Big Ten 
athlete at Iowa and she brings with her a diverse background in journalism.  She has an 
abundance of energy and a Midwest value system that will mesh very well with our program. 
 I am looking forward to a very successful season with Jessa as a part of our team," 
Howell said.

At Iowa, Hansen [whose family lives in Waukee, IA] was a two-time all-Big Ten honoree, plus an Academic All-Big Ten 
selection and NACGC Scholastic All-American in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Along with her 
gymnastics, Hansen was a representative on the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee 
from 2009-12 and Dean’s List member for each spring and fall semester from 2009-11. She 
received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2010 and 2011, and the Big Ten Distinguished 
Scholar Award in 2011. While at Iowa, Hansen also assisted the women’s gymnastics team 
from 2012-13 and worked in the athletic communications department.

Prior to her time at Iowa, Hansen trained at Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute fryom 
1998-2008, where she was coached by 2008 Olympic head coach Liang Chow and his wife Liwen 
Zhuang, and trained with Beijing Olympics balance beam champion Shawn Johnson. Hansen was 
a three-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier, the Level 10 Regional Floor Champion in 
2007 and 2008 and the 2006 Level 10 State All-Around Champion.

Hansen graduated from Iowa in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass 
communication and minors in studio art and sport studies. Her father is Marc Hansen, a former columnist at the Des Moines Register.
This story was produced by the California news service, and was sent to Ron Maly by Dave Stockdale of Des Moines.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Drake Vs. Iowa At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 At Wells Fargo Arena

Matchups and  tipoff times for the 2013 Big Four Classic have been determined as the state of Iowa’s four NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams prepare to take center stage at Wells Fargo Arena on Dec. 7. Northern Iowa and Iowa State will open the doubleheader event with a 5 p.m. tipoff followed by Drake and Iowa renewing their series at 7:30 p.m.

The event  is in its second season after a successful debut in 2012 that saw 13,180 fans stream through the Wells Fargo Arena turnstiles. The 2014 edition promises to be just as attractive to basketball fans in Iowa as three of the Big Four teams appeared in the postseason in 2012-13.

Tickets range in price from $25-70. Each institution will have an equal number of game tickets to distribute. Tickets will be good for admission to both games of the doubleheader and will be made available first to each institution's basketball season ticket holders. Tickets not sold by the institutions will be placed on sale for the general public through the Wells Fargo Arena box office at a date to be announced.

The game between Iowa State and UNI features two teams that went a combined 44-27 last season with Iowa State advancing to the third round of the NCAA tournament and UNI winning three postseason games to advance to the semifinals of the Tournament.

The nightcap includes an Iowa team that went 25-13 in 2012-13 to earn a berth in the National Invitational Tournament and streak through the field to earn runnerup honors after falling to Baylor in the title game at Madison Square Garden. Drake, which went 15-17 a season ago, will feature a re-tooled roster under first-year head coach Ray Giacoletti, who served as an assistant at Gonzaga for the past six seasons.

--Ty Patton

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Here's the Bulldogs' Women's Valley Schedule

Drake's women’s basketball program has released its Missouri Valley Conference schedule, coach Jennie Baranczyk announced today.
Drake once again plays a double round-robin conference schedule with 18 total games. A trip to Illinois State on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 opens Valley action. The Bulldogs have started Valley play on the road 10 times in the past 11 seasons. Drake’s first league contest at the Knapp Center will be against Southern Illinois on Friday, Jan. 10.

“The Valley is always tough from top to bottom,” Baranczyk said. “There are four new head coaches in the league that bring tremendous experience. It’s going to be different without Creighton, but we are excited to have UNI as our new travel partner. Our rivalry will only get better.”

With the departure of the Bluejays, Drake has a new travel partner in Northern Iowa. The Bulldogs travel to Cedar Falls on Sunday, Feb. 2 and the Panthers travel to Des Moines exactly one month later on Sunday, March 2. The matchup against the Panthers is the first of three-straight home contests to end the regular season.

Valley newcomer Loyola visits Des Moines on Friday, Jan. 24 and the Bulldogs head to Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 23. Drake will be on MVCTV when they visit Wichita, Kan. to face the Wichita State Shockers on Monday, Jan. 20. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. against the defending conference champions.

Last month, the Bulldogs released their challenging 11-game non-conference slate, that features dates with three 2013 NCAA tournament qualifiers (Creighton, Iowa, Iowa State). Drake is set to host Creighton, now a member of the Big East Conference, in the season opener on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:05 p.m.

The Valley tournament will be played March 13-16 in St. Charles, Mo., at Family Arena.

Drake starts the 2013-14 campaign with an exhibition contest on Friday, Nov. 1, against the University of Dubuque at the Knapp Center starting at 7:05 p.m. The 2013-14 season will be the 40th anniversary of Drake women’s basketball.

--John Meyer, Drake sports information staff.

Drake's Men's Basketball Schedule

Fourteen home games and the Big Four Classic highlight the 2013-14 Drake men’s basketball schedule, announced Wednesday by first-year coach Ray Giacoletti.

The 30-game slate features 16 games against teams that finished in the top 150 of the RPI last season, including nine dates against RPI top-100 competition.

The Bulldogs will host New Mexico State, Western Michigan, Albany, Nebraska-Omaha and Iowa Wesleyan at the Knapp Center in non-conference action followed by all nine fellow Missouri Valley Conference programs, including league newcomer Loyola. They also take on in-state foe Iowa in the Big Four Classic on Dec. 7 at Wells Fargo Arena coupled with road trips to St. Mary’s and a three-day tournament at Fresno State against the host, Northern Arizona and CSU Bakersfield.

Giacoletti will attack that non-conference schedule with a roster that features five newcomers and eight other experienced players, including a pair of full-time starters in senior guard Richard Carter and senior center Seth Van Deest.

Fans will get their first look at the Bulldogs under Giacoletti on Nov. 3 with an exhibition game against  Central College at 2:05 p.m. Less than a week later, the season tips off in earnest and the squad gets it first road test of the season with a visit to Illinois at Chicago (UIC) of the Horizon League on Nov. 9.

Drake opens its home schedule three days later against Iowa Wesleyan. A return visit to St. Mary’s on Nov. 16. follows, before returning home to host Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 23. Four games away from the Knapp Center follow with three contests at the Fresno State Classic and the Dec. 7 date against Iowa in the Big Four Classic.

The Bulldogs stay at home for the bulk of December with a three-game homestand before the holiday break against New Mexico State, Western Michigan and Albany on Dec. 14, 18 and 23, respectively. The squad hits the road for its final non-conference tune-up, a Dec. 29 meeting at IUPUI.

The Valley schedule gets under way at home on New Year’s Day with Evansville visiting the Knapp Center followed by the team’s first league road game at Bradley on Jan. 4. The Bulldogs welcomes 2013 NCAA Final Four participant Wichita State to the Knapp Center on Jan. 25 as part of a two-game homestand, the only one on its Valley schedule, capped by a visit from Missouri State. Tipoff times for all home Valley games will be announced with the finalization of the league’s television package in the coming weeks.

League newcomer Loyola is also on the slate twice with Drake traveling to Chicago on Jan. 15 and welcoming the Ramblers to Des Moines on Feb. 15. That Feb. 15 date begins the homestretch of the Valley schedule with the Bulldogs playing three of their final league games at home including the regular-season finale against Bradley on March 1.

The Valley tournament is set for the following week, March 6-9, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

To reserve your tickets for the 2013-14 season, visit or call 515-271-DOGS.

 The Schedule:

Nov. 3            Central College (Exh.)                               Des Moines, Iowa                                      2:05 p.m.
Nov. 9            at UIC                                                             Chicago, Ill.                                                     7 p.m.
Nov. 12          Iowa Wesleyan                                            Des Moines, Iowa                                      7:05 p.m.
Nov. 16          at St. Mary’s                                                  Moraga, Calif.                                                   TBA
Nov. 23          Nebraska-Omaha                                      Des Moines, Iowa                                         1 p.m.
Nov. 29          at Fresno State #                                         Fresno, Calif.                                                    TBA
Nov. 30          vs. Northern Arizona #                                Fresno, Calif.                                                    TBA
Dec. 1            vs. CSU Bakersfield #                                Fresno, Calif.                                                    TBA
Dec. 7            vs. Iowa &                                                      Des Moines, Iowa                                            TBA                                   
Dec. 14          New Mexico State                                      Des Moines, Iowa                                      7:05 p.m.
Dec. 18          Western Michigan                                      Des Moines, Iowa                                      7:05 p.m.
Dec. 23          Albany                                                           Des Moines, Iowa                                      7:05 p.m.
Dec. 29          at IUPUI                                                         Indianapolis, Ind.                                             TBA
Jan. 1             Evansville *                                                  Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Jan. 4             at Bradley *                                                   Peoria, Ill.                                                          TBA
Jan. 8             Indiana State *                                             Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Jan. 11           at UNI *                                                          Cedar Falls, Iowa                                             TBA
Jan. 15           at Loyola *                                                     Chicago, Ill.                                                       TBA
Jan. 18          Illinois State *                                              Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Jan. 22           at Southern Illinois *                                    Carbondale, Ill.                                                 TBA
Jan. 25          Wichita State *                                            Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Jan. 29          Missouri State *                                          Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Feb. 1             at Illinois State *                                           Normal, Ill.                                                         TBA
Feb. 4             Southern Illinois *                                       Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Feb. 9             at Indiana State *                                         Terre Haute, Ind.                                              TBA
Feb. 12          at Missouri State *                                       Springfield, Mo.                                                TBA
Feb. 15          Loyola *                                                         Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Feb. 18          UNI                                                                 Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
Feb. 22          at Wichita State *                                         Wichita, Kan.                                                     TBA
Feb. 25          at Evansville *                                              Evansville, Ind.                                                 TBA
March 1         Bradley *                                                       Des Moines, Iowa                                           TBA
March 6-9      MVC Conference Tournament                 St. Louis, Mo.

# Fresno State Classic
& Big Four Classic
* Missouri Valley contest
(All times central)                    

--Ty Patton, Drake's athletic athletic director for communications                                           

An Take On the Hawkeyes

Kirk Ferentz looked like a politician Tuesday as he leaned forward, wearing a red tie, and fielded questions about his Iowa Hawkeyes. He alternated between taking sips of coffee and water, while topics ranged from Jake Rudock's interceptions to the lack of a pass rush.
Despite everything that was discussed, Tuesday's news conference basically revolved around one simple theme: Is losing a 30-27 game to MAC school Northern Illinois part of the new normal for Iowa?
The Hawkeyes' longtime coach has more questions than answers right now. Surely he'd like to think this is just part of some unlucky trend -- one that's seen him lose five times by a field goal or less in the last 12 games -- but the point is it's a losing trend. And Ferentz hasn't yet found a way to reverse it.

Iowa fell to Central Michigan last season 32-31, and lost to the Huskies on Saturday. Ferentz last lost to a MAC team in 2007. Before that? In 2000, his second year as head coach.

Maybe Ferentz's best days are behind him; maybe not. That's not something that was answered by just the Northern Illinois game, a matchup that pitted the best player in the MAC -- dual-threat QB Jordan Lynch -- against a defense that averaged about a sack a game in 2012.

But Ferentz knows what his team has to do to find a favorable solution. The Hawkeyes must pick up the pieces and limit turnovers and big plays.

"The next step," he said, "is you need to learn how to win."

This is just the first bell in a 12-round bout, but the Hawkeyes are reeling right now. This loss isn't nearly on the same scale as other upsets over the weekend. It's still painful, but Iowa isn't South Florida. There are still reasons for fans clad in black and yellow to cheer.

For one, this offense might not be near the best in the Big Ten -- but it's no longer anemic. It rushed for 202 yards Saturday, a full 99 yards more than last season's average. Mark Weisman reached the century mark rushing and averaged 5 yards a carry.

Rudock tossed an interception that led to the Huskies' game-winning field goal, but he threw for 256 yards -- 69 yards more than the Iowa norm in 2012. So what, then, is holding this offense back? Why did it manage to score only two touchdowns?

No doubt Ferentz will be breaking down the film and looking for answers. But offensive coordinator Greg Davis needs to take some of the blame here. He curiously abstained from using his running backs on third-and-short during the second half and, on a key third-and-9 play late in the game, he called Kevonte Martin-Manley's number ... on a bubble screen. The play went for 1 yard.

The pass-rush seems nonexistent and the secondary is still adjusting without Micah Hyde. But after the first game, this doesn't appear to be a bad team -- at least not worse than last year. It's a losing team right now, but there is a difference.

Ferentz will continue to field these questions until winning once again becomes a trend. Iowa should get an easy victory in Week 2 from Missouri State. But the hopes for a successful season seem pinned on Week 3, at Iowa State.

Iowa didn't pass its first test, but it showed potential. If it fails another, if improvement doesn't translate into victories, the questions might stop -- but Ferentz won't like the answers.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Woody Allen Should Find a New Line Of Work


Update on Blue Jasmine, the generally-depressing movie four of us saw this afternoon at the Varsity Theater. Cate Blanchett turned in  a wonderful performance as Jasmine, and may indeed come
Woody Allen
away with an Academy Award. But the Oscars won't be given out until  early next year, and I'm sure there will be plenty of superb acting performances turned in before then. So it's much too early to say Cate is a sure-fire winner. As for Woody Allen's movie, all of us can see the same crappy stuff on ABC-TV regularly throughout the week. I'm glad the movie cost us only $5 apiece. Anything else would have been too much.   Something tells me Allen should look for another job. By the way, my lunch at the Drake Diner--a blackened salmon sandwich on a wheat bun, with sweet potato fries and something the waitress called honey jalapeno sauce--was outstanding.

And a Very Happy Labor Day To You, Too


My neighbor Al, the health nut and rabid Northern Iowa football fan, won't like this. I received an
e-mail this morning from a reader who calls himself  "Longtime Viking." Longtime writes: "Ron, I've got it figured out that my Grand View Vikings will, for the first time, win the mythical collegiate state football championship. They got the season off to a rollicking start last week by beating Drake. Then Northern Iowa pulled off its big upset Saturday at Iowa State. This week, Drake will come away with an even bigger shocker by winning at UNI. Later, Iowa State will beat Iowa. After all of that, Grand View will be the only unbeaten team in games involving our state's teams. Consequently, the Vikings will be state champs." All I can say, Longtime, is that I hope you didn't stay up all night thinking about that scenario. If you did, maybe you had one too many Coronas. But great hearing from you, and have a wonderful Labor Day. As for my holiday plans, four of us are having what could either be labeled a late breakfast or early lunch at the Drake Diner,
followed by a trip to the Varsity Theater to watch Woody Allen's new movie, Blue Jasmine. I'll decide if Cate Blanchett turns in an Academy Award performance. Happy Labor Day to everyone.

Big Victory, $350,000 Payday for UNI At Ames

Big paydays. Even bigger upsets. That is exactly what the seven FCS teams that won on the road against FBS teams got through Saturday as the college football season opened in earnest.

The seven FCS teams raked in a total of $2.375 million, ranging from $225,000 to $450,000 each.

Eastern Washington became only the third FCS (formerly Division I-AA) team to beat a ranked FBS team, knocking off No. 25 Oregon State 49-45. In similarly stunning fashion, North Dakota State shocked defending co-Big 12 champion Kansas State 24-21 on Friday.

McNeese State routed South Florida 53-21, the most points scored by an FCS team against an FBS opponent. Also, Eastern Illinois dominated San Diego State 40-19, Northern Iowa beat Iowa State 28-20, Towson defeated UConn 33-18 and Southern Utah edged South Alabama 22-21.

The breakdown of payouts each team received from its FBS opponent (note: the NCAA recognizes eight FCS-FBS upsets, including Samford over Georgia State, but Georgia State is transitioning from FCS to FBS designation and is not yet an FBS member):

• Eastern Washington, $450,000 from Oregon State.

• McNeese State, $400,000 from South Florida.

• North Dakota State, $350,000 from Kansas State.

• Northern Iowa, $350,000 from Iowa State.

• Eastern Illinois, $325,000 from San Diego State.

• Towson, $275,000 from UConn.

• Southern Utah, $225,000 from South Alabama.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My neighbor Al, the health nut, was at the front door late this afternoon, saying he was in need of a cup of Italian Dark Roast. "You seem to be in a festive mood," I told Al. "Damn right," he answered. "I'm still celebrating UNI's victory last night over the Clones. It used to be whenever we beat Iowa State, it cost the Clones their coach. I remember when Terry Allen used to beat Jim Walden, then ol' Jimbo was toast shortly thereafter. But, actually, I feel good just winning last night's game. I didn't want it to cost a coach or an athletic director his job at Ames." And, really, ISU is my second-favorite team. I root for 'em in every game, unless they're playing UNI." Al didn't go to the Panthers' 28-20 victory last night, but listened on the radio. "I was anxious to see what they said about it on the late-night TV news," he said, "but got a little upset when I heard what the channel 8 announcer said. "What did he say, Al?" I asked. "Oh, hell, he was crying and screaming that Iowa had already lost to Northern Illinois earlier in the day,and that if Iowa State didn't beat UNI neither of the 'state' schools would be victorious. I guess he forgot that UNI is a state school, too." I asked Al who the announcer was. "I don't know, some clown who probably got his diploma from DMAAC," Al said. "He was one of the weekend announcers, of course, and he'll no doubt be on again tonight. Come to think of it, I now remember that the guy's name was Reister or Rooster. "Well, I know they've go t a guy named Scott Reister there. If it wasn't him you heard, I'm sure he'll let me know. I'd advise you to cool off, Al," said. "Be happy your team won. And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with DMAAC. They turn out good students over there." Before he finished his coffee, Al said he wasn't happy about what he read in the paper about the UNI-ISU game. "I always read the rag at Hy-Vee, and got pissed the minute I saw the headline on page 1," he said. It read, STATE OF SHOCK--Cyclones Suffer Stunning Home Loss At the Hands Of Northern Iowa." I said, "What did you expect, Al? Newspapering is a dead business, and so is the product."

Kurt Warner Salutes UNI, His Alma Mater, On Twitter

A big Congrats to my alma mater on their win vs Iowa State, huge victory 2 start season! Well done fellas!