MURPHY’S LAW: McCaffery Concern, Floppy Returns, Birthday Wishes


Fran McCaffery held a press conference Tuesday, but Fran lacked his usual spark. Watching it one might think it’s Iowa’s late season slump, but we learned it’s something far more important.

McCaffery confirmed his 13-year-old son, Patrick, has a thyroid tumor. Here’s McCaffery’s statement.

“Last week it was discovered that our son, Patrick, has a tumor on his thyroid. Patrick is currently undergoing tests and is scheduled to undergo surgery next Wednesday, March 19, at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Once the mass is removed, additional tests will determine a further course of action.

I was made aware of Patrick’s condition prior to traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, last Wednesday. Margaret and I notified our players and staff of Patrick’s health issue after a biopsy was done on Monday.

We appreciate your concern and ask that you respect our family’s privacy as we address Patrick’s health.”

 Nothing like the threat of cancer in a kid to bring basketball back into its proper perspective.

Patrick will have the surgery either the day before, or two days before Iowa plays its first NCAA tournament game in nearly a decade. (Barring an unexpected snub.) There’s no game yet, so it’s premature for McCaffery to even speculate what he’ll do, but no Hawkeye fan I know will think less of him if he stays with his son.  Whatever the family decides is best, many thoughts and prayers will be with them…


Patrick McCaffery

It’s been more than three years since 13 Hawkeye football players were hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis. It followed an intense off-season workout in January 2011. It seemed only a matter of time before one or more of the players sued for pain and suffering. Took a while, longer than expected, but it’s finally happened.


William Lowe

Former cornerback William Lowe’s lawsuit alleges team coaches and trainers failed to properly monitor him during the workout, and then failed to deliver prompt medical care after he reported being in severe pain. Lowe wants money. It will be interesting to see if other players follow his lead. Sometimes lawsuits are like kids in class, or callers to talk shows. Once one goes, others follow. The University of Iowa does not comment on matters involving pending litigation. (Note: Iowa did change its off-season workouts after the rhabdo case.)…

Potential #1 overall NBA draft Joel Embiid will miss the Big 12 tourney with a bad back. This means Kansas will just have to somehow get by with its handful of other NBA future first-rounders.

Still, no Embiid changes the middle. I’ll take the field. Andy Fales says he’ll stick to Kansas…

Beer sold at the Sprint Center this week for the first time at the tourney. That should make fans behave better…

On @SoundOFF13 on Twitter, Ryne wrote this:

The difference between Iowa and iowa state basketball is ISU finds a way to win. While Iowa finds a way to lose. @SoundOFF13

— ryne (@ryneobrien) March 9, 2014

Oversimplifying a bit perhaps, but generally, fans of both teams would agree with that assessment. Iowa has simply lost its swagger, which used to be called confidence…

How much differently would Cyclone Nation feel going to KC if Naz Long didn’t bail ISU out with that spectacular 3? That doesn’t happen if Forte makes the free throw. Moods often change on one shot…

A Cyclone fan, Sanford in Ames, sent me this vintage photo of Marcus Smart:



Props to Cyclone Alley for the Floppy theatrics Saturday. Well done, though it didn’t faze Smart…

From the “Who Would’ve Thunk It?” department: Iowa finishes behind Nebraska in basketball. I know one guy who believed, but we don’t see him much these days…

hassel cooter

Tim Miles has done a fantastic job making Cornhusker fans realize Nebraska has a basketball team. Miles earned Big Ten–or is that B1G–Coach of the Year…

You get the feeling Iowa State would have started spring football practice in January if the NCAA allowed it. Paul Rhoads had his team out March 10th, earlier than ever.

Rhoads had some fun with how he’s completely turned the offense over to Mark Mangino. Now giving Mangino the keys is just plain smart, but don’t think for a second Rhoads isn’t aware of what offense ISU will run. Rhoads knows and approves everything…

Remember that time ISU had a quarterback competition? Easier question, can you remember when Iowa State didn’t? Well, actually a year ago. Sam Richardson was the no doubt starter. Richardson eventually lost his job to Grant Rohach. Rohach starts spring #1, but a healthy Richardson could win the job back…

Central Iowa boys basketball teams are having a rough week at State…

Wichita State is a no doubt NCAA tourney #1 seed, and earned it. I don’t care who you’re playing, 34-0 is legit…

My wife Jenny helped me design a Murph & Andy Jalapeno Popper Pizza for the Road to the Best Gusto. It advanced. Here are the winning ingredients: Cream Cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Graziano Itaian Sausage, Pepperjack Cheese, Jalapeno and Crumbled Bacon.


Murph & Andy’s Jalapeno Popper Pizza. Mmm.

My friend, @ThinkingMansFan on Twitter, talked me into Blazin’ hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings Saturday night. That was worse than the colonoscopy.

Speaking of which, the colonoscopy was no big deal. I dreaded it for years, but when the time came–50th birthday–I did it, and I’m so thankful. Dr. Rice at the Iowa Clinic removed two pre-cancerous polyps. That was more than worth the turbo cleanse. Yes, that’s not fun, or easy to talk about, but it is necessary for the doctor to do the job. And the procedure itself is simple. At least it was for me. I don’t remember any of it. Man up. Go to the doctor. Women too…


My son Colin wanted to see the Timberwolves for his 10th birthday. Admittedly, that’s more fun than a colonoscopy. Colin and his big brother Cade seemed to enjoy the game…

cade and colin with timberwolves cheerleaders

Wait a minute. I sense a pattern here.

cade and colin

Starting to understand the annual birthday wish…

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