Chilling Pierce; "Cyclone State"; You, me & Wie.

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Have you read what Pierre Pierce admits to, and apologizes for, at his parole hearing? It’s chilling. It also makes it clear he belongs behind bars, and never should have been allowed back in an Iowa uniform three years ago. I sincerely hope Pierce learned a lesson in his fall from grace, and that he is truly as sorry as he says he is. I doubt the victims will ever get over their ordeals. I also hope all of Pierce’s apologists will reevaluate why they were so quick to come to his defense despite evidence to the contrary. Being a great athlete doesn’t mean someone is telling the truth. I know I received my share of hate mail for helping break the original story, and not one of those people ever wrote or e-mailed back to apologize. The whole sad Pierce saga is a runaway case of entitlement. Read what he said, if you haven’t already, at HawkCentral.com:
http://www.hawkcentral.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060711/HAWKS0102/607110306/1053/HAWKS
There are lessons for a lot of people in this mess, myself included. I wish we had pushed the U of I harder about allowing him back on the team, knowing what I knew then. Let’s pray for the victims and move on. What a shame.

Speaking of someone given another chance when he shouldn’t have had one, the NFL took a pass on former Cyclone Jason Berryman. No one loves and supports his players more than Dan McCarney, but that can lead to a blind spot for believing in those who haven’t earned it—just as it did with Steve Alford. Berryman blew his third chance and maybe his career. No NFL team took a chance on Berryman in the supplemental draft. His talent deserves one, but his character remains in question. Many successful NFL players benefited from a second chance, but few multiple offenders worked out (see Lawrence Phillips, Maurice Clarett, Ricky Williams, etc.). Character counts.

The “Cyclone State” billboard is now up in Cedar Rapids. I respect Jamie Pollard for having the onions to do this. He doesn’t want ISU taking a back seat to Iowa anywhere. However, if Iowa needed any extra motivation—and how could it?—this will do the trick. I expect Kirk Ferentz to have his team practicing under the billboard next month.

Decided not to wait in line for an hour to see Captain Jack Sparrow this past weekend, Saw Cars instead. Loved it. So did my five year old, Cade. Superb voice work by Owen Wilson, Paul Newman and Bonnie Hunt, but to my surprise, Larry the Cable Guy steals the show as Mater. He plays a tow truck. Tow Mater. Get it? Good message, good movie. Little long, but A-.

Should Michelle Wie be allowed to play with the men? Yes. Should she play with the men? No. Not yet. She needs to learn how to win first. That’s a hard, but all important step for any athlete or team (think of the local examples). Wie is an astounding talent. She’s only 16, but already good enough to win on the LPGA tour, which she still hasn’t done, in part, because she’s chasing history on the PGA Tour. Every time Wie’s in contention near the end, my friend John Bachman tells me Wie will fade down the stretch, and she always does. She can’t handle the pressure yet. Learn to win first, then when she’s even better at say 21 or 22, take on the men. She’ll never win, but she would make some cuts. For now, let her be 16.

I don’t care what Marco Materazzi said to Zinedine Zidane, Zidane has to keep his composure. Then after France wins the World Cup, show the trophy to Materazzi. If Zidane had to get some violence out of system, wait until the game is over. Then he would’ve only been hurting himself. Easier said than done, I realize, but what a bonehead head-butt.

I was talking to my friend Courtney Greene the other day in the sports office and she mentioned how whenever an African-American athlete sounds intelligent, he’s often referred to as “well spoken” or “articulate”. The next day I was listening to KXNO and heard a player described as “very articulate” (it was a guest talking, not the host). I didn’t know the athlete so I looked him up online, sure enough, he was black. I think Courtney’s more right than many of us would like to admit.

Speaking of Courtney, she says she’s now reading “Love Me, Hate Me”. By the time Courtney’s finished, and it won’t take long because Jeff Pearlman’s book is a page-turner, Bonds could be indicted for perjury. Bonds’ former best man and best friend told Feds Bonds was a heavy steroid user who ruined their friendship by going into ‘roid rages. Are any of you Bonds backers ready to come out of denial yet?

Why haven’t we seen Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ baby, Suri? It’s been three months and not even close friends have seen that baby. Here’s a better question: Why do I care?

The Des Moines Playhouse begins showing Footloose this weekend. I remember getting Ren’s haircut back when I had enough hair to do it. 1984 I think. I loved cheezy Footloose and look forward to the play. Gotta cut loose…

Can’t believe how good Ben Roethlisberger looks. He is one lucky guy. A mini-bike or motorcycle is the one item I wanted with all my heart as a kid that my parents said no to. Didn’t matter how much I asked. Now that I have boys, I completely understand, and agree. I respect your right to ride a motorcycle, and to not wear a helmet if you choose, but visit with an ER nurse first, it will give you pause.

I’m going to Vegas with Round Guy. If I don’t make it back, you’ll know why.

keith.murphy@whotv.com

4 comments

  • Anonymous

    Hey Murph,I’m glad you suggested the book “Love me, Hate me” the Barry Bonds book by Jeff Pearlman. It is a well-written, well-researched book about a complicated, guarded, and obviously controversial man. I can’t stop thinking about his legacy and whether he will ever be voted into the baseball Hall of Fame.I wonder how the criticism and glaring media attention affect him (how can it not?) and how he copes with it day after day, month after month, year after year.His on-field accomplishments, pre-steroids, are certainly noteworthy and he could inducted into the Hall of Fame based on them alone. But it’s his treatment of others (media, teammates, clubhouse staff, fans) and his blind refusal to even acknowledge anything about performance-enhancing supplements that I believe will stain his legacy.He appears to be a gifted and perceptive athlete on the field who often lacks common decency, although there are glimpses of a kind soul and gentle spirit. I knew only a little about Bonds before reading the book and in my aging wisdom have learned not to judge. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. One thing I know for sure is that even if Bonds surpasses Hank Aaron’s 755 home runs, Bonds can take a page out Aaron’s playbook. Classy, hard-working and humble, Hank Aaron endured suffocating racism, death threats and didn’t have much fan appeal, but went on to lasting greatness. Bonds demands attention, Aaron commands respect. That is the difference. Courtney Greene

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