Flood Warning

Ferentz vs. Fans, ISU vs. Mediocrity, Biden vs. Palin

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-When Kirk Ferentz had the Hawkeyes in the top ten three straight years, Iowa was 6-0 in games decided by three points or fewer. Since the Tate to Holloway magic, Iowa has lost 8 straight close games.

Did Ferentz and staff suddenly forget how to coach? Did they catch lightning in a bottle during those 10 win seasons? Is this just a run of bad luck? Discuss.

-Ricky Stanzi looks to me like he can be an effective Big Ten quarterback (once he starts hanging onto the ball). I don’t see “All-Big Ten” in his future, but he’s serviceable.

-Iowa needs to run Shonn Greene until he wears out his cleats, then get him a new pair, and run him some more. He’s great.

-I’ve heard far too many Cyclone fans discussing the positives and upside of Iowa State’s close loss to #16 Kansas. Iowa State should have won that game, and until everybody in Cyclone Nation, from players to fans, is mad and won’t in any way accept a meltdown like that, the mediocrity and close calls will continue in Ames.

-Good to see Austen Arnaud finally take all snaps. He’s still young and erratic (see Ricky Stanzi), but when Arnaud’s on, he’s good.

-I have nothing to add about the Cubs. It was predictable and painful.

The Express is an inspiring movie. The Ernie Davis story is long overdue, and it’s fascinating. It’s still hard to imagine and believe this level of racism and hatred existed in society in general, and college football in particular, but it’s a good reminder of how far we’ve come. My kids liked the movie a lot and asked many questions. Rob Brown is good as Ernie Davis, and Dennis Quaid even better as Davis’ coach. A little too long, and a little too much like Remember the Titans (and not as good), but worth seeing. B

-When did movie tickets reach $9 in Des Moines? I usually hit matinees, so I was in shock. Once you pay more than $50 just to get the family in the door, the last thing you want to see is people repeatedly opening their glowing cell phones, but that’s what we put up with. I wish I had more of that nerve that some people do where you go down and ask someone to keep his phone closed, but I don’t.

-As much as I hated seeing the Cubs swept, I’m happy for Joe Torre. He deserves the last laugh after the Yankees offered him a pay cut to stay and then left him out of the closing ceremonies for Yankee Stadium. He led the Yankees to the playoffs every season and won four World Series’. No wonder they wanted to make a change. How’s that working out?

-Saturday Night Live started with 10 minutes of genius, “Biden vs. Palin”, and then slipped back to sub par again, but when it’s that good from the jump, it’s worth watching. I knew Tina Fey would be hilarious as Sarah Palin, but didn’t imagine a lot of laughs at Joe Biden’s expense. They pulled it off. You can watch at http://www.saturdaynightlive.com/

-We’re excited to help throw a homecoming party for Lolo Jones. She’ll be at Jordan Creek Town Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday night. Lolo will have prizes and surprises, but most of all she’ll be herself, and that’s always entertaining. She’ll sign autographs and pose for pictures. Please come out if you get the chance.

-Kyle Orton looked great against the Lions. Granted, Southeast Polk could give the Lions a game about now, but Orton’s confidence is on the rise.

-I’m honored to host the Special Olympics Gold Medal Gala Saturday night in West Des Moines. Shawn Johnson was scheduled to join me, but there’s an unavoidable conflict with her post-Olympics tour. Find more info on Gala tickets here:

Have a good week.


  • shane - marshalltown

    “Discuss”…I don’t think they’ve forgotten how to coach, but it seems they’ve forgotten how to adapt to their personel. It wasn’t that long ago when the Hawks were losing runningbacks every other snap and they adjusted, putting more of the burden on Drew Tate’s shoulders…but ever since, it seems they’ve gotten stubborn about what their offense is and the more people criticize it, the more they’re digging their heels in and sticking to their guns.Streaks of winning or losing close games seems to be a lot like conference supremacy…it’s cyclical and it all balances out in the end…unfortunately.Shonn Greene’s best moment yesterday: crushing the backup strong safety moments after he thought he was the baddest man on the field for stuffing an already held up Greene…I wish I could remember his name so I could laugh at him by name…Cyclone fans will assume I’m only saying this because I’m a Hawkeye fan, but coming back and falling short against UNLV is acceptable, because you showed heart and battled back from a beatdown…blowing a 20-0 halftime lead against ANYONE, is not acceptable…and it doesn’t matter how young your team is…Thank you to my Steelers, for saving my sports weekend from being a total loss…

  • Dan

    Keith, I agree with you that Cyclone fans cannot accept the team blowing a 20-0 halftime lead against anyone. However, I would not call us taking positives from the game as a sign of accepting mediocrity.First, like all fans after a heartbreaking loss, we’re looking to rationalize what happened. Second, this is a team that whooped ISU 45-7 less than 12 months ago. To come out and dominate the game the way ISU did is very commendable and reflects positively on the coaching staff and the players.ISU has a young team. A very young team, and they look a lot like that 2004 team that struggled early and pulled together at the end of the season. However, the senior leadership is currently lacking to take them to a bowl like that 2004 team managed. This team has some talent, and in time, will be a very tough team to handle.Just realize that Cyclone fans are looking for any positives they can find right now. If ISU was 4-0 heading into the Kansas game and blew a 20 point lead people would be singing a VERY different tune. I’m not concerned that we are taking positives from a game like this in a coaching staff’s second year with young players. If we were doing it in a staff’s 10th year then there would be something to be concerned about.Keep up the good work Keith.

  • Stevie D

    “If we were doing it in a staff’s 10th year then there would be something to be concerned about.”Wouldn’t have a specific coaching staff in its 10th year in mind, would ya Dan? LOL.Ferentz et al. caught lightning in a bottle, methinks. Funny how they won a lot with a new untested QB for three straight years, but when it came time to develop one, the staff failed to make any improvement with them (Tate, Manson, Christensen).I realize the turnovers aren’t the coaches’ fault per se, but when the team is STILL in the game despite them (and has outgained the opposing offense), then one must question the strategy and playcalling that prevent the team from scoring.

  • Anonymous

    I think that you – along with nearly everyone else in the country – are not giving Kansas enough credit. What if this had been Ohio State or USC or another “name” school that is currenty ranked in the top 15. Would you still be saying that it was unacceptable to lose to them? Or would you be saying that the Cyclones just don’t have enough horses yet to finish off a highly ranked team? Kansas was a legit 12 win Orange Bowl winner last year that has the large majority of it’s starters back. I realize they lost a heartbreaker down in South Florida, but they will certainly make some noise in the Big 12 this year.

  • shane - marshalltown

    You held that rated, Orange Bowl team to 0 points in the first half…was it too much to expect you to hold them under 30 in the second half?I don’t care if it was USC, UNI, Drake or Valley…you don’t blow 20-0 halftime leads…especially when you got that lead by being the best team on the field for that entire half. You can’t just suddenly turn into the worst team in the conference when you get back onto that same field and call it an acceptable outcome…

  • pulsebert

    Murph you cannot fault ISU fans for trying to find something.. anything(!) positive from the KU game. If we got all riled up and started screaming for the ADs head, the coaches head, Cy’s head… what good what it do? Not one bit, we still lost the game. Murph everyone is steaming and pissed off at losing that game. Fans aren’t going to make the players and coaches play and coach better by calling them out and getting mad at them. Don’t think that ISU fans are accepting of mediocrity and blowing big leads. We can’t control what goes on on the field, we can only support the team. When ISU fans get tired of mediocrity just think of 2 words.. Wayne Morgan. Fans couldn’t take it anymore. (incidentally McD has about 2 years left to get things going before he gets turned on).

  • Shawn

    I would argue that Stanzi could be an All Big Ten QB, in a year or so. That pass he thru to Brodell was pure magic. Jake could not hit that pass if given 100 chances and no defenders. Stanzi is getting exactly what he needs now, game time experience.—Call me nuts (and thanks for that Kool-Aid refill Shane) but I think that this team is starting to come together and is about to hit a win streak. They are only five or six plays away from being 6-0 at the turn. All is not lost and I think they have a legit shot at winning every game left on the schedule with the possible exception of Penn State. I’m still not counting out a bowl game and a good one at that.—Shawn

  • Keith Murphy

    Regarding Iowa State, I must not have explained very well. Let me try to clarify.I don’t think fans should be calling out players and coaches, and I know most fans are crushed by losing a 20-0 lead and golden opportunity to upset a ranked team at home.What I’m saying is until all people in Cyclone nation—players, coaches, fans—are sick to their stomachs, the “next level” will be harder to reach.One of Jamie Pollard’s smartest moves as AD has been to try and rid Cyclone fans of their inferiority complex. No one will admit that such a feeling exists, or existed, but it’s all too easy to spot from any objective spot.I received dozens of emails this weekend from Cyclone fans who were happy with the close call, proud of the way the young team fought back, excited by a great game and near miss, etc. All true and understandable, but ISU has been here before. Gene Chizik must take the lead and make sure everyone, players and fans alike, realizes Iowa State should have won that game. Iowa used to win all the close games, now Iowa loses all the close games. When you’re not an elite program, mindset matters, and it always will at both Iowa and Iowa StateThanks.Keith

  • pulsebert

    While you be right <>in theory<>, you are still way off base. If ISU fans were ‘sick to our stomachs’ as you said they would all be dead or in intensive care because they would have been throwing up the last 4 weeks (you have to include the bye). Incidentally, you are hardly sitting their from on objective viewpoint. Some fans may have an inferiority complex, but the reality is its years of watching blown opportunities. That has nothing to do with feeling inferior its called cynicism. You are wrong on this one. I’ve enjoyed your reporting since the Johnny Orr show though, keep it up!

  • Keith Murphy

    pulsebert,Point taken. The cynisism is earned and deserved.But it’s still a chicken or the egg question. Too often over the years, and even now, Iowa State football teams don’t expect to win big games. There’s a culture of low expectations in the program that seems to find its way into the mindset of young players.While not every Cyclone fan has a football inferiority complex or little brother syndrome, I’ve taken enough phone calls, read enough emails, and had enough conversations to know it’s widespread. That’s why Jamie Pollard planted a “Cyclone State” billboard in Iowa’s backyard. He knows the culture.By the way, I enjoyed the Cyclone assignments, like the Johnny Orr Show, that came with working at channel 5, but knew it was time to get out when it was made clear to me that Iowa State wanted less criticism from me and more cheerleading. That’s not for me.Take care,Keith

  • shane - marshalltown

    “but knew it was time to get out when it was made clear to me that Iowa State wanted less criticism from me and more cheerleading. That’s not for me.”There’s a nasty rumor going around that you didn’t look good in the skirt and that shaving your legs was the deal breaker Keith…I kinda feel bad for starting that rumor…

  • shane - marshalltown

    Thanks Shawn…I hope the mail is fast this week…that $2.50 might only be worth 49 cents by Friday…And remind me to never go to a movie in Beaverdale…Why does my “WORD VERIFICATION” keep getting longer and longer??? The Bible wasn’t as long as the one they gave me this time…holy crap! (no pun intended…ok, somewhat intended)

  • Anonymous

    Keith,Please remind Shawn Terrell that its still Iowa State and not I State.Thanks,All Iowa State Fans

  • shane - marshalltown

    Maybe Shawn will start calling them Iowa State, when they change it back to Iowa State!!Maybe all I-State fans should take a look at the helmets, jerseys, shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, polos, hats, visors, jackets, coats, pants, flags, coffee mugs…and everything else I didn’t mention, due to time constraints…and realize that the Cyclones, are indeed, I-State and no longer Iowa State…Iowa State is the university, I-State is your team…get used to it…

  • Anonymous

    So, if Iowa State is now only to be called I State because of the logo that is on the shirts, the helmets, etc. etc……does that mean that they should be calling Iowa “Tigerhawks” instead of Iowa? After all, that is what is on their shirts, helmets, etc. etc.The uniforms still say Iowa State. The logo does not change that.

  • shane - marshalltown

    Apples and oranges…you basically sold out, not unlike the University of Pittsburgh going with “Pitt” and you’ll have to learn to love it like they did…Now if Iowa only had an I on their helmets and every piece of gear they sell, you’d have something…Cy was your logo, I-State is your new identity…Just move your university to Indiana to balance out their IU with an I-State and it’ll all be good to go and we can stop the confusion and let them deal with it…

  • Kirk

    Apparently you didn’t get that memo from I-State about their new identity. That, or you threw it away as fast as you throw away the alumni fund raising letters JP sends your way.Now quit crying, go get your binky, and reassure yourself that NEXT year will be THE year.

  • IAgal

    Just want to say THANKS to Andy for driving all the way down to Mount Ayr for what was supposed to be Chopper 13’s touchdown of the week. I know I speak for the rest of the community in saying that we really appreciated him taking the extra time to drive, even after Chopper 13 broke down. We know what a long drive it is, as we make that trip several times a year. We are proud of our Raiders and felt proud to be represented by your sports team. THANK YOU!

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