Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Sept. 17, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: Later this month, the UI Athletics Department will officially introduce its new free daily e-newsletter, “Hawk Talk Daily” — “HTD” for short. However, we decided to re-introduce a popular column from last year’s “Official Sports Report” — OSR — in advance to celebrate the start of the 2010 college football season. If you want to make sure you are on the list to receive HTD, send an e-mail to gohawks@hawkeyesports.com with “HTD” in the subject line. We’ll keep you posted as the launch of HTD nears. Enjoy!

IOWA CITY, Iowa —Random thoughts for the day the football Hawkeyes board the big jet to the desert.

I’d like to meet the guy in Iowa who is a fan of the Hawkeyes who isn’t aware of all the admittedly ugly details about Iowa’s last adventure to the great Southwest. They’ve surely been beaten into us the last few days. Here is my only contribution to the conversation: Iowa is returning to the desert riding a fair bit of momentum thanks in great measure to the guy at the top of the UI football pyramid: Kirk Ferentz. Does anyone have a clue as to where the coach of Arizona State that night is today? My point? Win or lose Saturday night, I like the chances of this Iowa team enjoying a successful season because I like the guy at the top of our pyramid.


So, how many of you plan on taking a nap tomorrow afternoon? Geez, 9:30 p.m. in the Heartland. That’s late for us older folks, but high-gear time for 18, 19 and 20-year-olds. Think about it.

A football coach we all admire once told me you win big games on the road with defense. Then he smiled and said it never hurt to have an offense led by a quarterback who been out there when the bullets were flyin’. I’ll go way out on a limb – I write with a chuckle – and say this Iowa football team has both – an outstanding defense and a veteran signal-caller. Having said that, I also think games like this one are often decided by something as powerful as a powerful right leg and the Hawkeyes have one really powerful one in punter Ryan Donohue.

Red Out. Blackout. White Out. Black and Gold Spirit Day. I know some of you roll your eyes about this kind of stuff, but, c’mon. What the heck. It’s just some folks having fun. Of course, you don’t have to participate, but my guess is that those who don’t kind of feel like an sheepish if everyone around them has rallied in the spirit of showing support for their team. There you sit, odd man out. Of course, there was the friend of mine last week who wore a green shirt to Kinnick. He was determined to play the middle of the road…and caught some good natured ribbing from me and others by doing so.

A tip of the fedora to fans of the Hawkeyes for their performance last Saturday before during and after the game at Kinnick. It was a grand day made even grander by a lot of folks giving some serious consideration to “Thinking” and more.

Exchanged e-mails with former Hawkeye Matt Whitaker yesterday. You know, once a football player, always a football player. Like all of us, he’s excited about the 2010 Hawkeyes…but, even through the keyboard, you could see that he had that game face on that only those who played the game can wear. It screams at you, “One game at a time…”

So, do you think the Fiesta Bowl folks are watching closely as “Hawkeye Nation” descends upon a neighborhood within shouting distance of their piece of Americana? Some are estimating as many as 15,000 fans of the Hawkeyes will be in Arizona Stadium for tomorrow’s game. Who know the real number….but it’s a big one, for sure. And, it’s that kind of support that makes a difference come decision-making time in early December. Heck of a deal.

I am anxious to see the Hawkeyes in their “throwbacks.” Greg Morris, father of the football Hawkeye and long-time UI football equipment manager gave us a peek at them when FRYFet 2010 was officially announced earlier this summer. He noted that the players couldn’t wait for the opportunity to give their salute to the Evashevski era of football at the UI.

A tip of the fedora to fans of the Hawkeyes for their performance last Saturday before during and after the game at Kinnick. It was a grand day made even grander by a lot of folks giving some serious consideration to “Thinking” and more.

And, speaking of last Saturday, apparently Ashton and Demi were in the house. I think that might be the actor’s first victory as a special guest at Kinnick. I’ll do some checking. If he’s broken a personal losing streak we just might have to extend a few more invitations.

The UI men’s and women’s cross country teams are in action tomorrow with a pair of races on the Ashton Cross Country Course on the UI campus. I believe these are the only home events of the season for two of my favorite head coaches – Larry Wieczorek and Layne Anderson – so, if you in the neighborhood, e.g. you are not among the thousands of Iowans flocking to Arizona this weekend – give some thought to starting you weekend by checking out this group of Hawkeyes.

By the way, the finishing touches are being put on “Hawk Talk Daily.” If all goes well, that e-newsletter will be landing in e-mail boxes worldwide no later than the end of the month. The redesign of hawkeyesports.com, the official world wide web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes, is also moving along nicely and should go live just about the time we celebrate the start of practice for Bluder’s Bunch and Fran McCaffery’s first Hawkeye squad.

Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department’s associate athletics director for external affairs, and is an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athelics Department.

Go Hawks!