Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Nov. 16, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Random thoughts on the morning of a rare women’s basketball/men’s basketball regular season doubleheader in Carver-Hawkeye Arena..


Kachine Alexander will take to the parquet in Carver tonight for the first home game of her final season as an Iowa Hawkeyes. Last I checked there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,500 season ticket holders for the home games of Fran’s squad. I have a suggestion to all of those fans of the Hawkeyes: Get out of your comfort zone and get over to the Arena for a piece of the game involving Bluder’s Bunch. It tips at 5 p.m. with the men’s game starting 30 minutes afterward. You get two games for the price of one and, more importantly, the opportunity to watch arguably the most exciting basketball player currently on the UI campus. She’ll be wearing jersey number 21 for the good guys.

Saturday’s loss was a tough one for the Hawkeyes. It was also, undoubtedly, the wettest I’ve ever been at a college football game. And, man, did it get dark a couple of times during the second quarter.

Post-game traffic. Folks, if you think Kinnick Stadium and Iowa City and Coralville have post-game traffic issues, I suggest you attend a game at Northwestern then call me.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a silver-lining guy. My silver lining for Saturday was the play of placekicker Michael Meyer. The field goal he made in that driving rain during the second quarter was special considering the circumstances. He was also incredibly effective on kickoffs. It’s beginning to look like he’s grabbed the starting position as a true freshman and may not let it go for a long, long time. And a walk-on from Iowa to boot. Heck of a deal.

Post-game traffic. Folks, if you think Kinnick Stadium and Iowa City and Coralville have post-game traffic issues, I suggest you attend a game at Northwestern then call me.

For the record, the number the UI will file with the NCAA as attendance for Sunday’s men’s game was 11,700. The number for last year’s season opener was 8,486. I think that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a 35 percent increase. There were still a fair amount of no-shows – probably not significantly different than the number of no-shows at other games played yesterday – but a darn good start at Iowa fans helping the Hawkeyes get “MAD” again.

Yesterday’s no-shows points to the flaw in the argument by many about the BCS. Give us a playoff!, they argue. What they’ll get, unfortunately, if a playoff ever comes to pass is what we have right now with the regular season for men’s college basketball: A lack of interest in the non-conference season, a little more interest in the conference season, a little more interest in conference tournaments and a whole lot of interest in the NCAA Tournament. One man’s opinion: College football has never been bigger or more exciting. Each week matters. Every game matters. Leave it alone and let it thrive.

Don’t fret, Hawkeye hoops fans. Me thinks there will be plenty of W’s for the good guys while Fran McCaffery stalks the sidelines including several this season that are unexpected by most.

Jettison yourself ahead one year from today and here’s the football landscape for the Hawkeyes: They have just completed back-to-back home games against Michigan and Michigan State, and are preparing for a trip to Purdue (Nov. 19). That game will be followed by the first Iowa-Nebraska game as conference rivals to be played on Saturday, Nov. 26, in Lincoln. That, my friend, is going to be a crazy-fun week. The only thing that would make it even crazier is if the winner advances to Indy to participate in the first ever Big Ten Conference football championship game.

I’m also going to put a pair of bugs in the ears of the fans who will celebrate Senior Day with us at Kinnick. First, wander over to Carver-Hawkeye Arena over the noon hour to watch Bluder’s Bunch for free and to register to have the UI buy your 2011 Iowa football season tickets. Yep. If you purchased four season tickets this year and you register Saturday while watching the women’s hoops game, and your name is picked, the Hawkeyes will purchase the same four season tickets for your for 2011. You’ll be responsible for any contributions to the National I-Club, but the cost of the game tickets will be on us. Second, the Hawkeyes need you to be LOUD, to be PROUD, and to wear BLACK on Saturday at Kinnick. It’s the Buckeyes for Pete’s sake and there isn’t a single coach or student-athlete thinking anything other than a “W.”

Go Hawks!

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