Jan. 31, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A few random thoughts on the last day of January 2011…
I learned a new word this week. “ObTwitterated”…as in “obliterated.” I believe the definition for “ObTwitterated” is the deliberate or inadvertent act of character assassination by one or a series of cryptic messages, 140 alphabetic and/or numeric characters or less in length, often delivered electronically by authors who are misinformed or uninformed.
Sunday was a good day for two out of the three groups of good guys wearing black and gold and in competition. At Michigan, Fran’s squad came up short in its bid to win Iowa’s first Big Ten Conference road game in three years but Lisa’s squad put away Illinois in Champaign and Iowa’s wrestling team put it to No. 1 Penn State in Happy Valley. Does that win by Tom Brands’ squad really surprise you? You can read about all three of those contests HERE.
Of course, the very best news yesterday was the announcement that all 13 UI student-athletes who were hospitalized a week ago had been discharged from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. You can read that announcement HERE.
For a moment Thursday night I thought we were all going to live a “Yogi moment”: Déjà vu all over again. Iowa and Michigan State were squaring off in women’s hoops inside Carver with the outcome still in doubt, single-digit ticks on the clock and Spartans with possession. This time – unlike a little over a week ago when State sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to claim victory in East Lansing — the good guys won…and, after the drama on the court was complete, we were offered one of the lighter moments of the season when all-Big Ten guard Kachine Alexander offered – when describing her defensive assignment on the game’s final possession – this little nugget to the media during their post-game visit: “Well, for the first time, I didn’t listen to Coach Bluder” to which Lisa shot back with a smile, “The first time?” Ah, what fun we can have after victory…
This is shaping up as one very entertaining men’s college basketball season from a national perspective….plenty of really good teams in all four corners of the country, plenty of upsets, plenty of parity. Sure, a few of the “elite” teams are very good again, but, from where I sit, this season has more of a “On any given night” feel that any I can remember if recent history. Just ask Illinois and Michigan State, two Big Ten teams victimized by peers earlier this week that walked onto the court with just one league win each…and walked off with two. All of this bodes well for March Madness…the bowl season for college hoops.
Wednesday night is the second of this year’s two “UI Students Free” nights at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for games involving Fran’s squad, which entertains Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans at 7:30 p.m. It sure would be great for this hard-working group of Hawkeyes to have the support of a good number of their campus peers.
Speaking of wrestling, I can’t recall if I’ve commented on Iowa City and the UI receiving the nod from USA Wrestling for the 2012 Summer Olympic Trials event to be staged in April 2012 but, if I haven’t, let me first congratulate the very small group that made that happen and add that it is both a remarkable opportunity for everyone who cares about the wrestling program at the University of Iowa and a tip of the fedora to fans of the wrestling program at the UI. The latter was a difference-maker, I’m certain, in the final decision.