9/30/2010

Big Ten Predictions - Week 5

Conference Play!  No more games vs FCS teams.  The real season begins.


Northwestern @ Minnesota – The Wildcats swept the non-conf slate of games for the 2nd time since like 1967, travel to Minnesota where Tim Brewster’s seat is hotter than a night game in Arizona.  The Gophers are struggling, QB Adam Weber has regressed since his sophomore season.  To get to a 3rd straight bowl the Gophers need to go 5-3 in conference play, don’t see it happening.  Dan Persa and Jeremy Ebert I think connect for a few scores and the ‘Cats move to 5-0.

Ohio State @ Illinois – I feel that this is going to be almost like the non-conference games the Buckeyes have had so far.  No Contest.  I just don’t see the Zooker and the Illini able to compete with this Buckeye team.  They are on a mission and I think they roll out of Champaign with a big double digit win.

Michigan @ Indiana – I hope the scoreboard operator is ready.  I think we see a lot of points scored here.  Last year in the Big House Indiana got jobbed and lost a 33-36.  Ben Chappel and Denard Robinson should put on a great QB show.  It will be interesting to see how Denard Robinson responds from his injury vs Bowling Green.  I think we’ll see his total yardage drop as the Big Ten play gets tougher, but he still puts up 350+ and Michigan wins.

Penn State @ Iowa – Night time at Kinnick.  Hawks are coming off a destruction of Ball State, Penn State a close call from Temple.  Before the year I thought Iowa would own this game, right now I think they do to.  Hawks control both lines, and I think All-American Adrian Clayborn and Mike Daniels devours the Penn State freshman signal caller in his first road Big Ten game.  Hawks 27-9.


BIG TEN
GAME OF THE WEEK

Wisconsin @ Michigan State – Game of the week in the Big Ten, and I think the toughest game to pick.  Michigan State is likely without Coach Dantonio again for a second week, last week it didn’t matter, this week it’s a tougher opponent.  Wisconsin put up huge numbers vs Austin Peay, they won’t do that against the Spartans.  I think Greg Jones and company keep the Badgers under 200 yards rushing and its close.  I want to pick the Spartans but I think Bucky Badger escapes 23-21.


I start the Big Ten season with a season record of 38-4.  So along with my season records I'll keep track of my conference record too.  Along with that, a buddy, Chad, is going to have a contest with me, who ever picks the most conference game winners, the loser owes him a Jimmy John sandwich!  So I'll have a scoreboard for our picks too.

CONF (0-0)
SEASON (38-4)


Matt-Chad Challenge : (0-0) to (0-0)

9/29/2010

High School Football - Week 6

The season is on the downward slide, really? Where did September go? Teams are positioning for District titles and playoff spots. And there are a lot of great match-ups this week. With that being said it’s my biggest slate of predictions to date for the 2010 season.

And can we get ESPN & Chris Speilman to do the AP-Dike New Hartford game this year?

Also, GMG, guys, maybe time to think about 8man football?

Dowling over Ankeny
CB Lincoln over Sioux City East
Clear Lake over Ballard Huxley
Decorah over West Delaware
Roland-Story over FD St. Edmond
Western Chrsitan over Sheldon
Aplington-Parkersburg over Dike-New Hartford
Emmetsburg over Inwood West Lyon
LeMars Gehlen over Clay Central
North Tama over Postville
Wappello over GMG
Graettinger-Terril over West Bend Mallard


Season (41-7)

9/28/2010

Who's in your 5 - Villains

So a few months back I did a Who's in your 5 - Superheros, and well I should return the favor to the guys the Superheros battle.  The VILLIANS!  It's more fun to be bad isn't it?  Hell yes!  So here we go!

First some honorable mention.  Steve Bartman/Alex Gonzlez, Magneto, Dr Doom, Barry Bonds.


5.  The Predator - kick ass and taking names.  He made Jesse Ventura have time to bleed.  Took down Carl Weathers.  Even eventually destroyed Aliens.  But couldn't get past Ahhhnold.  He's one ugly motha fucker.  But he backed it up.


4.  Freddy Krueger - The 1980's villain from the cheesy Nightmare on Elm Street movies, in the first few movies made you not want to go to sleep.  Ultimately the movies got worse and worse, then came Freddy vs Jason in a royal rumble of bad guys.


3.  The Terminator - Not from T2 or T3, the original.  Arnold's cyborg was a bad ass.  It's always more fun to be bad, and this guy was BAD.  I remember when this came out in 1984, I was only 6, and watching it at home I was freaked out.


2.  Darth Vader - I think he's the most powerful badass in the universe and would be number 1 but as Luke said in Return of the Jedi, "I sense good in you." He'd kick your ass with the light saber or force choke you if you got in his way.  

1.  The Joker - really is there a better villain?  He doesn't play by any rules.  He's a maniac.  He wants mass chaos.  He's pure EVIL!  There is no better villain, and is a perfect compliment to BATMAN.  The one sad thing is we won't be able to see Heath Ledger's joker in the 3rd Batman movie again.  It's the best cinematic performance I've ever seen!

Those are my 5, who's yours?

Where's your seat?

The big game is on, and you have a decision to make, where to watch the game.  3 options stare you in the face, go to the game and see it in person.  Head to the local sports bar and watch it with throngs of other fellow fans, or watch it in your man cave at home.  What do you do?

All 3 are great options.  First going to the game.  You are with around 70,000 fellow fans.  Tailgating, the smell of meat grilling at 7am (if you’re at a Big Ten early game) the socializing, the bean bags and tossing the ball around.  Oh and the beer.  I still get goose bumps the first time I walk up the ramp at Kinnick Stadium each year.  I’ve been to over 100 Iowa games, loved going to everyone, well maybe not the 1990 Iowa-Ohio State BOBBY FRICKEN OLIVE!  But I really miss my season tickets.  What I don’t miss, the 2 hour drive back home from Iowa City.  About Grinnell to Baxter on I-80 I just dread the drive.  And even getting into Altoona I just wanna be home. 

If you don’t have a ticket,  what to do?  Go to a sports bar?  Most sports bars on big game days are packed, especially on NFL Sundays and Saturdays if your team is good.  I know a lot of Hawk fans that go to sports bars and watch.  Last night for the Bears-Packers game I went to 34’s in Ankeny for my first game at a sports bar in a while.  Had a blast with the Des Moines Sports Freaks and their watch party.  Helped that the game was great, and the Bears won!  You get to hang out with friends and other fans in front of plenty of others.  The food and beer always tastes better when you’re not cleaning it up too right?  And you don’t have the long drive home.


This isn't my man cave - fyi
Then there is home.  The ManCave!  How many of you dream of getting your house, and right away think of what is my man cave going to be like?  How big of TV?  A bar? Surround sound, and the perfect seating.  What memorabilia to put up in it.  How much more can I buy!  I have mine (though it’s getting reduced a bit).  I have all my Hawkeye garb around.  My Bears stuff and Cubs stuff up too.  My Hayden Fry bobble head next to JoePa and Woody Hayes.  The Ditka’s table cloth up and my authentic Kinnick Stadium replica.  Oh and my 42in wide screen with surround sound.  (insert Tim the tool man Taylor grunts).  I’m home, I just have to turn on the tub, and sit down and relax.  Got my food cheaper than at the bar.  6 beers for the cost of 2.  Oh, and the DVR!  Rewind, Oh and the DVR!  Also if I want to hear the announcers I can hear them most the time when I want too.  And no line at the bathroom.  Plus I get to brainwash, I mean watch with my son too.  I cheer he cheers, I swear he swears (we are working on this).  Then there’s also no drive home, and you can also flip to any other game you want too.  Plus there.

You can probably see which one I prefer now.  Staying at home.  But don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the other two also, a lot.  And if anyone has a ticket they wanna give up for the Iowa-Penn State game, hello!  Hawk fan here!  If not, I’ll be watching at home with my son.  His first game he watched with me was the 2008 Iowa-Penn State game!  Pretty memorable.  So hopefully he will be 3-0 lifetime vs. PSU after this week. 

So where’s your seat at?

9/27/2010

Best and Worst of the Weekend

Best – Hanging out with my kids and singing with my son. He loves Luke Bryan’s Rain Is A Good Thing. And if you know the song there is a part in the song he sings “We hunt our hunnies down” and in the video he acts like he’s pulling a bow back. Well my son loves that part and does his best imitation of it.

 
Also my daughter, had a soccer game again. (this will be part of my worst), but she played really well and got in there and kicked and had some fast breaks. Then she had a birthday party with a friend she used to go to preschool with. Just to see her smile and them hug and her react when they saw each other for the first time in months was cool. She came home wired.

And the Hawks won! 3-1 with Penn State this week.


Worst – Well like I said, there was a worst from the soccer game. Addy has been getting more aggressive in soccer which I’m proud of. And with that she’s been getting knocked around a bit. And well this game Sunday was the most physical I’ve seen. Addy got in there in a scrum and was kicking and got pushed and got a ball in the face. Hurt her nose. Came over to me crying. Got back in there and about 20 mins later her and a teammate bumped heads. Other kids took headers into the ball, got tackled and the coaches kid took a face plant into the ground. So that was probably the worst part, seeing her hurt, but I was proud of her getting back in there.

One other worst was that the Bears play on Monday, Sunday’s aren’t the same without them, but Monday’s are great with them.



9/26/2010

GFR Rankings - September 26th

Well it should be fun next week in Tuscaloosa!  It will be a #1 vs #2 GFR match-up.  The Gators hold the top spot this week, and it is most likely that the winner of the game will be #1 next week.  Last year both teams were 1-2 until the Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship game.

There is also a top 10 match-up going on in Eugene with the Ducks hosting Stanford in a battle of the two best teams in the Pac-10.

This weeks top 10 is again heavy with SEC schools bookend at the top and bottom.  3 Pac-10 schools in the middle along with 2 surprise Big XII schools

The GFR Top 10.
1.  Florida
2.  Alabama
3.  Arizona
4.  Missouri
5.  Stanford
6.  TCU
7.  Oklahoma State
8.  Oregon
9.  LSU
10. Auburn


Remember if your following the rankings, the GFR changes with EVERY game.  Things will get interesting this week and from here on out as conference play really heats up.

The complete GFR Rankings

Big Ten Awards - Week 4

Well I hope most of you got your lawns raked, except if your in West Lafayette and Minneapolis.  All over the Big Ten teams did what they were supposed to do, or there were who we thought they were this week. Crown their ass!  Had to get the Dennis Green reference in there since Gopher coach Tim Brewster dropped it this week also too.

Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan all rolled.  Northwestern tussled a bit with Central Michigan before pulling away.  Indiana got past Akron.  Penn State had a scare from Temple trailing at halftime but pulled away in the 2nd half 22-13.

Purdue and Minnesota where the 2 Big Ten teams that couldn't make it a perfect weekend for the conference.  Purdue got hung up vs Toledo and lost QB Robert Marve and Northern Illinois might have given Tim Brewster his pink slip.

Of the teams that rolled, the only scare was to an injury to Michigan's PS3, Denard Robinson.  But Tate Foricer and filled in quite nicely.  I'm sure Sunday and Monday the whole Big Ten Media will be in Ann Arbor wondering if he will be ready for Big Ten play.

Wisconsin bumrushed porr little Austin Peay with 2 backs eclipsing 100 yards.  Adam Robinson, DJK and Ricky Stanzi lead Iowa to  big lead before giving way to the 2nd string vs Ball State.  Michigan State got a visit from recovering Coach Dantonio and beat down Northern Colorado.  Bowling Green put up some points on Michigan but couldn't stop RichRod's offense.

Helmet Sticker - Coming into week 4 Denard Robinson had received the 3 previous helmet stickers.  Someone in Columbus must have thought they needed to step up.  Terrel Pryor did.  Pryor was the top passer and rusher in the game, throwing for 224 yards, rushing for 104 and had 20 yards receiving.  Also had 6 touchdowns  (4 passing, 1 rushing, 1 receiving).  So if your tracking at home its 3 helmet stickers for Michigan, 1 for Ohio State.


Team of the Week - Michigan State.  Coming off a dramatic win vs Notre Dame on a fake kick the Spartans head coach suffered a heart attack.  Not being with the team all week, until a surprise visit on Friday, the Spartans came out and did what a team should do vs an FCS team.  They destroyed Northern Colorado.  The competition shifts in to Big Ten play next week as the Spartans take on Wisconsin. Wishing Dantonio a speedy recovery.


Game of the Week - Penn State 22 - Temple 13.  I'm sure Penn State was hoping it would put up as many points as other schools did this week going into conference play, but Temple gave them a fight.  Temple was up at halftime and well into the 3rd quarter till the Nittany Lions 2nd field goal in the 3rd gave them a 15-13 lead.  The Lions finally got in the end zone in the 4th to seal the win 22-13 and Evan Royster returned to form of what Lion's fans were used too busting loose for 187 yards.






Highlight of the Week - Again, Denard Robinson going PS3 on a defense.  He pulls off a Y button and X button in this 47 yard scoring dash.  



More highlights:



http://mashup.bigtennetwork.com/published/3011


Picks - I went 8-2 this week on my Big Ten Picks. Now 38-4 on the season.  Minnesota is responsible for 2 of those losses!  Games will get a little tougher next week with conference play starting up.

Next week - Next week, the real season begins  Big Ten play!  There are probably co-games of the week.  Iowa hosts Penn State at night in Kinnick, and Michigan State hosts the Badgers in a top 20 match-up at 330.  

9/24/2010

Week 4 Big Ten Predictions



So are you ready for Eastern Michigan vs Ohio State on ABC?  Yea I didn’t think so.  What a crappy week in the Big Ten.  Sorry guys, but play a 9th game or get an ACC-Big Ten challenge in Football.  C’mon.  These match-ups are SAD!  That being said I’ll watch Iowa-Ball State this weekend as much as I can.  So as Steve Deace would call it, this is a “Rake Your Lawn Saturday”.  It should be a 10-0 week for the conference.  We won’t learn much at all the week before conference play starts.  But some things to watch.

How many yards will PS3 Denard Robinson put up? 
How will Michigan State react with Mark Dantonio not on the side lines?  Wishing him the best in his heart attack recovery.
Iowa is down to Adam Robinson and some fans in the backfield, will it be an offense ala 2004?
Will Minnesota get past Northern Illinois or is Brewster done before the conference season starts?

That’ being said here are my picks.

Northwestern over Central Michigan
Purdue over Toledo
Michigan State over Northern Colorado
Michigan over Bowling Green
Iowa over Ball State
Wisconsin over Austin Peay
Penn State over Temple
Ohio State over Eastern Michigan
Indiana over Akron
Minnesota over Northern Illinois.

Week 4 (0-0)
Season (30-2)

9/22/2010

Who are you?

Ok, so this post will probably get me called a Cyclone or something worse, if there is something worse?  But I’ve heard it from friends and read it and well it is getting under my skin.  Now I’m not directing this at Hawk fans directly but all fans, mostly college football fans since the NFL is a different breed.  But I’m an Iowa fan, bleed black and gold, and well this is what I see being in Iowa and being around Hawkeye fans, so here we go.

Iowa lost.  We got beat.  The sun rose Sunday morning, there is a game on Saturday.  The season ISN’T OVER!

Under Coach Ferentz we’ve risen to levels not seen before, no offense to Hayden Fry, but we’ve been super consistent, in the top tier in Big Ten standings, January Bowl games, but we are not Ohio State.  We are not Oklahoma.  We are not Texas or USC or Alabama.  Those schools, yea 1 loss, season over.  But please wake up, realize we are Iowa.  We aren’t competing for National Titles every year.  We come close once every maybe 10-15 years (see 1985, 2002). 

But fans are crying for coaches heads to roll, they think the season is over and screw going to the games.  Are you serious?  WAKE UP!  Get your head out of the sand, and realize who you are.  You waited like 200 some days for the season to start and your ready to end it?

Now, I will say when I was in High School I was probably more like this, I’d pick Iowa Big Ten Champs yearly, the Cubs and Bears winning championships every year too.  I’ve woken up.  My expectations yearly are 8-4 and get me to the Alamo Bowl (now Gator Bowl since the Big Ten lost the Alamo)  and anything else is just icing.  The seasons actually have come to be more enjoyable sincee 2000 when I’ve done that.  The win over Penn State was sweeter in 2000.  The 2001 season was great.  The 2002 -2004 seasons were like a huge cake for me.  We lost games but it was AMAZING for me being a fan.  Were 05-07 sucky, yes, but I loved seeing the Hawks run out there though we struggled.  Then came 2008, your damn right I enjoyed every minute of that year, even the losses.  2009, the same. 

Now it’s 2010.  Did I expect big things from the Hawks?  Yes, I picked them to go to the Fiesta Bowl.  Did the loss sting?  Yes, just like the loss to Arizona State in 2004.  But don’t let it ruin your season.  Don’t let it ruin your week.  The loss to Arizona showed me a couple things.  1-Our special teams suck.  2-We can’t dig a hole and try to come back.  3-I liked what I saw in the whole game, especially the 2nd half.  We will be ok.  It’s a non-conference loss.  We are still 0-0 in the Big Ten, 8 games left.  We’ll be ok.  Have faith in Coach Ferentz.

My basketball coach in high school never worried about the rankings or State when practice started.  The goal, win the conference.  With that good things will come. 

Ok fellow Hawks, you can rip me now.  I’m going to enjoy the rest of the season as much as I enjoyed  it when we were 2-0 and #9. 

High School Football - Week 5

And now to the back half of the regular season in High School football in the state.  A little tougher matchups too, except for my alma mater GMG, I will always pick that game.  And well we are going to lose.  But you can kind of see who’s gonna be positioned to make the playoffs now that they are expanded. I wish we had more Madrid vs 2A team matchups though!  C’mon 2A schools, don’t wuss out and schedule the Tigers!

Game that intrigues me the most I think the is the Bettendorf North Scott game.  Bettendorf hasn’t given up a point this year and this is their toughest opponent to date.  I think the Bulldogs will roll but might give up a point…finally.

Let’s see if I can go perfect and not lose 1 game this week.

Cedar Falls over Cedar Rapids Xavier
Bettendorf over North Scott
Harlan over CB Lewis Central
ADM over Norwalk
Sigourney-Keota over Davis County
Sheldon over Sioux Center
Council Bluffs St. Albert over Underwood
Aplington-Parkersburg over West Fork
Madrid over Van Meter
North Butler over GMG

Week 5 (0-0)
Season (33-5)

Movie Time

I don’t watch a lot of TV shows. I hate to invest that much time and have my life scheduled around TV shows and sitting down to watch them on DVR with kids and well with football! So I usually only watch a few and get into a few. How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory are the 2 shows I will make sure I watch. Sometimes NCIS or Criminal Minds but usually my shows are football. So the past few days I’ve watched movies! 3 of them actually. Well 2 last night and one Sunday afternoon.


So the 3 movies I watched were Killers, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and the animated movie Batman: Under the Red Hood



Prince of Persia was a movie I wanted to see in the summer but just didn’t get too. It’s based off a video game ala Tomb Raider. According to Wikipedia it was seen as a box office disappointment but I really enjoyed it. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal did great as the Prince. I liked the story, I liked the action. I liked that some of the action shots and sequences were almost straight out of the video game. Similar movements. It was almost like Indiana Jones + Mummy + National Treasure. And Alfred Molina was great in it too! And the princess chick was smoking hot. I really enjoyed it, the action and everything. I hope that Disney looks at the DVD sales and makes another one. I felt it was better than some more hyped movies of the summer, say Iron Man 2. It deserves a sequel! 3 stars out of 5


Killers was a movie that I heard at work, and on the net that was a great funny movie. Fellow Hawkeye Ashton Kutcher is in it with Katherine Heigl (still trying to decide if I think she’s hot). The first 15-20 minutes were great. I liked the action, liked the introduction of characters, but the middle drug on slow and with no action. The last 30 minutes really made up for it. Tom Selleck I thought was the best in the movie. Really I didn’t think it was very funny, and glad it was only a dollar rental from Red Box. The funniest part of the movie too was at the end. Really. 2 stars out of 5.



And finally Batman: Under the Red Hood. The best movie I thought of the 3 I saw these past few days. I like that we can still have great Batman stories without it having to be live action. Though Dark Knight is a top 5 film all time for me and I can’t wait for the 3rd and final installment from Christopher Nolan. But being able to do darker cartoon movies is great. I love Batman, I think he is a fascinating character and he is a normal guy. Not a mutant or special powers. Just nice toys. I thought the story was amazing. The one complaint is I figured out Red Hood too soon. But the movie is filled with lots of action. I love the Joker! The ultimate bad guy! I liked including NightWing (the original Robin) and having him in the movie. It was weird hearing Neil Patrick Harris’s voice since I recognize it so much with Barney from How I Met Your Mother. But the movie is great. It has a feel from the Nolan series with the mob, the maniac Joker and a darker Batman. If you like Batman go rent it! 4 stars out of 5.


So what should I rent next?


Has anyone seen any of these? Thoughts?

9/21/2010

Who's in your 5? Vacations/Trips

Ok, so I haven't gone to a lot of places or as many trips as I want to but I'm going to give this a shot for 5.

5. 1988 Trip to Chicago.  When I was about 5 my parents took my brother and sister to Chicago, and left me at home.  So in 1988 it was my turn, just mom dad and I.  The only thing I remember on the drive in is hitting a duck with the car, and seeing the Sears Tower.  We stayed at the Exel Inn.  Went to the museums, Gino's East and the Married W Children Fountain.  But my highlight was my first trip to Wrigley Field.  The Cubs played the Phillies, my brothers fav team and I so wanted them to win.  The Cubs were down 1-0 when Dave Martinez hit a homer with Shawon Dunston on and the Cubs won 2-1.  Sutcliffe pitched and I got to see all my favorite players.  Loved it.  Oh and Harry Carey!

4.  2003 Trip to Colorado.  Between my internship and last class at ISU I had some time to kill.  I had a friend in Denver whose mom was sick.  I thought I'd go out there on a whim, at noon one day to go see her and hang out.  Never been there so it was a first time for me.  I drove 13 hours straight, and drank 2 liters of Mt Dew.  It was cool waking up there and seeing mountains.  Went to a Rockies game, almost got 3 homer run balls, got none.  Went to the Coors Brewery and saw Buffalo Bill Cody's grave.  Was a fun trip!  The drive back sucked.

3.  2002 Iowa road trip to Ann Arbor.  Harmon's last road trip.  We stopped in Chicago on Thursday night.  Went to a bar, and I "got" 2 new Bears glasses.  Hit Ann Arbor and ate the best burrito I've had at a bowling alley.  Then hit the Michigan-Alaska Anchorage hockey game.  It was louder then the football game.  Then hit a bar, and it was ALL IOWA fans.  The next day we tailgated, and went to Michigan Stadium.  Got a picture with Keith Murphy and then went to our seats.  Michigan's SuperFan was only a few sections away.  The Hawkeyes dominated the game.  34-9.  Michigan's worst home loss in 35 years.  If not for a long Navarre run, the Wolverines would have had negative rushing yards.  That night we hit a bar, Mike, Westy and I were drunk.  Harmon can't drink.  We let him drive home.  Now Harmon has a disease that I can't really remember but he shakes a lot.  Better him driving than 3 drunks right?  We go to our hotel and on the way there Harmon takes us down a wrong way of a one way, swerving past 4 cops.  The 3 of us are busting a gut, Harmon is sweating bullets.  We go to park and and Harmon hits the curb.  Later that night we get ready for bed and my brother says "Good Night Jeff Gordon".  It was Classic

2.  2003 Iowa Road Trip to Columbus.  The road trip started out on Thursday and we headed to Normal, Illinois.  We stopped at a bar.  Watched Aaron Boone hit a homer in game 7 to beat the RedSox in the ALCS.  Sang the Iowa fight song and then Mike fell in a hole at 2am after he said he was going to bury me.  Classic moment.  Then on to Columbus.  Friday night hit Brothers, and then well I had too much to drink.  Well leave it at that.  Saturday we went to the game, no offensive touchdowns and the Hawks lost, but the rest of the night is EPIC. We went to an authentic German restaurant.  MMM...Dunkel!  Then the Ohio PTA.  About 1000 women were having a slumber party at the hotel we were staying at.  We crashed it.  Our shirts were off....and then about 10 of them said they wanted to go out.  We obliged.  We went to a a bar, danced and drank, stayed out and up till 4.  Left the hotel at 730.  I slept Columbus to Des Moines, about 12 hours.  it was awesome.

1.  Trip to New York City.  My dad is a big time Yankees fan and the House that Ruth built was coming to an end in 2008.  My brother and I and my mom had an idea that on Father's Day we'd surprise him with tickets to the last Yankees-RedSox game in Yankee Stadium.  We spent 3 days in New York City, stayed at the Waldorf~Astoria hotel and did all the touristy stuff.  It was a great trip that I wish we could do yearly.  I have a blog dedicated to it separately if you want to check it out.

9/20/2010

Best and Worst of the Weekend

Best – well I didn’t go to work on Saturday and Sunday. Kind of a rough weekend. Saturday morning the boy and I went to the Beaverdale parade and though it rained, we had fun. Got a lot of candy. Some tattoos and 2 footballs! Brayden even made a new girlfriend by sharing tootsie rolls. And the Bears beat the Cowboys. Who are these Bears? 2-0? I’m shocked. OH, and Brayden had a dry diaper last night. Then went #1 in the potty a lot! Maybe closer to being potty trained.


Worst – well can it be most of the weekend? Saturday and Sunday the weather blew! Rain all weekend. It was chilly which I don’t mind that, but the rain sucked. I think that the weather affected all of our attitudes too. The kids didn’t get to burn enough energy, they were grumpy and didn’t listen. And Brayden didn’t sleep well. He wouldn’t fall asleep. It really affected me and stressed me out and I know I need to get better at that, but I still think he needs to get under control how he acts. Oh and the Hawks game. We lost. Dug a hole but outplayed Arizona. Oh well, it’s not a conference game. I still see 8 Big Ten games there on the slate. 1 loss doesn’t ruin my season.


So here’s to a better week and weekend coming up.

9/19/2010

GFR Computer Ranking - Sept 19

The GFR this week has a Pac-10/SEC feel at the top after a big home win by Arizona over Iowa and a shalacking of Duke by Alabama.  The back half is Big XII heavy along with some non AQ BCS schools.



The Top 10
1. Stanford
2. Alabama
3. Arizona
4. Florida
5. Oklahoma
6. Texas
7. Missouri
8. TCU
9. Boise State
10. Nebraska


Remember, the rankings are fluid and EVERY game changes the rankings.

2010 - Week 3 Big Ten Awards

And he's off again.  In my predictions I put PS3's (aka Denard Robinson) over all yardage vs UMass at 365 and well I was pretty close.  He put up 345 yards (241 passing and 104 rushing), but like a few teams in the Big Ten this week, the Wolverines had to hold off a MinuteMen comeback and won 42-37.  


Then there is Wisconsin.  A lower level Pac-10 team in Arizona State came in to Camp Randall and was a yard and or a blocked PAT from upsetting and sending the game into the game. 


I almost put this on my predictions blog.  Upset Alert on the Illini.  Playing little brother Northern Illinois I thought the Huskies would give the Illini a heck of a game and I was right.  Illinois had to hold off NIU in the 4th to hold on to the win.


Minnesota moved up a level in competition, hosting USC and for a few minutes lead a couple times over the Trojans, in the end though USC pulled away for a 11 pt win.  Penn State destroyed Kent State.  The Ohio State University beat Ohio U bad.  Purdue got past Ball State and Indiana is 2-0 for the 7th year in a row after beating Western Kentucky.


And now if you stayed up late. Michigan State sent Notre Dame to 1-2 in the Big Ten on the ballsiest play of the day.  Down 31-28 in overtime, Mark Dantonio called for a fake FG, a play called "Little Giants" and 27 yards later, Michigan State wins.


Then in the Desert, even before ESPN could broadcast the game, Arizona was up 14-0 after a blocked punt and a pick 6.  Iowa cut it to 14-7 then 100 yards later on a kick return it was back to 21-7.  Iowa was down as much as 27-7 and cut back with plays from McNutt and a DL's dream of a pick 6.  Nick Foles drove Arizona to a TD with around 3-4 minutes left, then sacked Iowa 4 straight plays.


Helmet Sticker - Should we just give him the WoodyBoyFry Big Ten Player of the Year Award?  That may be fast forwarding a bit to much but Denard Robinson is a freak on the field.  He threw his first pick but is still putting up FREAKY numbers.





Team of the Week
- Yea they played Ohio but Ohio State did what you need to do.  Go up 34-0 at half, get out of the game unscathed.  Get the backups some playing time.  Good week for the Buckeyes.


Game of the Week - Michigan State 34 - Notre Dame 31 - Prime Time at Spartan Stadium seems to be a good place for great finishes (see Iowa/MSU 2009).  The game went back and fourth, with the Irish going up 28-21, the Spartans then tie it to send it to OT.  After a Irish FG, Dantonio had the intestinal fortitude to call a fake fg from 27 yards out.  The Spartans might now find themselves ranked or closer now.  


Highlight of the Week 



10-1 on my Picks for Week 3  30-2 on the year.  Not to bad of a run so far.  


Next week is a Rake Your Lawn Saturday in the Big Ten.  I'm not even going to attempt to pick a Game of the Week.  Like this week, next week should be a good week for the Big Ten before conference play begins on October 2nd.

9/16/2010

Big Ten Predictions - Week 3

Big Ten Week 3 I’m calling Rose Bowl Week.  Three Big Ten-Pac10 match-ups.  I don’t think we will see any of these in Pasadena on January 1st 2011 but  still at least we aren’t seeing more Big Ten vs FCS match-ups (Minnesota probably does’t want to see an FCS team for a while, Gopher fans probably don’t want to see their own team either).
Game of the week you’ll have to stay up late to see.  Iowa travels west to take on Arizona.  Last time Iowa went West was 2004 and left with a loss 44-7 to Arizona State, then went on to win a co-Big Ten Championship.

Michigan is ranked again, how many yards does Denard Robinson, PS3, put up against UMass?  I’m setting the over/under at 365.  I think he is out of the game in the 3rd quarter. 

Notre Dame continues its Big Ten portion of the schedule and travels to East Lansing.  Should be a good match-up and I think Sparty can pull this one out. 

Indiana fans, here’s a stat, you’ll be 2-0 for the 7th year in a row after beating Western Kentucky, not many schools can say that they have that streak.

Week 3 picks (should be a good week for the conference)
Illinois over NIU
Purdue over Ball State
Penn State over Kent State
Michigan over UMass
Ohio State over Ohio
USC over Minnesota
Wisconsin over Arizona State
Indiana over Western Kentucky
Northwestern over Rice
Michigan State over Notre Dame
Iowa over Arizona

Week 3 (0-0)
Season (20-1)

What's for supper?

The question I fear most nights.

It’s one I ask every night, its one I try to answer every night. The dreaded “What’s for supper” question. It’s one that I dread but need answered nightly! What to have. What to make that the kids will eat and like, and do I give them a choice? There are times in the year that we get in ruts and it’s like the same thing each week or so, the grocery list can be written for a few weeks the exact same.

Now there are times I enjoy the question. When it first hits spring and its nice out and I can break out the grill. I can pretty much write the menu in my head for 5 of the 7 days. Burgers, Brats, Steaks, pork chops, bbq chicken. EASY! Add in some potato packets to through on the grill, later in the summer throw corn on the cob. Done! Easy. Even when it hits about harvest and fall I can do it. There will be chili and other soup, meatloaf, and tatortot casserole and kielbasa casserole. Flavors and tastes that I haven’t had in a while.

But then after a week or so into each food season (Yes I think you can only eat certain foods in certain seasons – pumpkin bars not as good in spring as the fall) and it’s like man I’m tired of this. But it’s what is known how to make it, it’s easy, it’s there, something the kids like. But then it gets to be, I don’t want that food. Eck, it’s no good, but it’s in my comfort zone of what I make and what I know others like to eat.

I know there is the option of asking the kids what they want every night, and believe me I’ve done it but I can’t eat macaroni and cheese nightly or PB&J. Add in eating out, but it’s just too damn expensive and usually when I get done eating I see how much I’m spending and think of how many groceries and meals I could have bout with that money for this one meal. Like last night, had Chinese, and when I’m putting the leftovers away, I thought how many brats/buns and burgers I could have got. Also how much sodium I just put into my system.

So….for those of you reading this….I’m asking for help, and asking you the question…What’s for supper?

What are your favorite things to make? Do you get into ruts too? Tell me what to make!

9/15/2010

High School Football - Week 4

So this week and next are the middle weeks of the Iowa High School football season.  A few thigns we know.  My alma mater is BAD.  Madrid can beat not only Class A teams but also Class 2A teams.  Solon is beatable.  Dowling owns Des Moines and City High owns Iowa City.  I hope we get to see Iowa City High vs Dowling in the 4A State Championship.

So here we go with Week 4 picks.

Iowa City High over Cedar Rapids Xavier
Dowling Catholic over Fort Dodge
Webster City over Boone
Solon over Clear Creek-Amana
South Central Calhoun over Carroll-Kuemper
Roland Story over North Polk
Woodward-Granger over Gladbrook-Reinbeck
Mount Ayr over Nodaway Valley
North Tama over Colo-Nesco
Rockford over GMG

Week 4 (0-0)
Season (24-4)

Who's in your 5? - Mmm that's Tasty


Top 5 food
Honorable Mention – anything mom makes, mom’s the best cook and learned a few things from her. She’s the master, and I don’t know if I’m close to an apprentice.

5. Scallops – bacon wrapped on the grill or swimming in garlicky butter. I’m not a big fish fan, but give me all the scallops I can eat!

4. Peaches – nothing can stop me in my tracks at the grocery store quicker than walking by the produce section and the sweet luscious smell of peaches hits my nose. I’ll stop right in my tracks. And before my first bite I have to have one last smell.

3. Deep fried Turkey – inject that bad bird up with some seasoning and throw it in the oil. Love the flavor of the meat when it comes out. And the crunchiness of the skin.

2. Pulled BBQ pork sandwich topped with slaw – I rarely get these but when I do they are soooo good. Peach pie afterwards is a nice topper.

1. Chicago Style pizza. Sure new York style is good too but if I could have any type of pizza I would want a Chicago Style pizza. One piece is a meal in itself. I like gino’s east but I know other is Chicago all have their favorites.

What are your favorites?

9/14/2010

Guess who's 25!

Do you want a fire flower or mushrooms on your birthday cake?
 

Guess who turned 25?  No it’s not me.  Mario turned 25.  The mighty little plumber who I think most of us who grew up in the 80’s remember and probably spent (too) many hours trying to save the princess and take out Bowser.  Heck I’m 32 and I’m still trying to take down Bowser on the new Super Mario game for the Wii.
 
And for those gamers, is there a more important character in video game history?  Ok, time’s up.  Think of any?  Mario is in countless Nintendo titles and one of the best games ever in Mario Kart.  I’m sure that Nintendo didn’t think he’d become what he is, but Mario started the video game generation.  So if you game, the next time you turn on your XBOX 360 or PS3 or DS, say Happy Birthday Mario, because without him video games wouldn’t be what they are today with Halo and Call of Duty.  The PlumberMan came first!


9/13/2010

Race for the Cure






So I'm sure this will be a topic that you will find has either affected you via someone in your family, a friend or a coworker or acquaintance.  Breast Cancer.  It's a sick sick disease like is all cancers.  Think about it for a second, do you know anyone who has been affected?  

I have two people in my life affected.  First in June of 2008 I got a call from my mother.  She called to let me know that my aunt, her sister, had a lump found.  She was going to go have a lumpectmy and then treatments.  Now my family is really close, my aunt, uncle and cousins grew up about 2 blocks away from us.  It's not like a normal aunt, almost like a second mom.  Never had I had anyone related to me so close be affected by cancer.  It got to me pretty good that evening.  More so it affected my younger cousin.  We are like brothers, we work together, and I would consider him my best friend.  That next day we went to lunch and chatted for a bit.  Not really about his mom, but other things to keep his mind off it.  A week later she had surgery, the lump removed.  All was good.  I thought.

One Sunday later in August, my mom showed up out of the blue and pulled into the driveway.  I was out in the yard doing work, shocked to see her there.  She came up on the deck, we talked our normal small talk.  Then said we need to go inside and talk.  The kids were napping.  She sat on the recliner and said, "I have breast cancer."  It hit me again.  This time a little harder, like a Louisville slugger.   In shock I asked how.  She said she missed an exam being so busy at work and went back and said they found a lump.  

A few weeks later we are sitting in the Ames Hospital.  In a small area of the waiting room is my dad, me, my brother, sis-in-law and our old minister and a family friend.  The 3+ hours seemed longer.  We sat and talked small talk.  My dad got on to economy and politics.  We all kind of followed along.  The doctor came in to give an update and said the mastectomy went good, and everything was going great.  Will never forget what my dad said after that, "thanks doc, i just want my babe back"  I never heard my dad call my mom babe.  After surgery we went to see my mom and she got a room.  She was up and more talkative than my dad.  I stayed in a hotel that night with my dad, he was out at 8pm.  All things after that went great, treatments good, and my mom is healthy with no signs of cancer.

Last year was the first year I did Race for the Cure.  27,000 people in downtown Des Moines.  It's AMAZING.  People finish and some haven't even started.  Like Last year, I have a team in honor of my mom and aunt. I have a goal of $500 dollars to raise and am on my way there.  I'm not hear asking for money.  I know everything in the economy is tight, but I think this is a cause that needs awareness and to be brought up!  I won't be able to do the Race this year due to a previous engagement I had planned already, but I'm signed up as a Pink Ribbon Runner (someone who wants to give but can't be there on the 23rd)

If you are interested in donating 5 bucks, 10 bucks or anything click here.  If not, please do what you can to bring awareness of this disease.  And remember FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!



Denard Robinson = PS3

I’m not a Michigan fan, in fact I don’t like them.  But I respect the maize and blue and the winged helmets, and ‘Hail to the Victors’.  I'm not a fan of RichRod, but what I am a fan of is watching football and studs on the field.  


Exhibit 1, well how bout exhibit 16, Denard Robinson.  Dude had 500 yards of total offense HIMSELF.  That’s more yards than any top 25 team put up this week.  And he’s not doing it vs. Tennessee Tech of Mount Saint Pleasant of Western Illinois.  He’s doing this against Connecticut and Notre Dame.  Two teams that should be in bowl games this year.  


The dude’s a stud, but he needs a better nickname then Shoelace.  When I hear that I think of Shoeless Joe Jackson.  So Just Talking To Myself is promoting a new nickname for Denard.  PS3.  Dude puts up video game like numbers, he’s an X and Y button the field.  So Michigan fans I’m looking at you.  Denard Robinson = PS3

Best and Worst of the Weekend

Best of the Weekend / Worth of the Weekend

Ok, once again copying is the best form of flattery, so I’m going to copy the Dan Patrick Show with this on Mondays. On the DP show it’s mostly all sports. Mine will have some sports flung in there but will mostly be about life. So with that, we will start.


Best of the Weekend – My daughter at her soccer game. It was her second week of games and well she had a great improvement from week 1 to week 2. Mom and Dad showed up at the soccer field. She was aggressive and got in there and got a lot of kicks in. Almost got her 2nd and 3rd goals but she just missed. She defended a lot though and out played great defense. My son can’t wait till he can go play. He’s going to be an ANIMAL!





Worst of the Weekend – um, there are still leaves in the gutter. It was too nice to completely work the weekend away. So Sunday instead of mowing, trimming the bushes and gutters, I only got one of those done. The yard looks great. The gutters still need cleaned. Anyone wanna help?

I do have a worst from the sports world. The Lions got gipped, Calvin Johnson scored. He had 6. The Bears should have lost. He didn’t complete the act of the catch? Are you kidding me NFL?

What's your Best and Worst of the Weekend?

9/12/2010

GFR Rankings - September 12th

The first released version of the 2010 GFR is dominated at the top by Big XII and Pac-10 teams. Texas holds the first released #1 spot of the year with Oklahoma State right behind. The next 3 are Pac-10 teams, Arizona, California and Oregon.

Boise State comes in at #46.

Now just so you know these rankings are fluid and change with EVERY game played.

1. Texas
2. Oklahoma State
3. Arizona
4. California
5. Oregon
6. Florida
7. Fresno State
8. Texas A&M
9. Oklahoma
10. South Carolina


9/11/2010

2010 - Week 2 Big Ten Awards


Opps he did it again. He showed a few glimpse of this last year, but where in the world has Denard Robinson come from? 244 yards passing and 258 yards rushing with 3 total scores. Not to mention leading the Wolverines back in the 4th quarter with under 20 seconds left to beat the Irish in South Bend 28-24. Rich Rod's crew is 2-0 and looks good. I expect to see them in the top 25 this week.

Ohio State hosted Miami in what was touted as part of Monster Saturday. Just like in 2002, the Buckeyes beat the Canes, this time it didn't take a Phantom Flag. Jacory Harris had a rough day vs the Bucks in the rain and Terrelle Pryor put up 340+ of yards of offense.

In Iowa City the Hawkeyes destroyed their instate rival Iowa State by taking their manhood in the first quarter and never letting them have it back Hawks won 35-7. It was the first time ISU had scored a touchdown vs the Hawks since 2006.

Then there's the Gophers. It's probably safe to say that Tim Brewster's job is in jeopardy. Div-1AA South Dakota rolled in to TCF Stadium and QB Dante Warrne put up 400+ yards and the Coyotes gave the Gophers a huge upset.

In other games Alabama rolled over Penn State. Northwestern handled Illinois State. Wisconsin got by San Jose State. Michigan State beat Florida Atlantic and Purdue got by Western Illinois.


Helmet Sticker - Denard Robinson - QB - Michigan. Yea, 2 weeks, 2 helmet stickers. 500+ yards of offense from one guy. Yea, he's good. Right now Michigan is rolling and it's because of #16


Team of the Week - Ohio State - This could have gone to Michigan, but going to go with the Buckeyes with the way the performed and dominated a top #15 team in Miami. Pryor looked really good.


Game of the Week - Michigan 28 : Notre Dame 24. The Irish had a nice 95 yard rainbow pass to take the lead late in the 4th quarter. They left to much time on the clock for Denard Robinson and the Wolverines. They drove the ball down, Denard was amazing on the drive and ran the in for the score.


Highlight of the Week -

More Highlights


I went 9-1 on my Week 2 picks, thank you Minnesota! 20-1 on the year.

Week 3 has a Rose Bowl type feel to it with 3 Big Ten - Pac10 matchups. Iowa vs Arizona is probably game of the week while Wisconsin hosts Arizona State and USC goes to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers.