Best and Worst of the Weekend – I got called OLD

Well that was a fun weekend, too quick of course but still fun. Friday after work I had to run home for the Orkin Man to come and spray some stuff around the house.  After that I got the older kids and then played a quick Xbox game before the “What’s for supper?  We’re hungry” started.  For some reason I’ve been not in the mood to cook or do dishes so S suggested we head to the checkerboard in Pleasantville.  We hadn’t been there in a while so I was all over that.  One, it meant no cooking OR dishes.  And two they have some cool stuff hung up all around the restaurant that it would distract my boy from being ornery.  Got there and the kids were all over the stuffed animals and stuff on the wall.  About the Longhorn above our table Brayden asked “What’s the curly things coming out of the cows ears?”  LOL, that was funny.  The bacon cheeseburger pizza was really good too!  Got home around 745 after the drive home and all 3 kids were OUT COLD!  It was one of the quietest car rides home that we’ve had since Ryleigh was born.  The rest of the night was uneventful and ended with bed around 10.

Saturday started with Girl Scouts and a trip to the dump and groceries.  Mom got to the house to watch the kids around 4.  S and I got a later start and then we wanted for the night.  Got downtown and the waits at the restaurants were already up to an hour and it was 530.  So….instead we hit up Gusto Pizza.  The Stallion was damn good as always.  After that we headed to the Well.  There was stuff going on at the IEC and Civic Center too so the Skywalk was pretty busy.  Got there and got some drinks and headed up to our seats, at the VERY TOP of the arena!  Get up there and on one side of us is a 60 year old couple and the other side are a couple of teenage girls.  They were trying to take a cell phone pic of themselves and I offered to take it for them and then asked if they were excited for the show.  They said yea only for Darius Rucker though!  I replied – “oh Hootie!”, one of them said to me “my dad saw him when he was Hootie”.  S looked at me and said “You just got called old!”  I went and got another beer. 

This was my first concert since Tim & Faith at the Well in 2006.  Thompson Square came out and sang 4 songs, the 2 I knew “Are you gonna kiss me or not” and “I got you”, one I didn’t know and one they are releasing this week.  There was a little break and then out came Darius.  He was really good, did awesome, and he even broke out some Hootie!  My favorite though was when he busted out some Hank Williams Jr, Family Tradition.  That was awesome.  I saw he had it on iTunes but you need to get the whole album.  Before Lady A came out we mozied on down a little closer where S had some friends sitting and a couple open seats.  Just happened to be right on the side of the stage, so that was cool.  Now I’m not a big Lady A fan but they rocked it pretty good too.  I knew more of their songs than I thought I did.  I give that credit to Addyson since she LOVES them.  Got home and crashed pretty good, and woke up with a pretty good hangover, I had to go through my pockets and receipts to see where I was at, apparently I spent a bit of money at the Well on beer. 

Sunday my mom woke up and said she wanted to go to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast, so I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.  Got there and got right in before the rush.  The rest of the day was filled with curing the hangover, laundry, naps for the kids and a little xbox and the kids watched the new Spy Kids movie.  Sunday night ended with crashing before 10pm for the first time in a while.  It was a solid weekend!

The worst of the weekend may have been my diet, ugh.  It started Friday morning when a coworker brought in her famous biscuits and gravy.  Now I did have a salad for lunch, but supper was pizza from the Checkerboard.  Now that wasn’t too bad.  But it continued to the weekend.  S made biscuits and gravy Saturday morning along with hash browns and scrambled eggs.  I had a homemade lumber man, and washed it down with a jitterbug from twisted bean.  Some calories where consumed there. Lunch was a few pieces of the leftover pizza and gusto pizza and then a lot of beer at the concert.  Sunday, well the Cracker Barrel and the smorgasbord of food you get there that included, yes biscuits and gravy (if you’re keeping score that’s 3 days in a row of B&G – not recommended by your doctor) and ham, bacon, eggs, cheesy hash browns and coffee.  No lunch happened and then supper was La Hacienda.  So ate out every mean but Saturday breakfast. That’s not a good thing.  Soooooo this week is going to be different.  I’m getting back on track with eating well.  Ryleigh is sleeping through the night and going to work on my sleep schedule better and then hitting the Y to work out.  It’s on like donkey kong.  You’re going down Dam to Dam. 

Some other bummer news is that an aunt of mine is hitting some bad health problems.  She’s up there in age, like 90s and has lived a good long life, and its just getting close to time, so that’s some sad news. 

Hawks got beat in Indiana, played well offensively, not defensively. 

Hawks wrestling got back on track beating the Gophers.

Iowa State got a nice win vs Kansas, Hilton Magic gave them a spark.

Super Bowl this week, the last football game of the year till September 1st.


Friday 6pack!

How about a nice cold Friday 6 Pack?

1-Iowa State is sitting at 14-5/4-2 going into a 3 game stretch that includes at Texas, and home vs. Kansas and KState.  To still have a shot at the Big Dance, what do the ‘Clones need to do in this stretch?  Chances they make it out 3-0.
Matt – I think ISU can win one of those, with it being home vs. KState.  They need a lot of Hilton magic to take out the Jayhawks
Wendt – I still think Iowa State needs 21 wins to make it to the NCAA Tournament oh and 1% chance they finish that three game stretch at 3-0
Painter – Well we do know that ISU lost to Texas so 3-0 is out of the question.  I doubt they beat Kansas and may get KState.  I'm saying 1-2.  They still have an outside shot as an at-large bid but I'd put them on the bubble.
Zach – Lock Royce White inside their practice facility and force him to correctly shoot FT's.
BSox – i think they come out 2-1 unless a miracle comes about with kansas. for the rest of the season, to me it seems like they just to keep doing what they're doing, and playing good smart basketball. the team is starting to gel, and they look good. so we'll see what happens!

2-After being beat by Purdue, the Hawkeyes have some time off and get Nebraska at home then on the road to Indiana.  These 2 games start a crucial 6 game stretch for the Hawks.  I think the whole state of Iowa expects a win vs. the Huskers, and the trip to Assembly Hall will be the challenge.  Do you see Hawks get a 2-0 week? 
Matt – Iowa will beat Nebraska.  Don’t’ forget that Fran beat Indiana at IU last year and they have come back to earth a bit.  I think the IU game is close and down to the wire.
Wendt – I'd give Iowa a 2% chance of winning both those games
Painter – Iowa survived their tough stretch healthy and had some good showings.  I'm not totally convinced that Indiana is as good as they appear but that will still be tough.  I'm saying 1-1.
Zach – Ummm...the loss to Nebraska was not very impressive. Who knows?
BSox – its possible. since the mich st game, and chairgate, they've been playing some decent basketball, or at least improved. the team still has a long way to go, but the big ten is the sort that you could win or lose any game. nebraska in all rights should be a win, but who knows. and indiana hasn't been playing as well lately, but i'd go with possible, but not likely 2-0

We’ll get to the Giants and Patriots in the next 2 weeks, so let’s look at the losers of the championship games. 

3-The Ravens went Wide Left and missed out on OT vs. the Patriots and New England is in its 5th Super Bowl since 2001.  Has the window closed for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis to get to another Super Bowl?
Matt – I think next year is the last year they are together.   How is that catch/drop by Evans not reviewed?  That is really close to being 6.  And Cundiff just looked rushed.  I think they are back in the playoffs next year and make a deep run too
Wendt – I don't believe we'll see Ed Reed and Ray Lewis play another football game together again.
Painter – As long as Lewis and Reed are on the field they have a chance.  I don't know what they need to do to fix the offense but if they can there's still a couple of years left for that group.
Zach – The door just shut a little tighter. Tough loss, but there's still a shot.
BSox – well, ray has already said he's coming back. i think they have one year left, after that not so sure. ed and ray have been awesome for the ravens, but unless they make it next year, i think that team needs to get younger

4-Kyle Williams fumbled away the 49ers hope in the NFC title game in a sloppy Candlestick.  Do you see the 49ers as a 1 hit wonder or will Harbaugh keep them at this level for years to come?
Matt – They are in a weak division and if Alex Smith can continue to grow and another year under Harbaugh, they’ll be a top 3 seed again next year. 
Wendt – What Harbaugh has been able to do with Alex Smith still blows my mind. I think their offense and defense is relatively young so I see the 49ers being a force (especially playing in a terrible division)
Painter – Their roster is pretty well stacked for a while.  I touched on this during the podcast:  if they can get a good play-making WR and Alex Smith has some continuity among the offensive coaches (he's never had the same coordinator for 2 consecutive seasons) they will be even better
Zach – I hope not they're a one-hit wonder, but I see the Packers-Saints in NFC Title next year as early favorites
BSox – ummmm...kind of a toss up, if they keep their defense together than i think they'll at least be a playoff team over the next few years especially in their division. maybe it was a matter of all the stars lining up just right this season. i will say this, they need to move on from alex smith, i know he had a great year, but 1 out of 7 or so? they need to make improvements on offense, and that's a key spot.

5-Sunday Joe Pa passed away.  Will you remember him for what he has done for Penn State or the scandal that ended his career?
Matt – I think a mixture.  I do think the scandal situation contributed to his health.  It’s sad because he did a lot of many kids there we won’t know about, as the negative generally out weights the positive. 
Wendt – Probably a little bit of both. It's tough to forget the scandal that has rocked Happy Valley and Joe Pa was right there when it happened. I hope he was able to die with some peace but I doubt it
Painter – He was a great coach, mentor, leader, and ambassador for all of the NCAA (not just Penn State football)
Zach – I'm one who will remember him for the 409 wins. He is Penn State.
BSox – as much as i hate to say this,i think you have to keep the scandal stuff in there. now what i don't like is how people make it sound like he's the worst person in this case. there were so many people at fault that i think joe took more heat than everyone else. it would be easy to do this, but not right. he made a mistake, and didn;t follow up. now if there were a whole bunch of interviews saying he was a horrible human being the other years of his life, it would be even easier to cast him a side, but you don't hear that. you hear how great of a man he was, how much he helped people, how much he cared, and just looking at the past few months how much he was hurt by all of this. i think he was a great coach, a great human being, but a man who made a mistake.
there are so many people to blame in all of this, i don't think its been fair that joe took most of this heat. but...they needed a fall guy. i just always go back to coach that walked in on jerry in the locker room. why didn't this dude take most of the heat? he witnessed it, and went to joe pa...i mean WTF?!?! why wasn't he the one who right than and there broke jerry's back and hauled his ass off to the police?
i don't know, just seems wrong that he has been turned into a villain more than others who had more to do with all of it.

6-Prince Fielder and the Nationals seem to be flirting some.  How would this signing affect the race in the NL East?
Matt – Well this is not true (NOW) and he’s a Tiger.  Great work outta Scott Boras.  Pencil in Detroit as the AL Central Champions.  Theo’s done a good job since joining the Cubs.  Got rid of Pujols and Fielder and the Astros!
Wendt – I still believe that Fielder will be the better long term signee than Big Al will be, nice to see the Cubs slowly walking away from the potential to sign at least one big name to their team.
Painter – We know he's not going to Washington.  I'm surprised more "experts" didn't see him signing with Detroit since that's where his dad played.  Detroit may be the team to beat in the eastern half of the US now
Zach – It would have made the East a very competitive race, but now him being in the AL Central makes that division a shoe-in title for the Tigers
BSox – no comment lol


2 of my favorite things

Sitting in my “Cave” I looked around and a couple things stuck out.  Not the Big Ten Helmets or Hawkeye Big Ten Championship caps or bobble heads.  2 of my favorite possessions are within 3 feet of me from where I sit on the futon and watch Hawkeye sports of NFL football and they have nothing to do with sports, but more my childhood.  They are a teddy bear made from my grandmother’s (on my dad’s side) favorite coat she got in Germany when visiting my parents back during the Vietnam war when my dad was stationed there.  The other is old box with rubber bands around it, but inside is the best cribbage board EVER that belonged to my grandfather (on my mom’s side)
The teddy bear is kind of an outlier in the room that has a lot of sports memorabilia.  It’s stuck on the second shelf of my book shelf, sitting right by my books on the shelf.  My aunt had 7 teddy bears made from the coat after my grandmother passed, one for her and my dad, and each grandchild.  It’s the softest black teddy bear I’ve ever felt.  My kids have tried to play with it but its just not a play toy and when they are older (well my oldest knows of it) but they’ll understand how special that bear is to me.  I was lucky that all of my grandparents were within 2 blocks of me growing up.  I saw them if not every day in the summer growing up, every other day growing up, and spent most of the time with this grandmother.  I skipped Friday Night High School football games to sit at her house in the corner chair eating supper, watching Wheel of Fortune, Dukes of Hazard, and the opening sequence of Dallas (just so I could see Texas Stadium in the opening).  Then playing with play dough or checkers or eating kit kats.  She passed away 2 days before my 21stbirthday.  She had already signed a birthday card for me (which I still have too).
The cribbage board is special too, and it’s a sweet board.  Smooth and shiny and wooden pegs.  My grandpa and I, as with my cousins and dad, would play cribbage over any other card game growing up.  My dad and I had a mythical house championship that we’d hand off between each other depending how the cards were dealt.  One of the greatest games I think I’ve ever played (and lost) was with my grandpa.  After about 6-7 hands or so I’m rolling and ready to finish the game with a skunk my grandpa, then what seemed like 2-3 hands later I’m stuck 3 pegs from the end and my grandpa lays down his cards to start counting.  I already knew how many he needed to win after the first 2 hands had made it closer than it should be, and just looking at his hand that had 4, 5, 5, 6, and a 5 flipped over, I knew it was game over.  Put my head down as I heard his voice counting and when he counted off the pegs saying “hey hey, look at that!”  That’s probably my favorite memory with my grandpa, so getting the board after he passed away and my grandmother moved out of the house was special to me.  I can’t wait till my kids are old enough to understand the rules and get some games in with them.
Just sitting here in my basement in the quiet with kids sleeping and looking around those 2 things just stuck out to me.  I hope I can pass something special on like that to my kids and grand kids as special as those 2 items are to me.


A Championship Weekend Friday 6Pack

1.  After the chair slam of doom in East Lansing, Iowa hosted #13 Michigan and dominated the Wolverines from tip to buzzer.  National Media has been on Fran after the slam of the chair, what's your take on the slam and the win?
Matt – ESPN and the National Media, Delany and Barta have over blown this.  The team needed a kick in the pants and a chair slam is something that seems to have woken them up.  Fran is trying to build a program.  Fire is good, but you have to pick your places.  This seemed to have been a good spot in with the reaction from the team vs Michigan. 
Wendt – He didn't hurt a player, fan or referee so I guess I don't see it as a big deal
Painter – I love seeing emotion from the coaching staff.  As long as you have the right players that will respond I have no problem with it.  Looking at the 2 games since the slam (Michigan and Purdue) it appears that Fran has the players to respond to his fire.  Keep it up.
BlakeI didn't mind the slam.  The one thing I would be cautious about however, is sometimes constant screaming soon turns into players hitting the MUTE button.  I don't want Fran to become the Bo Pelini of basketball, and only be own for his faces and outbursts.
Zack – The slam is nothing that needs to be blown out of proportion. Leave Fran to his madness. The wins will mean something once they start winning consistently
BSox – I think it's one of those things that is good in small doses. If he does it all the time, it loses the dramatic effect it had. It’s clear this team needed a kick in the butt, and really, not just the team, but the whole program. i liked it, but please don’t beat us to death with it. It’s like my old man yelling at me, when I was a kid it scared me, now its just noise.

2.  Iowa State has taken a couple on the chin from Mizzou and Kansas, playing both tough but in the end coming up short.  Is Hoiberg in over his head or is there still a chance that the Transfer Team will make a Dance run?
Matt – This team has talent, that’s for sure.  My thoughts are is this a thing were Hoiberg was looking for bodies who had some pub coming out of high school and needing a new home and he’s trying to get ISU back to where it was when he was there.  This team though needs to gel as a team.  Its not a Royce White show, they need to be 5 players acting as 1.  I think he’s also struggling without Bobby Lutz there as an assistant this year.
Wendt – I just have this sneaky feeling that Iowa State is going to have their bubble burst this season, that Missouri game at home with the missed free throws is going to end up being a bad loss I have a feeling (they needed that W for their resume)
Painter – Hoiberg needs to start recruiting high schoolers instead of cast-offs.  Get some role-players on the team rather than the "star players".  Once he gets some role-players the Cyclones will be better.
BlakeThey still have a ton of talent, and it takes time in basketball for a team to come together.  They still could make a legitimate run at the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least, could make a run in the Big 12 tourney.
Zack – Ha, the Transfer Team. Anyways, I do think they have a small shot in dancing in March. Just like the Hawks, they need to find the left side of the column more often in order to do so
BSox – Hoiberg still has a pretty long leash to me. ISU isn't going to fire a legend of their program after two years. Now, if he gets to year four or so, and its still in the same place...then he'll be gone. But I think he's on the right path. These things take time to build.

3.  Tom Brady and the Patriots ended TebowTime and could have put up 60 on the Broncos.  The Ravens got past the 3rd Stringer and now its Patriots-Ravens for the AFC Title.  Reactions on the AFC Divisional Games and Championship Pick?
Matt – Tebow had NO Chance here, I like Denver’s young D but when Brady/Belichek are focused they are going to win and this just seemed like it was a blood bath in waiting.  The Ravens I thought would pull away more and maybe didn’t take Houston seriously and it almost bit them in the end.  I like the Baltimore D but think this Patriots team, especially Tom Brady are focused like no other right now.  Patriots 32-17
Wendt – No surprise on the matchup and would welcome a Baltimore upset (it won't happen though)
Painter – This will be the classic match-up of great offense vs great defense.  In previous years the defense would come out on top more often than not, but this year may be different.  If Baltimore can control the clock with its ground game they'll win, but we all know how tough Bellichick and Brady can be at this point of the playoffs
BlakeI didn't really want Tebow to go out that way this season, but I don't mind the Patriots winning at all.  The Ravens?  Yawn.  They ain't bad, but who cares about them?  I'll take the Patriots.
Zack – The AFC games went as planned, no drama there. I don't see any drama here either: Pats over Ravens 31-21.
BSox – You almost felt sorry for Denver, the pats simply put it to them, and right now I'm kind of going with them for the super bowl champs. The game with Baltimore could go so many different ways, but whether its close or crushing, I’ll take Tom Brady.

4.  Hello Alex Smith.  The once bust QB made plays in the end to top the Saints and now is a game away from the Super Bowl.  The Packers got Discount Double Checked in Lambeau by the Giants (again).  Reactions on the NFC divisional games and Championship Pick?
Matt – Alex Smith played great Saturday.  He made plays when he needed too and the pass to Vernon Davis at the end of the game is going down in SF history.  The Giants I thought would beat Green Bay earlier in the year and this time too.  I like the OL and Eli is underrated, he’s having a heck of a year and is getting out of big brother’s shadow a bit.  For San Fran to win they need more points off turnovers, this game will be a slobber knocker.  49ers 27-23.
Wendt – As I stated last week in this very column (remember, "take it to Vegas?") I was not shocked that New Orleans lost but the Packers was a head scratcher (Rodgers looked all sorts of out of sync for whatever reason) I'll take the Giants to pull another upset and head to the Super Bowl against New England
Painter – I'm still waiting for the Packers to show up to Lambeau for their game.  What a sorry performance by a 15-1 team; they looked no better than 8-8.  I've been worried about Green Bay's defense all year, especially after Nick Collins went out for the year.  I'm kind of surprised the 49'ers were able to keep up with New Orleans but forcing 5 turnovers sure helps.  I think the Giants are on a roll, almost this year's version of the 2010 Packers, and should be able to bring home the hardware, although I'd love for San Francisco to win.
BlakeLove the old school match up.  I'd love to see the 49ers win another one, but man the Giants are rolling.  The Giants have so much more experience at this point too.  I don't like it, but I see the Giants winning.
Zack – I did not see either upset coming. Sure, the Niners were the higher seed, but when you stop the Saints from firing TDs all over the place, I count it as an upset. The Packers getting cheesed out of the playoffs was very surprising, and maybe that NY D-Line needs more credit. Not from me, though. Niners win at home by a David Akers walk-off FG in rainy Candlestick. 26-23.
BSox – There is something to be said for not resting your players when you have such a timing based offense, it showed up all over the place with Rodgers and his receivers. Flip side though, the giants are playing tough good football at the moment. I don’t think they got the packers best shot this past weekend, but they won and they moved on. as for Alex Smith....ugh. He’s not inspiring at all. Yes, he's had a pretty good year, but he is still Alex Smith, and I’m waiting for the wheels to fall off. I’ll still take him over the Giants; I’m not an Eli fan, so it’s hard to root for the giants. Imagine this though, if Eli does make it and we have a rematch of the pats/giants super bowl from a few years ago, you think Brady and the boys forgot about that? I don't think so.

5.  Hazing in Iowa High Schools has become front page news lately, there have been charges and arrests laid down.  In your mind what should be done?  Is this enough?
Matt – First off it’s a shame that any of this happens but in lieu of the Penn State scandal I think the world will be opened up to a lot more of these stories as victims speak up and society is going to get a real kick in the pants at how messed up people are.  The kids that did this should be punished to the fullest extent, removed from any extra circulars and school.   Feel terrible for the victims and what they have to go through. 
Wendt – Hazing has happened for a long time but some of the stuff these kids are doing these days just makes me shake me head and shudder. Coaches and administration needs to be held just as accountable as the kids in my opinion
Painter – One of the first things I'd do is stop the media coverage and recognition altogether.  Then I'd give them time in a pound-me-in-the-a$$ joint.  I know it's been around for a long time and it will continue to differing degrees but I really think the less recognition we give it the sooner the situation will calm down, and I don't mean just turning a blind eye and not thinking it happens
BlakeIt's a tough situation.  Reading Phil Taylor's Point After column in SI a couple weeks ago made the point that he, as a high school coach, no longer is in the locker room when the players are changing, because of the Sandusky effect.  In my mind, knowing what Iowa had been going through, I immediately thought of the fact that that absence will only bring about more hazing incidents.  I would not want to be in that situation, but I think it's more important for the coaches to be present and aware of what their players are doing.
Zack – Do whatever it takes to be done. Period. It needs to cease NOW.
BSox – It’s too bad this happened. Its too bad this happens anywhere. Kids/people can be real A holes sometimes. No matter how much we try to say we're better than this, or we'll work on it, someone has to come along and dump all over it. And for what? Something in high school, because lord knows THAT's the most important thing in your life. My guess is the kids that did this would keep treating people like dirt the older they got, so I'm fine with a harsh punishment. What goes around comes around, and hopefully they learn from their mistakes.

6.  Marcus Coker and now AJ Derby have left the Iowa program, add in record breaker Marvin McNutt, Reily Rieff, Mikel McCall and Norm Parker not coming back for 2012 what are the early early early thoughts of the 2012 version of the Iowa Hawkeyes?
Matt – Well thankfully the schedule is a game in Soldier Field and then 4 straight in Kinnick.  The Coker loss sucks!  The backfield will be young and by committee and Keenan Davis, KMM and CJ will need to grow up quick to help out JVB.  The defense will need to grow up big time too.  Early best case is 9-1 going into the final 2 vs Michigan and Nebraska, the 2 best teams in the Big Ten next year.  Worst Case this is a 7-5 team again. 
Wendt – Not good. I see 7 wins (max) this fall for the Hawks. 
Painter – McNutt is a senior so we knew he'd be gone.  Parker has been heading toward retirement so that's not a surprise.  Rieff is a monster and is smart to take the NFL cash early.  I'm troubled by the amount of transfers though.  I know attrition is normal in college football but this is getting somewhat alarming to me.  We're losing starters and guys who could push for lots of playing time.  It makes me wonder if the coaches are acting like used-car salesmen when they are recruiting.  They promise this awesome program and then it doesn't live up to the hype.  2012 may be a rough year for Iowa fans
BlakeIs it 2013 yet?
Zack – Wait, are the Hawkeyes going to have enough guys for a team come September?
BSox – Let's be honest, Derby probably left because he knew he wasn't going to get a ton of playing time. The Coker loss sucks, as well as McNutt, but that's the way it goes. for me, its way too early to start trying to put together what this team might look like in nine months or whatever it is. So for now, I’ll hold the rest of my thoughts.


Where were you when Iowa stopped turning?

19 years….think about that, 19 years…more than half my life has passed since January 19th, 1993.  That day was a dark day in Iowa sports history.  Chris Street, the hardnosed give it all forward of the Hawkeyes basketball team was killed in a car accident involving a snow plow after a team meal at the Highlander.

I remember that night clear as day.  The news came on (yes there was a time you HAD to watch the news to get news – no twitter or facebook or texting) and lead with the Chris Street death news.  My parents and I were in stunned silence and didn’t move the whole news cast but just to look at each other’s faces in dismay.  The news ran a little longer that night too with the story as expected.  After the KWWL news we flipped over to ESPN Sports Center and it was on there.

That night there was an ice storm, we got out early of school and the whole day till we got out we talked about the Hawks and Chris. 

I remember my parents donated to the Chris Street Foundation, and then there were the games that followed.  If it’s not the most famous 2 game stretch in Iowa history I don’t know what is.  Iowa played at Michigan State the first game afterwards, looked terrible for most of the game and were down big.  It was 13 pts with around 3 to play and shots just seemed to fall and ball started bouncing the Hawks way.  They got it to OT and ended up winning.  Next up was I believe a #1 or #2 Michigan Fab Five team.  The Hawks played another game like no other and upset the Wolverines in Carver in front of Chris’s family.  The game ball went to Chris’s dad and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Later that year vs. Indiana and Bobby Knight they retired Chris’s #40.

I remember Iowa State and Johnny Orr after wards had a player each year wear #40 in honor of Chris. 

Chris was one of my favorite Iowa players in the way he played and well he was a Hawk!  But he just had the persona and hustle a player should show. 

What is weird now after 19 years is I still remember those days and games of his death, but my world has shrunk and I now know Chris’s younger sister. 

Lasting Images - Championship Weekend

I haven’t done one of these in a while and with Championship Weekend coming up I’m going to throw one out there.

For me being a fan of the Bears I’m more drawn to the NFC Title games and playoffs more so than the AFC, yes its all the NFL but for some reason my focus has been there.  So there have been many great Championship weekend games in both leagues but as in all facets of life, this is biased….and I’m going to have a couple images here.

First off – 1985!  Chicago Bears vs LA Rams.  The Bears dominated and shut out the Rams and in the 2nd half the snow started to fall and the D forced a turnover that lead to OLB Wilbur Marshall picked up a fumble and had his neck pad nearly ripped off and got out of it and rumbled in for a score. 

Fast forward to 2006 and back in Solider for the Bears hosting the New Orleans Saints.  The Bears struggled a bit early on with the Saints, including giving up a long touchdown (and taunt) to Reggie Bush.  Then it was all Bears though with Rex Grossman and Thomas Jones running the show and capturing the NFC title and Urlacher raising the Halas Trophy.


Movies in Review

Thursday night I got MoneyBall, the story about the Oakland A’s and how they went about building a team on rag tag players using different ways of analyzing them then just scouts and big names.  I’m normally not a big Brad Pitt fan but he and Jonah Hill did really good here.  It was fun kind of being teleported back in time to the 2002 season and the highlights and stories that were brought back up.  Side story bar of Brad Pitt’s character with his daughter helps the job performance in the big leagues hit home somewhat.

3.5 Stars / 5

Friday night I went with Warrior.  This is about 2 brothers who in different routes get into a HUGE UFC tournament.  One is a teacher who needs to make extra money on the side and the other is an ex-marine.  Both Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton were great in each role.  They have their conflicts to overcome in the ring and out and eventually they square off in the octagon.  Nick Nolte as their father nails it too.  A gruff hard nose dad who trained them in wrestling and is now alone in life until Hardy comes knocking on the door.  Really good all the way throughout the whole movie; definitely recommend it!

4 Stars / 5

I ended up taking Brayden to Alvin and the Chipmunks:Shipwrecked a couple weeks ago.  The 3rd live action Chipmunk movie.  He liked it, which is all that matters…it was ok.  It probably ends the Chipmunk movie career of Jason Lee.  He’s done his 3.  The first one is really the best of the bunch as it should be in this type of film franchise.  The 2nd and 3rd felt forced in the whole story of them both, just like they were reaching on what they could do, and maybe (as it should be) this is more fantasy based and like the cartoon then what it would be like in live action and life.  But as I said, he enjoyed it, and I’m sure the dvd will be rented in the household when it comes out.

1 Star / 5

Some other movie tidbits –
Apparently Red Tails (Which I really want to see!) is George Lucas’s last big movie, he’s retiring, unless Indiana Jones 5 is a go. 
Golden Globes were Sunday and Meryl Streep won Best Actress for Iron Lady.  I think she’s won or has been nominated the last 5 years it seems from Mamma Mia, Devil Wears Prada and Julie and Julia.  I’m sure I’m missing one or 2 there too.
George Clooney won best actor for the Descendents, want to see that one too.


Des Moines Sports Freak Friday 6pack

1-LSU was manhandled in the SEC West Division Rematch by Alabama.  Are you satisfied with the way the season for college football? 
Matt – I’m not satisfied, the few moments I had it turned on it just had no flavor, it was a leftovers game.  I want to see a 16 team Death to the BCS format.  Really how can you argue with what LSU did this year too, they beat the BCS Champ on their home field, Rose Bowl/Pac12 Champ, Orange Bowl/Big East Champ, Cotton Bowl Champ, Peach Bowl Champ, Gator Bowl Champ, Music City Champ, and SEC East Champions.
Wendt – The SEC dominated college football this season (they were that damn good) until another conference can find a way to $pend more (errrrrrrrrrr) recruit better the SEC will dominate
BlakeI guess.  Alabama showed they were the better than LSU.  They were probably the best team in the Nation.  I'm glad it's the offseason.  I hope this year, there really is an offseason, for two years there hasn't been.  No news will be good news this offseason.

2-Ok get your Crystal Ball out, its 235 days till Iowa-NIU at Soldier Field…who’s in the national title game next season?  And I’m going to be taking these bets to Vegas.
Matt – Last year I picked LSU vs Oklahoma in January…I was half right.  Right now looking ahead I’m going to say USC vs LSU.  Can’t wait for the NIU game in Soldier!  Cubs are home that weekend too.
Wendt – USC vs Alabama
BlakeNorthern Iowa...oh, you were talking about FCS?  USC.

3-TebowMania is sweeping the nation more so after the OT win in the wild card round vs the Steelers.  Now the Broncos go to Foxboro to take on Mr Brady and Company.  On the other side Houston with some dude off the street is playing Baltimore…is it inevitable that it will be Patriots-Ravens in the AFC Championship game?
Matt – No way we are not headed to Pats-Ravens.  This is going to be a blood bath this weekend for the AFC.  If you’re an AFC fan just get ready for next weekend.
Wendt – Yup, get ready for New England/Baltimore, like it or not
BlakeThat's where I would put my money.  I don't think Houston has a chance, and I think this is the year the Patriots remember how to win a home playoff game.

4-The New York Football Giants head to Green Bay in the NFC this weekend and on the other side the Saints take their high octane offense to the Bay to take on the Defense hardened 49ers.  Any chance of upsets in the NFC this weekend?
Matt – I called the Giants beating the Packers early in the year and was off a bit, but it could happen here, I don’t see it happening but I think it’s a close game for the Packers.  The 49ers have a great D against the run, will be curious to see how they do vs the Air Attack of New Orleans.  I think we are headed for Saints-Packers.
Wendt – Absolutely a chance this weekend for an upset in fact I'm 95% sure we won't see New Orleans vs Green Bay in the NFC Championship game (take it to Vegas)
BlakeDefine upset.  Any team left in the NFC could legitimately get to the Super Bowl.  All the games should be exciting, and I won't be surprised by any result. 

5-Carver Hawkeye Arena housed 15,000+ this weekend……FOR WRESTLING.  Iowa lost its first dual meet in a few years to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a 1 vs 2 match up.  Any chance this derails Iowa’s run to a 4th title in 5 years?
Matt – I think this loss in the dual will only fuel the fire in Tom Brands.  Last year the Hawks were unbeaten and lost the title to Penn State.  This loss will just drive Brands harder and I think in March in St Louis the Hawks hold up some more hardware.
Wendt – I have to be honest, I don't know alot about Iowa Wrestling this season (guess I better study up)
BlakeUm, huh?  Hulk Hogan still play?

6-Speaking of Wrestling, the Royal Rumble is coming up in the WWE/WWF….who’s your favorite all time wrestler?

Matt – Chris Jericho!  Thank you for coming back to RAW last week!
Wendt – Bret Hart
BlakeBlue Pulaski from Old School.


Fight the resistance!

So I’m on about week 3-4-5 of having salads for lunch and trying to lose weight and get ready working out for Softball, summer, life and dam to dam (only the 5K) and I’ve done this before so I know I can do it, BUT it is really really hard not going to get a sweet, especially after Christmas and the 3 day weekend for New Year’s, and oh hey look there is a 3 day weekend coming up with MLK day.  I seem to do ok here at work and have fought the temptations to go snack on sweets, my fruits that I bring usually hit the spot.  But at home is the hard part.  I try to limit the portions for supper and not eat after 7pm, BUT if I’m not busy at night I’ve found myself looking through the cupboards at what is around for a snack.  Most nights I’ve been able to take like a bite of one thing and be done and get some water. 

Ryleigh still isn’t sleeping through the night so my work out in the AM at the Y hasn’t started up again yet.  I’ve been using the free weights I have and broke out the $300 close hanger, I mean treadmill too and have tried to keep myself busy and active instead of on the futon in the man cave. 

Hopefully I’ll find stuff to keep me going enough fight the urges to eat junk.


Final GFR College Football Rankings

I didn’t post these weekly as it does take a bit of time!  But it’s here for the final GFR standings.

This year’s GFR National Champion – The LSU Tigers. 

Yes they got beat, but the Tigers resume` is one of the most impressive in YEARS:
Here’s who LSU has beaten in 2011:
Oregon – Pac12 and Rose Bowl Champs
West Virginia – Big East and Orange Bowl Champs
Alabama – The BCS Champion in their home Stadium
Arkansas – Cotton Bowl Champ
Auburn – Peach Bowl (I will not call it the name it is now) Champ
Florida – Gator Bowl Champ
Mississippi State – Music City Bowl Champ
Georgia – SEC East Champs – lost

They didn’t have a Cam Newton type player; they are a solid team and one I would put up against almost any of the past National Championship teams since the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.

Oklahoma State was the only other team that had a shot at the top spot all year, the OT loss at Iowa State helped the Tigers edge the Cowboys.  Alabama ended up finishing 4th.

The Final GFR top 25
*IOWA STATE finished #53
*IOWA finished #55

The 2011 Conference Strength


Best and Worst of the Weekend – 120 Minutes of Monster Trucks

The weekend was pretty good, and some ups and downs, more ups though than anything else, which is always a plus.

Friday I got off of work and had a tasty beverage and some buckhunter and picture find before heading home and getting the Brayden to go out for Boys Night out.  After getting him in a cleaned up and ready to go, we headed out to go for supper.  He wanted to go where I went and got Tator Tots New Years Eve.  The Highlife!  I obliged.  On the way there Grandpa called and talked to Bray about where he was going and Bray asked if he was going and was going to watch on TV.  When I parked at the Highlife and got him out, I locked the door, I looked over and he was already at the door.  He got to the bar and helped him up, the bartender came over and Brayden without waiting a second told him, “Can I have a cheeseburger and a sprite?”  The kid at the whole burger, and I told him if he ate his whole burger he could play a video game.  He chose Silver Strike, only bowled a 32 but then it was on to MONSTER TRUCKS!

Last year at Monster Jam there were only 5 trucks and 2 at Free Style blew engines.  This year they had 8 and one was Sun-ava Digger.  A little grave digger off shoot, there was also El Toro Loco, a truck with horns and a brand new Hot Wheels truck.  These things were a lot louder than I remember last year.  Brayden had his ear phones so he was ok; I covered my ears a few times.  But we had a blast.  The best was sitting there with him during the races and we’d each pick who we thought would win, and then El Toro Loco in free style got a little crazy and wiped out and broke a horn.  At one point Bray looked at me and said “Dad – THIS IS AWESOME!”  It was all worth it then.  Saturday Grandpa called too and asked Brayden how it was and they talked about it a bit.

We also had an embarrassing moment in the bathroom but that’s that…can’t go any further.

Saturday not much went on till the afternoon.  The oldest kids and I went to Jordan Creek Mall to play.  Well Brayden played more than Addy.  She wanted to play Angry Birds.  We were there about 30-40 minutes and I guess a fellow tweep was there 5 people down.  After that time the kids did the “I’m hungry dad…I’m Thristy dad” so we walked around a bit and got a snack and walked a bit some more till Lil Miss Social (Addyson) saw a friend from class in a store and HAD to go say hi.  Went in and I saw another tweep there but I didn’t say hi, because Brayden was pulling off all bracelets and ear rings from the racks.  Also on the way Addy was stopped in her tracks window shopping.  She wants a new dress and she stopped dead in her tracks and just looked at the dress.  I’m screwed when she’s a teenager. 

On the way home we stopped and got pizza and a couple movies for Sat night, and then Brayden drilled his head walking into 2 doors too.  Kids wanted to see “How to train a Dragon” and I got “500 Days of Summer” after being told from tweeps it’s was worth seeing.  Both movies cost me $0.47.  Nice deal there at Family Video.  I thought 500 Days was pretty good.  It’s a different flick which I think makes it better than what mostly Hollywood is putting out.  And the New Girl chick is easy on the eyes too.  Minka Kelly at the end is nice too! 

Saturday Night the worst of the weekend came.  Brayden got sick.  There’s nothing like cleaning up puke in the middle of the night.  Changing sheets, doing laundry, cleaning the kid up.  After about an hour I laid with him and a puke bucket the rest of the night, until….Ryleigh woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep.  So I left Bray and his bucket and went to the hit the recliner with Ryleigh for the next 3-4 hours.  Let me tell you my back felt GREAT Sunday morning. 

Sunday was a lazy day with Bray recovering.  Bray spent most the day in his room playing and napping.  Ryleigh the same way, napping, eating and playing (kids have it easy!).  Addy and I went out in the afternoon for a walk down by Sec Taylor and the river about near dusk.  She took her scooter and I walked by her and we went about 1.5 miles.  We talked about the river and the bridges and the moon and the geese by the river.  It was a fun little time with her.  We stopped by Mullets for a drink afterwards too.  She had a Shirley temple and I a GrainBelt.  Ended the weekend with a little Xbox and a new iphone game, thanks Jen, addicted now.

Over all it was a really pretty good weekend, a dad weekend mostly.