IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on another usually beautiful August Sunday in the Heartland...
I think we can officially define the weather of 2012 weird. Yesterday - the 17th day of August - was absolutely delightful: Maybe 80 degrees with nary a hint of humidity. Aren't we supposed to be suffering through those dog days of summer...sweltering heat and humidity you can cut with a knife? Perhaps this is the reward for the drought we've suffering through...
I've written in the past that I'm more far more fan than coach, so my report on yesterday's "bonus peek" at Kirk's football Hawkeyes at Kinnick includes just one jersey number on offense and one jersey number on defense. The former was No. 31, presumably - there are two 31s listed on our official roster - junior running back Andre Dawson. The native of Cedar Rapids had a really nice run and a very nice catch-and-run during the portion of practice I witnessed. He also appeared to be very comfortable while on the field and pretty quick and explosive. On defense, I saw No. 71 - sophomore defense lineman Carl Davis - dominate. The 6-5, 310-pound sophomore from Detroit appeared to have pitched a tent in our backfield. Again, don't take my analysis for anything more than what it is: More fan than coach.
This is the time of year when the armchair quarterbacks start to chirp about this, that, and the other thing. Seriously. I prefer to simply listen to those who are hired to coach and are at every practice, and, this week, that tells me our offensive is in good shape because the guy in charge of the offense says it's in good shape: HERE.
I bumped into our head men's basketball coach in the parking lot Thursday. A five-minute "How's summer been?" conversation with Fran is enough to get my motor running for the hoops season. Have you purchased your season tickets yet? Click HERE to do so online.
Speaking of hoops. This story on Lisa's team caught my attention: HERE. Really good stuff, me thinks.
Speaking of coaches, this week's "Coach Speak" feature in on one of my favorite assistant coaches: Reese Morgan. Quiet confidence. That's what I think of when I hear "Reese Morgan." You can watch his video HERE.
Another of my favorite members of our coaching staff is Ron Rainey, the guy in charge of our women's soccer program. His squad had the honor of playing the first event that counted in 2012-13 Friday night and they took advantage, posting a 5-0 win over Eastern Illinois. You can read about that HERE. Rainey's squad is coming off a very impressive 2011 season and has its sights set on a berth in the NCAA's post-season party. I'm going to suggest they get there and here's story about one of the reasons why: HERE.
Looking for tickets to the Penn State game? How about the HyVee Heroes Game with Nebraska? Tickets with pre-game hospitality for groups from two to 200 are available HERE. You can also purchase tickets to a special pre-game event prior to the Iowa's season opener against Northern Illinois at Chicago's Soldier Field. And, speaking of the opener, Northern Illinois' radio partner, The Score, is offering a special ticket offer for Husky and Hawkeye fans who have yet to purchase their game tickets. You can read about that offer HERE. In the spirit of full disclosure, the seats that are available are in the upper deck and behind the endzones, but they still provide you a great opportunity to cheer the good guys in black and gold if you're in the Chicago area on Sept. 1.
Tom Brands sat down for a few minutes with a handful of clients of Hawkeye Sports Properties Friday in the Feller Club Room of Carver. He talked about his 2012-13 Hawkeyes and the opportunity that rests before them. He also shared some of his experiences as a spectator at the Summer Olympic Games in London with one of them being the opportunity to witness Mr. Bolt racing to gold in the 200-meter dash. "Simply incredible," Tom said flatly. He was talking about both the environment and the performance.
Kudos to those fans of the Hawkeyes who provided the game-like experience the football staff was hoping for yesterday at Kinnick. A nice chunk of "Hawkeye Nation" found their way to Kinnick for the second open scrimmage in as many Saturdays - a rarity but much-appreciated opportunity. Most that I observed seemed pretty focused and, like me, we're probably wishing they had ready access to a roster card.
Lastly, looking for something to do this afternoon? I invite you to check out Ron Rainey's squad for yourself. Match time for Iowa vs. North Dakota is set for 1 p.m. at the Iowa Soccer Field just west of Finkbine Golf Course. Bring the blanket, some lunch, and your suntan lotion.