IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on a lazy Sunday morning in the Heartland...
The experts say it's going to be a hot one today. It comes on the heels of another dry week and at the start of a week that, they say, has only one good chance of a shower. I don't know where you live, but it's dry at the place I call home and getting drier every minute.
Fans of the Iowa football program have often grumbled about the lost opportunities for pregmae fun and frivolity when home games at Kinnick Stadium started at 11 a.m. So, I'm sure that group was excited about last week's announcement that Iowa's first three games of the 2012 season - against Northern Illinois inside Chicago's Soldier Field, and the first two of four straight games at Kinnick - were pegged for 2:30 p.m. starts. Interestingly, I had an opportunity Friday at Finkbine to ask our starting quarterback what his start time preference was and James was pretty candid: If he had his choice, they'd all start at 2:30.
Speaking of Hawkeye football players and Finkbine Golf Course, we had a great time with a lot of former and current Hawkeyes and our guests from Transamerica on Friday at the UI's golf course. The event was the annual Transamerica Challenge and it was a delight: Great friends, great weather, and great - well not so great at times - golf all a result of a great partnership between the UI and Transamerica, a partnership that is headed on the Transamerica side by former Hawk Lon Olejniczak. Among the many that made it to Iowa City for this year's celebration were Chuck Hartlieb, Danan Hughes, Greg Stokes, Mike Saunders, Mike Goff, Ben Cronin...it was great visiting with all of them, but I have to admit I enjoy most the time I get to spend with "Special K." What a delight.
Iowa's track and field teams put the finishing touches on the 2011-12 athletics year for the UI at the 2012 national championship staged this weekend in Des Moines. Larry Weiczorek's men's squad finished 23rd thanks in great measure to a second-place finish by senior Erik Sowinski in the 800-meter run and Troy Doris' fifth-place finish in the triple jump. You can read about those HERE.
Have you "friended" the Hawkeyes on Facebook yet? If not, check it out HERE.
One of our guests from Transamerica was a member of a group of eight from Toronto. He was lobbying for the Hawkeyes to add hockey to our sports line-up while we were killing some time on Finkbine's No. 4 tee. He then asked if we were to add a men's sport, what would it be? I've been asked that question a handful of times and my answer always starts with two qualifiers: First, we're not in the business of adding sports right now and, second, it's not a decision I would make...although I'd probably have an opportunity to participate in the discussion. So, what would it be? Well, soccer makes sense. We already have a tremendous facilities, and a pretty good source of high school talent not only in the state, but in the "Corridor" and, of course, right here in Iowa City.
They staged a pretty good party for the Queen across the pond in London a week or so ago. We were talking at the dinner table the other night about how happenin' a place London will be this summer what with the recently-completed Jubilee occurring just weeks in front of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games That led to a discussion about the cost of staging the Games. Where am I going with this? Well, one of the Transamerica guests from Canada noted during our dinner party Thursday evening that the final payment on Olympic Stadium in Montreal was made not so long ago. He noted, too, that the building was pretty much ready for the wrecking ball when the final payment was made. I wonder what the "useful life" is for a stadium built these days? Kinnick has served us well...but my guess is that it would very much be an exception to today's rule.
I had my first encounter with our new offensive coordinator Friday at Finkbine and I can tell you that it's pretty obvious Greg Davis is excited to be a Hawkeye and that's he's pretty excited about the coming campaign. Oh, yeah, he's also about as pleasant a guy as you can find. My guess is, however, that he'll get after you on the practice field if he has to.
Stay cool today, Hawk fans.