Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Best Drake Relays? Not So Fast!

Drake Relays director Mark Kostek said this week’s 2004 event “certainly has an opportunity to set itself apart,” but stopped short of calling it the best ever.

“How can you say that over 95 years when you’ve had so many people?” Kostek asked today.

“I’m just excited about the opportunity. As far as calling it the best Relays ever, I think I’m going to pass that judgment to Paul Morrison, our Drake Relays historian. I believe this is his 69th Relays.”

However, Kostek, who is in his fourth year as the director, said, “We’re excited about the Relays this year. It’s a great field. We could have upwards of 23 records set. Last year, we walked out with 14 Drake Relays records in our pocket.

“With the people who have run on this track such as Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Wilma Rudolph and Michael Johnson, and to have the projection that we could set that many records blows my mind.”

39th Straight Sellout? Not Yet

If you don’t have a ticket to the Relays yet, you’re not out of luck.
“Tickets continue to be available,” Kostek said. “Sales have been brisk. However, we have tickets available for Saturday as well as Friday. They can be bought by calling 515-271-DOGS.

“We hope to have another sellout, but at this point in time we can’t say yes. We’re looking forward to our 39th consecutive sellout, but we’ve got a little work to do yet.”

Masters Champ Cares About Relays

Dave Blank, Drake’s athletic director, interrupted Kostek’s session with reporters when he gave him a box that had arrived in the athletic department today.

It was a framed photo of Phil Mickelson, who won the Masters golf tournament earlier this month.

“It just came and I thought you’d like to see it,” Blank said. “Phil Mickelson cares about the Relays, too.”

Kostek thanked Blank and read what Mickelson wrote on the photo: “To Mark Kostek, best wishes to you and the Drake Relays.”

Perfect Car for Gallery: $117,508 Hummer

I have a perfect suggestion for Robert Gallery, the 6-7, 323-pound Iowa offensive tackle who is expected to be a top-five pick in Saturday’s NFL draft.

People have been kidding Gallery about the 1984 Buick he’s been driving, and wondering how soon he plans to move up to a car that better suits his personality.
After all, the big guy who grew up on a 650-acre farm in Masonville, Ia. (population 129) wears a loop earring in each ear and has his hair in a ponytail style that hangs down to the middle of his back.

So I think he should get himself a fancy new Hummer once he starts getting paid by his professional football employer.

And I don’t think it should be one of those cheap H2 Hummers. Heck, one of those can be bought for a mere $49,180.

I think Gallery should drive out of the showroom with an H1 model that sells for $117,508—probably the “open-top” style.

The guy will certainly be able to afford it. I mean, he’d like to be the first player picked in the draft, and if he is he’d be able to buy Hummers for his entire family.

Carson Palmer, the former Southern California quarterback who was the first player chosen in the 2003 draft, signed a six-year contract worth $49 million with the Cincinnati Bengals.

But, just because the $117,508 Hummer seems like an ideal vehicle for Gallery, I don’t feel he should get rid of that 20-year-old Buick.

He can take the Buick to wherever he’ll be playing his NFL games and leave the Hummer at home. He can drive it whenever he returns to Masonville to visit his family.

Update on Mark Allen

Another update on Mark Allen, who will be replaced as the sideline reporter on the radio broadcasts of Iowa football games next fall by Rob Brooks of Cedar Rapids.
Karen Roney e-mailed this message to me:

“What happened to Mark Allen on WHO-radio? I haven’t heard him on the radio for about a month. Please answer as I can’t find any info. Thanks. Karen.”

I contacted Iowa sports information director Phil Haddy, who e-mailed me:

“Mark Allen is going to work for his wife’s family. They operate a branch of A.G. Edwards Investments in Newton, and Mark will join them in that field. He’ll continue to do Iowa women’s basketball on the radio, but he didn’t feel he could devote the time needed on Iowa football.”

Bottom of the Fifth, Bags Loaded

An eastern Iowa woman who insists she hadn’t been drinking all afternoon sent me this e-mail:

Three elderly ladies are excited about seeing their first baseball game.

They smuggle a bottle of Jack Daniels into the ballpark. The game is very exciting and they are enjoying themselves immensely, mixing the Jack Daniels with soft drinks.

Soon they realize the bottle is about empty and the game has a lot of innings to go.
Question: Based on the given information, what inning is it and how many players are on base?

Answer: It’s the bottom of the fifth and the bags are loaded.

The Goldfish and the Cat

Rev. David P. Mumm of Des Moines e-mailed this story.

“It’s titled ‘Revenge,’” he said.

Little Johnny was in the garden filling in a large hole when his neighbor peered over the fence.

Interested in what the youngster was up to, he politely asked, “What’cha doing, Johnny?”

“My goldfish died,” replied the boy tearfully, without looking up. “I’ve just buried him.”

The neighbor was concerned.

“That’s an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it?” he said.
Johnny patted down the last heap of earth, then replied: “That’s because he’s inside your dumb cat.”

Vol. 4, No. 231
April 21, 200