Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Will This Lady Back Out?

The Register thinks it has finally found a replacement for Dick Doak as editor of its editorial pages.

I say “think” because the paper’s bosses also thought they had someone to take Doak’s job before.

It’s been more than a year since Doak was told he would be replaced. It’s obvious a woman was wanted for the job, and the bosses thought they had the woman they were after last spring.

Maura Casey, associate editorial page editor for The Day in New London, Conn., accepted the job, then decided she didn’t want it after all.

Paul Anger, the Register’s editor, has now sent a memo to the staff that Carol Hunter, executive editor of the Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette, will become the editorial page editor.

But you can bet Anger is holding his breath. Hunter won’t start her new job until around Thanksgiving. By that time, she’ll have heard all the stories that are going around about the Register.

Here’s Anger’s memo to the staff:


“I’m pleased to announce a terrific addition to the fourth floor—Carol Hunter, executive editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, will join us as editorial page editor.

“Dick Doak has done that job with distinction for a decade, leading a highly successful department. He’s also written with impact, something he will continue to do.

“Carol has overseen editorial boards as top editor in Green Bay and Bridgewater, N.J., where she worked with USA Today Editor Ken Paulson.

“She has led her staffs to numerous reporting, editing and commentating awards through the years, including Gannett honors for public service and enterprise reporting and recognition from the American Planning Association for aggressive and thorough reporting on the redevelopment of downtown Green Bay.

“Carol has a long history in the Heartland—native of Kansas, graduate of the University of Kansas, top editor in Green Bay for seven years.

“Yes, she’s become something of a Packers fan.

“She will join us Nov. 22. Please help make her feel welcome.

“—Paul Anger”

[NOTE: I hear that Hunter has worked for Gannett papers for 25 years. That’s what I call loyalty. However, I have no idea how she feels about being the fifth or sixth choice for the job at the local paper. And I also have no idea which football team she’s going to find around here to take the place of the Packers. The best we’ve got is Valley High School. But all Anger said about Hunter’s football allegiance was that “she’s become something of a Packers fan”—whatever that means. So, in the spirit of the “Welcome Wagon” program and in my constant effort to be helpful to new residents of our community, I guess the Des Moines Courage--a women’s team that’s always looking for new fans--also remains a possibility].


It’s difficult to feel sorry for 20- and 21-year-old football players as far as how much sleep they don’t get.

Hell, how much sleep do any college students that age -- football players or not -- miss?

But sportswriters and sane people, too, continually search for reasons why they should pity major-college players who are on full-ride scholarships. For instance, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz was asked on today’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference about the problems his players have in the next two weeks.

The Hawkeyes play a night game [starting at 9:05 Iowa time] Saturday at Arizona State. Then they open their Big Ten season at 2:30 Sept. 25.

“What’s the approach for the two-week package?” Ferentz was asked.

He chuckled.

“If we played eight home games, then had to go to Michigan, I’d be worried,” said the man whose team walloped the Wolverines, 34-9, two years ago at Ann Arbor. “It doesn’t get any easier, that’s for sure.

“I remember my first year as a head coach at the University of Maine. We set an NCAA for [traveling the longest distance] to a game in the United States,” Ferentz said. “Somebody might have played in Japan, but we played in Hawaii.

“Maine was Division I-AA, and we certainly didn’t have charter flights. I think we went to Boston, to Atlanta, to Dallas, to Honolulu. It took us about six days to get there. We took a cargo ship back, I think. It seems like it was Wednesday when we got home. We survived.”

Ferentz said the Hawkeyes “will play the cards we’ve been dealt and hopefully do a decent job.”

Last year’s Iowa-Arizona State game, which was won by the Hawkeyes, 21-2, started at 5 p.m. [3 p.m. Arizona time].

“On night games, my preference is to have them at home so you can let the other guy travel at night,” Ferentz said. “But we’re the suckers on this one.

“I think our guys will get to bed between 5:30 and 6:30 Sunday morning. I think we have to be real careful about what we do on the days afterward so we don’t lose the team during the week.”


When told that there will be at least 10,000 Iowa fans attending the game at Arizona State, Ferentz said, “I think that number is pretty conservative……I think we have the best fans in the world. They’re extremely loyal.”


You remember Nathan Chandler, who was Iowa’s starting quarterback last season.

Chandler was cut by the Buffalo Bills in preseason practice, but is still hopeful of playing professional football. Bob Nicholas--from now on referred to as Uncle Bob – keeps me up to date on what’s happening with the Chandler family.

Nathan’s brother, Scott, is a sophomore reserve tight end on this season’s Hawkeye team, and caught three passes for 31 yards last week against Iowa State.

“I watched the battle for Iowa on 9/11,” Uncle Bob writes. “My younger nephew looked pretty good. I would have liked him to hold his blocks a little longer. He caught three passes for 31 yards in the first half. No attempts to him in the second.

“I’m pretty amazed that he’s playing. Either he’s got potential or the team is shallow at that position.”

As for Nathan, Uncle Bob had some news on him:

“Another episode from proud Uncle Bob.

“Nathan Chandler called me a few weeks ago. He’s still waiting for a call. He wanted my opinion of being an aide in a Special Education classroom while he was waiting. As a Special Education teacher, it made me very proud.

“Also, although I did not watch the [Kent State-Iowa] game, Mr. Brian Chandler [Nathan and Scott’s dad] gave me the information about Nate’s sophomore brother, Scott. I guess he was moved from wide receiver to tight end. Probably a good move as he is 6-7 like Nate. He played a lot in the game.

“I think I told you last year that Scott is a great player in his own right. He made some game-affecting receptions [they won the Texas state championship] in Carroll High School’s final game two years ago. As a young child, he is the type of kid that gets put into a stadium with hundreds of other kids and can win a family trip to Disneyworld if he can only get that ribbon off the calf’s tail. The Chandlers went to Disneyworld.

“Something about those Chandlers and winning.

Uncle Bob"


A transplanted Iowan who now lives in California and goes by the handle “Tucson Hawk” on the Internet chat lines, is a savvy sports Iowa sports fan.

Here’s his latest e-mail to me, which was sent after Iowa slipped past Iowa State, 17-10, last week:

“Guess I should have put my money down on this one. It may have been the bonehead betting line of the year [something like Iowa -24], but at least I know now I can’t be tempted to bet on sports, and that’s a good thing. But, man…..I should have bet the ranch on this one.

“As they say, a win is a win. No point in covering ground that has already been covered on all the websites…..stuff that will be written about tomorrow and that which is obvious to everyone.

“Rather than purchase the pay-per-view, which was 20 bucks, I chose to listen to the Internet stream which I pay for through Yahoo at 5 bucks a month. It’s a good deal, although I had several dropouts early on. If I harbor some frustration, outside of Iowa’s pathetic running game and less-than-average special teams, it is with Gary Dolphin.

“Dolphin didn’t have a clue Saturday. If this is Dolph’s zenith, bring back Jim Zabel. There were fumbles [non-fumbles], interceptions [non-interceptions] and the misnaming of players who were in on specific plays. Ed [Podolak] had to correct him several times. Bottom line: You could never trust his call. I don’t why it’s so difficult to follow the play and make the call.

“Then, to add to the confusion, Ed called ISU Ohio State three times in a row until Dolph finally corrected him. Next thing you know, Ed was calling Iowa State Ohio State again!

“Iowa sure has a ways to go. Lewis’ final run was satisfying at crunch time because up until that time, Iowa averaged less than a yard and a half per run.

“Iowa suffers from inexperience and injuries on the offensive side of the ball. They don’t blitz, either. I think Kirk Ferentz doesn’t yet have faith in Iowa’s deep men, and he shouldn’t. But the Hawks did what they had to do, and that was to hang on for dear life after Danny Mac [Dan McCarney] made great adjustments at halftime…..a characteristic for which the Iowa staff is better known.

“Not Saturday. Perhaps the Iowa players couldn’t implement the changes. That’s a scary thought.

“Does Ed Hinkel have great hands or what? Drew Tate should do very well before he graduates from Iowa in several years.

“I hope Chuck Long [Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator] becomes a head coach someday. In the meantime, he should stay in Bob Stoops’ back pocket with the talent the head coach brings in. Perhaps he should stay there forever.”

Vol. 4, No. 256
Sept. 14, 2004