Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hawkeye Fans in Cyclone Country Lose Their Mailbox and Flag

The week of the Iowa-Iowa State football game does strange things to some people.

Like having their mailbox stolen.

Sandy Madden told me about it in an e-mail.

“Someone stole our Hawkeye mailbox,” she wrote. “It must have been a disgruntled Cy fan!!!”

Cy meaning Cyclone fan.

I e-mailed Sandy to ask for more details about the mailbox.

“It was a football helmet made into a mailbox, and I live in Boone—close to Cyclone country,” she explained. “I didn’t know it at the time, but my husband said they also took our Hawkeye flag.

“We live on a busy street, and I am amazed that someone didn’t see them do it. We had it about 10 years.

“Oh, well, with all the turmoil in the world today, I suppose that is trivial!”


An e-mail from an Iowan who keeps his ear to the door:

“I am probably wrong, but I just bet that Iowa State will get a new athletic director at either this game or homecoming. And I bet we both know the guy they hire—and his father.”

Hmmm. A guy and his father.

The father wouldn’t be Bump Elliott, would he?

Let’s see, Bump was the longtime athletic director at Iowa, where his son, Bobby, was a football player and assistant coach.

And Bobby is now the football defensive coordinator at Kansas State.

And Bobby is a former Iowa State assistant coach under Dan McCarney.

And the rumor is that McCarney would like to see Bobby replace the soon-to-be-gone Bruce Van De Velde as the Cyclones’ athletic director.

By the way, Iowa State’s homecoming is Oct. 22, when Oklahoma State is in town for a football game.



Help is on the way, fans.

More than a few people are still wondering why Iowa’s football field was in such lousy shape for the opening game last week at Kinnick Stadium.

This is what I hear. Iowa officials planned to have an artificial surface installed on the field during the summer, but then changed their mind. This state—especially the eastern part—got very little rain during the summer, and sprinklers weren’t used on the field often enough.

Iowa City had more than 40 days of 90-plus degree temperatures. Consequently, the field looks bad. But obviously not bad enough that the Hawkeyes couldn’t score 56 points on it against Ball State.

An announcement today by Iowa officials said, "The field stuggled against the bulk of 300-pound offensive and defensive linemen" in last week's game. "A clump here. A clump there. The root system required to provide the turf's real strength against the players wasn't there."

So Iowa will re-sod the field after its home game Sept. 17 against Northern Iowa. The project will cost the university approximately $150,000 and require up to six days from start to finish. Iowa plays at Ohio State on Sept. 24 before playing at home Oct. 1 in the homecoming game against Illinois.

Cool, dew-producing nights paired with warm and sunny days - the typical weather pattern for late September and early October in Iowa - should provide perfect growing conditions for the new surface.


A man said he was talking to Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby late last week, congratulating him on “how much the new south end of Kinnick Stadium looks like the legendary Kinnick Stadium that I grew up with.

“Bowlsby had the greatest line—“Don’t let anyone kid you—you can still get quite a bit for $90 million!”


Gordy Scoles, a transplanted Iowan now living in South Carolina, recalls the 1977 Iowa State-Iowa game, which was the first in the series since 1934.

“I remember, we drove from Ames and passed Gov. Robert Ray on I-80,” Scoles told me.

I mentioned to Scoles that I saw Ray waiting for the press box elevator last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium when the Hawkeyes were playing Ball State. I mentioned that he was no doubt headed to one of skyboxes.

“Governors always get the good seats, unless you’re the governor of Louisiana,” Scoles said


Said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz at his press conference this week, which was attended by about half-a-hundred reporters and hangers-on:

“Dan McCarney and I are still friends. We haven’t talked in a while. He’s been busy and so have I. That’s one of the neat things—we follow each other’s progress. We’re not only competing against each other, but we’re in the same state. We see each other at different functions—the National Football Foundation, Hall of Fame dinners and clinics. As far as going out to dinner together and things like that, I’m not sure that’s possible. But we enjoy each other’s company.”

McCarney and Ferentz were on Hayden Fry’s staff together at Iowa.


Saturday’s game will be televised regionally to 52 percent of the nation by ABC.

Ferentz said he assumes “every player in America feels the same way—when you’re on an ABC or ESPN telecast, it’s a positive. Players in the NFL are the same way—they love playing in those Monday night games.

“I don’t see any downside to this whole thing, other than some of the silly things Phil [Phil Haddy, Iowa’s sports information director] told me about.”

Ferentz said ABC officials asked if they could go into the Iowa locker room before the game, and if Ferentz would wear a microphone during the pregame warm-ups.

“I’m not up for that,” Ferentz said.


The University of Toledo and Iowa State have agreed to a two-game football series that will have the Rockets play in Ames next season and the Cyclones playing at Toledo in 2007, Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien said.

The game at Iowa State next year will take place Sept. 2, the season opener for both schools. The 2007 game in the Glass Bowl at Toledo will be played Sept. 22. The Rockets already have Purdue on the 2007 home schedule, giving them one of the most attractive home schedules in their history.

"This is another excellent home-and-home series for us," said O'Brien. "Iowa State has a very solid football program in one of the best conferences in the country. Having Iowa State and Purdue on our 2007 home schedule will be exciting for our players and our fans."

Added Toledo coach Tom Amstutz: "The Iowa State series pits us against a very challenging football team from an excellent conference. We look forward to playing them at their place next year and in the Glass Bowl in 2007."

Vol. 4, No. 372
Sept. 8, 2005