Sunday, October 16, 2005

Guest Columnist Nathan 'Didn't Know College Teams Cheated,' But What's a Friendly Shove?'--And Nice Going, White Sox!'

This is Nathan, and I’m filling in for Grandpa today as the author of this column.

I went with Grandpa, my dad Kevin, my uncle Mark and my cousin Claire to Iowa City yesterday for the Iowa-Indiana football game, and had lots of fun.

Grandpa has been busy all weekend watching and talking football. People have been asking him about the Iowa and Iowa State games, somebody wondered who the doctor was that brought Lloyd Carr back to life, and Grandpa’s friend Alive in Clive called to say he thought USC cheated to score the winning touchdown against Notre Dame.

I didn’t know college teams cheated, so I’ll leave the controversy involved with that situation to Grandpa and Alive in Clive.

Even if USC bent the rules to score, one of my favorite players is Matt Leinart, their quarterback, whose picture is on the upper right in this column. He’s almost as good as Drew Tate of Iowa.

Getting back to Alive in Clive for a minute, sometimes he drinks one bloody mary too many on Sunday morning, and gets a little goofy when he talks to Grandpa about football.

Because Grandpa was busy with all those people, I decided to take some of the load off him. He’s not getting any younger, you know.

So I’ll be the guest columnist today.

Miss Abraham, my teacher, thinks I’m learning to write pretty well, and that convinced me I should take a shot at it.

If I do a good enough job, maybe Grandpa will assign Megan, my sister, to be the next guest columnist.


Even though I want to write some things about Iowa and Iowa State in this column, I also want to go into a little more detail about whether No. 1-ranked USC cheated on the last play of the game against the Fighting Irish.

Grandpa said he heard Bob Davie, who was fired as Notre Dame’s coach and now is on ESPN, say late last night on the tube that USC cheated.

I guess it had something to do with Reggie Bush [pictured upside down on the upper left] pushing Leinart into the end zone for the touchdown.

“I used all 200 pounds of my body to push Matt in,” Bush told sportswriters after the game.

The rules say a player can’t physically help the forward progress of another. Grandpa's friend who edits writes about it.

Lou Holtz is another former Notre Dame coach who does some work for ESPN. When he heard Davie say that Bush did something illegal to help Leinart score, he scoffed.

He indicated those things happen all the time, so it’s ridiculous to work up a sweat over it.

I’ve never heard Grandpa talk about a player helping another get across the goal, but I know he often mentions how former Iowa coach Forest Evashevski called Notre Dame the “Fainting Irish” more than a half-century ago because their players were falling on the ground to stop the clock in a game.

I wonder if Bob Davie would call that cheating, too?


All of us had a great time yesterday in Iowa City yesterday, where Iowa punched out Indiana, 38-21.

We left at about 7 o’clock in the morning for the 11 o’clock game. Uncle Mark brought a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast in the van, and Grandpa had all the stuff for the pregame tailgate.

I took my Nerf football along, so Dad could throw me some passes. When I go out for the long ones, I imagine that I'm Ed Hinkel [before the broken arm].

Naturally, we watched and heard the Hawkeye drumline [whose photo at the top was taken by my uncle Lonn] and band practice before the game. Grandpa says he gets “jacked up” for the game when he hears those drums and bugles. And we even got a bonus. Not only was the Iowa drumline there, so was Indiana’s.

In the old days, I think Indiana’s drumline and band have made road trips because they were better than the Hoosiers’ football team—even when Lee Corso coached them.

This time, the Indiana band and football team were both respectable.


Grandpa told me before church this morning that the Michigan-Penn State game on TV was almost as good as the Notre Dame-USC game.

He joked about both of those games. He said he didn’t want any of those four teams to win. I guess all grandpas get that way sometimes.

I think he meant that he has never been a Notre Dame fan, and he isn’t all that fond of USC, either. As for Michigan and Penn State, Grandpa doesn’t think that much of Lloyd Carr’s coaching at Michigan, and he wanted Penn State to lose because he's hoping Iowa wins the Big Ten title. So am I.

He’s a little soft on Joe Paterno, Penn State’s coach, though. Paterno has been around so long that he might have helped invent football. Grandpa is happy the Nittany Lions are having a good season and happy that football hasn’t passed Joe Pa by--but not happy enough to want him to keep winning.


All in all, Grandpa was pretty fired up about everything that went on in college football yesterday—except, of course, for the Iowa State game.

We heard the Cyclones lose in overtime to Missouri on the radio in uncle Mark’s Odyssey van.

Grandpa says he doesn’t know what’s happened to Iowa State. He thought they were pretty darn good the day they beat Iowa, 23-3. But that was five weeks ago.

I know Grandpa hasn’t given up on Iowa State. He sure didn’t like it when some guy called one of the call-in shows after the game and said coach Dan McCarney should be fired.

Grandpa and McCarney have been friends ever since Mac would shake his fists on the Iowa sideline when he was an assistant coach for the Hawkeyes.

“Don’t give up on Mac,” Grandpa says all the time. “He’s a fighter.”


Grandpa also mentioned something about baseball. I guess that sport is still going on.

"It looks like the Cardinals are choking again this year," he said.

[Hey, folks, don't forget, he's a Cub fan].

And both Grandpa and I are shouting, "Nice going, White Sox! You're headed to the World Series for the first time since 1959 and--best of all--you showed the Cubs how to do it."

Don't stop there, though. Let's polish off the National League team -- whether it's Houston or St. Louis -- as quickly as possible and win your first Series since 1917.


Vol. 4, No. 394
Oct. 16, 2005