Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This Is What An NFL Starting Quarterback Does During His Bye Week [In Other Words, How to Relax in Iowa City]

Some lucky folks in Iowa City evidently got an up-close and personal look the other day at what a starting quarterback in the NFL does during part of his bye week.

A website called www.deadspin.com has published photographs of Kyle Orton of Altoona relaxing in our state, and his, between the Cincinnati and Cleveland games on the Chicago Bears' schedule.

After throwing five interceptions against the Bengals in a 24-7 loss, it's obvious that Orton--a rookie who played collegiate football at Purdue--wanted to escape the pressures of the big city during his off-week.

I certainly can't say that I blame him.

Everyone knows that Iowa City is a fantastic place to relax. It's the ideal location for folks to talk about football with their gridiron heroes over a cold something-or-other.

I think we should all be happy that Orton chose Iowa City over such dull Big Ten towns as West Lafayette [where he attended college], Bloomington and Champaign to relax during his time off. I'm sure he signed a bunch of autographs, and gave out some tidbits of information about what life in the NFL is really like for a first-year player.

The caption in www.deadspin.com over a photo of Orton holding up his beverage of choice in Iowa City said, "Bear Down, Chicago Bear."

In another photo, Orton is obviously letting everyone in the establishment know what most of already were aware of -- the Bears are No. 1.

Good clean fun in America's football heartland, I'd say.

Deadspin.com writes:

"Far be it from us to tell starting quarterbacks of first-place NFL teams how to spend their bye week, but we couldn't help but post these pictures--sent to us by a reader--of Bears QB Kyle Orton, at a bar in Iowa City over the long weekend. It was taken on Thursday, hence the Blue Jays-Red Sox game in the background.

"Our favorite part is the massive spillage not only down his shirt, but apparently all over his face. Of course, that bottle of Jack is half-empty, so we suppose we should just be impressed that he’s still standing at all."

Orton certainly had reason to be celebrating. Believe it or not [and some people still don't], the Bears are tied for first place in the NFC North with Detroit. Both teams have 1-2 records. Minnesota is 1-3 and Green Bay 0-4 in the awful division.

Frankly, I can't wait for the next game to see what all that Iowa City hospitality did for Orton.


Travis Simpson of Des Moines sounds off on a variety of topics in his latest e-mail:

"To lead things off, the Cubs' season is finally done and the 'next year' talk can begin, I guess. The Chicago Tribune reported that Dusty Baker got irritated when asked about a possible two-year extension to his deal. After finishing fourth in the division after high expectations coming into this season, he should be thankful that they are even letting him come back next season instead of getting worked up over questions about an extension! He doesn't really deserve and extension since this team has done nothing but regress since his first season.

"Enough baseball. Next topic: Football. The Cyclones may never get a better chance to knock off the Huskers in Lincoln than they had Saturday. So many plays you can point to that 'if' they had done this or that they might have won. The test now will be if they can put that disappointment behind them and come out with some emotion and take care of Baylor this Saturday. Baylor lost a heartbreaker to Texas A&M as well Saturday, so this could be a telling game for both teams how they come out and try to rebound.

"Last thing. On the Trev Alberts firing, I say GOOD RIDDANCE! He was an egotistic idiot to begin with, and to think that he deserved a bigger role like Herbstreit and Corso--who are the better analysts--is crazy. Getting fired from ESPN is basically career suicide in that business, and the fact that he couldn't put his ego aside and resolve the issues he had, he has only himself to blame. I believe the article I saw on it a while back was that he was given the option to show up for his scheduled segment or be fired when the incident happened, and he chose not to show up to work. Like anywhere else, if you don't show up to work, you face the consequences of that choice. A reasonable person would have tried to work things out and if the issues could not be resolved then leave under your own terms and still be able to save face somehow, instead of completely destroying your reputation."

Travis Simpson
Des Moines

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'm convinced that Dusty Baker couldn't manage a Little League team, and at times in 2005 the Cubs played like a Little League team. If Baker and general manager Jim Hendry can't build a division winner next season, they should be fired. I agree that Iowa State blew a big chance in the overtime loss to Nebraska. This definitely was a game the Cyclones could, and should, have won. No team should let chances like that slip away. As for Trev Alberts, he should have known better. Those clowns who are on TV get such an over-inflated view of themselves that they know nothing about reality. Wait until Alberts, who is from Cedar Falls, has to work for a living. Then he'll find out how quickly to say, "Hire me!" when UNI needs a commentator on its football radio network].


Gordy Scoles of Bennettsville, S.C., writes about Steve Spurrier and others:


"I'm sure you read about the Auburn-South Carolina game [a 48-7 Auburn victory]. Coach Superior [Steve Spurrier] is finding out about 'payback' with each passing week. Tommy 'Baby' Bowden is really taking his lumps at Clemson. He'll be lucky to survive [again] when the season is over. No personality, no offense, no nothing. And the boosters are building a monster addition to the monster stadium. Illinois must be as bad as suspected. Does Iowa play Indiana this year? I hope so. Just checking in to tell you about the Ol' Ball Coach."

Gordy Scoles
Bennettsville, S.C.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Yes, Gordy, Iowa plays Indiana this season--and it's a good thing. The Hawkeyes aren't the same team this season that they've been in the last couple years. Iowa's game against Indiana is Oct. 15 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City--where Kirk Ferentz's teams never lose. You're right about Illinois. It's a terrible team].


Wow, that guy Steve Weinberg writes good stuff. The man can really turn a phrase. I expect him to be hired any day now by CityView.

Vol. 4, No. 388
Oct. 4, 2005