Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How Can a Guy Be So Sharp On the Football Field And So Dumb Off the Field? The Arena League Will Be An Ideal Place for Jason Berryman

No one -- certainly not me -- is going to doubt Jason Berryman's football abilities.

He was, without a doubt, the best player on Iowa State's team.

The key word in that sentence is "was."

Berryman is now history as a Cyclone.

It's ridiculous that his off-the-field smarts never matched his talents on the field.

The knucklehead proved time and again he couldn't stay out of trouble, and deserves exactly what he got from coach Dan McCarney [left] and the rest of the people making the decisions at Iowa State.

By the way, some folks think being in a bar illegally isn't the only reason Berryman is no longer an Iowa State football player.

I was going to call Berryman on his cell phone to ask him about that, but evidently he hasn't stolen one lately.

Good luck in the Arena League, Jason.

Or at making license plates.

You'll fit right in.


I talked to a guy today who wonders how Iowa State basketball player Curtis Stinson is doing in his classes.


Old friend Harold Yeglin e-mailed me after reading my column on Sharm Scheuerman and the rest of Iowa's 1956 "Fabulous Five" basketball team that was honored last week in Iowa City:


"Fifty years since the Fab Five? Unbelieveable! What memories of those guys. I was working at the Morning Star in Rockford, Illinois, in their earliest days and on nights off drove to a couple of their road games. One was down to Indiana. Unforgettable. Bucky started sophomores Scheuerman, Seaberg, Logan and maybe Sugar Cain. The lone upperclassman was Deacon Davis, as I recall. The Hawks surprised the veteran Hoosiers. Afterwards, [Jim] "Zabel and I sat for hours into the early morning in a Bloomington restaurant, dumb struck over what we had witnessed. We had just seen the start of something big.

"Also recall seeing them down at Champaign, Ill. Another shocker. They beat Billy Ridley and Co. [including the Judson twins?] Afterwards I remember seeing Bucky giving Ridley a big hug. Billy was in near tears. An emotional sight.

"Another recollection: Talking to Bucky after those games I touted a kid that I'd been covering at West Rockford High School. Name was Nolden Gentry.

"Not only were the Fab Five something else, so was Bucky. Got to know him well when I was The Register's stringer in Iowa City. Later, his death in a car crash was a shocker. By that time I was on the desk with Buck [Turnbull] and Bubby Price. Seems to me that Bucky O'Connor and Maury John were cut from the same cloth."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Yeglin was a longtime sports copy editor at the Register, and still keeps up with what's going on in sports in his golden years. He's a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan. No wonder he still likes to talk about the days when Iowa was winning Big Ten basketball championships].


An e-mail from "Scratching My Head," who lives one time zone away:

"What's the skinny on Brubaker being named managing editor? You gotta be kidding."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Unless I'm mistaken, "Scratching My Head" is referring to Randy Brubaker, who was named the Register's managing editor last week. Unfortunately, I wasn't kidding].


Ever since Dave Blank said he was leaving as Drake's athletic director so he could become the A.D. at Elon University in North Carolina, I've been hearing from people. Here's what "Fast Learner" -- not his real name -- said in an e-mail:

"Hey, Ron, that Drake A.D. could have done worse than Elon. No, I didn’t know Elon from third base before coming to Roanoke 15 years ago. But I learned fast. Two of [my wife's] kids, twin boy-girl, are Elon grads."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I expect Dave Blank to do well at Elon. There's nothing to complain about the job he did at Drake].


This e-mail is from "Not An Alford Fan:"

"Ron -- Great angle on the black-and-white thing. It's a good thing Iowa is producing good white college basketball players. If not, Alford would really
be in trouble."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: My correspondent was referring to the column I wrote about Iowa -- with four white starters -- tying for the Big Ten lead on the same night "Glory Road" -- a movie about the Texas Western team that had five black starters -- was being shown to film fans in theaters around the nation].