Friday, March 31, 2006

More Photos Of Kyle Orton's Drinking Habits Make the Rounds. It's Time for Someone to Get This Iowa Kid Some Professional Help for His Problems

The Kyle Orton situation is getting sadder and more ridiculous all the time.

In my e-mail this morning was a note from my West Coast Correspondent that said, "Orton is at it again."

Then there was a link to photos.

More pictures of Orton drinking.

Orton is the former Southeast Polk High School and Purdue quarterback who now is trying to stay in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.

He was the Bears' starter for a while last season, but was on the bench when the year ended.

Photos of him drinking in an Iowa City bar circulated on the Internet last fall, and now there's a new set of pictures making the rounds.

They were published by "Deadspin" and I'm sure other Internet sites, and are at the top of this column.

"Deadspin" writes: "For the record, we admire Kyle's attitude about drunk pictures of him showing up on the Web, saying essentially, 'Hey, whaddya gonna do? Doesn't affect me.' If only more athletes were like Kyle and didn't take themselves so darn seriously. Of course, other athletes don't show up in as many drunk pictures on the Web as Kyle does, either."


I think the young man needs professional help.

Very soon.

* * *

"Doug from Davenport," not his real name, had a question:

"Can the Fresno State women's coach be a candidate for the Iowa job when Alford leaves?"

The coach -- actually, the former coach at Fresno State -- is Stacy Johnson-Klein [wearing the red outfit], who is involved in some interesting legal action with her former employer.

"Evidently, she follows former Fresno State men's coach Tark the Shark [Jerry Tarkanian] in the Hall of Shame," writes Mark Robinson.

Not so fast, Mark.

Actually, a number of Iowa fans in addition to "Doug from Davenport" have been wondering if Johnson-Klein might be on Iowa's short list when Alford finally finds a place that'll hire him.

* * *

This e-mail is from "Midwest Guy:"


"Whoa! Wrestling coach? We thought we were going look for a new basketball coach? Oh well, we're stuck with that guy...for now.

"I know this is a stretch, but consider this as a sales pitch for a wrestling coach. Bob Bowlsby would be foolhardy not to place a phone call to Waverly, Ia., and ask Wartburg College for permission to talk to Jim Miller, or at least consider him. Last month, Coach Miller guided the Knights to their 5th Division III wrestling national championship in 10 years.

"Miller and Bowlsby have crossed paths at UNI. Miller was an assistant to Don Briggs on the wrestling team, Bowlsby was the athletic director. Miller left UNI to become the head coach at Wartburg in 1991, after legendary West Waterloo coach Bob Siddens served as interim coach upon the death of Dick Walker in an auto accident in November, 1990.

"Jim Miller has been nothing short but amazing during his tenure at Wartburg. Over 100-plus consecutive conference dual wins, 14 straight Iowa Conference titles, and 5 Division III national titles, is nothing to sneeze at. When Don Briggs was let go at UNI in 1997, Miller interviewed with his alma mater, but decided to stay at Wartburg.

"Miller has benefitted from having a consistent coaching staff, from Matt and Steve Walker [Dick Walker's sons], to several conference champions and national place-winners such as current assistants Chris Ortner and Nick Mitchell. Miller's influence during his stay at UNI convinced one of his former Panther wrestlers, Dave Malacek, to join the staff several years ago.

"Recruiting might be a challenge, since we're talking about the Big 10 and not the IIAC. Nevertheless, Wartburg has had several wrestlers transfer from, ironically, Big 10 schools: Tom Smith [Iowa], a two time national champion; and two-time placewinner Josh Dodd [Minnesota]". More importantly, recruiting aside, he's an excellent teacher and a great individual who not only motivates on the mat, he does it in the classroom as well.

"Oh, did I mention he's a fellow East Waterloo alum?

"I think Miller will look at the opening at Iowa, but the question will be is he ready for a new challenge at this stage of his life? Maybe not. His son T.J., who placed 4th in nationals, will return as a junior next winter. Coach is very happy and content to stay in Waverly, with the construction of the new Wartburg-Waverly Wellness Center under way.

"We'll see what happens in the coaching search.

"One last add: Mike Davis said that Indiana would be better off with one of their own. Boy, talk about insert foot in mouth, thanks to AD Rick Greenspan! Sometimes it's better not to say anything."

Midwest Guy
Des Moines

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Jim Miller sounds like a winner to me. Bowlsby is a former wrestler himself, so I know he'll know where to go to find the guy who get Iowa back to where it belongs in that sport].

* * *

A guy tells me that Kevin Evans' last day at the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier is today.

"He's leaving to join an old friend in the real estate business in Waterloo," the guy says of Evans, who is a former sports editor at the Courier.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I enjoyed working with Evans in press boxes around the nation in the past, and I wish him well in his future endeavors].

* * *

An e-mail from "Docile of Des Moines":

Ron, God, what a time for sports!! Give Pollard credit, the man has balls and is not afraid to move forward. S’pose the NAACP will be on his case because the only guys he canned -— so far -- are black? Any chance Bowlsby will take a clue and can Alford?

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'll tell you this. If I worked at Iowa State -- whether I was a janitor or a decision-maker -- I'd be looking over my shoulder these days. I don't know anything about Pollard's balls, and really don't want to know anything about them, but don't look for me to be predicting that the firings at Ames are over].

* * *

From "Eric of Eastern Iowa:"

"Cneck out the photo of Jim Zalesky at the top of Page One in Thursday's Iowa City Press-Citizen. The caption says, "UI fired Bowlsby on Wednesday."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Oh, well, give 'em a little credit at that paper. At least they had half of the story right. Zalesky, the wrestling coach, was the guy fired by Bowlsby, the athletic director].

* * *

Anna Benson [pictured in her baseball outfit, complete with her bat], the outgoing wife of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, is filing for divorce.

She probably figures her husband, who was traded in January from the New York Mets to the Orioles, is holding back her modeling career.

Benson had a 10-8 record and a 4.31 earned-run average last season.

Despite those numbers, the righthander was dumped by the Mets. There has been speculation that the deal was perpetuated by the behavior of Anna, who has posed topless, has her own website and publicly discussed intimate details of their sex life.