Kirk Ferentz sees what you write, foolish journalists, and he does not appreciate your harsh words for his young charges. Yes, the head coach made a rather grievous error in judgment at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. He didn't divulge sensitive information, name a high school recruit by name, or show up in assless chaps (fortunately).
No, he has made the mistake of engaging the reporters of two hatchet jobs, men who are so inflammatory and irrationally critical, one could reasonably ascertain that they're obliquely auditioning for spots at the New York Post.
Rhyming = Journalistic Gold
While he did not address the writers by name, the content and hackery were so specific that HawkCentral immediately posted a blurb naming the writers and the articles in question. The first was a hit piece by our old friend the Harty Party, which was 1/3 fact and 2/3 idle grousing and call-outs. Worst of note was this following passage:
Sophomore guard Dan Doering also is approaching the midway point of his career, and he barely has played for a porous offensive line. You hate to single out a specific player, but countless recruiting services ranked Doering among the top two or three high school offensive linemen in the country in 2004.
But the fact that he can't find playing time for this offensive line is a mystery. It makes you wonder how so many self-proclaimed recruiting experts could be so wrong about Doering.
Interesting choice of words there. YOU, dear reader, hate to call out a player. That's because it's vindictive and short-sighted, especially when said player has rarely even seen the field. It's one thing if he'd gone Morelli on us and spent three years in constant on-field sub-mediocrity. It'd be warranted to call him out if he was telling reporters what part of his anatomy they should orally massage. Heck, even if he was out getting arrested, light him up. But that's not the case. No, Doering made the mistake of having 4 or 5 stars attached to his name by recruiting hacks like Tom Lemming when he was 17 years old. That's all the excuse the Harty Party needs to start heaping demonstrably unreasonable expectations on Doering, then start floating ideas that Iowa's staff may intentionally be leaving superior players on the bench. It's typically ass-faced Harty, who has an ass for a face.
The other piece was one of three interviews granted by Drew Tate; one was to Eric Page at HawkMania.com, one was to Sean Keeler at the Register, and the last was to Jon Miller and HawkeyeReport.com. If you're not familiar with which one of those columnists is notorious for deliberately misleading the reader and taking quotes out of context, you are no doubt blissful in your ignorance of the smirking bastard Sean Keeler, a columnist so disingenuous that he makes the Harty Party look like David Halbersta
Here's what Drew had to say to Miller about Keeler's article:
Drew Tate: I would say that it was unfortunate on how it was put out there. My intent going in was not what was delivered publicly. If you remember before the Alamo Bowl, these guys interviewed me after practice, and I guess there was some controversy from what I said about Iowa (the ‘Corn Stocks’ comment). But they didn’t put out everything I said. It would have been better understood and taken differently than it was.
Q: I know this is a sports cliché, but being in the business of giving opinions and quotes on occasion, I know that it can happen; Do you feel like you were taken out of context?
Tate: Definitely. These were two similar instances, this recent article and the one last year. It’s unfortunate. Maybe I should have been smarter and just not put myself in that situation.
Q: Do you feel that those quotes, as they were printed, were a complete and accurate portrayal of the discussion and everything you talked about?
Tate: It was selective. Just like before the Alamo Bowl. On some of the quotes, they didn’t put all of my answer to their questions. It was unfortunate. The Quad City writer and I were on the same page, we knew what we talked about and that was a good article.
And here's what Ferentz had to say about the situation:
"It seemed like (Keeler) focused in on one individual. So, my next thing is, boy, maybe he was fishing for something, a little fishing expedition, and I think the author landed what he wanted.
Predictably, this backlash from Ferentz has resulted in numerous articles from all parties involved; Ferentz essentially gave them free license to rehash their shoddy articles and fall back on the original points, which were never good in the first place. None of them are particularly worth reading, save (of course) Eric Page's blog, appropriately titled This all seems a bit pointless.
Trust me on this: None of the others are worth linking to.