Too good to not include
Remember that whole debate over whether James Ferentz and his band of vaguely thuggish-looking friends should be excommunicated from the program for being wicked drunk, breaking a parking lot gate, and starting a fight with an off-duty cop? Well, The Decider has weighed in. Per ESPN.com:
The son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and two other Hawkeyes players have been reinstated after being suspended in April.
Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday that center James Ferentz, tight end Zach Derby and fullback Tyler Christensen are all back on the team. The three players were cited by campus police for public intoxication April 6 and indefinitely suspended from the team.
After sitting out all of spring practice, the three players are back for summer workouts.
"I'm just hoping we can all move on here," Kirk Ferentz told reporters Wednesday in Iowa City. "This has hardly been the crime of the century. For that to make front-page news in a major publication, it's a great state we live in."
I agreed with Captain Kirk that James had been cited for two generally bullshit offenses; possession under the legal age and public intox tickets are handed out in Iowa City like Viagra prescriptions in Boca Raton. While I think creating a de facto "3 strikes" rule for minor offenses is a little dangerous, I can't disagree with KF's decision. I don't have a problem with him blowing off the charges as "hardly the crime of the century," either. He's right, after all.
No, where I take umbrage with The Captain is where he takes a sarcastic swipe at media coverage of the arrest in the state of Iowa: "For that to make front-page news in a major publication, it's a great state we live in." Look, there's no doubt that, were Ferentz coaching in the NFL or a major city, his son's arrest for two relatively minor alcohol-related offenses would make the papers (maybe not the front page of the DMR, but certainly SportsCenter). Just ask Andy Reid how that works. Kirk turned down such offers to stay and coach at Iowa, where he's the head coach of the only game in town. It's not as if he doesn't know this, either; he acknowledged as much on ESPN's College Gameday last week:
It’s just a great place to be. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. I first came out here in 1981. I think what I first learned, I think everyone knows in Pittsburgh, it’s a Steelers’ town. What I learned in ‘81 — and it’s clearly the truth since that time — is the Hawkeyes are the Steelers of this state. We have great fan interest from border to border. We don’t have any professional teams here at all. That gives us a nice market. I don’t think anybody’s got better fans, more loyal fans, than the University of Iowa.
If you are going to accept the positives of coaching at Iowa - financial incentives that guarantee you more money than God; almost-certain job security at even the slightest hint of continued success (which he has far surpassed); fawning reverence from those loyal fans; low national media attention; regional/local media that kowtows to your mere presence - you have to accept the negatives. You are, in essence, the head coach of the only professional franchise in the state (especially true now that men's basketball is toast and Iowa State is still Iowa State), and you subject yourself and your family to that microscope. It's only amplified by the fact that your team has a recent history of legal trouble, your son is playing for the team, and your other son got into his own set of shenanigans while playing for you. To crack wise about the local media for covering the story as national papers cover similar stories involving NFL coaches is asking to have the cake and eat it too.