It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. PROTIP: Kick-ass barbecue recipes are a good way to earn our favor.
'90s alt-worlds collide!
Also, Pitchfork may have been joking, but I would kill for a Radiohead cover of "My Name Is Jonas" (or "The Sweater Song").
Winning time. The NCAA Golf Championships are this week and while Iowa qualified for the event with their fourth-place finish two weeks ago, it wasn't exactly a banner performance. So what are they doing to get better?
Vince India spent last week getting his golf game in order for the NCAA Championships.
For the Iowa senior, that meant a couple days filled with sleep, video games, hanging out with friends and doing everything possible to keep his mind off golf.
What a coincidence! I also played video games to prep for big assignments in college. Let me tell you, GTA III was great practice for Quest for Human Destiny. Yuks aside, whatever it takes for India to get back to the form that earned him Big Ten Player of the Year and Iowa Male Athlete of the Year honors -- Iowa needs him to be in top-form if they want to have a shot at pulling off a big win this week. Mind you, they're also going to need junior Chris Brant to continue his recent torrid play and for Brad Hopfinger to regain the form that made him a first-team All-Big Ten selection. Just making the NCAA Championships is a solid achievement and for a program with the lousy history that Iowa had to have done that twice in three years is a testament to Hankins' abilities -- but this week they have a genuine chance to achieve something more than a moral victory; let's see what they can do. If you're curious about the format of the tournament, Rick Brown has the details here.
Greatness knows greatness. I have a sneaking suspicion that you can get great copy out of Tom Brands talking about Dan Gable by just turning on a tape recorder and letting him riff for an hour, but Hlas still knocked it out of the park with this piece:
"It’s still an art getting guys to achieve more than they thought they could. In Gable’s wrestling room, after 80, 90, 300 days, holy cow. You were pretty darn tough. You were pretty darn good. And you battled."
But the truth is, there are good athletes, there are very good athletes, and there are the elite. The elite have a mentality the rest can’t fully grasp, and the elite can’t fully grasp why everyone else doesn’t share their focus and passion for winning.
"I used to ride with Gable," Brands said, "and I would ask how a guy can get his priorities skewed. How can they not get it, not just go hard, not win when it’s you against the other guy. He’d be like ‘That’s the battle.’ "
I asked Brands how he would have fared in the sport and beyond had he gone to another school and wrestled for another coach.
"I was raised by a whiskey-drinking streetfighter," he said. "I think I would have been OK. But that’s a big head talking.
There's a lot of good material to digest in that article: great anecdotes, key insights into the coaching philosophies that drive Gable and Brands, and wonderful perspective on the career of one of college's greatest coaches from a man who was right there for a good chunk of it. Read it.
NCAA Championships Qualification Achievement: Unlocked. Fresh off their Big Ten Championship a few weeks ago, the Iowa track and field headed to Eugene, OR for the NCAA West Regional qualifiers -- and their recent trend of success continued, with thirteen competitors qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines. (Yes, that's right, Des Moines. Bring on the home cookin'!) The athlete of the weekend was Ethan Holmes, who qualified in three events (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 1600m relay). Eric Sowinski was narrowly behind Holmes in the individual honors department, qualifying in two events (800m, 1600m relay). Full list of qualifiers:
200m: Justin Austin
800m: Eric Sowinski
110m hurdles: Ethan Holmes
400m hurdles: Ethan Holmes
High Jump: Jeffrey Herron
1600m relay: Ethan Holmes, Eric Sowinski, Patrick Richards, Steven Willey
5000m: Betsy Flood, Brooke Eilers
1600m relay: Nicole Erickson, Ashley Liverpool, Bethany Praska, Tiffany Hendricks
Sadly, BHGP's favorite track-and-fielder, the sublimely-named Majesty Tutson, just missed out on qualifying for Des Moines. Congrats to all of the competitors and best of luck to those competing in Des Moines.
Go balanced, young man. Black and Gold Box Score, the Iowa blog that gave us that interesting comparison of the first twelve years of the Iowa tenures of Fry and Ferentz, is back with a breakdown of Iowa's offensive playcalling tendencies going back to 2004. To the surprise of, oh, no one familiar with Iowa's preferred pro-style attack, the goal most years is balance, although that's flexible in years where there is no ground game (2004, where the offense was, by Iowa standards, heavily oriented toward the passing game) or years where the ground game is dominant (2008, where Ferentz was more than happy to just pound away with Greene). Still, even if the results aren't necessarily surprising, it's still interesting to see them broken out like this.
Frankly, the most interesting takeaway from the article may have been the suggestion that Iowa didn't pass the ball enough in 2010. Given an experienced senior quarterback who had learned to cut down on turnovers and increase his accuracy, two of the best receivers in Iowa history, a pair of pretty good tight ends, a solid pass-catching running back, and a running back who had a yards-per-carry average lower than the Big Ten average (4.3 to 4.6)... well, he might be on to something. That, or Iowa should have just mashed defenses with Coker and his 5.5 ypc average. In any event, the 2010 offense was definitely not greater than the sum of its parts; given the quality of the individual components, it's still surprising that the offense wasn't more dominant.
* Did we already know an Ames High quarterback is walking on at Iowa this fall? Are we sure he isn't a sleeper agent being planted by Comrade Rhoads to undermine our black-and-gold way of life and find out all our secrets? And did Ames High steal a cache of '90s-era Atlanta Falcons uniforms?
* Mas Casa is back from vacation and kicking out regular installments in the (awkwardly-named) On Line series, spotlight redshirt freshmen who might be called on to do something this year, starting with Carl Davis, Mike Hardy, and Andrew Donnal.
* Kachine Alexander was waived by the Minnesota Lynx Friday. And there goes my slim interest in watching the WNBA this summer.
* The burgeoning trend of traveling 7-on-7 prep football teams is primed to become a big story this summer; read this ESPN piece to get a handle on just what the hell it is and why it matters.
* Finally, Eugene Mirman took out a full-page ad in New York newspapers to dis Time Warner Cable, because why the hell not?