Breaking news out of Iowa City today: Following his team's second consecutive defeat to Iowa State Saturday, Kirk Ferentz admitted he is using the team's long-vacant traveling trophy case to display his collection of model cars. "My wife told me she was tired of them taking up so much space in the living room, and we have a perfectly good display case with nothing in it here at the office, so why not?" the longtime Iowa head coach explained.
The trophy case was specially built during Iowa's recent football office renovations, perfectly sized to hold the Cy-Hawk Trophy, Floyd of Rosedale, the Heroes Trophy, and the Heartland Trophy. Iowa has not won a single trophy game since September 2010, with a string of six defeats culminating in Saturday's 9-6 loss to Iowa State. "Fortunately, it's also the perfect size for a collection of 47 model Oldsmobiles," Ferentz said.
When asked why he only built model Oldsmobiles, Ferentz explained, "The Oldsmobile is a perfect car. It's heavy, it's slow, it takes an eternity to get warmed up, and nobody's bought one since 2004."
Ferentz then brought up new offensive coordinator Greg Davis to discuss his thoughts on the model cars. Davis spent the entire interview looking to the side of the room, perpendicular to reporters, apparently expecting his words would turn 90 degrees and head toward the assembled press. Unfortunately, his responses could not be heard, and athletics director Gary Barta immediately sent an email to alumni soliciting $2 million in donations to improve the acoustics in the football offices.
Not everyone has been enamored with Ferentz keeping his model cars in the football offices. On a recent episode of Hard Knocks, Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach and former Iowa walking pinata Ken O'Keefe said the cars created a distraction: "He would make us diagram plays with them. We had to position them on a little field, and then if one of them got tackled by another car, Kirk would make a crash sound."
O'Keefe also criticized Ferentz for using the car collection to woo recruits. "He'd rush guys through Kinnick Stadium and the training facilities, all so he could spend two hours describing each model car in intricate detail. The recruits hated it. They'd tell us it was like visiting their grandparents' house. Players would always be telling us, 'I'd consider Iowa, but I don't want to play geezerball.'"
O'Keefe later admitted, "They might have been talking about our offense."
"Even got this old timey gas station model in there, too," Ferentz told reporters. "Just in case I've gotta muster one up, ya know?" He then snorted, indicating this statement was some sort of joke, even though only one reporter laughed. That reporter, the Iowa City Press-Citizen's Pat Harty, later chastised the media for their response:
Iowa next plays for a traveling trophy on September 30, when Minnesota comes to Iowa City and Floyd of Rosedale is on the line. Ferentz was asked if he would clear out the case in anticipation of the game.
"Let's just say I've got a booth at a big trade show during the bye week," Ferentz retorted. "And I'm not canceling."