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Your honorary captain this week is... AJ Blazek!

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You remember AJ Blazek, don't you? The transfer from Butler County (KS) CC was the, uh, "anchor" of Iowa's offensive line during the two lean years at the start of Kirk Ferentz's career at Iowa. Though he was woefully undersized, Blazek was one hell of a leader, and was named a permanent captain of the team after his senior season. He has since spent three years as an assistant at Iowa, and is now the offensive coordinator at Fort Hays State.

Anyway, the decision is a stroke of genius. AJ Blazek was the starting center in 2000, when Iowa lost their home opener to Western Michigan 27-21. As legend has it, then-AD Bob Bowlsby stormed into the WMU athletic director's luxury box and cancelled the second game of the series. Is there any truth to this unsubstantiated rumor? Beats me!

Also of note: I once played ball against AJ Blazek and some of the football players at the Fieldhouse back in the spring of '01*. Blazek was an absolute riot. His running commentary was as relentless as it was funny; he was clamoring for an (imaginary) oxygen tank about a third of the way into the game, and his greatest weapon on offense that day was his ability to sweat prodigiously. He was right; it is hard to guard a giant slippery man. Regardless, it was plain to see he's a very charismatic man, and no doubt a great teammate and leader. Good to see him back in the locker room this weekend.

*They slaughtered us, if you were curious.