Break Out the White Slacks. It's Not Labor Day Yet. Lost in the discussion of actual honest-to-God football is this week's big event: FryFest, a celebration of all things Hayden-related set for Friday in Coralville. Full details here (WARNING: There's sound, and you're going to want to stand up and clap, so wait until you get home or turn off the speakers), but the most publicized event will be the unveiling of the newly-named Hayden Fry Way -- also known as First Avenue in Coralville -- at 10:00 Friday morning. Hayden will be in attendance for this part of the ceremonies.
The subsequent party and trade show is where the real action is, however. In particular, a Hayden Fry lookalike contest at 3:30 could break the comedy meter. Also, guest appearances by Tim Dwight, Rob Thein, Mike Dolezal, and a number of other former Hawkeyes (they even found Randy Reiners!) provide ample opportunity for pictures, appropriate and otherwise. Go, minions, and bring back FanShots!
There haven't been too many stories on Fry yet this week, but Don Doxsie gets into the act early with a fantastic slideshow contrasted with a confusing article on the local business owners who helped organize this event, who are treating Hayden like he's the retired president of the Coralville Chamber of Commerce. It is bafflingly narcissistic and cynical; essentially, by the end of the column, the businessmen interviewed (and Rick Klatt, who might actually be a malfunctioning cyborg) are taking credit for their coordinated ability to get people to spend an extra day in Iowa City before the game.
Fun With Depth Charts, Part II: THE REDEPTHENING. A couple of points as follow-up on yesterday's discussion of the UNI two-deep:
- Bama Hawkeye (who has been churning out wicked amounts of content at The Rivalry, Esq.) makes a good point: No true freshmen are listed on the UNI depth chart. No true freshmen made it that far last season, either, which makes me think they're being kep off the chart for redshirt purposes until the last possible moment. In other words, expect Hyde, Wegher, and Davis. Ferentz has said as much in private interviews.
- Rittenberg made a post on the Iowa depth chart and injury situation on Friday that is now absent from his site. In it, he noted that Colin Sandeman has missed a significant amount of camp with an injury, and DJK has suffered a number of minor injuries "but has done well when given the chance."
- You can pay attention to this stuff and slowly go insane like me, or you can throw up your hands and say "fuck it" like the Daily Iowan. Honestly, given the staff's Politburo-like control of information, you'll be equally informed.
Let's Talk Panthers. News from this week's opponent, the Former Iowa State Teachers' College. Earlier this week, we footnoted the indefinite suspension of three Panther backups. Yesterday, they added two more:
At his weekly press luncheon Tuesday, the Panthers’ head football coach announced suspensions of veteran backs Derrick Law and Taylor Brookins. Law, Farley said, is out for UNI’s Sept. 5 debut, and Brookins has been suspended indefinitely.
"As much as we want to win this game and as much as I want to win this game … we will not compromise our university and our football program to do that," Farley said. "We just feel that it’s even more magnified in a type of game like this against the University of Iowa."
Brookins is a junior and a Cedar Falls High graduate. He was arrested Saturday for possession of marijuana in Bremer County. Law, a senior from Kansas City who finished high school at Newton, was arrested Saturday. Authorities charged Law with two simple misdemeanors for public intoxication and criminal trespass after he walked into a house about two blocks from his home on North College Street in Cedar Falls.
I'm not going to pretend to know enough about UNI's current squad to anticipate what this might mean for their season, but losing your starting halfback 5 days before the season opener at Kinnick obviously doesn't improve the odds of the Panthers beating Iowa for the first time since 1898.
One player who will be available is Elijah Hodge, the brother of former Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge, who transferred to Northern Iowa from Wisconsin following last season. Hodge brought pain against Iowa in 2007, but was brought low by a string of injuries and couldn't move back up the depth chart. Faced with the choice of moving to fullback or losing his fifth year, Hodge chose to transfer and play linebacker in I-AA. If he's healthy, he's dangerous.
- Keenan Davis is the only true freshman named to the Leadership Group for 2009, which bodes well for his chances to play: Of the 13 other members of that group, 11 are currently listed as starters, and the other 2 (Tyler Nielsen and James Vandenberg) are backing up other members of the group.
- Either Kirk Herbstreit hasn't been paying attention or doesn't believe the APAKILYPSE is nigh: He lists Jewel Hampton among "Household Names by the End of September" in the Ninth Annual Herbie Awards. If wishing made it so, Kirk.
- Doc Saturday is right: This year's Heisman race is going to totally suck, mostly because all three top vote-getters from last season are back and will probably suck the air out of the room, leaving shockingly little space for anyone else in the conversation.