Sorry we haven't had one of these since Tuesday, folks. Real world interference. As always, send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bears Playing Hockey. Because why the fuck not? (T/F/J to Buddy Light)
Inconsolable and Uncontrollable. From Miller and Deace (whose website photo is WAY Beyond Photoshop), Jamie Pollard clearly knew his Marchifornication contest was coming up. A disappointed ISU basketball fan, upon hearing the news that Greg McDermott would be returning for another season, sent an email to his school's athletic director:
Dear Mr. Pollard,
I am writing you today in regards to the state of the basketball program. I find it troubling that you continue to allow the program that I have watched for as long as I can remember fall into the shambles that it has. I remember watching players like Fred Hoiberg, Marcus Fizer, Jamal Tinsley, and so many more work Hilton Magic. I have watched almost all the games this year, and other then parts of the Texas game, I have not felt that "Magic" since you hired Greg McDermott....The only success that Coach McDermott has had is to run off his best players. It sure seems like Mike Taylor and Wesley Johnson seem to be doing fine with their new coaches.
It makes me sick that you are allowing this joke to continue. You are poking the eye of the greats that built this program into the dynasty it was. I feel bad for the likes of Johnny Orr, Jeff Grayer, Barry Stevens, Jeff Hornacek and every other person who poured their heart and soul into this program only to watch you allow it be driven back into the ground. I feel bad for them, and for all the rest of the fans of this program who are forced to put up with this sick joke. I see no improvement and until I do I will not be putting any of my money into your program. In fact, allowing for this hideous nightmare to continue not only should Greg McDermott be worried about his job, but you too, Mr. Pollard.
The Inconsolable One did what you would expect the athletic director of a small school with a meagar fan base and funding issues would do when his decision was questioned by a valued supporter: He opened his hand, wound up, and delivered a bitch slap.
Thank you for your email. Several thoughts for your to ponder.
1. Yesterday I received over a hundred emails following our letter to ticket holders and donors. Interesting enough, of all the emails I received, the only negative one was from you. Glad to know that your feelings are not shared by the majority of other Cyclone fans.
2. Although I appreciate your passion and desire to write me, I only wish you had the same passion in helping be part of the solution by joining the Cyclone Club or being a season ticket holder. Our records indicate you have never made a donation, purchased season tickets or even purchased a single game ticket from our department. Unfortunately, athletics is like politics - people have a lot of answers but never many solutions.
3. For someone who claims to be a Cyclone fan for as long as you can remember, it it amusing to me that you never have supported the program that you so claim to love. Rather than spending time worrying about what Orr, Grayer, Hornacek, and others would think - I think you should be more worried about yourself. Your email is actually rather embarrassing given your lack of action.
Thanks again for your email. I do appreciate it. I also hope you give some thought to my question about joining the Cyclone Club or purchasing season tickets. You can't expect better results if all you are willing to do is sit on the sidelines and write an email to the Athletics Director.
A couple of things: First, there is absolutely no way over 100 Iowa State fans have internet access to send the athletics director an email, so Pollard is counting spam from Nigerian Princes as "email from ticket holders and supporters." Second, the letter in question has not exactly endeared Jamie Pollard to the fanbase; the frustration is palpable. After the Gene Chizik debacle (which, to be fair, was lessened by Paul Rhoads' first season), Pollard is very much on the hot seat. His stubbornness in retaining McDermott may well cost both of them their jobs.
Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Keep Reaching for the Stars. Rittenberg's Big Ten top 30 player rankings had been oddly lacking in Hawkeyes, what with the fact that the team finished second in the conference and won a BCS game; to date, only Tyler Sash (#26) and Amari Spievey (#14) had made an appearance. But now that Rittenberg has entered the final stretch, it's Hawkeyes Hawkeyes everywhere and not a drop to drink. Bryan Bulaga checks in at #4, which is a little specious given the fact that he wasn't the best lineman on the team last year. Coming in one slot ahead of the White Whale is Adrian Clayborn, who was unranked by Rittenberg entering the season and deserves every accolade thrown his way.
The comment thread for Bulaga is entertaining (someone suggests Iowa will score 3 of the top 4 because Clayborn and Ricky Stanzi had not yet been named to the list), but the real news is this snippet from the Clayborn write-up:
He'll enter the fall as an All-America candidate and anchor one of the nation's top defensive lines. The first-team All-Big Ten selection certainly can improve his draft stock with another year in Iowa City. Most projected him in the second or third round this year, but teams would have a hard time passing up Clayborn if he puts together another year like 2009.
The fact that Derrick Morgan, who was clearly the third-best defensive end in the Orange Bowl, will go in the top 15-20 but Adrian Clayborn would wait until the second or third round, is just another example of how off-base NFL talent scouting can be.
- Friend of the Pants Scott Dochterman has been on a roll lately. First, he writes a five-part series on the decline of Iowa basketball that effectively explained the issues hurting the hoops program since the days of Dr. Tom, and looking forward for any signs of life. He followed that up by correctly pointing out that the short-term dip in Iowa basketball coincided with Cyrus Tate's injury last year.
- In that tournament that everyone gets to play, Basketball Prospectus previews the Big Ten tournament and, in the process, provides the most honest assessment of Iowa basketball we've read this year: "Iowa isn't really good at anything, but it does take a ton of three-point shots."
- On the other side of the postseason, ESPN projects Iowa's women's team as an 11 seed in the NCAA's, which is a surprising dip from its position before the Hawks' runner-up performance in the Big Ten tournament.
- Our friend and his favorite Mark Titus, The Trillionaire himself, writes his goodbye to college basketball and starts the clock on his first-ballot induction to the college blogger hall of fame. No shame in those tears, Tril. No shame at all.