Last year, Iowa didn't get enough snaps. This year, if offensive coordinator Greg Davis has his way, they will get more than they could have ever hoped for. "I was at home, watching some of my old VHS tapes of Def Comedy Jam when it hit me: the best way to get more snaps was to give more snaps," said Davis. "That's when I started working seriously on my best disses and burns."
Davis says he then commenced on a months-long process of taking his notebook of insults to comedy clubs around the country. "I was doing a lot of recruiting trips out in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, so it was convenient to take a few minutes every night and really hone my craft. I worked at Hilarities in Cleveland, the Laff House in Philadelphia, the Improv in Pittsburgh, and of course Banana's and Caroline's in the New York area."
The coach's goal, he says, was to come up with a solid half hour of high-quality insults. And he wanted them to all be specific to Iowa's offensive unit. "This was always meant as a practice tool, so I needed very specific rank-outs to lay down on my players. It was tough coming up with enough really solid zingers, but the hard work was worth it. You should see how much faster these guys move when I pick up the mic and start busting on them."
"Coach Davis is ... man, he's vicious," said junior running back Mark Weisman. "You definitely want to pick up the pace and make sure he doesn't focus his laser-sharp wit on you." Junior wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley agreed, saying "when they catch us moving slow, the coaches give us a choice: run a complete circuit of stairs in Kinnick, or endure five minutes of Coach Davis's comedy. Almost everyone chooses the stairs."
"I guess I can be a little rough on the guys, but I always make sure to remind them it's all out of love. And our pace has been much improved this year, so how can you argue with results?"
The Iowa Hawkeyes start their season August 31st against Northern Illinois. Coach Davis will be appearing at the Riverside Casino May 16th-19th, with shows at 7 pm, 9 pm and 11 pm.
ADDENDUM: Coach Davis was kind enough to share some of his "clean" material, which we transcribed from an old spiral-bound notebook he gave us:
- Your offense is so slow, you ranked 104th in the country in plays per game.
- Your name is Blythe, but you are hardly "joyous, merry, or gay in disposition", which is the dictionary definition of that word.
- Your last name is apt, Bullock, because you look to be as nimble as an enormous bovid.
- Jordan Cotton, I do not "cotton" to your lolly-gagging on the field.
- Jake Rudock? More like Jake Dud-ock!
- Cody Sokol, your last name means "falconer" in Polish, but it should be "Niedokladny", which means "inaccurate".
- Mark Wesiman, you are far from a wise man.
- Conor Boffeli? More like Conor So-Smelly!
- Brandon Scherff, you're destined to play in the NFL and make millions of dollars, but if you keep blocking like that, you'll go in the second round of the draft!
- Hey, Donnal, I "Donnal" if you're going to play this year. And by that I mean I don't know if you're going to play this year.
- Ray Hamilton, you have the name of a cop in an '80s action movie. Not the main character, but one of the supporting characters who gets a little back story at the beginning and then gets killed in the second act.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz, I'm pretty sure somebody wrote a series of novels about a tough-talking female private investigator with your name.
- Mike Meyer, your kicking is as weak as the comedy in the Love Guru, a movie made by someone with nearly the same name as you.
- Canzeri, you suffered a terrible knee injury last year. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
- Haluska, I don't know how you still have eligibility, but you should go back to basketball.
- Kevonte Martin-Manley? More like Kevonte Martin-UN-Manly!
- Don Shumpert? More like Don Chump-ert!
- Tevaun Smith, you are from Canada and I find your accent humorous.
- C.J. Beathard, you're so far down the depth chart, you're even second-string at C.J.
- Connor Kornbrath, normally I wouldn't call you an offensive player, but since you were a part of a quarter of our plays last year, I felt I had to. Um… Corn-breath.
- Hey offense, you ranked 118th in the country in yards per play last year!
- Hey offense, you ranked 119th in the country in touchdowns per game last year!
- Hey offense, you ranked 99th in yards per rushing attempt last year!
- Hey offense, you ranked 120th in yards per passing attempt last year!
- Hey offense, do you know there are only 124 teams in FBS? That means you were almost literally the worst passing team in the country last year!
- Hey offense, you ranked 113th in punts per offensive score! That means you punted more often than almost everybody else in the country. Which is bad.
- Van Sloten, you stupid Dutchman.
- But seriously folks, I love this offense! Can we get a hand for the offense?