IOWA CITY - The season is still a month away, but Kirk Ferentz has already claimed one victory in 2016.
"Today, the war is over. Peace has arrived - I have defeated Black Heart Gold Pants," the typically restrained Iowa head coach said with glee in a press conference Friday morning. "Our long national nightmare is over."
The assembled media was confused by Ferentz' apparent statement of victory, though one Gazette reporter did excuse himself sobbing.
Perhaps sensing that confusion, the longtime Hawkeye head coach reached behind his podium and pulled out a large stack of paper.
"For nine years, these Internet men with names like JebusHChrist - sacrilegious by the way - and OopsPowSurprise have been spouting lies, fabrications and inane ramblings," Ferentz said. "I can't find their site on the computer, but I've had my secretary print out every story and boy there are some doozies."
"I have a message for all of these quote, unquote writers - you were never going to win. Lying does not win. Zaniness does not win. You know what wins? Four-yard carries. You know what wins? Punting. You know what wins? Ask the 1978 Pitt Panthers.
Ferentz then spent the next two hours rifling through his stack of papers and refuting some of these purported untruths.
"RossWB, I never break the speed limit. I'm more of a Seals and Croft man. Me and Ned Yost talked about how nice the new Cadillacs have been. Bob Bowlsby is a good friend, maybe a little shy. I was only in Canada to visit Tevaun Smith and to just try Poutine, just try it. Bears are soulless killing machines. I haven't wanted to be on the Family Feud since Richard Dawson left. And most importantly, I love all running backs.
"Fight for Iowa, I wish you'd live up to your name instead of making up some kind of fine system that I had already disbanded by 2007."
"Planned Sick Days, my coaches could do whatever they wanted on that cruise ship. My only rule was an 11 p.m. curfew."
"HaydenFryMustacheRide - I don't know what your name means, but I assume its gross - I wore a black shirt to media day. Everything else checks out."
"Adam Jacobi, word around the Iowa football office is that you love puns, I've got one for you: how is Adam Jacobi like his favorite musical instrument? They're both lyres.
"Jacobi, I don't rap, I don't tweet and there's only one cat that deserves a recruiting letter and his name is Garfield. Yes, I've suffered indigestion like any other human, but that's it. Also, I'm absolutely sure mankind was not extinguished, at least not on my watch."
"Patrick Vint, I don't know what you think happens in these job interviews, but you're way off. I'm a big Buddy Holly fan, but I don't really stray west of I-35 and have never been to Clear Lake. I don't know what this Tebowing is, but if its anything like dabbing, I know I don't like it. There has never been a Señor Day and on that same note, I eat grilled chicken before games, not burritos. Mary makes me put my model cars in the basement and nobody - I repeat nobody - has ever gotten Rhabdo at the Iowa Ladies Football Academy."
"Hawk6894, you're the one good banana in the bunch. Keep up the good work."
"Horace E. Cow, you can somehow see the future? I doubt that. Also, look at these arms. Do you see tattoos? I can't sing a lick, but I sure dang know what a football is. And a vending machine for coach? That... that... never happened."
Ferentz continued his diatribe until his son and offensive line coach Brian Ferentz pulled him aside. The microphone, however, picked up pieces of the conversation.
"Moving?... Just moving?... What about the actual site?... New staff?... Are you kidding me? Look at all of these lies. This... this... I need to find Gary and make a phone call, please excuse me."