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#HelloJerry Mailbag: Thanksgiving Traditions, Hoops High Scorer and Gypsies!

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Do you have questions? Comments? Concerns? Theories? General stories of debauchery? Send them to me! I will feature as many as my editors will allow every single Thursday until the end of time. You can send them via Twitter (@JerryScherwin) using the hashtag #HelloJerry (Eat It Blevins), add them in the comments of this column, shoot them over via email (, or on Facebook.

Q: I was high as a kite after OSU and wanted to jump off a bridge after Wisconsin. Is this what withdrawal feels like? Because I must have taken some damn good drugs on Nov. 4. Yikes. Anyway, on to hoops: Who ya got as Iowa’s leading scorer this season?


In honor of our game against the Boilermakers, what’s your favorite boilermaker?

— Close Shave America

Hello Jerry: It looks like I have my first member of the “Finding Balance: We are NOT Fence Riding Coyotes” 27-step program (all 27-steps are just trust falls while wearing Kirk Ferentz masks).

Don’t worry, Close Shave, we will get through this together buddy.

Anyways, in terms of the Iowa hoops team (of which I have watched nothing but Twitter highlight videos because I am boycotting BTN Plus), I’m going to take my boy, Isaiah Moss. I spoke with a former player a little bit ago that may or may not have been a senior during Moss’ redshirt season and he told me that Moss was an animal then. The moves and scoring escapades he put on during practice was nothing short of remarkable for a dude that wouldn’t see a single minute on the floor until his sophomore year of school.

From everything that I’ve gathered since then (on top of his 13-point average in 15-minutes of play to start the season — which is second on the team only behind Luka Garza’s 13.5) it seems that this remains true. Moss has the body type, the athleticism and the ceiling to completely take over the minutes/possessions left behind from Peter Jok’s graduation (especially if BoilerHawk’s Ewing Theory remains true).

To me, Moss is going to be (and may already be) the X-Factor during the Big Ten slate. If Iowa hopes to solidify themselves as a Top-4 conference team a season early, he’s going to have to be the Hawkeyes most creative and efficient scorer. If (I know, if’s and but’s) he can get to the line around six times per game as his minutes/role expands with the better competition, I truly believe that he can easily get into the 18-point Uthoff/Jok range.

I’m a little worried that he is going to have to play a big role in the defense, which could alter all of this, but I think Moss is too gifted of a scorer and all around basketball player not to consider him.

Now, to the real question everyone wants answered:

My favorite boilermaker would be the Kyle Orton (you can order these at Where Else Bar): It’s the delectable combination of the cheapest whiskey in the well mixed with a Old Style beer and a splash of Mellow Yellow in a dirty glass, garnished with a strand of the bartenders beard hair and a warm maraschino cherry.

Q: Is there any way this football season ends which doesn't leave you feeling some combination of frustrated and disappointed?

— JPinIC

Hello Jerry: NOPE!

Warning: This is going to be the IndyHawk Rapid Question and Answer section, who I take very seriously and appreciate very much despite him thinking otherwise.

Q: If you could ask KF one question in private, where the Old Gypsy Lady forces him to answer truthfully, what would you ask?

Hello Jerry: Who is this Old Gypsy lady? Why aren’t we just using Truth Serum? Wouldn’t that be easier than using a Gypsy dressed in this:

Actually, scratch the truth serum. Kirk would be so uncomfortable with a gypsy dressed like like that sitting in his office and I would love every single minute of it.

Anyways, when said Gypsy granted me my one wish/question, I would want to ask Kirk what he and his staff did when he heard that DJK was writing a book about his “experiences”.

I realize that this could be a waste of a question (KF could easily brush all of it off), but I REALLY want to know more and more and more about the inner workings of the KF vs. DJK beef. What was the True Hollywood Story on the dismissal? What types of shenanigans did he pull in the weight room? How many times total was he in the dog house? For what reasons?

And then I would go directly to DJK with his answers and get his side of the story and FINALLY FINISH THE BOOK!

You’re welcome.

Q: tOSU beat down was cathartic. Which basketball team would bring similar joy to beat in order to get into the Final Four?

Hello Jerry: Right this very moment? It HAS to be UCLA. Not only would it be sweet, sweet justice beating Steve Alford and his scummy program (IMO), but throw in the LaVar Ball factor (my son ain’t losing to no Chinese government or no Corn eaters) and the potential — how do I say this — political factors that we would never discuss as a blog but I’d Tweet up a storm about, and that’s the perfect recipe to me.

Q: You can substitute one of this year's special team players for any former Iowa player. Who, why, and what difference would it make in the record?

Hello Jerry: Desmond King and his cowboy hat if only because I really like him as a player and a person. Honestly, you could probably pick any former punt returner that was at adequate enough to just fair catch everything. Give me Andy Brodell at this point. There is no doubt in my mind that we beat Northwestern with ANYONE else back there.

Q: Who is your favorite obscure Iowa basketball player?

— Jordan Hansen

Hello Jerry: AHHH! I love this question. For me, it’s either J.R. Angle (the sleeves!) or Devan Bawinkel (the goofiest three-point specialist you’ll ever see) and it’s not even close. A couple of years ago, I was on the Iowa Athletic Department’s Ebay page and they had a game worn Angle jersey and I was SO close to buying it but ultimately I didn’t because I had entry-level-while-also-paying-college-loan-bills money and couldn’t talk myself into spending $50 on it. Now that I’m nearly 30-years old, not buying it is still one of my biggest regrets.

Do you know how much cooler I would feel wearing a JR Angle jersey to Daytona Beach instead of my Matt Gatens jersey?

Q: If Iowa could get any coach after Kirk retires who would be the best to get?

— frontinhawkeyes

Hello Jerry: I think BlackHawkCountyChazz nailed this:

Q: What is the most interesting thing in Iowa?

— alltheiowanamesaretaken

HelloJerry: I can already hear the blow back on this answer, but as a suburban Chicago kid, I’m not IN Iowa until I pull into the World’s Largest Truck Stop for a bathroom break and a quick stretch of the legs!

Where else in the planet can you get gas, buy a katana/glassdragon/Precious Moment figurine, eat Dairy Queen/Wendy’s/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut or a buffet AND go to the Truckers Jamboree (in July of course)? Where else can you see people of every walk of life(truck drivers/people down on their luck and on the road/college students and their parents/farmers/businessmen) and watch them gaze at the assortment of goodies available at their disposal?

No where baby. No where.

Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

— Kris Matsoukas

Q: Thanksgiving is coming up. Most people will have Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing/dressing. What are other must-haves at your Thanksgiving meal? (feel free to share the more unique items, too!)


Hello Jerry: Since we’ll probably be taking next week off because of the holiday I thought it would be the perfect time to answer these now. I’d love to hear your answers to these in the comments or on Twitter.

First things first, my last six Thanksgivings have been very different from the “Midwestern Thanksgiving” I’m sure a lot of us have shared. Rather than driving over to my aunt’s house and hanging with my cousins as the mom’s and grandmothers whip up dinner and the dads drink beer in the garage as one of the turkeys deep fry (something I’m sure most of us have transitioned into doing ourselves), my wife’s family does something a little different. For the past 50-or so odd years, the Whalen family has been going down to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Downtown Philadelphia. Now, when I say that they have been “going down” to the parade, I don’t mean that in the stereotypical “grab a couple of lawn chairs and a Red Rider wagon and pack it in the family Tahoe” kind of way. No sir. Rather, the “set up crew” (aka my father-in-law and his sisters family’s) all get into the city the night before so the dad’s, cousins and me can get up around 4:30 in the morning to claim “the spot” and set up 20 feet worth of scaffolding (for the little guys to sit on to watch the floats roll by), three banquet style tents, flags of all kinds (Villanova, Eagles, Phillies, Temple... still working on an Iowa one), banners, tables, chairs and one Port-O-John.

It’s a spectacle and one of the easiest hit pieces of the year for the local news:

The Whalen family - with 200 guests - had one of the most elaborate party setups on the Parkway. John Whalen of Phoenixville was in charge of organizing the 50th anniversary party.

"It started with one ladder 50 years ago [to get a better view] and it's grown to this," said Whalen, who arrived on the Parkway at 5 a.m. to set up the scaffolding, heater, tents, and tables. He also set up a video slide show of photos from the family's previous parade-viewing parties.

After the parade, 55 Whalen relatives parted ways with their guests and planned to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Overbrook Golf Club, said Bob Whalen of Bryn Mawr, patriarch of the party.


The Whalen family has been coming for more than 50 years. It started with the four brothers, and this is the first year one of them wasn't able to attend.

For decades the gathering has grown. Now more than 60 friends and family come to celebrate.

Bob Whalen, longtime parade goer said, "We started off with my niece, Stacy, when she was 2-years-old. We were holding her on our shoulders, then as kids started to grow, scaffolding just progressed."

Throw in some booze, pork roll, egg and cheese sandwiches (if you’re lucky enough to get one), Philly Soft Pretzels, desserts, coffee, family and friends and it’s no wonder why this thing keeps getting bigger and bigger.

As far as my “must-have’s” on Thanksgiving Day, I NEED to have warm, homemade apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I don’t mind substituting Pumpkin Pie in, but I’d prefer Apple.

I love any cheesey casserole dish (broccoli, party potatoes, green beans, Mac and cheese). I will demolish a solid appetizer charcuterie tray. Also, in the past few years I was treated to a Thanksgiving Gnocchi dish that was so FIRE that I sometimes day dream about it.

One last thing before I go. Each Thanksgiving, we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. I want to keep that tradition going with you all. Here goes...

I hope all of you have a great victory weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Each and every week, I become more thankful for your constant participation in the comments, on Twitter and via email. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you all through this weekly post and I hope we can continue that trend for a very long time. I know it might not seem like much, but reading the serious, funny and outlandish questions you all come up with and answering them is one of my favorite parts of the week (desk jobs, am I right?). I think I speak for everyone at The Pants when I say that we’re are more appreciative of the interactions we have with you all than you will even know (I have the Slack messages to prove it).

Now go get fatter.

Love you all,

Hello Jerry