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#HelloJerry Mailbag: Josey Jewell and the Butkus Snub, Art vs. Football and non-traditional Christmas movies

You smell that? It’s a full plate of randomness served pipping hot to make your Thursday a little better

NCAA Football: NCAA Football: Purdue at Iowa The Des Moines Register-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.

Welcome back. I sincerely hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving holiday. I for one gained five pounds, watched more college basketball than I’m sure 9 out of 10 doctors would recommend and paid way to much to watch my favorite NFL football team get their teeth kicked in by the Eagles. At least I got to tailgate with this guy:

Notice the Penn State and Eagles flags in the back. I was more alone than I ever have been in my entire life (and I’ve gone to each and every Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis to date).

But enough about me. Let’s get on with it. First things first, a question I missed from a few weeks ago:

Hello Jerry: Poor AngryTrain. I am so sorry that I somehow missed this question. Now, instead of celebrating with your “football informed” art school friends at Deadwood the way all of us did after Iowa opened up an entire can of whoop ass on Nebraska, you were stuck keeping all of your football happiness tucked deep inside while someone ranted about gentrification and post internet art.

I sincerely apologize and hope that I can rectify the situation.

When I was a younger lad — and was threatening to become a Vikings fan because Randy Moss was cooler than Curtis Conway and Bobby Engram — I remember my dad sitting down with me and talking about Sweetness. Now, I don’t remember exactly WHAT he said about Walter Payton, but what I do remember is HOW he said it. He talked about Walter as if he was his brother. An ageless wonder. A super hero.

Dare I say... a piece of art.

He then put on a VHS tape and backed up what he just gushed on and on and on about.

I remember being dumbfounded as I watched this real life ironman impose his will on professional athletes twice his size. Watching Walter Payton run was like (at least what I imagine) watching a virtuous and physical dance would be. He was a master at his craft. He was a tenacious performer. He was a perfectionist. He was an artist.

Just ask Jim Brown:

Tell me that doesn’t get your heart racing (the music and slow-mo helps). There is something more than just one dude running into another.

I think you need to get your art-loving friends to embrace the finer parts of college football. There is so much pageantry that goes into game day. The rivalries. The history. The bands. The fans that pass down their love and passion to their kids who pass it on to their kids who will undoubtedly pass it down to theirs. There are traditions that are hundreds of years old. Homecoming weekends that bring people of all ages and from all walks of life to one place in celebration of the camaraderie that ultimately binds us all: the Iowa Hawkeyes.

And that says nothing of the creativity and planning that goes into one single play (save your Kirk Ferentz jokes) of actual football.

Get them to appreciate the art within football. Once they start buying into that, they too will understand the importance of 55-24 and 56-14.

Speaking of...

Q: Hello Jerry, why can't we just play Nebraska in football every week so my sports life isn't so sad?

— AlltheIowanamesaretaken

Hello Jerry: Because we can’t have nice things, namesaretaken. We chose to love the University of Iowa for some reason or another. Should we have gone to Alabama or Duke or Texas or Oklahoma or Kansas or Ohio State? Yeah. We probably all should have done that. But we didn’t. We went to/are from Iowa.

Even after spending nearly 500 words on the reasons why football is so great, it remains the most painful thing in my day-to-day life. I sometimes wish I could be one of AngryTrain’s art friends. At least then I wouldn’t have to hurt so much.

Q: I know you're not the first king of controversy, but how bad did Josey Jewell get screwed by the Butkus Award?

Also, what’s your take on Iowa’s bowl destination and likely opponent?

— Close Shave America

Hello Jerry: No, but I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley...

Dude, I CANNOT believe that Josey Jewell wasn’t a finalist for the Butkus Award. Seriously. Go back to this weeks The Pants Party Podcast (now on iTunes, bee-tee-dub). Max and I started talking about Jewell winning the Jack Lambert Award and I asked him if he thought Jewell could win the Butkus. When he told me that he wasn’t in the running anymore, you could hear the shock in my voice.

After we got done recording I went back and looked at the five finalists and what it means to be one...

The mission statement:

Instituted in 1985, The Butkus Award® is one of the elite individual honors in college football. In 2008, The Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, took stewardship of the award to fully realize the original purpose of honoring athletic achievement and service to the community while honoring the nation’s best high school, college, and professional linebackers. An independent Butkus Award Selection Committee comprised of 51 experts, including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists, conduct the selection process.

And what the award means in Butkus’ own words:

"When a player receives the Butkus Award he will know two things. First, he is recognized as the best of the best linebackers in America. Second, and in the long run most important, he will understand that this recognition brings a responsibility to serve others by giving back."

Serve others by giving back? That sounds like Josey Jewell to me.

I still can’t believe he’s not on that list. Just take a look at the raw numbers:

  • Devin Bush, Michigan (#3 in total defense) - 12 games, 41 solo tackles, 48 assisted, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception, seven passes defended and zero forced fumbles.
  • Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech (#13 in total defense) - 12 games, 52 solo tackles, 49 assisted, 14 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 0 interceptions, two passes defended and three forced fumbles.
  • T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin (#1 in total defense) - 12 games, 45 solo tackles, 22 assisted, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions, one touchdown, six passes defended and zero forced fumbles.
  • Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson (#6 in total defense) - 12 games, 46 solo tackles, 34 assisted, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions, two touchdowns, five passes defended and one fumble recovery.
  • Roquan Smith, Georgia (#4 in total defense) - 12 games, 62 solo tackles, 38 assisted, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, zero interceptions, zero touchdowns, two passes defended and one forced fumble.
  • Josey Jewell, Iowa (#34 in total defense) - 11 games, 64 solo tackles, 57 assisted, 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, zero touchdowns, 11 passes defended, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.

That’s a freakin’ joke right? The last I checked, the Butkus Award is rewarded to an individual for his success on and off the field. The only thing I’m seeing here that perhaps set Jewell — who, by the way, has been a leader and captain of this Hawkeye team for two years now — back is Iowa’s overall defense and overall record.

That’s it.


Now I’ve thought long and hard about this and I want you all to tell me what would all of these teams be without those players? Probably all still pretty GD good, right?

Remember what happened when Jewell was out for the Hawkeyes for one game?

Whoever decided this Top-5 should be ashamed of themselves. The Outlaw deserves to be on that finalist list and the sheer fact that he’s not is an embarrassment to Dick Butkus and every other great college linebacker that has ever graced the collegiate gridiron.

SAD! 100% SAD!

Iowa is going to the Music City Bowl and they will be playing Kentucky and I hope all of you that go to Nashville tweet at me as you attempt to drink that city out of beer as we all did in Indy a few years ago.

Q: I made this horrific bet on a public internet forum, how likely is it that I will have to live up to it? Not sure if I’m supposed to link to "other" Iowa-centric websites or not, but in THIS column previewing the Iowa basketball season, I made this bold proclamation:

I will go on record right now (seriously, print and save this column) saying if Iowa indeed finishes eighth or lower I will attend Iowa’s last home game in Carver Arena in a Nebraska cheerleader uniform and let Tom Kakert post a pic of it on this webpage. If Nebraska cheerleader uniforms come in that small of a size, that is.

And now I am very afraid.

— Torbee

HelloJerry: Don’t worry Torbee, you can link to whatever the hell you want in my mailbag. I think I’ve linked to a Waterboy clip in, like, three of these already. Pretty soon I’m going to try and work in the clip from Titanic that gave a lot of young boys their first peak (you know the scene).

Anyways, I think you’re good. While I stand by the statement I made the other night in that Fran McCaffery’s team desperately needs play making guards to commit ASAP, I think once his son get healthy, Nicholas Baer gets 100% re-acclimated to playing full speed and the freshman grow, Iowa will be in decent shape once the Big Ten slate comes around.

Remember, Iowa’s got it made. They are playing a lot of their tough games at home. Plus, outside of Michigan State, Purdue and Minnesota, who else in the league has impressed you? It’s surely not Northwestern or Wisconsin.

I think you’re safe. But if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to see the pictures. We might even bring you on the pod to talk about your experience. Pencil us in your schedule, JIC.

Q: What's your favorite leftover turkey meal idea?

— EnergizerHawk

HelloJerry: Come on, Energizer. It’s absolutely “Tastes like Thanksgiving Casserole”.

Q: Top 5 non-"traditional" Christmas movies without listing Die Hard?

— HoyaGoon


1. Rocky IV - I mean, this is obvious right? Now only does Rocky avenge Apollo Creed but he does it on Christmas... in the middle of the USSR!

2. Mean Girls - Do you remember the Jingle Bell Rock scene? Game changer. Plus, I still enjoy “You Go Glen Coco” jokes:

3. Iron Man 3 - Absolutely underrated movie in the wide, ever increasing and extremely overwhelming Marvel cannon.

4. Each and every Harry Potter - I know, I know. I’m showing my inner nerd with the last two picks, but every time I flip past ABC Family or Freefest or whatever that channel is called now during their annual 25 Days of Christmas, and see Potter on, I stop and watch. I miss those wizards.

5. Snow Day - I think my sister and I watched this movie 20-some times every winter in elementary and middle school. It had everything. A little Ferris Bueller “principal vs. students” bit, crushes becoming girlfriends (ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON A SNOW DAY!), Chevy Chase, snow mobile races, snow ball fights, an evil snowplowman played by Chris Elliot, brother/sister bonding, and a hair brained Home Alone scheme to keep the snow days coming. Sure, it doesn’t have much to do with Christmas. But at the same time, it has everything to do with Christmas-time. Snow=Christmas forever. I really wish I could watch it right now: