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The Comment Bag: PJ Fleck, Trophy Games and Step Brothers

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This is going in a lot of directions

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Q: Could you offer a few words on what we, as a merciful but fair species, should do to people who recklessly schedule mandatory events on Fall Saturdays, especially when those events actually end up conflicting with Hawkeye Football? The obvious Elephant in the room (presumably standing on Turtles All The Way Down): while no one actually WANTS to cross any /noreligion lines here, any appropriate resolution must obviously include a discussion of the specific never ending torments for their eternal souls.

— indyhawk

As you mentioned, we are a merciful but fair species. Fair being the operative word. I’m not one to ever cross the line and hope for Hostel level retribution. Nay. I only demand that the punishment fit the crime.

What is the crime here? Theft.

Theft of one of the sixteen Saturday’s in which the masses merely want to sit on their asses, gamble, eat, drink and be genuinely merry. No, I don’t want to pumpkin pick. No, I don’t want to go to your dogs birthday party. No, I don’t want to help you close your pool. No, I don’t want to... wait? Did you say play golf before the noon kick off and then go to the bar the rest of the day to do nothing but rip each other, fart and gamble while watching football? I’ll need to build up some tokens with my wife, but I’m IN!

Therefore, for those reckless few that plan mandatory events on fall Saturday’s, I propose that those found guilty must be forced to take either the SAT or ACT (or both depending on the amount of time taken from your day) on a Saturday in which they wanted to do something they loved.

Is there some annual sale at Macy’s? Too bad, you’re taking the ACT. Need your friends to help you move? I hope it’s worth you embarrassing yourself on the written portion of the SAT again.

If this harmless act of retribution was instituted into law, nobody would do or schedule anything that didn’t have at least one big ass TV and an accessible clicker in the direct vicinity on any Saturday or Sunday from Labor Day until the new year.


Q: Rec for Stepbrothers reference, Jer! Imagine if PJ and BF were stepbrothers and had to suddenly share a bedroom. Who dies in this scenario? Beat laboratory indeed! “No one touches my drum set! No one!”

— Ploen2Pasadena

And suddenly my mind runs wild about Step Brothers 2.

SCENE: Kirk and PJ meet for the first time

PJ walks up the drive slowly, staring at Kirk through careful eyes.

Kirk squints back at him while chewing gum for what seems like forever. PJ gets restless. Kirk writes something on a notecard he produces from his pocket.

PJ Fleck: Hey.

Kirk: Hey.

PJ: I’m PJ.

Kirk Ferentz: I’m Kirk...but.... you have to call me Jon Snow.

PJ: You have to call me Drogon.

The two of them stare at each other for what seems like three more hours.

SCENE: Kirk and PJ are left alone in their rooms after Jim Delaney grounds them after another fight. They both think it’s bullshit.

Kirk: Do you want to see something cool? Something you’ll never ever see again in your whole life?

Kirk walks over to his dresser and opens up the two big swinging doors on the bottom of it.

Kirk: PSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH. Kirk takes out the Floyd of Rosedale and holds it up. Ok, open your eyes.

PJ: WOAH!

Kirk: You see all those black smudges right there on the base? I think you’ll notice that there’s a pretty recognizable name that’s missing.

PJ: Shakes his head while squinting real close.

Kirk: It’s your name! Your name isn’t on it and it never will be! Not while I’m in this house!

KIRK ALWAYS WINS AGAINST PJ FLECK Ploen. ALWAYS!


Q: In your opinion, is P. J. Fleck a monumental poser or a shameless self promoter or just a run of the mill gopher mung? I am conflicted.

— Kluginator

I was talking about this very subject with the best man at my wedding on Wednesday after watching the video of PJ Fleck talking about Kirk Ferentz and the longevity and success he’s had at Iowa over the last 20 years:

Why can’t he be like this all the time? Why can’t he just table the rah-rah bullcrap that we all seem to see through now that he’s in the Big Ten and just be a the humble, passionate, well dressed man we see here?

This is one of the most genuine moments I’ve seen from Fleck which makes me think that he’s probably actually this person deep down.

Do I believe he’s poser? No. Do I believe he’s a hack? No.

Do I believe he’s a shameless self promoter? No.

I believe that he’s doing what he thinks kids like these days like. And I believe that it sounds great when he’s winning and it sounds miserable when he’s not.


Q: Now that our Cubs so miraculously shit the bed and their season is over, I find myself with an overabundance of sports time that would’ve otherwise been dedicated to the Cubs. May they rest in pieces. My question: do I go all in on our Hawks with the little mashed heart I have left or do I temper my expectations and throw up another shield wall, like I did for baseball? I need sound advice from a sound brain… and mine isn’t.

— trez1313

You want some sound advice... from me? I’ve fully convinced myself that Khalil Mack is going to win the league MVP award because the Bears are going 12-4 the rest of the way.

I am not a sound brain. I am a lunatic that always buys in to whatever the most optimistic narrative is.

Hell, I’m so excited for the Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine experiment, I bought tickets to the Sixers home opener despite Lauri Markkanen missing the next 6-8 weeks. BUT I DON’T CARE!

But, with all of that said, I’d go all in on Iowa. I know nobody wants to hear this, but Iowa still has a chance to make it to Indy. Wisconsin is going to slip up again. I promise.


Q: Floyd is pretty clearly the best trophy Iowa plays for but what is your favorite “trophy” in college football. Also, if you could design a new trophy (I’ll give you the latitude to create your own backstory for it because I know you’re going there anyway) to replace any of Iowa’s other trophy games (say, Heroes or CyHawk?) what would it be?

— JPinIC

In typical fashion, I’m unable to pick just one. Personally, I love the Golden Hat in the Red River Shootout and Paul Punyan’s Axe. They both look fantastic and make for even better photo opportunities:

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Look how freaking long that handle is! Amazing.

As far as the “create your own trophy” adventure, I’m fixing the Cy-Hawk Trophy because that trophy is pathetic. Have you read what Wikipedia has to say about it recently? It’s a total slap in the El Assico if you ask me. For a rivalry that started back in 1894, how have we been dealing with this?

That’s just pitiful.

So instead of whatever the hell those are, I would make what is sure to be a lifetime series battle it out for the AN(H)F Trophy. What does that trophy look like exactly?

It’s a freaking miniature Corn Harvester that you roll on and off the field by pushing/pulling the unloader on the back like it was the Freemont Cannon.

Tell me that wouldn’t be the dopest trophy in the game! I’ll wait.