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Happy Festivus From Black Heart Gold Pants

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We have so many issues with everything. Now you’re gonna hear about them!

Image from @KingsCowboyHat

Well, let’s just get this over with.

We have a lot of problems with a lot of things, and, well, you’re gonna hear about them. At this point, I feel like this doesn’t even warrant an introduction or explanation. If you don’t know what’s going on, just continue reading and learn as you go!

Each willing member of Black Heart Gold Staff is venting now, please give us our space. You can comment below for your catharsis.

Let the bitching begin!

Ben: I want Gary Barta’s job.

There, I said it. Now, I personally do not want GB’s job, Lord no. BUT, I do want to see Gary Barta far, far away from this university and athletic program and blog.

I want competence at the athletic director position. I want compassion. I want awareness. I want a press release that doesn’t read like an episode of Big Little Lies.

Honestly, I’m sick of hearing about people piss and moan about Barta. And it’s not because it isn’t warranted. It’s because there have been numerous instances where he could have been fired for cause. But wasn’t! Why? Nobody knows!

Get this clown out of Iowa City and away from my happiness.

BoilerHawk: What has me aggrieved? How Iowa fans seemingly take their frustrations from football out on Fran McCaffery and the Parquet Boys. (Mainly Fran McCaffery)

For some reason, despite playing 20 more games, Iowa fans expect perfection out of every college basketball game? NEWSFLASH: Iowa basketball has lost 10 or more games every season but one since 1996! That’s what happens! Do you know what happened in the one season they lost less than 10 games? NORTHWESTERN STATE

Ugh.

Here we are. Two games away from a perfect non-conference slate with another seemingly talented roster and all we can do is piss and moan about what, not scoring enough points in a couple buy games? Being on the wrong end of the most prolific shooter hitting more than 50% of his shots from three? Losing by 20+ AGAIN at Michigan State?

Well, Iowa has lost to the best two teams - by far - on their schedule and been challenged just once against a decent slate of opponents. So please, don’t let mediocre Iowa football jade what could be a non-mediocre Iowa basketball team.

HelloJerry: By request, we — and by we, I mean JPinIC and I — have been asked to keep “responses short” this Festivus season. While I’m a little aggrieved by that, I’ve decided to let that go and dive into what I’m really, truly, 100% upset with: Kirk Ferentz, the NFL Death Eater.

I’m not sure if you all saw it or not, but there was a piece in The Athletic about GospelofMax’s favorite tight end in Iowa history, George Kittle. In that piece, a few NFL scouts said that Kittle’s football character was “crushed” by the Iowa coaching staff during their evaluations and that they (again, the Iowa coaching staff) “didn’t exactly sell him as a legit dude”.

That my friends, is not ideal. Kirk Ferentz has THE ultimate recruiting pitch to any and all tight ends, offensive lineman, linebackers, cornerbacks and defensive lineman. The level of NFL development that has taken place under his 20-year tutelage at those positions is the biggest asset this staff has at their disposal in recruiting pitches. To have it come out (and ultimately confirm DJK’s acquisitions) that there are players that went through his program that have been bombasted to NFL scouts and GM’s alike because they have “bad football character” despite their actual football abilities is so counter productive it’s honestly mind numbing.

Maybe that’s changing. Maybe it doesn’t really matter all that much. But the optics are horrid. The fact that the Ferentzi aren’t continuously pushing Iowa’s NFL pipeline and trying to get as many of their former players on rosters will never, ever make sense to me. Alas, nothing that has to do with Iowa Athletics does.

Trez: “This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there.”

Normally I have to air my grievances alone. In the dark. After a Hawkeye defeat. But not anymore! I’m going to leave the mainstream sports to my more astute colleagues, so I’m going to attack wrestling fans. Now I’m not necessarily pointing at you BHGP community, but more to the dumber side of Hawkeye fandom. When are you going to get behind this wrestling program and back them 100%? When is the university going to do the same? When is Gary Barta going to give them just a tiny amount of money, so we can break ground and build this new state of the art wrestling complex? Oh that’s right, never. That’s up to Hawkeye fans and boosters. Sweet.

So what’s your problem?

We’re literally the only program at this school that has a legit shot at winning another NCAA title before the apocalypse. No, we haven’t won since 2010. No, we’re not going to win this year. And no Tom and Terry Brands are not and should not go anywhere. And NO, they should not be split up either. Since they took over in 2006 we’re 210-22-1. We’ve been top three nationally in seven of those years, never once finishing lower than fifth. We’re currently living through a 2012 type of disaster mega-storm that is Penn State.

Next year we will make that run. In the meantime, we’re undefeated at 6-0 and have three duals left at home. Get your butts to CHA and support this team. Keep our dual attendance record alive! But until that next championships comes knocking there’s only one thing we can do when the pillars of wrestling heaven shake. We just look that big ol’ storm right square in the eyes and say

MattReisener: This grievance is hardly a new one, but the recent early signing day makes this feel like an appropriate time to air it once again.

Iowa’s inability to recruit and develop talented wide receivers continues to be absolutely maddening. As phenomenal as the Hawkeyes have been at sending tight ends to the NFL, only one Iowa receiver from the Ferentz era has even recorded a catch in the NFL (Kevin Kasper, who played his first two seasons under Hayden Fry). For reference, Georgia Tech, a triple option team, has had TWO high draft picks at wide receiver over the past decade (Demaryius Thomas and Stephen Hill). The Hawkeyes have not had a true star at wide receiver since Marvin McNutt’s final season in the program in 2011, and there is no single position that has vexed the Ferentz regime quite like this one.

Let’s start with recruiting. Iowa has allowed a handful of decorated in-state high school wide receivers escape its grasp, including Adrian Arrington and Oliver Martin (Michigan), and Allen Lazard (Iowa State). Anthony Johnson, a former standout at Iowa Western Community College, is shredding defenses and rocketing up draft boards at the University of Buffalo, yet completely escaped Iowa’s gaze during the recruiting process. When Iowa has targeted elite out-of-state receiving talent like David Bell, it has almost always ended with the Hawkeyes coming up short.

On the rare occasion Iowa does manage to land a blue-chip receiver recruit, they rarely reach their full potential. Keenan Davis and Trey Stross both generated considerable excitement among the fanbase when the were signed and went on to have productive careers with the Hawkeyes, but neither ever developed into a legitimate number one receiver. DJK more than lived up to the hype during his time in Iowa City, but his acrimonious relationship with Ferentz ultimately led to his untimely departure from the program. Iowa seemed to have struck gold with the unheralded Dominique Douglas, but the lure of City Boyz Inc proved much stronger than that of gridiron glory. Legitimate track stars such as Paul Chaney Jr. and Damond Powell have also cycled through the receiver room, but never made much of an impact due to their blocking deficiencies and/or perpetual inability to “learn the playbook.”

Iowa is far from the most pass-heavy offense in college football, but it’s coaches should be able to convince at least ONE standout high school receiver to take a chance on the program. Afterall, as mediocre as the Hawkeye receivers have been for the past two decades, the Hawkeyes generally throw the ball 20+ times a game, and Ferentz’s staff should be able to sell recruits on a chance to walk in and instantly be “the guy” at wide receiver. The Hawkeyes can’t simply wait around for another converted quarterback to miraculously flash talent at receiver to find top-tier talent at this position, but after twenty years, don’t hold your breath that this coaching staff will suddenly adopt a different strategy.

JPinIC: I am a Hawkeye fan. Always have been, always will be. So when asked to air my Hawkeye grievances, I’m inclined to pull out my list.

But perhaps it would just be easier for me to say EVERYTHING. We can never have nice things and I’m mad online about everything.

But really, that creates a bit of a circular grievance argument. Because everything includes Hawkeye fans who are aggrieved by everything. And perhaps that’s my biggest grievance: all the Hawkeye fans who spend so much time being kissed off about everything they don’t enjoy any of it.

I’m looking at you, Mr. “we had two All-American tight ends but all I can think about is how we didn’t use them enough!”

Whine all you want, ain’t a program in the country that was going to throw the ball 80+ times to the tight end for 1200 yards and 13 scores, regardless of how talented they were. And no, their talent wasn’t wasted at Iowa, it was developed. Much like George Kittle before them, Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson came to Iowa as virtual nobodies. Sure they were each given 3 stars, but Hockenson had no other offers and Noah Fant was being recruited as a defensive end at Nebraska.You want to talk about wasting talent?!?

I’m also looking at you, Mrs. “Brian Ferentz is a terrible OC and the offense squandered a historically good defense!”

The jury may still be out on Ferentz the younger, and we can certainly agree he has made some questionable calls. He has some major warts (red zone play calling is a big one), but so does every other offensive coordinator in the country. People make mistakes. A lot.

And this year’s offense was good. Like, really good. As in, only the third offense in the Ferentz era to average more than 30 points a game. The other two seasons? 2002 and 2015. The offense had moments of struggle, but Brian Ferentz isn’t the reason this team didn’t win 10 games.

Finally, I’m looking at you, Mr. “I’m sick of only winning 8 games a year!”

Do you have any idea how spoiled you sound? You sound like my 4 year old listing everything he wants from Santa, immediately following his third family Christmas, standing in front of his mountain of toys.

Iowa fans have a knack for completely taking for granted just how difficult it is to be above average on a regular basis. I mean, I get it, it would be awesome to be an Alabama fan. But we aren’t.

What we are, are fans of one of only 4 Big Ten teams to win at least 8 games in each of the last 5 seasons (Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State are the others). That’s pretty nuts. And it’s not like the longer term success has come at the expense of the highs. We’re only a couple seasons removed from an undefeated regular season.

So quit your whining, all of you, and be happy to be a Hawkeye!

Ahhh, screw it. I want more downfield passing, better utilization of top athletes, less head scratching calls (going for two in the third quarter), better late game management and more wins like the rest of you.

GospelOfMax: I’ll just say this: I wish that I could watch more Iowa non-revenue sports on television, rather than not being able to watch them on BTN+. Thank you for your time.