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The 144th Kentucky Derby
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

You may remember Free For all Friday as some word vomit we’d post every Friday around this time last year.

The feedback we got on that was powerful, we decided to bring it BACK, because we are bored and need ideas for content so this is our way of scratching each other’s back.

Basically we pick a topic or two and wax on them for a little bit until we find something better to do. It doesn’t take long.

This week, we have summer doldrums rantings and warm-weather drink choices. Enjoy and I’m sorry.

Summer storylines, and where they fit:

Ben Ross: So we’re at that time of the year where things get slow. Yes, we have an Iowa baseball team that seems to be peaking at just the right time, but as we’re all aware, football is the straw that stirs the drink that is Hawkeye fandom over at this corner of the internet.

And even though we’re only about halfway done with the summer news cycle, we’ve already checked all the boxes in tired storylines coming out of the Iowa football camp. Just off the top of my head we have:

  • Iowa football coach says dumb shit while attempting to throw shade at Iowa State.
  • Iowa State football coach Tweets dumb shit while attempting to throw shade at Iowa.
  • WRNL pandering to folks with dial-up internet
  • Iowa’s receivers looking good!
  • Iowa’s receivers are in big trouble!
  • The water tower!!!!
  • Dumb Chicago Cubs batting lineup takes, for some reason.
  • Iowa State Twitter collectively using “I know you are but what am I?” as a comeback for everything.

As a general rule, I try to instill an editorial policy that totally and completely ignores Iowa State save for #FactsWeek and the days leading up to when we play them in basketball. But this offseason is making that increasingly difficult, seeing as how the Cyclones are coming off their second 8+ win season SINCE I’VE BEEN ALIVE.

The Clones think they’re the cock of the walk right now, and I could give you 1,000 words why they aren’t. But I don’t have to. All I have to do is give you their over/under for wins this season, set by people in Las Vegas who know much more about things of this nature than you and I know anything about anything.

That number is 6. So Iowa State notching seven or more wins this season would be a success by Vegas standards (and really by Iowa State football standards), while 6 wins exactly would be right on the money and five or fewer wins would be … par the course for Iowa State football.

Full disclosure: Iowa’s O/U is 7.5. Hit me up with that over boys and girls.

BoilerHawk: Death, taxes, and Iowa’s O/U being set at 7.5.

I’ve become unsurprised about the bulk of Iowa’s offseason being about looking over the fences into other team’s programs. It’s really the way Kirk wants it. While TOE State hashtags winning in the dark and coopts the Sixers’ process, Nebraska sells out their stadium for the 20th anniversary celebration of their 1997 national championship, it’s Iowa who just goes about their business as they would in any other Kirk-led offseason.

So yeah, Iowa’ll have the wayward assistant quote which they’ll hope doesn’t bite them in the rear but in the end, it justifies Kirk’s lockdown approach in terms of media. He knows what he’s doing, no sense telling others he knows it as well.

Also - can you believe horrible Gary Dolphin dad jokes made the OWH blog? Sheesh.

JPinIC: You say offseason, I say #CrootinSZN. With not much else to discuss in the doldrums of summer, I will (shockingly) be focused on the recruiting trail where there are plenty of story lines.

First, there’s the comedy that is watching our brethren to the near west hit the trail. Not only are they offering every first born son in the country, they’re also offering their younger brothers. All of them.

The ones who haven’t gotten an ISU offer make you wonder what could possibly be wrong with them. The simple answer is nothing, they just managed to fly under the radar enough to have Matt Campbell and his posse of herbalife salesmen forget to tag them in their mass email offering a scholarship (I just assume they do it with a mass email, I don’t know how they have the time to offer 300+ kids in each class individually).

Then there’s the whole tweeting at a recruit, several recruiting analysts and opposing coaches upon seeing said recruit get an Iowa offer.


Even better is what the coach said. “Welp….. That’s OK.”


He literally conceded that ISU had no reason to pursue the kid now that Iowa had offered.

“But they didn’t want him anyway.”

Yeah, Iowa has proven pretty terrible at evaluating talent over the years..


Aside from crootin, I’m here for Tyler Cook speculation. I honestly think this team could be pretty good if he returns. Of course, I thought they would be pretty good last year so maybe I’m just a big dumb idiot who isn’t smart.

Of course we all want to know if iowa will ever get a “true point guard” so I’ll be following the AAU circuit (Mt. Dew and paraphernalia in tow). DJ Carton has Iowa in his top 6 and that could be a game-changer if he pulls the trigger. I still like the vastly different skill-set of Tyreke Locure and the prospect of adding a stud big man like Trayce Jackson-Davis or (gasp) Matthew Hurt to go with Pat McCaffrey and the PG du jour. Can Fran capitalize on a potential slow down in bags being dropped by the likes of Bill Self, John Calipari and Roy Williams?

Other things to follow:

  • North Endzone progress
  • #Hellerball heading back to the tournament?
  • Iowa football is 2 over the limit, who’s leaving?
  • Is Iowa getting a grad transfer? Which sport?

See! Summer ain’t so bad!

Max Brekke:

can we please just have football back

Summer drinks, ranked:

Ben Ross:

  1. Gin on the rocks with a lime
  2. Gin with la croix on the rocks with a lime
  3. Gin and lemonade
  4. Gin and iced tea
  5. London Mule
  6. Gin and tonic
  7. Gin Daley
  8. Gin Radler
  9. Pint glass of sun-warmed gin
  10. Margherita


I’m going to take a different tact with my favorite summer drinks and I expect to be pilloried in the comments:

Brunch (savory): The Michelada (Mexican lager + shot of Bloody Mary mix)

Brunch (sweet): Sparkling rose

General daydrinking: Miller Lite

Evening cocktail: Daiquiri (none of that froo froo BS. Rum, lime juice, simple syrup)

Wildcard: Jalapeno Margarita

Others: Pineapple/Ginger mojito, Tom Collins, Deep Eddy Ruby Red, Pina Colada, craft kolsch


Full disclosure: Ol’ JP doesn’t do much imbibing with the spirits. Beer, yes. The hard stuff? Well, let’s just say some of us need those empty calories to slow us down and fill us up before we kill ourselves, or others.

Also, I’m picky with my food and drink and have strong aversions to things normal people consider good. So, bloody Mary mix can GTFO because tomato juice is terrible. Most summer-inspired beers also tend to be too sweet for me to have more than like 2 without wanting to kill myself. I’ll knock out a summer shandy or a Bell’s Oberon or something similar on occasion, but if you’re drinking more than a couple I hope you have something to ease your stomach.

Similarly, while I enjoy a good IPA as much (or more) than any other millennial yuppie, they are a bit heavy to be enjoying them all afternoon in the summer sun.

So my go-to summer beverage tends to be a pilsner. Something on the lighter side to get you through the heat without weighing you down too much. And being a small town Iowan by the grace of God, my beer of choice for the summer is Busch Light. It’s 99% water, 1% nectar of the gods and it costs less than a bottle of water.

Drink up.

Matt Cabel:

I’m going to keep this pretty simple. IPAs are the best, most versatile drink (not just beer!) YEAR. ROUND.

Please @ me if you disagree (@mattcabel on twitter dot com) but I just think with all the different varieties of IPAs available these days, from your regular IPA to your sessions, to doubles, to your hazy, to your New England, or fruity IPA, bitter IPA, dank IPA...what else do you really need?

There’s an IPA for every occasion folks.

Beyond that, I’m with Ben: gin is a great summer spirit. Gin and Fever Tree Bitter Lemon is the quintessential summer night cap. I’m also very partial to Manhattans and neat whiskey or bourbon. But really, my summer drinking is the same as the rest of the year. But man, there’s something about a great patio that makes any alcohol taste better.

Unless it’s light beer. Hard pass.

Max Brekke: