Before we get into the mailbag this week, I’d like to take one second to discuss a very important public service announcement: scheduling weddings during football season might seem like a good idea, but it’s a trap.
Let’s face it, weddings are extremely selfish things. And that’s perfectly ok. We all want our guests undivided attention on the festivities at hand. You want them to eat your food, enjoy the speeches, cry during the vows, to “oooo-and-ahhh” when the bride walks down the isle. You want them to drink all the booze you purchased and keep the dance floor packed for the DJ or band from the moment the first note is played. You want them to feel so good by the end of the night, that they have to go to the nearest bar to keep the good times rolling while discussing how amazing your wedding was.
The goal of a wedding, outside of professing your love, is to revel in the moment.
Do you know what the most sure fire way of destroying the moment is? Having groups of dudes hovering around their phones at the bar and talking about what’s going on with the football they’re missing. OR, having that one a-hole staring into his lap during the entire dinner portion of the wedding watching ESPN+ and giving the surrounding tables “updates”.
pssssst! Guys! Noah Fant just scored on a 52-yard bomb up the seam! Go Hawks baby!
If they are watching and/or talking about football, they aren’t paying attention to you. They aren’t dancing. They’re surely drinking your booze, but that also means they’re hovering in the one location you want constant fluidity.
Now I know this doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens a lot of the time. So, instead of putting your family and friends in that position, just schedule it for a different time... like July. It may be hot, but at least you’ll all be hot and truly together.
On to the mailbag...
Q: We’re going to need Maui to play like a demigod on Saturday. Over /under on 2 sacks for him alone this weekend?
Maui is a demigod on a defensive line full of them. If I had to pick based on the number you’re giving me, I’ll say under. I’d be more confident going over if the number was at 1.5 considering he finished last years contest with one of Iowa’s two sacks. Two seems like it’s right on the nose.
With that said though, I think Iowa, at home, under the lights, have a tremendous opportunity in front of them to get to Alex Hornibrook and put him in precarious situations. And if I know one thing about Malvern Prep’s former QB1, when he feels that pressure he’s want to throw things up for grabs. Just look at last year as the prime example.
Q: Why are people making fun of the Frosty Huskers? Is it because they suck at football or because it’s just Nebraska or both?
— Stay thirsty, my friends
Isn’t Nebraska a basketball school now?
Q: Which is more likely against Wisconsin? Iowa sacks Wisconsin 6+ times, or Iowa rushes for 200 yards.
Let’s play a game, Indy. Let’s talk about what I know for certain going into this Wisconsin game.
1.) Wisconsin’s offensive line is ballet of tanks. If there is one team that can stifle the Hawkeyes pass rush, it’s the Badgers in a loser leaves the West game. That’s a difficult thing.
2.) Wisconsin’s defense is not the team that left Iowa (and Brian Ferentz) utterly confused. They’re missing the firepower they had. That’s a good thing.
3.) Alex Hornibrook, in any game outside of the Orange Bowl, is going to turn the ball over at least once (if not twice) in some sort of confusing, mind numbing way. That’s a good thing.
4.) Wisconsin gave up 191 yards against BYU on the ground and are giving up more than 6-yards a carry in the 4th quarter through three games. That’s another good thing.
5.) Iowa wishes they would have run the ball more last year rather than trick themselves into passing on 2nd-and-6 opportunities. That’s a good thing.
6.) Iowa put a lot of stuff on tape last week against UNI including the hurry-up. So get read to have Iowa zone read the Badgers to death. That’s a... well, I’ll just remain patient on this.
So with all of that in mind, I believe its going to be really, really hard to tally up six sacks against this team. It’s probably going to be hard to tally up three or four. That’s not an indictment against Iowa’s deep defensive line but more of a vote of confidence for the Badgers line of cornfed hulksters. This might be one of those games where the D-line are forced to maintain their gap assignments and take on their blockers while Iowa’s surprisingly fun as hell linebacker core to clean up behind them.
Ultimately, I think Iowa is going to go into this game looking to take back control of the clock (something Wisconsin did so well last year). I think they are going to try and put Wisconsin in a pressure cooker and see how they fair at Kinnick, under the lights with a stadium worth of revenge seeking fans sitting on top of them.
I’ll take Iowa for 200, Alex.
Q: Hello Jerry - If AJ Epenesa is Maui, what are the matches for other Iowa players (or coaches!) to Disney characters?
I would hate to admit how long I spent on this question. Here’s what I got:
Kirk Ferentz - Shadow from Homeward Bound: 10000%. I mean, just look at the official background for one of the best “dog with a voice” characters of all time from the Disney Wiki page:
Shadow is a wise, old golden retriever. He is very loyal and obedient to his owner...Given his age, he sees the way of a dog as his own law. His pet comrades are Chance, a young, immature American bulldog and Sassy, a Himalayan cat who respects Shadow despite him being a dog. He considers himself Chance’s guardian as he feels he must watch over the “pup” and keep him from out of trouble. Chance thinks of him as an old fusspot and calls him “old timer”, but still has respect for him as well. For an old dog, he can hold up on his own, as he is able to outrun a mountain lion and keep up in a fight against mean stray dogs.
TELL ME I’M WRONG!
Brian Ferentz - Simba: Seems fairly obvious despite the fact that I just compared Kirk to wise old dog instead of a wise, murdered-before-his-time lion. Like Simba, Brian learned from his father, fleed the pride land to figure out who he is, only to come back later to take revenge on Scar... aka the Entire Big Ten.
Parker Hesse - Stitch/Experiment 626: If there is one thing that Parker Hesse is on this planet to do, it’s to destroy everything he touches. But, just like his Disney comparison, his one true place is with Phil Parker and his ‘ohana.
P.J. Fleck - Kaa: Like Kaa, Fleck is a seductive character, often luring his
victims recruits into a weary, dreamlike state by manipulating them into trusting his visions. He is a hypnotist that somehow gets people to become enchanted with his eyes, collars and quarter zips.
Q: If you had to make a sacrificial offering to the football gods to get a win this Saturday what would you offer up?
Coming away with a win this weekend is paramount for the Hawkeyes. As history shows, the winner of this game usually goes on to top finishes in the end of season polls. It also more than likely means a return trip to Indy and possibly another Rose Bowl appearance.
Those are all great things that I WILL be in attendance for.
Therefore, I am willing to sacrifice the trips I have planned in the early part of 2019 to Mexico and Vegas that will get me out of the winter hell hole I put myself back into here in Philly.
For a guy that gets cold in a climate controlled office that sits around 74 degrees, I’d say that’s pretty fair.