clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You’ve Got Mail: Iowa City Bars, Guy Frieri, Gary Barta and More!

It’s time to go a little off the rails, folks!

Iowa v Pittsburgh
Is Gary Barta Iowa’s Guy Frieri?

After weeks of me writing over and over that there wasn’t much in the way of news and we weren’t quite to our offseason football content, we’ve finally started to hit our stride. I’ll shamelessly plug the opponent previews, position previews and daily player countdown that all kicked off this week here.

Now, given that we actually have some #content on the football front and we’re starting to get to the point of real recruiting news to follow, the timing seems right to go full nonsense with the questions this week. You all did not disappoint.

Three Up, Three Down

After I graduated, I went on living in IC.

My last semester and then on past graduation, I visited the bars a lot more than i had when worrying about classes. One place I enjoyed was Old Capitol Pub, where Mosley’s is now. It was sedate and an easy walk from my neighborhood. What bars do you think are best for midtwentysomethings who are out of school, but still “young” enough to mix in with the college crowd?

- icardinal

As I mentioned in the comment section of the solicitation post, I have a bit of a skewed perspective on this. For starters, I still live in Iowa City. Much like Matthew McConoughey’s Wooderson, as I walk downtown I notice that I keep getting older but everyone around me stays the same age. It has a way of simultanesously keeping you feeling young, like you’re still in your college years because of the nostalgia all around you, while also making you feel incredibly old because it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago but these college kids now look like middle schoolers to a guy with a wife and three kids.

But beyond the warped view that comes from never leaving, I also jumped out of the college phase and into the grown up world quicker than most of my peers. I worked almost full time as a senior at Iowa and jumped right into a full time role the week after graduation. I was married two years later to the same lady I was dating while in school. So I was never really the guy hitting the bars to find someone.

Having laid that foundation, I will say that bars I see as more age appropriate for post-grads are places like Joe’s, Short’s, Airliner, Pints (pushing it probably), Donnelly’s, Micky’s, Deadwood and until a certain hour SpoCo. I think more importantly, however, is the timing here.

As noted for a couple of those, you get to pushing your luck/status as old person that sticks out once you cross a certain threshold. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a mid-20s person being at DC’s for a patio drink enjoying an afternoon baseball game. Maybe you even move inside to start the night. But where JoBo starts to go off the rails, imo, is when he’s closing the place down. To me, when you get to the mid-20s it’s time to start leaving a tad earlier so if nothing else, you’re well practiced for the day you can afford those glorious third row, mid-court seats in Carver and bolt at the under-8.

Guy Fieri:

overrated, underrated, or properly rated?

Who is the Guy Fieri of Iowa sports?

- BoilerHawk

I always heard that you shouldn’t answer the question being asked, but instead answer the question you hoped they’d ask. So I’m going to twist this one a bit. Rather than giving you an overrated/underrated/properly rated answer, I’m looking at overpaid/underpaid/properly paid.

I recently saw that Frieri got a fat $80M contract for three more years on the tube. I’ll likely show my naivete on this, but that seems like an awful lot of money to me. Now, as was called out in the comments, the dude is pure entertainment on the TV screen so perhaps he is properly rated. But I, for one, do not find myself going out of my way to watch his stuff. Again, I’m a bad sample size and rarely watch anything on TV that isn’t sports or a pre-recorded show that I’m attempting to binge. So maybe my opinion shouldn’t count here, but really, if not that type of viewer, then who else? Shouldn’t you be paying your top dollar to the personalities that are going to make someone like me actually break my habit and tune in?

Given that take, which I’m possibly alone on, I’m going with Gary freaking Barta as Iowa’s Guy Frieri. No, he doesn’t have the pzazz of Guy and he certainly doesn’t have the hair I desperately begged my mom to let me get in 1999, but you gonna come here and tell me Gary Barta is properly or underpaid?

Gary is known as a tremendous fundraiser and perhaps that is enough to justify him making more than $1M annually after bonuses. But he sure needs to do a lot of fundraising to offset his legal fees. He’s overpaid and over-extended his two top coaches, is batting .500 on hoops coaching hires (with one being an absolute dumpster fire) and had one season without football fans cost the department several non-revenue sports for good while requiring significant budget cuts from everyone all while rejecting millions of dollars in donations.

I appreciate that the job entails rubbing elbows with the uppities and asking them for money, but this fanbase would be donating if Todd Lickliter were the AD. People care about the programs they support and hanging on to a walking lawsuit doesn’t have anything to do with people’s willingness to give in my humble opinion.

Here are the questions I typed too late last time:

If you won the MegaMillions (over $500 mill currently) or PowerBall (over $200 mill currently),

what is the list of ways you would spend it (that won’t get us arrested for reading your list).

I have a list of organizations and institutions that I would like to donate to (after I get my nice homes and cars).

While I would feel the need to support UNI first (as a grad, it is in my local area), I would also find a way to support U of I (I would like to think I would find a way to support something academic, and maybe something related to athletics, too).

- WaterlooChazz

I almost threw this down in the lightning round with the simple answer we all know to be true: hookers and blow.

But in all seriousness, this used to be legitimately my favorite exercise as a kid. Every year we would get the big department store catalogs from JC Penny and Sears and the like. And every year I would grab a sheet of paper and a calculator and start a list. If I won $1 million, how would I spend that down to the penny.

I’ll tell you, it used to go a lot further as a kid than it would at this point in my life.

But, even with much more expensive taste as an adult, I would absolutely be giving a chunk to the UI. Of course, you’ve got to get yourself a few extra homes (I don’t know that I would necessarily want to build a bigger home than my current, maybe just make it a bit nicer), some nice rides, etc. I would also like to keep a nice nest egg to play around with. But it’s actually kind of tough to spend $500M on even 4-5 more houses and several cars.

So I’d like to think I could be a signature donor for the eventual south endzone renovation (after seeing the north endzone, they have to match it on the other end), perhaps stake men’s and women’s hockey (in the new Coralville arena of course) and still have plenty left over to give rather generously to the children’s hospital and the Tippie CoB that helped me get to where I am today.

Lightning Round

Title IX

I have heard references that Barta is using the women’s crew team as a “sink” to meet Title IX requirements as to scholarships and female athletic participation. How does that work?

Also, do the plaintiffs really believe they have a chance to force Iowa to add more women’s varsity sports when three men’s varsity sports have been cut?

- IamSparty

It’s my understanding that women’s rowing has a number of scholarship athletes because they can be used to offset men’s scholarships in football without a cap that might be placed on a sport like soccer. I’m sure there’s a better expert than me on this matter, but that’s my understanding of it.


Does this video mean we can’t blame Cyclone fans for the assault?

I was kind of joking on this one but Twitter seems to try and make this a real thing.

- ncthawk

I didn’t see a Hawkeye shirt on the guy that hit him. Can’t confirm there wasn’t a Cyclone one on him either.

How uncomfortable will it be in Iowa CIty

if the team does not win the B1G West, having been favored by some (again) to be the favorite?

Is 10-2 reasonable?

- cericjo

Anyone expecting this team to finish 10-2 and win the West is going to feel exactly how they deserve to when they finish 9-3 and second in the West.


Why is Juan Howard succeeding as much as Scott Frost is failing at their alma maters?

Edit – you could throw Harbaugh on there too.

- hawkstuckinpa

Bag men.


I am fat. Probably at least pre-diabetic.

So, not only do I like to eat plenty, I like to drink a lot.

While I haven’t been drinking much alcoholic beverages lately,

I definitely enjoy soda, Arizona Arnold Palmer tea, gatorade/powerade, and those various little packets that you can mix into a single bottle of water. I recently found these, they are okay:

[there was a nifty picture here that I can’t seem to get moved over from the comment section - apologies]

I have not tried the Pina Colada ones, just the Margarita and Strawberry ones.

I have only mixed them with water, but do wonder what they would be like with a bit of liquor.

All of this is a long way to ask you: what are your favorite alcoholic beverages, and non-alcoholic beverages? This should be a question anyone can chime in on, after we hear from JPinIC.

- WaterlooChazz

JPinIC and hard alcohol don’t mix well. But quarantine had me drinking at least one margarita a week since last April. Hence the added weight here. On the NA side, I grew with Mt. Dew injected directly into my veins. I’ve since given up mother’s milk and now drink Diet Coke pretty exclusively - something I would have puked at the thought of half a decade ago. That and La Croix. Yes, seriously. You go to enough business meetings and conferences where that’s the only option and eventually you actually believe you like the taste.

Oh, and coffee. Black. Lots of it. Like 6-10 cups a day.

That’s it for this week. Keep up the great questions and we’ll catch you all next week.