My middle brother, a civil engineer, received his undergraduate degree at Iowa State University in Ames. As a result, he is the only Cyclone fan in the family.
Prospective civil engineers from the Twin Cities often go to Iowa State for their degrees, and this is because Iowa State has the finest civil engineering school within a reasonable distance of the Twin Cities. My brother is one of countless civil engineers in Minneapolis/Saint Paul who received their initial engineering degrees in Ames before going on to seek advanced engineering degrees elsewhere.
My brother continues to keep up with all things Cyclone, and I was pleased for him that his alma mater defeated its arch rival, Iowa, in men’s basketball last night.
The heated in-state rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State generally results in a win for the home team. Until last night, Iowa State had not won in Iowa City since 2002, eight years ago—and, until last night, Iowa State had secured only five wins in Iowa City in the entire history of the rivalry.
Iowa State has a new men’s basketball coach this season, Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg is a native of Ames and a former Iowa State player—and, until a few months ago, Hoiberg had been a long-time resident of the Twin Cities, where he first had played for and later had worked in the front office of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I have never met Hoiberg, but my brother has met Hoiberg several times, most recently at a charity function the summer before last. My brother speaks very highly of Hoiberg, as does virtually everyone in the Twin Cities who has known Hoiberg. In fact, I have heard no one in the Twin Cities utter anything but high praise for Hoiberg.
Iowa State is lucky to have Hoiberg. Hoiberg will represent Iowa State well, he will represent the State Of Iowa well, and he will represent college basketball well. Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard was very shrewd when he offered the Iowa State job to Hoiberg.
Hoiberg is a very classy guy: intelligent, handsome, clean-cut, well-dressed, well-spoken and with a distinct All-American appeal. He presents himself very well, and he creates a very favorable impression.
Hoiberg (the photograph is from last night’s game in Iowa City) is everything that Iowa’s new coach, Fran McCaffery, is not. Indeed, Hoiberg is the virtual anti-McCaffery—and, for once, it was refreshing to see the good guy win last night, and on enemy premises, no less.
It is becoming harder and harder for my father and me to remain Hawkeye fans.
My father, like many Hawkeye fans, pretty much threw in the towel at the time McCaffery’s hiring was announced. Such a poor appointment was inexcusable, and served as proof irrefutable that Iowa has an idiot for Athletic Director.
Since the hapless Sally Mason, President of the University Of Iowa, has proven herself incapable of obtaining a grasp over her university’s athletic department, it will now become the duty of the Iowa Board Of Regents to attempt to clean up the sewer that has become Iowa athletics. The task will not be pretty—and, rightly, will cost numerous persons their jobs, including persons at the very highest levels of the university.
Last night’s game was not a particularly interesting contest, as neither team played well.
A journeyman player from Iowa State went off for a career-high 30 points, in large part because of unbelievably poor defense by Iowa’s Matt Gatens. Such hot shooting by the journeyman Iowa State player probably was the difference in the game.
Foul-mouthed, invective-spewing McCaffery received one technical foul—routine for McCaffery—and should have been issued a second technical foul and ejected from the game after he threw a clipboard a distance of twenty feet.
Iowa player Zach McCabe should have received a technical foul, too, for his repeated on-court use of the “F” word, including at least one use of the “F” word directed at a game official. What did McCabe do when issued a warning by the official? He high-fived another Iowa player and continued to utter the “F” word. At that point, McCabe unquestionably should have been ejected from the game.
This is a starkly skanky and sleazy crew in Iowa City, and the Iowa team members richly deserve the many misfortunes that continue to befall them. I enjoy seeing the losses mount, knowing that each loss quickens the inevitable housecleaning that will come. A gathering storm approaches Iowa City.
At game’s end, a lost and bewildered Matt Gatens looked—literally—like a Martian.
At the same time, Gatens also looked—alas—like a Methadone addict.
Gatens, only a junior, is already old enough to have graduated from college—in Iowa, basic arithmetic apparently is conducted in dog years—and, if Gatens had any sense, he would already have ended his basketball playing days and begun to move on with his life.
It would behoove him to do so at once.
For the last ten days, Joshua has been studying for his exams, which begin next week.
Back home, my family has two birthdays to celebrate this weekend, a weekend also marked by the onset of winter weather in Minnesota.
My niece celebrated her second birthday last night at a grand celebration at my parents’ house (her actual birthday was Thursday, but the celebration was delayed until last night). My older brother will celebrate his thirty-sixth birthday tomorrow at a second grand celebration at my parents’ house.
I wish Josh and I were home to join in the celebrations—but at least we will be going home for Christmas on the morning of the 23rd.