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November 22, 2012
Hawkeye Road Trip
Goodbye Cancun. :(
The 5:30 a.m. shuttle bus to the Cancun airport was a little earlier than I wanted after a short night, but it was time to get off the beach and get back home. Flew through Chicago once again and it's always interesting to see college teams traveling thru O'Hare this time of year. Saw a few teams on Sunday when I was there and ran into the UMKC team today waiting in the same gate area. Today the Kangaroos were headed to Columbus, OH to face Ohio State tomorrow night. I doubt many Buckeye fans will be focused on hoops tomorrow. Their minds are probably on a little football game coming up on Saturday.
A few final thoughts on the Cancun Challenge. While no one likes to take a loss, I think in the long run last night will benefit this Hawkeye team. Now they know what a loss feels like a team and they now know what it will take to get better and learn from the experience. This is a group that will get better as the season goes along. The next test, I think it will be a good one, comes Tuesday night against Virginia Tech. This will be Iowa's first true road contest and it's coming off a loss.
Hard to believe that Iowa will be playing a football game tomorrow. Frankly, this week has been a bit of a blur for me and last Saturday's game in Ann Arbor feels like it was a long time ago.
I always enjoy the Senior Day ceremony at Kinnick Stadium. I know most Hawkeye fans are disappointed with the season. No one is more disappointed than the seniors, who wanted to go to another bowl game. They will play their hearts out tomorrow one last time and hopefully leave Kinnick Stadium one last time with a victory.
I won't even get into the potential boo bird situation because it only brings up hard feelings on both sides, but I'll say what I've always said, unless you are holding up a sign or yell "Boo" to the coaches, the young men on the field don't know who you are booing unless it's an official's call.:)
Back in 2005 we saw Kirk Ferentz wiping away a few tears when his son Brian ran out of the tunnel one final time to meet his parents at the 50 yard line. I'm going to guess we see a few more tears from Kirk and Mary Ferentz tomorrow morning. And, I hope Iowa fans give James Vandenberg a standing ovation tomorrow. He's one of the good guys. Scratch that, a great young man. His senior year hasn't gone according to plan, but he dreamed about playing for the University of Iowa and let's hope he has a dreaming ending tomorrow afternoon.
One final note, a big thank you to my Aunt Sue. Since I was traveling and my wife and kids are down with her family in St. Louis for Thanksgiving, I thought this would be my second straight Thanksgiving without turkey and trimmings. Got off the plane and my aunt had a care package waiting at her house.
Time to get a little rest and get back at it in the morning. Live from the press box starting up sometime after 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Hope you will join in the conversation.