Random Thoughts on World of Sports

The "dog days" of August are upon us. Optimism is everywhere. Every college football team in the land believes it can make it to a bowl game…even the five squads that eventually won't. Every NFL team is certain it can go at least 9-7 and make the playoffs. And the Cubs are hoping that Augie Ojeda can replace Mark Grudzeialadlkesnak for a month.

Although it may seem like we're simply waiting at this point…waiting for college football, waiting for the baseball playoffs, waiting for Lisa Guerrero to make her first regular-season sideline report…there are still a lot of things going on.

Here are some of my thoughts…

· Which would be more fun for ISU this season: Beating Oklahoma by 3 points…or dropping Kansas State by 28?

· Ever notice how some people have the ability (intentional or not) to make a comment at the exact moment that you're really frustrated about something…and they find a way to make it worse. I was playing golf with my dad on Sunday and I had a 15-foot putt going up a steep incline and I left it about four feet short. I was not happy at that point. "It was uphill," my dad pointed out. Yeah, thanks. I have a new nickname for people who make those comments: Antonio Alfonseca (or as Joe Morgan says, "Al Fonseca") because they throw gas on the fire. My dad is one of the all-time Alfonseca comment kings.

· I'm guessing that Waye Terry will be the Cyclones' starting QB when Oklahoma comes to Ames on October 4. I can't remember another Big 12 athlete who had the first name "Waye." The closest that I can come up with is Waymond Tisdale, who played hoops for the Sooners.

· Lenny Harris was released by the Cubs last weekend. Groundouts to the pitcher have been reduced by 74% since then.

· It will be a very good season for Iowa State if Stevie Hicks rushes for 1,200 yards…or roughly the same number of "F-bombs" that Steve Stifler drops in "American Wedding."

· The Cubs had a deal worked out last week to rescue Rafael Palmeiro from the last-place, miserable Rangers. But, Raffy declined. I'm wondering if he is being advised by Fred McGriff's wife.

· Cyclone fans would love to see ISU defeat Oklahoma or Kansas State this season, but the bigger games might be against Colorado and Missouri. The Cyclones may be battling the Buffs and Tigers for a spot in the Big 12 North standings when those games are played.

· Kobe Bryant and his wife (apparently not all that upset anymore) showed up at something called "The Teen Choice Awards" last week. Interesting decision, don't you think? But then again, I don't think "judgement" has been a real strength for Kobe & Co. this summer.

· Colorado was 14-2 in the Big 12 the last two years. Don't look for the Buffs to continue at that pace. We'll have a few chances to see Gary Barnett get VERY frustrated on the Colorado sidelines this fall. And that's a good thing.

· My wife and I went to the movie "American Wedding." If that movie was a pitching line, it would have gone something like this: 3 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts. Sort of like Warren Brusstar in his prime.

· Kansas State has a terrific backfield with Ell Roberson at QB and Darren Sproles at RB, but the Wildcats have to play at Texas and at Nebraska this season, which will probably take them out of the national title hunt. By the way, I can't remember another Division 1 athlete who had the first name "Ell." The closest that I can come up with are: "El Duque" with the Yankees, "El Guapo" from "The Three Amigos" movie and Elle MacPherson.

· Nebraska has a couple of starters named Kabongo and Incognito. Seriously. "Kabongo & Incognito"…it sounds like an ABC sitcom starring a monkey and Tony Danza. (Maybe I need some more sleep.) · Do you think the Huskers will be ready for Penn State on September 13? The Nittany Lions drilled them, 40 to 7, last season.

· Iowa State dominated Nebraska, 36 to 14, a year ago. Will the Cyclones be able to stay close in the fourth quarter at Lincoln on October 25?

· Today's best batting stance for whiffle-ball players to imitate? Craig Counsell of the Diamondbacks.

· Tyson Smith could have a dozen sacks for ISU this season.

· What? Mike Tyson is filing for bankruptcy? I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

· Look for JaMaine Billups to have at least one bone-crushing hit per game this fall.

· Defensive lineman Tim TeBrink is one of ISU's most under-rated players. He could surprise some fans—and opponents—this season.

· Jesse Ventura for President? Yeah, that will happen. Right after Jim Zabel is elected as Iowa's new Governor, with Johnny Orr as his running mate.

(Marty Gallagher founded the popular web site IowaSportsOpinions.com. His columns for CN online are published each Tuesday and Friday. You can e-mail him at Marty@IowaSportsOpinions.com.)

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