Straight Shots...From the UNI Dome

Cedar Falls - Greg McDermott's return to the UNI Dome on Wednesday night is the most hyped storyline this team will face all season long. Did it live up to the hype? Not in the eyes of Chris Williams. Find out why and also get CN's publisher's opinions on terrible Thanksgiving television and his Heisman Trophy pick for next season right here in this edition of Straight Shots...From the UNI Dome.

Greg McDermott's return to the UNI Dome wasn't nearly the spectacle that I had imagined it would be. That's a testament to the man that he is in my opinion.


Sure, you had your group of about 50 moronic UNI students who booed the man who built their program with his bare hands, but for the most part McDermott's return on Monday didn't really phase the crowd of 10,000.


Even though the crowd seemed numb to the situation, McDermott and UNI head coach Ben Jacobson both said that they felt the rather strange emotions before the game.


"It was emotional," McDermott said. "Once the game starts, there are a few chuckles over there because Jake and I both threw a few things at each other that neither one of us have done all year."


Jacobson said the same.


"In some ways it was different then I thought," Jacobson said. "It's a hard thing to do when you're playing against your friend. It's really hard when you're playing against your best friend."


There were even a few times during the game where one could actually see the two coaches make eye contact with each other followed by a big smile.


To me, the game was more like a big family reunion for UNI basketball. Before the game, the UNI coaching staff presented NCAA Tournament watches to McDermott, Jeff Rutter, Ron Smith and Erik Crawford which was a fine gesture that McDermott said he wasn't expecting.


For the most part, the crowd was very respectful and I got the feeling after the game that both coaches and all of the players were glad to finally get this one out of the way.


Most of all, I really felt like these two basketball programs are now allies which makes me happy as a fan. Before McDermott came to Ames, UNI was one of the most hated teams on the schedule for most Iowa State students thanks to the confrontation that occurred two years ago between Wayne Morgan and McDermott. That was instigated by Morgan by the way.


Nonetheless, the past is in the past and this is a new era in Cyclone basketball. This quote from McDermott pretty much summed up everything for me after the game.


"We're going to win with class and we're going to learn to lose with class. We're just going to play the game and leave it out on the floor," McDermott said.


Now that's class.


I'm not going to lie though; I have no clue what he was talking about. I thought the team was classy from that I saw.  All night long, Cyclones were picking up Panthers and Panthers were picking up Cyclones. Butts were being slapped and smiles were being traded.


I guess I'm just used to the Curtis tantrums or point guards throwing his bigs under the bus during the post-game.


All of that stuff doesn't matter anymore. What matters is that Cyclone fans are getting a product that they can be proud of, no matter what the scoreboard says.


Thanksgiving Day = Terrible Television


Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays. Imagine a day where the whole point is to eat a lot and watch football. Sounds pretty perfect right? Yeah, if those were the actual circumstances.


I'll start with the pathetic Detroit Lions. Could somebody please get this joke of a franchise off of Thanksgiving Day? I understand that there is tradition there, but somebody please, for the love of the NFL, yank these guys off of Thanksgiving Day before I regurgitate my grandmas stuffing all over my TV. Barry Sanders, Wayne Font and Herman Moore's freakishly large hands are gone. This is a terrible team and they play hideous football every single year. I actually found myself watching the Marist spank Minnesota in basketball over the NFL. That alone should tell you that there's a problem. Marist people! I didn't even know that school existed.


Speaking of the NFL, I want to give a big (sarcastic) thanks to the NFL Network. Instead of watching the Chiefs play the Broncos on Turkey Night, I was forced to watch an extra-long version of Grey's Anatomy at my girlfriend's grandmas. Normally having to sit through that dreadful show wouldn't be a problem for me, but the whole point that the game was on and I couldn't physically watch it really got to me. I had a TV, I had a remote, but I didn't have the channel. So what's a man to do in that situation? Heck, just watch "McDreamy"  put the mack on his interns. Is it me or does every relationship in that show have to do with a doctor and his intern nurse? I don't know, I've seen it once and unfortunately, I think I'm hooked. Pray for me Cyclone fans. This could turn into a very bad habit.



McFadden: Best Player in the Game


Each and every year I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving. By now, most of you know my opinion's on the state to the west of us. It's a good chance for me to sit back in my hometown of Clarinda (where 80% of the people are traitors to their own state and root for the Huskers) and root against the almighty Cornhuskers. Normally that's my number one priority, to watch that game and cheer like heck for Colorado. I was getting ready to do that again this year until I discovered something.


Darren McFadden.


For those of you who don't know who he is, McFadden is the running back/quarterback/wide receiver/ flanker/ whatever you want him to be for the Arkansas Razorbacks.


I'm about to make a couple of huge statements. The first is, he is the best player I've seen play all year long and yes, that includes Troy Smith too. The second is, he is this year's and next year's Reggie Bush. He is that elusive. He's just as fast and he's more a bruiser than Bush will ever be. What makes him so good is what he has around him. Arkansas has one of the worst passing games I've ever seen and his line isn't something to brag about. Unlike Bush, he does it all on his own. The defense knows when he's getting the ball but they can't stop him anyways. I'm calling it right now. McFadden for Heisman in 07.




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