Hawk Blog: Alford's Last Stand?

Since lawyers for Miller Brewing Company told me I couldn't call my columns 'MillerTime' anymore, I have been thinking of some witty name to roll out. It has been more than a year & I just could not come up with anything. So I decided to borrow the word Blog. Hey, I can do that, as I was one of the early blogger's back in the day of the 'MillerTime' email newsletter that started it all for me back in 1999. So why not go back to the future? First up for the 'Hawk Blog'; Alford's Last Stand?

Friday, March 11th, 2005

This is the first installment of the Hawk Blog. Why are we doing this? Isn't Hawkeye Nation really one big blog?

Yeah, it probably is. The MillerTime Newsletter that I began back in 1999 was probably a blog. I always get a kick out of people fawning over this new thing called ‘the blogosphere'. It's been around a long time, we just didn't have a name for it.

Those of us who have been publishing online in this genre for five or so years are blog pioneers, I guess.

More than anything, it seemed like a good thing to call my weekly offerings since Miller Brewing Company called me a year or so ago and told me to cease and desist when it came to calling my columns ‘Miller Time'. Hawk Blog sounds good enough.

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Is Iowa's game against Michigan State the most important game in Steve Alford's coaching career? I think an argument could be made to that effect.

His games against Texas and Wisconsin back in the 1999 NCAA tournament were very important, as they helped elevate him to shining star status in the coaching ranks and ultimately were a part of his audition for the Iowa job.

Depending on who you believe, he might have to win Friday's game against the Spartans in order to gain another year in Iowa City…again, depending on who you believe.

Some people feel that he has to make the NCAA tournament to get another year. Some people believe a buyout is all but completed. Some people believe that he has another year, regardless.

All I know is that if Iowa wants to make it to the NCAA tournament, they have to beat Michigan State on Friday in Chicago. Lose, and it's another NIT. Win, and that might be enough to get into the dance, what with so many bubble teams losing on Thursday.

Things are actually falling into place for Iowa, with Notre Dame, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Miami, Maryland and other bubble teams taking it on the chin so early in Championship Week. DePaul and UCLA might also be in trouble after losing early round games.

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Welcome back, Erek Hansen. Where have you been?

Sure, it's easy to pick on Purdue, sans Carl Landry. The ‘Big E' will have a shot to show us if he is really back when he takes on Paul Davis on Friday.

Then again, if Iowa has any kind of shot against Michigan State, they will need to show the Spartans several zone looks, something they wanted to do against MSU the first time around but just never got around to it.

Iowa is not athletic enough to go toe to toe with the talent laden Spartans, so Alford is going to need to go ‘Shooter' and pull a few rabbits out of his hat. Let's just hope that the score is close enough at the end of the game for some Hawkeye to go ‘Chitwood'.

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Our old friend Brent Musburger was at it again on Thursday.

I really don't know the day that Brent got under my skin, and seemingly under the Hawkeye Nation's skin, as many of you will typically have a thing or four to say about a Musburger broadcast of an Iowa game.

But he was in rare form on Thursday.

He tried to be nice, calling attention to the fact that Iowa's football team was going to be a preseason Top Ten team next year, and that Kirk LaFrentz had done a fantastic job recruiting the city of Chicago this past winter.

He also noted that several of those recruits were offensive linemen, something we all know and something that Musburger admitted should not come as any surprise, as offensive line is LaFrentz's specialty.

Publicity like that on ESPN is always a great thing, and is just another example of why Bob Bowlsby should be applauded for locking LaFrentz up with a long-term contract this past November.

All kidding aside, Kirk has admitted that his father in law has called him Rick before, and Iowa fans still mispronounce his name on nearly every radio broadcast I am a part of each week throughout the state of Iowa.

I just figured that a pro like Limberger would get it right…I mean, Musburger.

No offense, Brent; I'm just bloggin'.

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And just to prove to Brent that I am a good sport, I was recently talking with my wife about a change in hair style. Since she just tried to save us some money by doing a hair color on her own with a $6 bottle of whatever it is women use, only to have to rush to the hair stylist for an emergency 'restoration', which was preceded by a 'consultation' (I am not making this up) and setting me back far more than it would have cost her to highlight it there in the first place, she reminded me what my hair style looked like that I was wanting to revert to.

The Flat Top.

Man, I just love the flat top. It's a no fuss, no muss, roll out of the rack and do anything you please type of cut.

However, the man that I trusted to cut my hair like that, Dean 'Hoot' Gibson has since left this world, and I just don't know that I could, or should, trust anyone else to trim my lid in that regard.

Plus, she emailed me one of my old photos that used to accompany my MillerTime stories.

I think she is probably right.

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