Going Gonzo with Wolfgang

In his first offering to HawkeyeNation.com readers, Wolfgang takes a look at a problem that is not getting any attention; Iowa's incredible shrinking quarterback, Drew Tate

Drew Tate has a problem. A "BIG" problem, one that people are not talking about or addressing. I've read through medical journals. I've consulted with the top doctors in the state of Iowa and still, no one has any medical theory whatsoever as to how to properly diagnose Drew Tate's symptoms. For those of you that want to look the other way, fine; not me!

Last year's roster showed Mr. Tate listed at six feet even. In this year's pre-season roster he is listed at 5'10 ½." By my math, that is a net loss of 1.5 inches in one year. Anyone under four feet tall, by definition, is a ‘little person'; we do not use the word midget any longer, as some people feel that is a derogatory term, so we will respect their wishes. At this rate, Drew has fifteen years until he can officially become eligible to work in the WWFM…the World Wrestling Foundation of the word we will not use. Get those roller coaster rides in now Drew, while you're still tall enough.

Just how tall does one have to be to play quarterback? For those of you that have the Capital One Bowl "on loop" in your living room, 5'10 ½ looks pretty darn good to me.

Drew Tate has a fire and passion on the football field that would make Dan Marino blush. Screaming, yelling, spitting, fist pumping, cursing; and no, I'm not talking about an episode of ‘The Osbournes.' Drew expects nothing but the best from himself as well as his teammates. Miss a block or a catch and you're gonna hear about it from Drew.

Mr. Tate isn't warm and fuzzy like a teddy bear. He isn't Mr. Personality. He IS a winner, competitor, magician, legend and…a potential little person. But Drew will also put his arm around you when needed. See the Purdue game last year when Clinton Solomon dropped a wide- open touch down. Tate was the first to console Solomon, slapping him on the butt, telling him to forget about it.

Pardon this interruption, but whose idea was it, back in the day, to slap somebody on the butt when you approve of their play? Who was the first guy ever to approach someone and slap them on the heiny after a nice catch and what kind of reaction did the slappee give the slapper? Did the slapee slap back at the slapper? I don't want to brag but I have never slapped anyone on the butt after a play on the field. High-fives, yes. Chest bumps, yes. Kisses on the cheek, like Magic and Isiah? On occasion. Now, where was I?

First and foremost a quarterback has to be a leader, a guy that comes into the huddle with confidence and a command of it. Tate could supply the entire Indiana Hoosiers football team with confidence and still have enough left over to walk up to a super model and ask her out on a date. There's also no doubt that Tate is the one in command of the huddle on this Hawkeye team. Is height just a number? It is to you and me, because all we care about are the results. But it's not to NFL muckety-mucks who make the decisions when drafting quarterbacks. They see Drew as more of a limbo star or Gary Coleman clone than they do N.F.L quarterback.

Can ‘Little Man Tate' make all the throws? Check. Is he a leader? Check. Can he run? Check. Can he make a play out of nothing when pass protection breaks down? Checkity-check-check. Checkmate and ‘check please!'

Thank goodness Kirk Ferentz doesn't have a litmus test when recruiting quarterbacks. If you're a good guy, good player and good student, you're a good fit to play for Iowa. Drew may be "five-foot nothing, a hundred and nothing," but when he's on the football field, he sure is something! No matter if he's 5'10 ½" or an even six-feet.

Wolfgang is a regular caller to Iowa Hawkeye related sports talk radio call in shows as well as a member of the HawkeyeNation.com community. Wolfgang will be submitting his thoughts, opinions and satire during the 2005 Iowa football season. The opinions he expresses are his and not necessarily those of the HawkeyeNation.com staff.


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