The Shadow Sounds Off

Iowa City, IA-The Dark One was in a foul mood when I picked him up and drove him from the beautiful new Iowa football practice facility down the hill to his Coralville home, the Wig & Pen. He had requested this meeting, as he wanted to get something off his chest. He reached into his pocket and removed a handwritten document, which I have transcribed for all to read. Although I have edited his sometimes-foul language, his nasty demeanor has been left untouched.

"It has come to my attention repeatedly, on these message boards, that many of you are unhappy with Steve Alford. I have read posts on this board and others that border on lunacy. I would like to address this issue through my friends at"

Last year at this time we were filled with irrational exuberance about the prospects of the Iowa basketball team. They did not live up to our expectations as the season progressed. Steve Alford will be the first to admit that he fueled the thoughts of sugar plums and NCAA Final Four Fairies dancing in our heads. He made a mistake. He realizes this now.

Last year's team was more talented than any team that he had ever coached. It was far more talented than the Sweet Sixteen team that he had at SMS. It should have been better than the Big Ten Tournament Championship team that he had the previous year at Iowa. But, it wasn't!

However, Steve Alford is not the Devil incarnate. He is human. But, the fact that he erred last year should not give anyone license to discuss personal items such as Steve's wife, Tonya, or other personal issues. Personal is off limits. Personnel, recruiting, substitutions, strategy etc. are fair game.

My friend, Barry, tells me that he has had to delete posts that had to have been written by the lunatic fringe. My advice is to calm down. Please call your local pharmacy and get your Valium and Prozac prescription refilled while I give you a few facts:

Steve started his tenure in April, 1999 with only 3 players that had any significant experience with average players Jacob Jaacks and Ryan Luehrsmann and current NBA player, Dean Oliver. That's a major rebuilding when you lose 2 years of recruiting due to "The Girls" tying Bob Bowlsby's hands.

In his 2nd year, Steve's 23 wins tied for 4th best record in Iowa Basketball History plus a Big 10 Tournament Championship (1st one in 20 plus years).

The 19 wins last year have been matched or bettered by only 25 previous teams in 100 years of Iowa Basketball.

This summer, the Hawkeye ship has taken some hits on the bow with the ineligibility of Erek Hansen and with Doug Thomas not qualifying. The early departures of Marcellus Sommerville and Josh Rhodes further rocked the boat.

The addition of Kurt Spurgeon gives Steve a player that is proud to wear the Black & Gold. Kurt will fit in with former Martin Brothers teammates Worley, Sondy, Brunner and Horner. Remember when Martin Brothers beat Playaz?

Bill Self thinks that Jared Reiner is ready to be another Robert Archibald. He has matured and has gotten more of a mean streak.

This is a tough corps of players that will give their all for the name on the front of their Jerseys. What do you wear on your apparel?

So let's give this guy a chance! While some of you think that this year will be Alford's Waterloo, I think it will be the genesis of a new, more powerful Iowa basketball program. For those of us who wear Black & Gold, it's time to circle the wagons and show our support. Those who don't can put on their Dookie boy diapers, and cheer for the perennial #1 recruiting class. Then you can complain when Coach K only wins 30 games and is upset by somebody in the A Who Who.

Comply with my request or you may need to have your doctor prescribe total rest until OUR coach rights the Hawkeye ship. He may do it sooner than you think!

That's my take. But what do I know?

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