Remember the Maine: 18 Days Till Kickoff (and the Hawkeyes Fire Back)

OK, so this is about the Maine Black Bears and Iowa Hawkeyes, not the California Golden Bears and Iowa Hawkeyes. Hey, you try to find an image of the Maine and Iowa logos together.

Maine, which has every intention of destroying Iowa’s Labor Day weekend with an Aug. 30 football victory over the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium, has competition in the Hawkeyes in the propaganda department.

The Black Bears have been posting news from their practices on their football Web site – Well, the Hawkeyes are fighting Internet fire with Internet fire.

The University of Iowa owes the Hlog big-time for this plug (since the UI is taking a $231 million hit from flood damage, consider this the Hlog’s gift to the school. Is it tax-deductible, by the way?). At the UI’s, a daily rundown of practice is available for you millions and millions of Hawkeye fans who crave football news but can’t get it because practice is closed to the media and public.

As you might imagine, since it is the school’s own site, the news is tremendously fabulous. All of it.

OK, so the Iowa people haven’t mentioned tight end Tony Moeaki’s foot injury on their updates, an injury strongly suspected but not confirmed in cyberspace. They’re trying to beat Maine here, folks, not be Anderson Cooper.

But what the Hawkeye people have revealed is clearly a campaign to throw the Black Bears off their feed. For instance, the following nuggets for the Black Bears to fear in the next two paragraphs here are courtesy of at

Preseason practice No. 11 for the Hawkeyes included several spectacular plays from players who are not only making an impact on the depth chart, but may soon become household names. Wide receiver Paul Chaney Jr., made a remarkable touchdown catch during a two-minute drill. Tight end Allen Reisner hauled in a diving reception in the end zone for another score. Then there was walk-on Steve Staggs from Oskaloosa, who concluded the scrimmage with a nice grab in traffic before he absorbed a big hit but held onto the ball.

“Colin Sandeman had a nice day and Andy Brodell made some nice catches as well,” said UI offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe following the scrimmage. “Sandeman has really been coming on strong and competing extremely hard the last four practices or so. We have a lot of good competition at the X position with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Colin at this stage. Brodell is a veteran guy and knows what he’s doing — he made the catches that came his way today which he needs to do. The tight ends — Brandon Myers and Allen Reisner — showed up and made some big plays as well today. Chaney did a nice job and he’s starting to play full speed. Some of the young guys who are making plays at the wide receiver position — Steve Staggs had a nice play at the end of practice, Nick Kuchel has really been competing hard, Ben Evans — those guys have all been pushing for their chances to show what they can do when the ball is thrown their way.”

See that, Maine? For much of last season, the Hawkeyes had nothing but freshmen receivers running routes O’Keefe probably couldn’t recognize. That wasn’t a good thing.

This year, it’s Randy Moss one one side, Terrell Owens on the other, Dallas Clark II and III at tight end, and a plethora of young Jerry Rices dotting the depth chart. Everywhere you look at practice there’s a future “household name” making a big-time catch or competing like heck.

Maine is savvy in the battle of words, however. It has countered with nuggets like this from its practice reports, knowing Iowa allowed 46 quarterback sacks last season and is sensitive about the subject:

DAILY NUMBER: 2 – Consecutive seasons that Maine has finished in the top 15 nationally in sacks.

But will surely have an offensive line report coming soon that will address that matter. Let’s see, five offensive line positions. The over/under on future “household names” there should be set at about 14.


One response to “Remember the Maine: 18 Days Till Kickoff (and the Hawkeyes Fire Back)

  1. I find your blog very entertaining. Keep it up….but..can you blame Ferentz for keeping you guys (reporters) out of practice? Obviously the Gazette, Register, and especially the Press Citizen embaressed themselves in their insenuation that Ferentz or Barta were a part of a conspiracy to cover up the rape charges.The job of the media is to sell papers, facts be darned. The job of Ferentz is to prepare his 18-22 year olds ready for the season.If Ferentz let you guys interview players you would take any players comment and blow it up into a 3 page controversy, distracting the Iowa football players and the state, all the while making TRUCKLOADS of money. As Ferentz said only as eloquently as Ferentz can: No one wins in these situations, except the people who tell the stories. Ferentz is awesome. Why would he let anyone who doesn’t have the best interest of the Iowa football team into practices? Reporters’ loyalty is not to journalistic integrity or the Iowa Hawkeyes but … the almighty dollar.

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