Posted by: marcmwm | July 25, 2008

Some quick notes . . .

I promise to blog more later. We’re going to hit the road in a few minutes.

Here’s a few (unedited) tidbits from the Iowa side. I apologize for the font being all screwy. I’ll try to fix that later.

If anyone reading has any questions, just leave a comment and I will respond. I always do.

Three more flood stories

All three Hawkeyes at Friday’s Big Ten media session were touched by June’s flood.

The family farm of senior defensive tackle Matt Kroul had 12 acres of pumpkins washed out by the Cedar River. He helped clear and then replant. Also, the family home had a finished basement wiped out. The Krouls finished the basement after the ‘93 flood, “expecting it not to happen again,” Matt said.

“It was actually a big hit with all the stuff that was down there,” he said.

The Kroul pumpkin patch is an area attraction during the Halloween season. There’s hope for the crop, yet.

“We’re crossing our fingers,” Kroul said. “Hopefully, this fall turns out all right and the hit isn’t so bad after all.”

Tammy King, the mother of senior defensive tackle Mitch King, lost her Iowa City home.

She just moved in, Mitch said, so the house had just been remodeled. New furniture and new appliances were lost.

Tammy King didn’t get the evacuation notice until 8:30 during morning of the flood, Mitch said. She had to be out of the house by 9 a.m.

“She told me she slept through them knocking on her door that night,” King said. “She got a lot of things out, things that are irreplaceable. She just moved in, so there wasn’t a lot of stuff, but what was there was ruined.”

Senior offensive lineman Seth Olsen’s connection is through his wife, Christi. She is from Phoenix, Ariz., but her family is orginally from Monticello. She also has family in the area, including a cousin in Czech Village.

“He moved everything to the second floor and thoughtit would be safe there,” said Olsen, who’s from Omaha, Neb. “The water got to the second floor, though.”

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has only seen downtown Cedar Rapids from the I-380 bridge, but he’s seen the pictures and knows the devastation is there.

“I’m approaching 53 right now and I’ve never endured that kind of hardship,” he said. “You want to talk about hardship? That’s hardship. I think the best thing is the human spirit, what you see and learn about that. It’s a lot of hard work and is going to be a long road.”

 

Extra credit OK

Iowa quarterback Jake Christensen spent time at former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg’s camp during Iowa’s spring break in March. Ferentz was asked if it’s OK for his players to seek outside help.

“If it helps, then I’m all for it,” he said. “I don’t know crap about golfing, but I imagine you want to be careful how many instructors you get. You want to be careful about how many chefs get into the kitchen.”

In his first season as starter, Christensen, a junior, had a 53.5 completion percentage, lowest among starters in the Big Ten. He also played behind an injured and inexperienced offensive line that allowed 46 sacks.

“What we’re counting on and hoping for and expecting is for every guy to take the experience that they gained and make a significant step,” Ferentz said. “We’re expecting everybody to use their experience.”

 

The weighty question

One fun Internet fan activity this offseason has been trying to track the weight of running back Shonn Greene, who left Iowa last season due to academics. Rumors swirled on the junior’s physical condition, including guesses on his weight topping out at 260.

Greene is listed at 5-foot-11, 235 pounds in Iowa’s media guide. Ferentz guessed 225 to 230.

“Coincidentally, I used to work in a carnival,” Ferentz joked, referring to the famous “weight guess” game. “I lost a lot of money working there. Keep guessing wrong, you’ve got to pay the carnival.”

Seriously, Ferentz said Greene’s weight is down from when he saw him in the spring but wouldn’t venture a guess as to how far down.

“I’m happy to report that,” Ferentz said.

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