26 April 2006

Acuff Approach

Wanna check out the high jump over lunch?

The 97th annual Drake Relays have begun and really get going Friday and Saturday. I had heard from a couple friends that they were going to hold the high jump event downtown at Nollen Plaza today. So, a co-worker and I were going to go down over lunch and check out the action. When she bailed on me, I didn't hesitate to stick with the plan and get out and enjoy the weather. Arriving down at the plaza, I knew I was in for a good time. There was quite a good crowd, several food vendors set up and music and announcers on a PA system. When each woman would get up to jump the crowd would start a slow, metronome-like clap, urged on by the jumpers. I guess it is a standard high jump thing to do. The crowd was so close to the action, unlike when you are at a stadium in bleachers and watching the jumpers on the infield. I was probably only twenty feet from the athletes! (They are incredible specimens.) It was great. The downtown business crowd were all out there in their khakis or suits, clapping and enjoying themselves. Throwing off worries about dealines, quotas, reports and meetings to breathe in the simple pleasure of enjoying a competitive event in the warm spring sun. There were two or three classes of elementary school kids there on outings and they were loving it. I timed my arrival pretty nicely. The event had been started an hour earlier and when I got there they had proceeded down to the final 6 jumpers. I watched for 45 minutes and got to see the event through to its conclusion. I love the Drake Relays for its ability to bring world-class athletes to Iowa. This event was no different. Amy Acuff was competing. She's a four-time Olympian and model. It was great to see professional athletes from Canada, the U.S., Austria here plying their trade. It was such a fun atmosphere. When they got down to the final 4 jumpers, each jumper had a favorite 'theme song' that they would play over the speakers when they got up to jump. There was one jumper, Shaunte Howard (#1 in the world), who was just having a great time, she'd get up to jump and Black-Eyed Peas would come on, she'd start dancing around and having a good ol' time. The school kids LOVED her. And she returned their love, playing to the kids, dancing, making faces. By the end they were chanting her name over and over. She ended up winning the event with jump of 6' 3 1/2". When she cleared that height, the kids simply went berserk, literally rolling on the cement, screaming, high-fiving, running in circles. It was wonderful to see. The athletes were handing out pictures and autographs to them. I have to say, whoever thought up this idea was a genius. I'm sure some were not big on taking the action away from the Drake area, but to tap into the business crowd was awesome. Here is the Des Moines Register's write up this afternoon. I don't think they have anything on my description. We'll see what Marc Hansen writes about it tomorrow.
I saw a college roommate of mine there who I hadn't seen in a long time, so I was able to catch up with him a little while I was there. And I picked up a Pablo's burrito on the way back to work. I don't think I could've had a better lunch break.

25 April 2006

Hoppin' Johns


Thanks to Stoppable (and Paula Deen) for the tip, I was able to use up the black-eyed peas I had sitting around and made a nice little side dish to go with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey I thawed out.

21 April 2006

Chicago Public School students' college grad rate

This article from the Sun-Times today has some shocking numbers in it. Only 6% of high school freshman in CPS will graduate from with a four-year college degree. If you happen to be black or Hispanic or male, the numbers are worse. The difference between male and female is huge, especially when you look at the high school graduation numbers. I also thought it was interesting to see the differences between the university.
I also have to say that I was suprised that 85% of CPS students are low-income. That is a lot.

20 April 2006

Middleson fixes everything!

Paying $2.77 a gallon at the pump yesterday got me thinking. I called up Stoppable and, of course, told him that it was all the fault of the current White House administration. We traded a few playful barbs about what's to blame and how we could fix the situation. I came up with the idea that if our government had decided several years ago to not invade Iraq and instead, direct those billions of dollars into research and development of alternative energy sources our situation would be much different now. We could've focused on ethanol plants, nuclear reactors, switchgrass (isn't that what the President mentioned in the State of the Union?), biodiesel, hydrogen auto engines, hybrid auto engines, etc. As we became the world leader in alternative energy, we could have balanced our trade deficit. The impact would be wide and deep.
We would stop being OPEC's #1 customer. By reducing our dependency on their oil, we would remove the leash they hold on us. And by slashing our oil guzzling ways, we would decrease the overall demand for oil, thereby driving the price per barrel down. This would benefit not only our remaining oil needs, but that of all other countries as well. It would also reduce OPEC's invulnerability. If the world wasn't dependant on its oil, they would not be able to get away with whatever they wanted.
Our investment in auto research would provide American auto makers the competitive advantage to pull back ahead of the foreign manufacturers. If domestic cars were top of the line with cutting edge technology that saved people money, we would be able to reverse the auto trade deficit by exporting more American cars and not buying foreign ones.
The skyrocketing interest in ethanol and biodiesel would lead to ethanol plants popping up like mushrooms throughout the midwest, providing jobs and revitalizing economies. The price of corn would go up, making farming (and even small family farming) profitable again. These situations would lead to an influx of people heading to the midwest and fewer people leaving. (On NPR this morning, Iowa is 10th in the nation in highest rate of losing its population.) The increased population and stronger economies would benefit the education system by creating more jobs for teachers and better funding for schools (from property taxes off of all the new homes).
There would no longer be a threat of the government wanting to drill for oil in our national forests. Our automobiles would be running cleaner and burning less gasoline so our air quality would improve. Cost of goods and air fares would decrease due to lower transportation costs. Travel would then go up, further improving our economy.
More travel, less smog, cheaper transportation, chemore opportunities for farmers, better education, less violence, a stronger economy, fixing the trade defecit and buying American made ethanol instead of Middle Eastern oil would lead to a higher quality of life.

18 April 2006

Art Institute changing admission fees/free days

Interesting changes and interesting reasoning for them.
Since less than 10% were paying less than the 'suggested' $12, I think the changes will be good. Kids get in for less and I think the free evenings will be good also, better for those who work during the day. And February is free, which is very cool. What better things are there to do when it is freezing cold out then go spend the day indoors looking at amazing art?

Allied in the news (again!)

It is interesting that I haven't heard anything about this story at work. Maybe it's been kept on the down low. This is the second unflattering news story to come out in the last year. How can we not have someone in our actuarial dept who can get an accurate count of parking spaces? And it looks like Allied settled with paying out ~$600k instead of the original $1.8M, not a bad deal overall!
(Thanks to Mom for bringing this to my attn.)

New Speakers!

I got two new speakers installed in the rear of my car yesterday after work. For the last few months, I've had one that was either blown or rattled really bad and the other didn't put out any sound. So I was SO happy to get in my car and hear the full sounds coming from the back seat! Plus, my Best Buy hook-up got me the discount on the speakers so it wasn't too much! Yippee! Now I am really ready for that road trip.

Don't breath so loud!

Man, I can't stand loud breathers! I had a meeting this morning and the lady who sat next to me breathed very loudly through her nose the whole time.
And then, at Barnes and Noble, as I'm sitting and trying to write a paper, this kid plops down next to me and he had all these loud habits, or ticks. Readjusting his seat, rolling his head, rolling his shoulders, pulling at his shirt and this loud blowing air through his nose thing. He went through the whole routine every minute or two. I endured it for about ten minutes then I had to relocate to a different area.
Mark it down as a pet peeve.

Drive Me Around!!

What a fun weekend. I had a great time seeing everyone. As I was thinking about the weekend, I realized how fun it was to be driven everywhere and it gave me a chance to see and talk to everybody. Dara drove most of the way home and dropped me at Mall of the Bluffs where I was picked up by the Omaha group's van and ferried the rest of the way home. Sitting in the back, I was able to get caught up on what was new with all the kids. Very fun. And then Luke gave me a ride back to Des Moines at the end of the weekend, so we had a chance to talk about music, etc.
It was a great weekend for all the reasons I love going home. Relaxing times sitting around and talking, doing laundry, and playing geography games. Our grilling/picnic in the park/egg hiding & hunting/frisbee was great fun. The wind proved to be too strong for our kite string which led to a long rescue mission for Stoppable's kite and a deer skeleton while searching for my kite. A storm and tornado watch didn't impede our grilling of smoked pork chops (yum) for a wonderful dinner. Easter Mass was good and tree-trimming and yard work were fun too. When you are riding in the trunk, pulling a massive brush pile while your mom drives out to a dumping spot, you know you are back home.

14 April 2006

Year Two of Netflix

A year ago I posted the activity of my first year in Netflix. I listed 77 movies and also noted the winners, the dogs and other miscellania. To continue that tradition, here is the second annual Netflix review. 80 films this year. You used to have to have Netflix email you your entire rental history and now you can get it online, but it doesn't have the year of the movie beside it like last year's, which was helpful to know.

North Country
Waiting...
Elizabethtown
Hitch
Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine
Word Wars
Ran
Better Than Sex
Say Anything
A Fond Kiss
Hustle & Flow
The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition
Sanjuro
Seven Samurai
Before Sunset
Yojimbo
Before Sunrise
Hidden Fortress
Veer-Zaara
The Straight Story
Ladder 49
Herbie: Fully Loaded
Dr. Strangelove
The Interpreter
12 Angry Men
Salaam Bombay!
Troy
Shine
Scared Straight!
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Fever Pitch
Main Hoon Na
Bollywood / Hollywood
Crash
To Sir, with Love
The Station Agent
The Boys and Girl from County Clare
My Left Foot: Special Edition
Saved!
Coach Carter
Born Into Brothels
Million Dollar Baby
A Very Long Engagement
Matchstick Men
St. Elmo's Fire
Slacker
Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol
Borstal Boy
Out of Time
Anger Management
Boys on the Side
Kinsey
The Sea Inside
Hotel Rwanda
Fame
Victor / Victoria
Lagaan
A Day Without a Mexican
Sideways
Camera Buff
After the Sunset
House of Flying Daggers
I Am David
The Notebook
Stand and Deliver
Bloody Sunday
The General
The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo
Wimbledon
Devil's Playground
Thirteen
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Wicker Park
Closer
Mississippi Burning
Children of a Lesser God
A Love Divided
Reality Bites
The Passion of the Christ
Footloose: Special Collector's Edition


The Good: Hustle & Flow, Seven Samurai, 12 Angry Men, Crash, Closer, The Notebook, Lagaan, Hotel Rwanda.
The Bad: Wicker Park, After the Sunset, Camera Buff, Sideways, Victor / Victoria, A Day Without a Mexican, The General, Salaam Bombay!, Elizabethtown.

Wait-Listed for Perfection?

What a bummer! Getting a perfect score on your ACT/SAT only to be wait-listed by all your top schools. It is some fierce competition out there I guess among those at the high end of the grade spectrum. Although, I'm sure Johns Hopkins is glad to hear they are "still a pretty good school".

New Flavor of Dr. Pepper!

I am a big fan of Dr. Pepper, as most know. Diet Dr. Pepper is probably my most favorite pop. So, when I saw they had a new flavor out, I was pretty excited to try it. Dara is also a big fan of the Pepper and she picked up two bottles of Diet Dr. Pepper - Berries and Cream for us to try. I don't think that the name is very catchy or marketable, but since berry flavors usually score high with me, I was ready to try.
Now, before I give my verdict, I have to say that I was big fan of the Cherry Vanilla flavor that came out a year or so ago. I thought it was really good at first but after a few months, I returned to plain Diet Dr. P. The other was just too sweet and not enough Pepper! Dara stuck with it for much longer but has recently agreed that it is not the best flavor.
So, I had my bottle of Berries and Cream earlier this week and my first reaction is.....pretty good. There really isn't too much of a berry flavor. I think it is more like Dr. Pepper with Cream Soda mixed in. I liked it. This is only after one tasting and my opinion may (will) change after repeated samples.
Try it and let me know what you think. Or is there any other new pop flavors out there I need to know about?

11 April 2006

School of Americas Watch

Yesterday after work I went down to Simpson and sat outside and enjoyed the incredible weather and studied for an hour, then went and took a test. I sped through the test so I could make it to a speaker on campus that I wanted to listen to. He was a decent speaker with an interesting story and I enjoyed it. I've been looking for fun, cultural events to check out since I've moved back to Des Moines and haven't found a whole lot so this speaker and the library opening were good finds. I am not a fan or proponent of those activists, priests or otherwise, that advocate crossing military base fences, sitting on missile silos, and getting arrested, etc. Fr. Cordaro here in Des Moines is always in the paper for getting arrested, going to jail, etc. I do not think that is the most effective way to act out and push for change. The speaker, a Vietnam vet, did a good job of presenting a faith-based look at country's involvement in Iraq. And the information about the School of the Americas was appalling. Check out these links for some information on it.
School of Americas Watch
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (what the SOA has been renamed)
Wikipedia entry for WHISC
The soldiers responsible for killing Bishop Romero, trained at SOA. 19 of the 27 soldiers responsible for killing 6 Salvadoran Jesuit priests, they maid & her teenage daughter on Nov 16, 1989, trained at SOA. A SOA alum was convicted of a 1998 murder of Guatemalan Bishop Juan Gerardi. The graduate list also include Manuel Noriega among other notorious characters.
I thought it was cool that the new route they are going is to work with individual Latin American or South American countries to get them to agree to stop sending their troops to the SOA. Surprisingly, they have had pretty good success so far! Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay have agreed to pull out their troops and stop sending them there. There is a bill in the House to suspend WHISC, but up to now they have been unable to get such an action through.

"With a geology degree from Southwestern Louisiana, Roy Bourgeois served as a Naval Officer in the U.S. Military. Two years at sea, one year at a NATO station in Europe, and one year on shore in Viet Nam, he received the Purple Heart. He left the military and entered the seminary, becoming a Maryknoll Missionary and was ordained a Catholic priest. His journey took him from the battlefield to the poor communities of Bolivia and El Salvador. Seeing in person what U.S. foreign policy looked like through the eyes of the poor, he founded the School of the Americas Watch. This organization researches the U.S. Army School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where the school has trained "more than 60,000 Latin American soldiers in commando and psychological warfare, counterinsurgency techniques and intelligence gathering. UN Commissions have linked SOA graduates to many of the region's most heinous massacres, assassinations and torture interrogations over the
years." Protesting the training of these soldiers in these techniques by the U.S. military, Fr. Roy has spent over four years in prison for non-violent civil disobedience. Spend an hour of your evening and hear what Fr. Roy has to say."

Last weekend recap

A statewide reading conference brought my mom to Iowa's capital city for a few days last week and we had quite a fun time. It also gave me yet another opportunity to remember that no one can go-go-go like my mother. I can barely keep up, but I love it. In my family, you gotta be ready to go or you might get left behind. We packed a lot of fun into a few days. A good meal at Centro, a visit to Dara's studio, wonderful lunch at Palmer's on the skywalk, an average fish fry out in Ankeny, and the big grand opening of the downtown Library. Although we didn't splurge for $250 tickets to the black-tie gala the night before, we were rubbing elbows with the political crowd at the ribbon-cutting on Saturday morning. (I scanned that picture pretty closely but I couldn't find us. We were there though!) Gov. Vilsack & his wife Christie, former Gov. Bob Ray, both state Senators, Boswell and Harkin, city councilpeople, the Mayor, etc. It was lots of fun and the library is really cool. It is going to be a dream to have it right across the street from my work. I will be able to slip over there for lunch or after work for a couple hours. It is really a wonderful facility, well-thought out and the kids area is great. It was hilarious and encouraging at the same time to see people waiting to check out with arm-loads of books, dvds, and cd's, they had huge stacks!
And then to top it all off, on the way home it worked out perfectly to drive to NTW's soccer game. I was happy to get a chance to see him play, and score a goal! Sky Blue Lizards!!!
Saturday evening I was Dara's date to a 60th birthday dinner party for her dad's gf. It was fun to get a chance to hang out and talk with Dan & D'Lynn and my steak wasn't too bad either.
Lots of fun, thanks to all who shared in it.

My Kind of Town...

Lots of fun was had on my Chicago getaway a couple weekends ago. I won't bored you all listing all the places I went, I will just cover it all by saying I hit many of my favorite spots, did some fun shopping, got to ride the eL, went to mass with my favorite priest and got to have some good times with good friends. Thanks! Here are a few pictures I took....

Chi Pix









Beastie's Tax Reform?

This thought came to me as I was listening to the Beastie Boys on my iPod today. In their song "Alive", they have a lyric that goes, "I'd like to have a say on the income tax…Don't wanna help build bombs and that's the facts….No money for health care, so what's the catch?" This started me thinking that it would be interesting to see what the Federal budget would look like if people were able to designate where they wanted their tax dollars to go. They would still be required to pay the same amount as usual, but they would be able to set what percent of their dollars go to homeland security, Medicare, education programs, defense, etc. I wonder what the budget would look like then.
I don't think the Dept of Defense would be getting the massive amounts that it is now and there may, miraculously, be money for education or environmental protection, new energy development, etc.
Now, I understand that this theory would probably not work, but it is fun and interesting to think about. In essence, people would be able to vote with their tax dollars on what programs were important to them. There would probably have to be some stipulations, like people could only determine the use for 75% of thier taxes. The other 25% would go to fund the programs that no one would think of including when they make their choices.
I'm sure Republicans would say all those that didn't fund defense shouldn't complain when they get bombed. And I would say, you're right. (to an extent). If someone thinks that funding defense is not the top priority then they should be ready to deal with the consequences. But that leads one to ask, 'What is our country doing in the world to ellicit the hatred that would lead us to be afraid of getting attacked?' Maybe that needs to change too.

Approval Ratings...

This article, taken from the Washington Post, puts some strong statistics out there for consideration. I could take this opportunity to say that the numbers make me happy, and in some instances they do, but I don't think it is ever a positive thing to have 60% of your fellow voters disapproving of your national leader's action. If only 38% think he is doing well at his job, that is not good for the country.
Obviously, I am left-leaning and obviously I did not vote for President Bush. But now that he is there, I want him to do a good job of leading our country. Unfortunately, I agree with the 60% that he hasn't done that.

One fact that struck me as especially interesting was the sizable decrease in number in just the last month. That says that the problem is on-going and getting worse.
After the last election, everyone (myself included) was saying that the Democrats needed to do a better job of developing their platform and image and stop just being 'not Republicans' because that will not get anyone elected. If these statistic trends continue, that may be exactly all that is needed.

10 April 2006

Free Will and the Freedom to Explore

Sometimes it occurs to me that the freedom to move around is really incredible. I think in our heads we get this idea solidified that we are where we are and to move would be near-impossible. But there is not anything to stop someone from getting in their car and driving to Maine and finding an apartment and starting to live there. This statement probably sounds a bit odd or maybe obvious but it is fun to think about. If you have the will and the means, you can go anywhere in the country for as long as you want. It really is a wonderful freedom. (sidenote: I am not planning to move to Maine, that was just an example) I actually was thinking about this when I drove to Chicago for a weekend recently. Another thought that I had was how fun it is that you get into your car at Point A, drive for hours and when you get out of your car, you are at Point B. While you are driving you only see the several hundred feet in front and around you. That stretch of interstate doesn't change very much so, at times, it can feel like you are really going anywhere.
I am not doing a good job of putting my concepts into words this morning so I will wrap up this insanity with a statement that one thing I would like to do at some point is to take a LONG roadtrip. A friend of mine at the Y highly recommended driving Route 66 out to California, he even got out his special maps and showed me how cool it was. I think that would be great fun. Driving, stopping at family-owned restaurants, seeing sights, watching the landscape change, have a good road-trip mix playing. Similar to the road-trip at the end of Elizabethtown. Anyone have any other suggested routes or destinations?

Boot Camp for Mac's

Even though I am not a techie, I found this to be ground-breaking news. Apple is releasing this 'Boot Camp' that will allow its Mac computers to boot up in either OS X (Mac's standard operating system) OR Windows (Microsoft's industry standard operating system). They say it will be beneficial for Mac users that want to run computer games that were made only for Windows. It also will allow buyers that had previously been reluctant to leave their Windows environment to buy a Mac but continue with that same familiar look, if they so choose.
Apple is always on the leading edge, doing things differently. I want a Mac for my next computer.

05 April 2006

Celtic FC raise the cup!

Celtic wrapped up the Scottish Premier League title last night with seven games left to play. Congrats!

Other good moves by my favorite soccer club, they have made their stadium smoke free! They did so to comply with Scotland's new no smoking policy in public places. You can read more about it here and check out a great interactive map of the world with info on each country and what they are doing to clear the air (courtesy of Google Maps).

DeLay DeCides to Step Down

To contine my string of politically ranting blog posts of recent days, and to continue my DeLay posts with cheesey names, here is the latest (and last?) headline in his story. I'm too lazy to provide any insightful commentary on these latest proceedings.

EXXON MOBIL takes #1 spot on Forbes 500 from Wal-Mart

Oil reigns supreme, thanks in no small part to the $2.49 they get from me each time I need a gallon of gas. How long will it be before our country bites the bullet and investes the necessary resources that will take us into the next energy age. Let's make hybrid cars, biodiesel, E85 ethanol, hydrogen cars, whatever...the norm and no longer be at the mercy of the oil magnates of the world.
Then we would be able to focus on liberating countries outside of OPEC.

March Madness - Final Standings

Here's the final standings for the family pool '06....

Rank Score Correct Champion
1 rose 307 36 Duke
2 jake 300 35 Boston College
3 Katie 270 30 Iowa
4 Noah 268 22 Florida
5 eron 249 30 Boston College
6 dara 220 24 Iowa
7 Brighid 210 22 Washington
8 Emily 127 13 Winthrop

Congrats go to Mom for winning (again, Eron we need to compile the winners of past years). And to Noah, for picking the champion! It earned him enough points to leapfrog his dad into 4th place. The boy shows potential, we could have a pool prodigy on our hands!

04 April 2006

Illegal Immigration

I was watching some news channel while working out last night and they were showing the situation along our country's border with Mexico. They are 7000 citizens who have decided that it has become necessary for them to patrol the border. They are sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars (and probably some Jack Daniels) in groups spread every quarter-mile along the areas of the border that typically have the highest illegal immigrant traffic. It showed the herd of 'minutemen' bounding through the tumbleweeds when they spotted some activity. Then it showed the Hispanic children that they apprehended, dirty, desperate and crying.
I haven't been able to get this whole situation out of my head. There are some interesting points here. First, I credit those individuals for coming together and deciding to do what the government has been unwilling or unable to do, which is effectively patrol our borders. Having said that, a few other questions came to mind. Don't these people have jobs? and Is this the best use of these 'volunteers'? (Why not set up an immigration/naturalization facility and let these eager citizens staff it?) Secondly, one vigilante stated that this illegal immigration problem is the biggest threat to our national security. I don't think I completely agree with that. Or, if it is true, then why the heck are we pouring billions of dollars and thousands of lives into a war in Iraq? We should be attacking Mexico! Thirdly, in the debating about the immigration bills, people continually mention that the immigrants are not taking jobs away because they are doing jobs that American do not want and won't do for that pay, and that those employers would not be able to compete with foreign companies if they were forced to pay an inflated wage to Americans to do that same work. They question this raised in my mind was.....We have millions of people on welfare in America. And a portion of those people do not have any intentions of getting off. Why shouldn't they be set up with work in some of these areas that the immigrants are working in? Instead of sitting on the couch and collecting their dole check, why not make them go work in the orange orchards or on the docks cutting fish? This would solve a couple problems. They would no longer be earning welfare, so the gov't would save money there AND the employer would have a job filled for the say pay that he would have had to pay an illegal immigrant to do. If there were no welcoming employers here, the main motivation behind the illegal immigration would be gone.
With the bills being discussed at the Capitol, this is and will be a hot topic. I may post a comment with more info on what the bills would entail. Until then, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

One Shining Moment

While the championship game last night was not a close one at any point, I did find it pretty enjoyable to watch. Florida played very well. Their ball movement, their sharp, quick passes, unselfishness and ability to get the ball to the open man were all great. Humphrey's three-point shooting may not have been as scintillating as in previous rounds, but it still got the job done. The Gators interior defense, led by Noah's shot blocking was relentless.
One Shining Moment was magically special, as always. I only wish it could be longer. I would love another 3 or 4 minutes of it. There were definitely enough last-second heart-breakers this year. I like the old guy playing the trombone in the pep band. And I thought they did a good job of showing the physicalness of the game. I liked the ending with Noah in front of the student section doing the Gator chomp. I got on iTunes this morning to see if you can buy and download the video of One Shining Moment, but no luck. I think that is a missed marketing opportunity by CBS. They put something out there early in the tournament, some highlights from the first two rounds. They would sell so many more if they made One Shining Moment available. The song is available for those that are interested. Although, I didn't see the Luther Vandross version that was played last night.

03 April 2006

Iowa Wrestling

Iowa decided not to renew Jim Zalesky's contract last week. There is BIG talk about who his replacement is going to be. While Gable has some traditions drooling with his comments about there being a slight slight chance of his considering re-taking the job, the more realistic possibility is Tom Brands. He has an interview scheduled next week. If he comes, the wrestling community will be overjoyed. Hopefully this will begin the much needed rebuilding of the Iowa program. No national champs in the last two years, no conference champs in the last two years. 4-4 in Big 10 duals this years. Steadily declining Big 10 record in each of the last 4 years. Sixth place in the Big 10 Tournament this year, Iowa's worst finish in 39 years.
Also of note, Iowa State let its coach of 14 years go too and named Cael Sanderson head coach. The Register has some good insight and quotes here.