Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday September 28, 2011 - The View From Section EE

In the past couple weeks, I have learned that Brianna and her friends at the bus stop are an interesting group. They are all girls from Kindergarten to probably fourth grade. They play line tag in some guys driveway, but I still have no idea what the rules are. For the most part, they get along well, but a couple weeks ago there was drama between them all. Someone may have had their feelings hurt for some odd reason or another and they may be going to the Principal. Every other day someone didn't like what another girl did or something to that effect. All I know is if this stuff is going on in Kindergarten, I can only imagine what the next 13 years will be like. It doesn't help that two of the girls are sisters and are one grade apart. It sounds like they argue like all siblings do on about everything imaginable on a school bus, and somehow Bri is there in the middle of it.

Last weekend we finally attended Vala's Pumpkin Patch southwest of Omaha. For the past five years, we have been too cheap to go and opted out for the more realistically priced pumpkin patches. We figured out what we were missing the past five years. That place may be work the $13 or so it cost per individual, including kids. Kristy's cousin Ashley and her husband Rick came out that weekend with their daughter Luci. Kristy had purchased a couple discounted passes, so we made the trip. That place has so many things for kids to do, it could very well take two trips to see it all. Bri and Luci had a great time running around feeding animals, riding the ponies, etc. I suppose that means the other patches are now obsolete. Go figure, kids like the more expensive attractions. Here is a picture from Vala's of the girls and one of Bri at the zoo. I will post more pictures of Vala's at another time. (Too lazy to get them off the camera.) Oh, and a sad picture of Reagan and his new Halloween costume. Poor dog.

Back on the 16th, I thought ISU would win fairly easily at Connecticut. Turns out they can not play a first quarter for the life of them. Once the quarter ended, I thought it was over, but somehow this team continues to surprise us all. A 3-0 start by a combined 8 points. If they keep this up, there will be a lot of fans having heart attacks each week, if there havent been a couple already.

Last year ISU went to Texas a week after getting destroyed at Oklahoma. Last year Texas hosted ISU after winning at Nebraska. I thought It was going to be a disaster in Austin that turned out to be the complete opposite. ISU handled Texas well into the fourth quarter before Texas made a game out of it. This year, that gives ISU fans hope that a win against Texas is a realistic opportunity. These first quarter starts need to be cleaned up now that Big 12 play has started. These fourth quarter comebacks look good on the highlights, but they be hard to come by when they dig themselves a deep hole.

My Prediction: (2-1 This Season)



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday September 15, 2011 - The View From Section EE

Its Thursday and its still hard to believe Iowa State pulled out the 44-41 overtime win against Iowa last weekend. The first drive of the game, ISU looked good and we had the feeling it could be a good day. Then all of a sudden, they fumbled the ball inside Iowa's 10 yard line. Once the first quarter ended, Iowa was up 10-0. At that point, we thought it was going to be as ugly as the last two years. At the end of the second quarter, it was tied at 10 and things started to look promising.

Things became very interesting toward the end of the regulation and overtime. The kicking game has been the most nerve wrecking part of ISU football for years. In the first overtime, ISU was down to a fourth and goal play to either tie the game or Iowa wins the game. ISU completed the pass and made the touchdown, but it was harder to watch the ISU kicking game kick an extra point to extend the game. Thankfully, no issues on the extra point this time around. It felt pretty good being on this side of the nail bitter of a game than the time of games ISU tends to be apart of. See last years Nebraska game and a thousand other games.

Turned out to be the second largest crowd to witness a game at Jack Trice Stadium, and it turned out to be one of the best games ever played there, in my opinion. I even would admit, if Iowa won the game, it was still a very good game to watch. Unfortunately, there are no good stories involving the Rhodes tank or anything like that. When the game last four hours and there are no beverages inside the stadium, it tends to calm things down. But, things definitely picked up after the game. Had to celebrate somehow! Below is a picture of us and the crowd rushing the field after the game.

Before I make my prediction for tomorrow, we went to Bri's open house at school. She was so excited to show us all the rooms she goes to at school. We finally got to take a picture of her at her desk. She was so excited to show us everything, we didn't even get a chance talk to her teacher. I guess that is what conferences are for in a couple weeks.

This week ISU is breaking out an all white uniform for the Friday night showdown at Connecticut. There are pictures floating around the internet of a white ISU helmet, but the reports are saying they will stick with the standard cardinal helmet. I guess we will find out on ESPN tomorrow night. After last weeks performance, I feel this is a very winnable game. ISU's spread offense finally showed the progress the coaches talked about three years ago. The wide receivers are making plays, the running backs are picking up the needed yards, and Jantz at quarterback is completing the throws ISU fans have been desperately waiting to see.

My prediction:

My record this season: 1-1


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday September 8, 2011 - The View From Section EE

Here is the view from our seats of the new video board. I do have to say, it is pretty impressive, even when watching an awful game for the first 55 minutes. The quote of the night was Kristy's dad getting up to leave with about 10 minutes to go. "Well, at least we can watch them suck in HD!". That was shortly after an ISU turnover I believe. Turns out he missed the best part of the game!

UNI gave Iowa State all they could handle, and really should have won the game. UNI forced three turnovers and only scored three points off of them. That was the difference. UNI is a very good team and my guess is they have a very good shot at winning most of the games remaining on their schedule. I would have to say the two games that could trip them up is Southern Illinois at home, followed by a road game at North Dakota State. Those are back to back weeks in late October, but they very easily should win them both and march toward the playoffs. The good thing about Saturdays game is, it does not affect the outcome of UNI's season. If they win, that's great, they beat a school a level above them. If they lose close like they did, they jump up in the rankings. FCS football has it right, playoff football is a good things.

Now ISU looked awful until the fourth quarter. Their offense finally fell into place and they looked like a team that could move the ball. It very well could be the fact that the lack of depth for UNI caught up to them. But, that was the slight view of hope for the remainder of the season for the Cyclones. I am still a believer that since this game was so close, the rest of the year could be rough. If for some reason ISU comes out and keeps up with Iowa and makes some big plays and pulls off a win, then its a whole new ball game for the rest of the year and a bowl game is back in the picture.

This year we have the luxury of being in a paved donor lot for our RV, so we do not have to be in Ames by 4 AM. Two years ago it was brutal, but we managed to make it to roughly midnight, I think. To be honest, we have no idea when everything ended, but in the middle there was a tank involved.

Unfortunately, our seats are near the Hillside and Section that houses the visiting teams. Two years ago we had some real jerks that were Iowa fans and that did not make things pleasant, especially since the game was ugly. I understand that this is a big game, and for the most part, the fans do not like the other school. Why cant we all just agree to have a few drinks and enjoy the game and revel in the fact that we both dislike Nebraska? That may be the saving grace this weekend. If we get some guy being a jerk, all we have to do is tell him to tone it down and save it for Nebraska.

Its been a rough few years in this rivalry, but I have to say Iowa continues the trend. There was nothing last week to show that ISU can make a game of it, even though before the season started, I thought they had a chance. For some reason the point spread is around 7.5 in favor of Iowa, and I will have to say this is a safe bet.

My prediction:

My record his season: 1-0



But my off the record prediction: (I suppose I can do what I want here, right?)

ISU: 24 Iowa: 17

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday September 1, 2011 - The View From Section EE

OK, its been way too long. This summer has to have gone by the fastest of any summer on record. Last I checked it was the beginning of May and now its September 1st! All in all, it was a good summer, minus how fast it went. Here is a recap of the summer.

In May Brianna graduated pre-school. Her ceremony was comical, because she is obviously not ours. She was placed in the middle of all the kids during songs, and we could hear her in the back the whole time. Then she was the last on to get her diploma in her class. What does she do when she receives her diploma? She walks up the platform and raises her arms like in celebration. No other kid did any thing like that. Just another sign she was a mix up in the hospital.

Then the month of June hit. Emily turned one and we took a trip to the zoo. She enjoyed it, but would much rather chase Brianna in the yard or the house. We made the mistake and bought her a little cake. The mistake was not necessarily the cake, but the frosting. She made a mess that basically stained her face, hands, and chest as she attempted to eat the cake. It wasnt a pretty scene changing the next couple days worth of diapers either.

Later on in June, we conducted our annual Kielly vacation to Okoboji. Lets just say, we walked into a bar full of former Iowa Hawkeye football players and we are so very lucky we, (I), do not have a permanent fist imprint in my face. Memory is fuzzy, but we had some unfavorable gestures and words thrown at us. We tried as hard as we could to get some good pictures, but nothing turned out.

After Okoboji, July came into the picture. Last year we went to Katie's neighborhood to participate in a 4th of July kiddie parade. Last year it rained, so fitting, this year was very hot and uncomfortable. We decorated Bri and Evan's bikes so they could ride the 5 or 6 blocks. This turned out to be a disaster. When either of these kids came to a slight decline in the sidewalk or road, they would freak out and stop their bikes. Then when they got to the straightaway part of the hill, they would pedal, very poorly, and not get very far. Then, of course, we had to push them up the hill. The general consensus is this was the last parade for these kids until they can pedal their own bikes!

Later on in July was the Baxter Fun Days Celebration. They have a really good set up for activities for the kids. The first thing they were setting up was a pie eating contest. Kristy's cousin Ashley asked if any of us wanted to be in it, and Brianna jumped right it. I had no idea she even knew what she was doing, but she enjoyed it.

One last comment before I get into some college football stuff, how in the hell do you keep a one year old out of the dog's water dish? Poor Reagan. The only time he gets to eat or drink is when the kids are in bed. Most of the time the dishes are on the counter, but Emily finds every chance to get a quick drink. At least she's not dipping her cup into the toilet. I guess time will tell.

To prepare for some football that starts in two days, we went to the Cyclone Tailgate Tour that made a stop at the Omaha Zoo. Last year Bri and I went just after Emma was born. She has a fascination with mascots, but freaks out every time she is close to one. Finally, times have changed! This year, she walked right up to Cy, put her hand on his knee and posed for a picture. Emily was cranky, so she is partially cropped out of the picture.

The college football season has begun and its time to leave all this talk of universities leaving sports conferences to the professionals that run the schools and the NCAA. At least we can watch live games and talk about what coaches did right or wrong from our ivory couches after each game.

This season is about as unpredictable for Iowa State as I can recall. Mainly because they have some decent players, but there are so many unknowns out there that prognosticators are not very kind to the Cyclones. Last year they were one feeble two point conversion pass against Nebraska to participating in a bowl game again. For us who follow Iowa State, we will take a couple bowl games and be happy. From my perspective 19 rows into the end zone, is the quarterback and wide receiver play was the key to a 5 win season. A lot of over and under thrown passes, dropped passes, and no one stepping up to make any big plays.

The reason for people to think it could be an awful year is those two positions have so much to prove. First, the quarterback has been in Iowa for 9 months and is a Junior College transfer who has not played at this type of level. Us Cyclone fans can only hope he turns out to be as good as the last Junior College quarterback, Seneca Wallace in 2001. I recall going to the season opener that year and Wallace jumped all over UNI to a 41-0 win. If Steele Jantz can produce anything similar to what Wallace did, then there is reason to be excited in Ames. Jantz cant throw the ball to himself, so hopefully the wide receivers step up and make a few plays. There is reason for hope due to Jantzs' teammate in Junior College, Aaron Horne, is now ISU's number one wide receiver. A lot depends on these two positions is the Cyclones will be in a bowl game or not.

This week is a huge game and one that I am partially neutral towards. I will wear UNI clothing, because I still owe them a boatload of money. I kind of have no choice, but I know this could be a very good game for both schools. UNI has a ton of returning talent, and if they lose to ISU, this could be their only loss all year. There is a very good possibility UNI finally brings back a football National Championship this year.

My gut tells me Iowa State wins this one, but it will be very close. Something like 24-21. The season prediction can be determined by this game alone. If ISU wins big, scores a lot of offense and shuts UNI down to less than 10 points, then they could win 6 or 7 games, if not more this year. If they win by a small margin, or even lose, then it could be a 3 win year in Ames.