Anger or apathy?

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Both are surging in me regarding Iowa football. Anger has the early lead.

Here is this week's TwT:

Tuesdays with Torbee​

s7cqvm6hohpi7nwczq8y


Tory Brecht • HawkeyeReport
Columnist Edit

I almost didn’t write this column.

What more needs to – or indeed, can be – said about Iowa football’s steadfast commitment to consistently putting out an incapable offense that makes a mockery of the team’s stellar defense and special teams by continually putting them in unwinnable positions?

What point is there in calling out the absurdity of not even seeing if a change at quarterback might offer even a tiny spark in a season of offensive darkness? It’s never going to happen and all indications point to every single remaining game following the same eye bleach-inducing, boring, frustrating commitment to incompetence.

Pointing out Iowa’s well-known and un-addressed weaknesses is a lesson in futility. As is the absurdity of fellow fans knocking the Iowa media for not “asking the tough questions.” Indeed, no questions are “tough” for a coaching staff so ensconced in a privileged cocoon of unaccountability that notions of jobs being on the line are met with a mere snort of derision.

You know this team won 10 games last year, right?

Never mind that since reeling off six straight wins, that same team has gone an ugly 7-7, failing to eclipse even 10 points in six of those games and several others resulting in double digits only thanks to defensive scores.

Never mind that Iowa ranks dead last in the entire college football world in virtually every offensive category.

Never mind that Iowa’s utter incompetence on one side of the ball is a running national joke among football experts.

Never mind that any other team holding a very mediocre Illinois squad to 9 points would have won by double digits and spared its fans the ignominy of a gloating Bret Bielema.

There is no reason to dissect the play on the field at this time. It is the same as it’s been for a full-season’s worth of games and shows absolutely no sign of changing any time soon. Now, the only interesting talking points surround the soap opera stuff of big time college football.

Questions like if Iowa truly has the worst offense in college football history, will even that be enough to force an untouchable head coach to demote or even dismiss his own progeny, who is the architect of the shambles of an offense? Will the grinning, aw-shucks, what-me-worry athletic director attempt to, for once, exert any pressure on the pater familias of the Iowa football program to make changes?

For fans, the behind-the-scenes drama is far more likely to be interesting than the stale, sub-standard product the players are putting on the field in 2022. Midway through the fourth quarter Saturday, I turned to the traveling companions (Iowa fans all) I was traveling with and – with the game still very much in doubt, mind you – asked why the hell we were even watching this dreadful game in the first place.

The sad, sick truth is my Iowa fandom is so rabid, such a part of my very being, that I can’t tear my eyes away even when the gameplay is so bad it offends the senses.

Maybe it's PTSD from being a Cubs fan since 1978, but I'm in it full-bore, win or lose, for life. I will whine and complain and wonder why bad coaches aren't fired and yell and throw things at my TV, but none of that will stop me from watching every single game I can and cheering for a win, no matter how unlikely. I figure if I can stomach keeping my season basketball tickets through the Todd Lickliter era (and I did!), there is pretty much nothing the Ferentz family can do to make me stop caring about the football team. It is also worth noting that unlike Lickliter, the Ferentz clan at least have brought me much joy and happy memories over the years, so a dismal year here and there isn’t going to force me to stop watching Iowa football.

But I will continue to ask why. Why would a smart, savvy football guy like Kirk be too stubborn to shake things up? At what point does he realize that doubling down on a relatively untested offensive coordinator by adding quarterback coaching duties to his job make no sense? Why would someone who has demonstrated a mastery of complementary football allow one-third of the triumvirate necessary for that strategy fall into absolute ruin?

I mentioned being a Cubs fan. This year, the Cubs had by any objective measure a poor season: a 74-88, third-place finish in which they were 19 games out of first place. But manager David Ross continually juggled his lineup, put regular starters in as relievers, brought guys from the bullpen to start, tried guys in different positions and threw young rookies right into the fire to see how they’d react. Despite being outmatched talent wise all year, that Cubs team scraped, clawed, and even managed to scratch out a .500-plus 38-31 record in the second half of the season. I watched nearly every game I could, despite Chicago having zero chance at postseason play, simply because they were competitive and actually trying to improve.

It pains me to admit, I don’t see that same fire or desire in this Iowa football team. Don’t get me wrong, I think the players are trying hard and competing – but organizationally, there is near zero sense of urgency or demand for change. I understand that one of the historical strengths of the Hawkeye football program is consistency and refusal to panic, but it seems to me that has morphed from a strength into a form of sclerotic stubbornness.

At some point, something has to give. But given the glacial pace of change in the Ferentzian football ecosystem, it is likely to feel like an eon before any change happens.
Another great article....my sentiments pretty much exactly. I'll never give up on the Hawks but these are trying times.

Here's a definition for anybody else who didn't have a clue what this meant...

 
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SSG T

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I think it was 3-4 years ago when I decided not to let sports upset me. There was no reason to get as upset as I would over something I can't control one bit. My wife would look at me after a game with utter disgust and my son was terrified of me. Now its simply entertainment. Don't care about Ws or Ls anymore, just being entertained for a few hours a week. Which is why I watch a lot of other teams on Saturdays.

The entertainment part is something I mentioned elsewhere. If they are winning, consistently, 8-9 games each year (even with an occasional down year) you can live with it if they're entertaining. Other than a few spots here and there, watching half of their game is not entertaining. The defense is entertaining, but the offense...nah, don't want that.

And no, it's not new, this has been an issue for years, preceding BF.
 

Hawki97

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Both are surging in me regarding Iowa football. Anger has the early lead.

Here is this week's TwT:

Tuesdays with Torbee​

s7cqvm6hohpi7nwczq8y


Tory Brecht • HawkeyeReport
Columnist Edit

I almost didn’t write this column.

What more needs to – or indeed, can be – said about Iowa football’s steadfast commitment to consistently putting out an incapable offense that makes a mockery of the team’s stellar defense and special teams by continually putting them in unwinnable positions?

What point is there in calling out the absurdity of not even seeing if a change at quarterback might offer even a tiny spark in a season of offensive darkness? It’s never going to happen and all indications point to every single remaining game following the same eye bleach-inducing, boring, frustrating commitment to incompetence.

Pointing out Iowa’s well-known and un-addressed weaknesses is a lesson in futility. As is the absurdity of fellow fans knocking the Iowa media for not “asking the tough questions.” Indeed, no questions are “tough” for a coaching staff so ensconced in a privileged cocoon of unaccountability that notions of jobs being on the line are met with a mere snort of derision.

You know this team won 10 games last year, right?

Never mind that since reeling off six straight wins, that same team has gone an ugly 7-7, failing to eclipse even 10 points in six of those games and several others resulting in double digits only thanks to defensive scores.

Never mind that Iowa ranks dead last in the entire college football world in virtually every offensive category.

Never mind that Iowa’s utter incompetence on one side of the ball is a running national joke among football experts.

Never mind that any other team holding a very mediocre Illinois squad to 9 points would have won by double digits and spared its fans the ignominy of a gloating Bret Bielema.

There is no reason to dissect the play on the field at this time. It is the same as it’s been for a full-season’s worth of games and shows absolutely no sign of changing any time soon. Now, the only interesting talking points surround the soap opera stuff of big time college football.

Questions like if Iowa truly has the worst offense in college football history, will even that be enough to force an untouchable head coach to demote or even dismiss his own progeny, who is the architect of the shambles of an offense? Will the grinning, aw-shucks, what-me-worry athletic director attempt to, for once, exert any pressure on the pater familias of the Iowa football program to make changes?

For fans, the behind-the-scenes drama is far more likely to be interesting than the stale, sub-standard product the players are putting on the field in 2022. Midway through the fourth quarter Saturday, I turned to the traveling companions (Iowa fans all) I was traveling with and – with the game still very much in doubt, mind you – asked why the hell we were even watching this dreadful game in the first place.

The sad, sick truth is my Iowa fandom is so rabid, such a part of my very being, that I can’t tear my eyes away even when the gameplay is so bad it offends the senses.

Maybe it's PTSD from being a Cubs fan since 1978, but I'm in it full-bore, win or lose, for life. I will whine and complain and wonder why bad coaches aren't fired and yell and throw things at my TV, but none of that will stop me from watching every single game I can and cheering for a win, no matter how unlikely. I figure if I can stomach keeping my season basketball tickets through the Todd Lickliter era (and I did!), there is pretty much nothing the Ferentz family can do to make me stop caring about the football team. It is also worth noting that unlike Lickliter, the Ferentz clan at least have brought me much joy and happy memories over the years, so a dismal year here and there isn’t going to force me to stop watching Iowa football.

But I will continue to ask why. Why would a smart, savvy football guy like Kirk be too stubborn to shake things up? At what point does he realize that doubling down on a relatively untested offensive coordinator by adding quarterback coaching duties to his job make no sense? Why would someone who has demonstrated a mastery of complementary football allow one-third of the triumvirate necessary for that strategy fall into absolute ruin?

I mentioned being a Cubs fan. This year, the Cubs had by any objective measure a poor season: a 74-88, third-place finish in which they were 19 games out of first place. But manager David Ross continually juggled his lineup, put regular starters in as relievers, brought guys from the bullpen to start, tried guys in different positions and threw young rookies right into the fire to see how they’d react. Despite being outmatched talent wise all year, that Cubs team scraped, clawed, and even managed to scratch out a .500-plus 38-31 record in the second half of the season. I watched nearly every game I could, despite Chicago having zero chance at postseason play, simply because they were competitive and actually trying to improve.

It pains me to admit, I don’t see that same fire or desire in this Iowa football team. Don’t get me wrong, I think the players are trying hard and competing – but organizationally, there is near zero sense of urgency or demand for change. I understand that one of the historical strengths of the Hawkeye football program is consistency and refusal to panic, but it seems to me that has morphed from a strength into a form of sclerotic stubbornness.

At some point, something has to give. But given the glacial pace of change in the Ferentzian football ecosystem, it is likely to feel like an eon before any change happens.
I just drove by the Wendy’s in East Iowa City and on their marquee it said “Free Frosty When Hawkeyes Win.” It has pushed me from apathetic to angry.
 

Finance85

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Oct 22, 2003
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I just drove by the Wendy’s in East Iowa City and on their marquee it said “Free Frosty When Hawkeyes Win.” It has pushed me from apathetic to angry.
You were counting on that free frosty, weren't you? ;)
 

bagdropper

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I've already resolved to not watch them live for a bit. I couldn't channel the frustration positively last Saturday. A lot of frustrating anger and helplessness. I liken it to watching a loved friend or relative who is sort of self-destructing, and you know nothing you could do would help them come out of it.

But I will to some extent pay attention to the games (see the score on the crawler watching other games...something like that), and will re-watch the games eventually.

DVR'ing them will allow for The Horror to be absorbed much quicker. And yes, I still root for them to win. But for the time being, I just want to get through this season as painlessly as possible. It's just not healthy to get that angry at something such as watching a bunch of (pretty much) kids playing a game.
 
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srams21

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Good shit torbs, it's apathy for me. With a 2 month old, the shitty product and zero time has turned Iowa football from my plan for 12 Saturdays to an afterthought. I was 12ish when KF took over, I respect KF and thank him for everything he has done. I actually believe, if given the time, KF would rebuild us into a 8-9 win team again in 2-3 years but I'm not interested in another rebuild and kf6.0. There is a chance I'll be longing for the outback bowl in 7 years with a new staff but I would rather watch something new.
This is where I'm at. I don't think nor want Kirk to be fired but I'd be ok if he retired after this year. I'm ready for something different. 23 years is a long time and he's basically the only coach I've really known since watching Iowa football.
 

ICWestfan

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Apathy. Since 2014 when I gave up our tickets I watch but don't really care a bunch. Kids asked me in 2015 why we weren't going to the BCG. Because we didn't want to jinx it and because it just wasn't that important.

Here's the thing - people are screaming for change at the OC but guess what? Ferentz will still be the head coach and will run an antiqueted offense with sub par athletes. That's the bottom line isn't it?
 

MitchLL

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I've become apathetic.

Normally, I'm scheduling my Saturday activities around football.

And even when Iowa was winning consistently, they were boring as hell to watch.

I'm 70 y o and hope to watch exciting Hawkeye football again before I croak.

But I will no longer watch the current product.
 
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I've become apathetic.

Normally, I'm scheduling my Saturday activities around football.

And even when Iowa was winning consistently, they were boring as hell to watch.

I'm 70 y o and hope to watch exciting Hawkeye football again before I croak.

But I will no longer watch the current product.
The university of Iowa has a major issue brewing regarding the fanbase.
 

Greenway4Prez

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Jan 10, 2005
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Good shit torbs, it's apathy for me. With a 2 month old, the shitty product and zero time has turned Iowa football from my plan for 12 Saturdays to an afterthought. I was 12ish when KF took over, I respect KF and thank him for everything he has done. I actually believe, if given the time, KF would rebuild us into a 8-9 win team again in 2-3 years but I'm not interested in another rebuild and kf6.0. There is a chance I'll be longing for the outback bowl in 7 years with a new staff but I would rather watch something new.
Amen. Kirk somehow always responds when his back is against the wall (one could argue it’s a young team getting older ala 2007, or an easy-ass 2015 schedule, but I digress), and I could see us getting to 8 or 9 wins the next few years with an easier schedule and nominal changes. But then what? What was actually accomplished? The Big Ten West will always be a pillow fight. Our non-conference will always be shit. Nothing will have changed except some guys getting older, some players here and there being a bit better than the guys before them, and the cycle rolls on.

Kirk is completely unserious about improving constantly. The writing has been written in bold black Sharpie for YEARS that the offense has held us back from being REALLY FREAKING GOOD and nothing has been done. Nothing. We recruit, coach, scheme and develop well enough to have 2/3 of this team be elite. Why is it so hard for the last third to just be average?!

I want him to retire. I don’t trust him to be objective, I don’t trust him to adapt, I don’t trust him to be a visionary, and I don’t trust him not to put his own family above his job.

And that sucks because I have enjoyed the hell out of our defense and special teams, and watching those collective units and individual players develop and improve year after year after year. Not having Lavar and Phil and Seth and Kelvin (slim chance they all remain) would really suck.
 

JRHawk2003

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Montrose
I enjoy the Premier League and Bundesliga because I dont have any big rooting interests. I just enjoy the games as a neutral. Sports is so much better this way anyway.
 
Mar 11, 2020
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Amen. Kirk somehow always responds when his back is against the wall (one could argue it’s a young team getting older ala 2007, or an easy-ass 2015 schedule, but I digress), and I could see us getting to 8 or 9 wins the next few years with an easier schedule and nominal changes. But then what? What was actually accomplished? The Big Ten West will always be a pillow fight. Our non-conference will always be shit. Nothing will have changed except some guys getting older, some players here and there being a bit better than the guys before them, and the cycle rolls on.

Kirk is completely unserious about improving constantly. The writing has been written in bold black Sharpie for YEARS that the offense has held us back from being REALLY FREAKING GOOD and nothing has been done. Nothing. We recruit, coach, scheme and develop well enough to have 2/3 of this team be elite. Why is it so hard for the last third to just be average?!

I want him to retire. I don’t trust him to be objective, I don’t trust him to adapt, I don’t trust him to be a visionary, and I don’t trust him not to put his own family above his job.

And that sucks because I have enjoyed the hell out of our defense and special teams, and watching those collective units and individual players develop and improve year after year after year. Not having Lavar and Phil and Seth and Kelvin (slim chance they all remain) would really suck.
In my opinion the U of I has 3 viable options.


1. Write whatever check it takes to get Mark stoops and the staff he wants.


2. Write whatever check it takes to get Bret Bilimma (sp) and the staff he wants.


3. (Likely the best) hand Phil the keys and say "you watch offenses every week, who do you want us to bring in to run the O that you feel will support you the best"



(Remember when the push back was always "who are you going to get to replace KF? Anyone better than him will just leave!) Now there are legit options who would want to stay at Iowa 15-20 years and the U of I still sits on its thumbs
 
Last edited:

BlackNGoldBleeder

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Both are surging in me regarding Iowa football. Anger has the early lead.

Here is this week's TwT:

Tuesdays with Torbee​

s7cqvm6hohpi7nwczq8y


Tory Brecht • HawkeyeReport
Columnist Edit

I almost didn’t write this column.

What more needs to – or indeed, can be – said about Iowa football’s steadfast commitment to consistently putting out an incapable offense that makes a mockery of the team’s stellar defense and special teams by continually putting them in unwinnable positions?

What point is there in calling out the absurdity of not even seeing if a change at quarterback might offer even a tiny spark in a season of offensive darkness? It’s never going to happen and all indications point to every single remaining game following the same eye bleach-inducing, boring, frustrating commitment to incompetence.

Pointing out Iowa’s well-known and un-addressed weaknesses is a lesson in futility. As is the absurdity of fellow fans knocking the Iowa media for not “asking the tough questions.” Indeed, no questions are “tough” for a coaching staff so ensconced in a privileged cocoon of unaccountability that notions of jobs being on the line are met with a mere snort of derision.

You know this team won 10 games last year, right?

Never mind that since reeling off six straight wins, that same team has gone an ugly 7-7, failing to eclipse even 10 points in six of those games and several others resulting in double digits only thanks to defensive scores.

Never mind that Iowa ranks dead last in the entire college football world in virtually every offensive category.

Never mind that Iowa’s utter incompetence on one side of the ball is a running national joke among football experts.

Never mind that any other team holding a very mediocre Illinois squad to 9 points would have won by double digits and spared its fans the ignominy of a gloating Bret Bielema.

There is no reason to dissect the play on the field at this time. It is the same as it’s been for a full-season’s worth of games and shows absolutely no sign of changing any time soon. Now, the only interesting talking points surround the soap opera stuff of big time college football.

Questions like if Iowa truly has the worst offense in college football history, will even that be enough to force an untouchable head coach to demote or even dismiss his own progeny, who is the architect of the shambles of an offense? Will the grinning, aw-shucks, what-me-worry athletic director attempt to, for once, exert any pressure on the pater familias of the Iowa football program to make changes?

For fans, the behind-the-scenes drama is far more likely to be interesting than the stale, sub-standard product the players are putting on the field in 2022. Midway through the fourth quarter Saturday, I turned to the traveling companions (Iowa fans all) I was traveling with and – with the game still very much in doubt, mind you – asked why the hell we were even watching this dreadful game in the first place.

The sad, sick truth is my Iowa fandom is so rabid, such a part of my very being, that I can’t tear my eyes away even when the gameplay is so bad it offends the senses.

Maybe it's PTSD from being a Cubs fan since 1978, but I'm in it full-bore, win or lose, for life. I will whine and complain and wonder why bad coaches aren't fired and yell and throw things at my TV, but none of that will stop me from watching every single game I can and cheering for a win, no matter how unlikely. I figure if I can stomach keeping my season basketball tickets through the Todd Lickliter era (and I did!), there is pretty much nothing the Ferentz family can do to make me stop caring about the football team. It is also worth noting that unlike Lickliter, the Ferentz clan at least have brought me much joy and happy memories over the years, so a dismal year here and there isn’t going to force me to stop watching Iowa football.

But I will continue to ask why. Why would a smart, savvy football guy like Kirk be too stubborn to shake things up? At what point does he realize that doubling down on a relatively untested offensive coordinator by adding quarterback coaching duties to his job make no sense? Why would someone who has demonstrated a mastery of complementary football allow one-third of the triumvirate necessary for that strategy fall into absolute ruin?

I mentioned being a Cubs fan. This year, the Cubs had by any objective measure a poor season: a 74-88, third-place finish in which they were 19 games out of first place. But manager David Ross continually juggled his lineup, put regular starters in as relievers, brought guys from the bullpen to start, tried guys in different positions and threw young rookies right into the fire to see how they’d react. Despite being outmatched talent wise all year, that Cubs team scraped, clawed, and even managed to scratch out a .500-plus 38-31 record in the second half of the season. I watched nearly every game I could, despite Chicago having zero chance at postseason play, simply because they were competitive and actually trying to improve.

It pains me to admit, I don’t see that same fire or desire in this Iowa football team. Don’t get me wrong, I think the players are trying hard and competing – but organizationally, there is near zero sense of urgency or demand for change. I understand that one of the historical strengths of the Hawkeye football program is consistency and refusal to panic, but it seems to me that has morphed from a strength into a form of sclerotic stubbornness.

At some point, something has to give. But given the glacial pace of change in the Ferentzian football ecosystem, it is likely to feel like an eon before any change happens.
Great read. My anger dissipated a long time ago. The apathy emerged when Kirk added quarterback coach to Brian’s list of duties. I knew right then and there he had no intention of upgrading the offense. The same as I knew Petras would be quarterback in 2022.

I love Iowa football, but it’s become unwatchable. And while we are obviously in a serious ebb in the ebb and flow of the Iowa offense, even the flow isn’t much fun to watch either.

It’s time for a change.
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
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Apathy. I don't think I've ever been truly angry about sports, and certainly not Iowa football. I still watch most of the games, hope they win, follow the stories about the team and the players and have a general understanding of the B1G and national stories.

I still enjoy watching the defense, and the punter... I'll give the offense credit for one thing, it's so bad that it is at times quite funny. Like, we've seen bad offenses before, we've been complaining about the offense for years, but it's never been this bad, relative to the rest of the teams.

I still like KF and think he'll still have a great legacy, although I do think he's gambling with the legacy quite a bit with the incompetent/nepotism angle.

Also wish we'd have more 11 am games to get them out of the way.
 
Jul 30, 2004
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The thing that gets me is how HARD they make playing football look.

I mean, even when a crap team like Bowling Green or Colorado State is playing a buy-in game against a team like Illinois or Iowa State, their two-star scrub quarterbacks and running backs can actually move the ball a little and sometimes score. How is it possible that Iowa is littered with 3 and 4 star talent - even on offense - and they make gaining a simple first down seem like an almost Herculean impossible task?!

It makes zero sense and is beyond frustrating.

Watching Spencer Petras play QB is the most painful sports fandom experience of my life. "Labored" is the most apt description. He seems like a nice kid, but I don't believe we will ever see worse at Iowa.
 

Herky T Hawk

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Feb 5, 2003
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Apathy for me. Kind of annoyed the Iowa game was at 630 last week because if they're playing, Ill watch, unfortunately. Just play the damn thing at 11am so we can all move on with our days and watch some decent football in the afternoon/evening
I actually liked a few of the evening games this season since I live a state away and aren't going to the games. I forgot that we had games until after we put the kids to bed and turned it on with the game well underway. Allowed me to enjoy my day a lot more those Saturdays.
 

Bro D

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Nov 17, 2003
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Watching Spencer Petras play QB is the most painful sports fandom experience of my life. "Labored" is the most apt description. He seems like a nice kid, but I don't believe we will ever see worse at Iowa.
I still put more of it on BF. He's in so far over his head its truly incredible. And then having a god awful QB like Petras obviously isn't helping him mask his ineptitude
 
This is a pretty hilarious exchange from The Lounge:

mick82 said:
That’s the problem Ferentz always gets a pass. He runs Iowa football like Putin runs Russia. I sure am glad my wagon isn’t hitched to this dumpster fire.
While I appreciate the interesting comparison of Kirk Ferentz to Putin.... I have to disagree a bit as Putin is far more aggressive offensively.
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
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Just think, around a year ago now we were coming off a strong finish from a weird covid year. Rode some early momentum into a #2 ranking after being PSU. Off the field, while I think some people were upset about the racial inequality accusations leveled at the football program. Many took the defense and rally approach and I think KF actually had some goodwill from what I'm sure many thought was unfair treatment.

And now... people are talking apathy and anger, moving on, ready for something new.
 
Just think, around a year ago now we were coming off a strong finish from a weird covid year. Rode some early momentum into a #2 ranking after being PSU. Off the field, while I think some people were upset about the racial inequality accusations leveled at the football program. Many took the defense and rally approach and I think KF actually had some goodwill from what I'm sure many thought was unfair treatment.

And now... people are talking apathy and anger, moving on, ready for something new.
giphy.gif
 
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MitchLL

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I'm just happy that I didn't shell out money for tix this year. I also have sympathy for the long time fans that have poured thousands of dollars in support of the football program over the years.

This crapshow must be hard on them. The pre-game/post-game socializing probably takes some of sting out of the experience of the actual game.
 
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wcbtee

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Both are surging in me regarding Iowa football. Anger has the early lead.

Here is this week's TwT:

Tuesdays with Torbee​

s7cqvm6hohpi7nwczq8y


Tory Brecht • HawkeyeReport
Columnist Edit

I almost didn’t write this column.

What more needs to – or indeed, can be – said about Iowa football’s steadfast commitment to consistently putting out an incapable offense that makes a mockery of the team’s stellar defense and special teams by continually putting them in unwinnable positions?

What point is there in calling out the absurdity of not even seeing if a change at quarterback might offer even a tiny spark in a season of offensive darkness? It’s never going to happen and all indications point to every single remaining game following the same eye bleach-inducing, boring, frustrating commitment to incompetence.

Pointing out Iowa’s well-known and un-addressed weaknesses is a lesson in futility. As is the absurdity of fellow fans knocking the Iowa media for not “asking the tough questions.” Indeed, no questions are “tough” for a coaching staff so ensconced in a privileged cocoon of unaccountability that notions of jobs being on the line are met with a mere snort of derision.

You know this team won 10 games last year, right?

Never mind that since reeling off six straight wins, that same team has gone an ugly 7-7, failing to eclipse even 10 points in six of those games and several others resulting in double digits only thanks to defensive scores.

Never mind that Iowa ranks dead last in the entire college football world in virtually every offensive category.

Never mind that Iowa’s utter incompetence on one side of the ball is a running national joke among football experts.

Never mind that any other team holding a very mediocre Illinois squad to 9 points would have won by double digits and spared its fans the ignominy of a gloating Bret Bielema.

There is no reason to dissect the play on the field at this time. It is the same as it’s been for a full-season’s worth of games and shows absolutely no sign of changing any time soon. Now, the only interesting talking points surround the soap opera stuff of big time college football.

Questions like if Iowa truly has the worst offense in college football history, will even that be enough to force an untouchable head coach to demote or even dismiss his own progeny, who is the architect of the shambles of an offense? Will the grinning, aw-shucks, what-me-worry athletic director attempt to, for once, exert any pressure on the pater familias of the Iowa football program to make changes?

For fans, the behind-the-scenes drama is far more likely to be interesting than the stale, sub-standard product the players are putting on the field in 2022. Midway through the fourth quarter Saturday, I turned to the traveling companions (Iowa fans all) I was traveling with and – with the game still very much in doubt, mind you – asked why the hell we were even watching this dreadful game in the first place.

The sad, sick truth is my Iowa fandom is so rabid, such a part of my very being, that I can’t tear my eyes away even when the gameplay is so bad it offends the senses.

Maybe it's PTSD from being a Cubs fan since 1978, but I'm in it full-bore, win or lose, for life. I will whine and complain and wonder why bad coaches aren't fired and yell and throw things at my TV, but none of that will stop me from watching every single game I can and cheering for a win, no matter how unlikely. I figure if I can stomach keeping my season basketball tickets through the Todd Lickliter era (and I did!), there is pretty much nothing the Ferentz family can do to make me stop caring about the football team. It is also worth noting that unlike Lickliter, the Ferentz clan at least have brought me much joy and happy memories over the years, so a dismal year here and there isn’t going to force me to stop watching Iowa football.

But I will continue to ask why. Why would a smart, savvy football guy like Kirk be too stubborn to shake things up? At what point does he realize that doubling down on a relatively untested offensive coordinator by adding quarterback coaching duties to his job make no sense? Why would someone who has demonstrated a mastery of complementary football allow one-third of the triumvirate necessary for that strategy fall into absolute ruin?

I mentioned being a Cubs fan. This year, the Cubs had by any objective measure a poor season: a 74-88, third-place finish in which they were 19 games out of first place. But manager David Ross continually juggled his lineup, put regular starters in as relievers, brought guys from the bullpen to start, tried guys in different positions and threw young rookies right into the fire to see how they’d react. Despite being outmatched talent wise all year, that Cubs team scraped, clawed, and even managed to scratch out a .500-plus 38-31 record in the second half of the season. I watched nearly every game I could, despite Chicago having zero chance at postseason play, simply because they were competitive and actually trying to improve.

It pains me to admit, I don’t see that same fire or desire in this Iowa football team. Don’t get me wrong, I think the players are trying hard and competing – but organizationally, there is near zero sense of urgency or demand for change. I understand that one of the historical strengths of the Hawkeye football program is consistency and refusal to panic, but it seems to me that has morphed from a strength into a form of sclerotic stubbornness.

At some point, something has to give. But given the glacial pace of change in the Ferentzian football ecosystem, it is likely to feel like an eon before any change happens.
I was angry, now slowly drifting into apathy & numbness.
 
I'm just happy that I didn't shell out money for tix this year. I also have sympathy for the long time fans that have poured thousands of dollars in support of the football program over the years.

This crapshow must be hard on them. The pre-game/post-game socializing probably takes some of sting out of the experience of the actual game.
I never have a bad time at Kinnick. Tailgating, hanging with friends. I WANT Iowa to win, but if it were a prerequisite for my enjoyment, no way I'd pay for season tix.
 
Nov 9, 2007
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It's interesting, I have distinct memories of an "apathy" discussion during the 2007 and 2012 seasons. Not so coincidentally, terrible quarterback play/offense was involved with both seasons. This year looks to be eerily similar to 2012 unfortunately. KF/the program was able to recover from those doldrums and actually build to some great years. I'm not sure he can do that now (older, no Doyle, NIL has been a net negative so far for a developmental program).

May be time for the Athletic Department to dust off the "Get Mad" paraphernalia so we know how to act the rest of the year...