Blog Entry

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Posted on: January 29, 2011 9:33 am
This Iowa story is bothering me -- bothering me as a person, not as a sportswriter -- and I think this will help. It will help me, I mean. For writing it. And knowing some of you, whether you believe it or not, will be reading it.

Because lots of you -- and here I'm talking to Iowa fans, mainly -- have lots of questions for me. Questions, accusations, stories you want me to read that will enlighten me, etc.

This is my blog and not another column, so let me address this as a human being, not as a sportswriter: I have nothing personal against Iowa. I have no idea where that idea even comes from. If you told me I had something personal against Florida or Tennessee or Southern California or Oklahoma, I'd tell you that you're wrong ... but I'd understand why you thought so. I've gone after those four schools several times. If it is personal, it's personal only in that I've not liked the actions of a coach from one of those schools, or several coaches, and when they do objectionable things, I write it. But the schools themselves? I have nothing against those schools. Hell, I went to Florida. My parents went to Oklahoma. For me, it's never personal with a school. Ever.

And it's not personal with Iowa. Not even to the extent that I have a problem with a coach, because I don't have a problem with Kirk Ferentz. Or I haven't had one until this week, when he stayed on the road recruiting for two days while 13 of his players were in the hospital because of a team workout.

People are e-mailing me and Tweeting me accusations that I ripped Ferentz in 2004 for missing a press conference before a game against Penn State, when the backstory was that Ferentz's father had recently died. I was a college basketball writer exclusively in 2004, so I'm pretty sure I didn't write that in 2004. I don't even know what you folks are talking about. Literally, no clue about that story. If someone in the vast Internet universe wrote it, fine. But that someone wasn't me.

I yawned at Iowa's hiring of Todd Lickliter in 2007 -- about the only thing I got right in that column -- and I've written before that Iowa's football team was overrated, two or three years ago. I remember writing that, but I can't find it now. Wish I would, just to show that I'm not ducking the idea that I've been harsh to Iowa in the past. Hey, I'm harsh to most schools. It's what I do.

But it's not personal. Over the years Iowa football has had major issues off the field, like other programs, including Florida. If I had it in for Iowa, or Kirk Ferentz, you'd have ample evidence of my byline on multiple, or even one, story declaring that "Iowa is out of control." There aren't any. I've never written one. Because I don't have it out for Iowa, or for Ferentz.

Those Iowa fans among you who are furious with me -- and it's not all of you; thank you to those who have written to remind me that -- I don't expect you to like me now. But it's not personal.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Iowa

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 4:39 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Dammit, Doyel! This has all the appearances of an apology and it sucks. Why apologize? For anything! Its not your fault some cretins take offense. Screw 'em! Don Rickles used to apologize at the end of his act, saying he was sorry if he offended anyone. Give me a break! You write it, stand by it. Let others be Neanderthals.


Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2011 4:34 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

since cbs changed my post i will just copy and paste the whole story...
Explayer's take: Coaches profoundly care about players.

Matt Bowen, 34, played seven years in the NFL after his career at Iowa (1995-99) under Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz. Bowen has a journalism degree from Iowa and a Masters in writing and publishing from DePaul University.

by Matt Bowen

It is easy for me to defend coach Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa football program — something I’ve had to do quite often this week in the eye of a national effort to come down on my alma mater.

Writers echoing loud words, throwing unprofessional opinions from a far distance, questioning the integrity of my head coach.

I was at the Senior Bowl when I heard the news of 13 Iowa players sent to the hospital after an offseason conditioning workout. My first thought was the health of the players, the young men who wear the same helmet as I did. It was an event that wasn’t designed to jeopardize the wellness of athletes in Iowa City. That’s not how we operate as Hawkeyes.

I’ve been there and done these workouts as a college athlete and through seven years in the NFL. That was my offseason as a pro, like so many other former Hawkeyes. Follow the guidelines of head strength coach Chris Doyle — because he is best in this business.

But it goes deeper than just the field and the weight room at Iowa. Kirk and Chris don’t develop our athletes to just play football at Kinnick Stadium. Instead, they train them for life — long after they turn in their helmets as seniors.

We become better husbands, fathers and members of the communities that we live in. That’s football at Iowa. Develop talent, yes, but develop character first.

Almost eight years after my final game as a Hawkeye, my first son, Matthew, was born with Down syndrome. I am man enough to admit that I didn’t react well.

Scared, shaken and confused, I needed a voice of reason — of guidance. That voice was Chris Doyle. He was the first person I talked to outside of my family. That was followed by the calls I received from Kirk and defensive coordinator Norm Parker.

These coaches changed my outlook on life with my son. Pulled me back into reality.

In talking with former teammates this week, we all agreed that Iowa football under Kirk Ferentz changed us — made us into men. It wasn’t just about wins and losses during our time on campus.

I wish nothing but a strong recovery for the players who needed treatment, however don’t let this cloud your opinions of my coaches. They do care — greatly — and it goes farther than the national opinions we are all reading.


from how you began tweeting about your preparing to 'go thermonuclear on Iowa and Kirk Ferentz"
yeah how would one fanbase think there is a personal vendetta against them. i love these jerks are getting outed.  and then we find out pat forde is a missouri alum too. oh what a surprise on that too!

yeah lets fire KF. im glad people like rival coaches and explayers are coming out to show just what a bunch of hypocrites doyel, dodd and forde really are

seems that going thermonuclear backfired. so much you had to write a personal note to iowa. i cant remember that EVER happening before.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2011 3:48 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Perhaps the idea that you have something personal against Iowa stems from how you began tweeting about your preparing to 'go thermonuclear on Iowa and Kirk Ferentz" and then nce   That reads more as a personal, not professional, statement.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2011 12:35 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans


are-about-players/  read that dodd and doyel and you will see how really REALLY off base you are with all your claims. ALL OF THEM

Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:34 am

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

I'm pretty sure it's nothing personal them against you, either, Gregg.

It's just the Homer Fan Mentality in sports.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 11:04 am

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Taking bets on HawkeyeHank1 not being a Hawkeye fan....  Any takers?

Since: Oct 25, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 9:37 am

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

I'm sure some folks were simply confusing you with one of your coworkers whose name also starts with a "D" and who has waged a personal vendetta against Iowa for many, many years.  I'm not sure how it started, but even if the most objective person looks at Dodd's body of work on Iowa (including the past few days) they would discover a consistent, negative theme that runs through his blogs and columns.  It most definitely is personal for him.  I'm sure some people just saw the "D" and the negative content and just assumed it was Dodd being Dodd.  

Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2011 12:05 am

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Great - now here's my personal note to you Gregg.  Your post on CBS sports was nonsense and poor journalism.  Perhaps you were motivated by genuine concern for the players involved and collegiate athletes in general, but even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that yours was not a similar hit piece on U of Iowa's and Ferentz' character as that of your counterpart Forde on ESPN, it was nevertheless naive, and lacking in actual facts.  You seem to have made the conclusion that an epidemic of rhabdomyolysis in 10% of a cohort group subjected to the same physical activity was merely the result of a sporadic overly-aggressive training activity and therefore someone is to blame in the coaching staff for egregious behavior.  Most thoughtful individuals, and more importantly responsible journalists (a dying breed I suspect), would be far more careful about rushing to judgement.  Most physicians knowledgeable about the condition would have some initial measure of doubt that such an epidemic could be easily explained by a poorly administered training activity by an over-zealous coach - they would suspect that something more was amiss and there was more to be discovered about the actual cause than simple sporadic intense exertion.  They wouldn't jump to a diagnostic conclusion - like YOU did in your article.  In fact you, armed with an obvious medical degree, have diagnosed the problem unequivocally as exertional rhabdomyolysis dismissing the possibility of any other etiologic factors or co-morbidities.  So I've got some bad news for you - you actually deserve most of the flack you're about to get about your piece regardless of any genuine concern you might have had for the players.     

Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2011 11:04 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Gregg just saw your retweet of Jon Miller's column that was a very fair thing you just did. It doesn't change what I think of what you wrote...but at least you're willing to see both sides.  

Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2011 10:30 pm

Personal note, me to Iowa fans

Just because you bash other schools doesn't make what you do correct. How about show me an instance where you have said "Fans and journalists are overreacting" All this blog post tells me is you're one of those journalists that gets his story by just generally making things up and pointing fingers.
Why are most Iowa fans upset with you? Because you NEVER took the time to actually do some journalistic research to contact people connected with program say, i don't know, FORMER PLAYERS, or maybe coaches from around the country? 
Just because it's not personal doesn't mean you're any less of a dolt...It's sad what journalism has devolved into lately. As you said in your own words it's not that your articles are bothering me as an Iowa fan....they are bothering me as a human/citizen. 
Best regards

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