Weekend open thread: Sports talk

Apologies for not putting up this weekend’s open thread sooner. What’s on your mind?

The weather was good this morning for runners in the IMT Des Moines Marathon and Half Marathon. Congratulations to anyone in the Bleeding Heartland community who raced today. I saw that Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey, who is suing the state after Governor Terry Branstad tried to force him out of his job, ran the half in an excellent time of 1:50:59 (8:29 per mile).

Yesterday was an abysmal day for college football in Iowa, as all three state universities lost in painful fashion. Paraphrasing a question posed by a friend last night, what do you think is the worst way to lose a football game? Blowing a three-touchdown lead in the second half before losing in double overtime, as the University of Northern Iowa Panthers did? Building a halftime lead against a heavily favored team before dashing your fans’ hopes, as the Iowa Hawkeyes did? Or almost getting shut out 71-0 before scoring a touchdown in the final minute, as the Iowa State Cyclones did? To my mind, the UNI loss would be the most painful by far, but the ISU loss would be the most embarrassing.

Speaking of which, as a West Des Moines Valley High School alumna I was appalled to see that on Friday night, Valley defeated Council Bluffs Jefferson by 88-0. Running up the score like that is arguably inappropriate in any football game, but especially in high school. What a lack of sportsmanship and failure of leadership by Valley’s coach. In conversations with me yesterday, several Valley fans defended him, saying put in second-string and third-string players after the team went up by 30 or 40 points. I say there must be a way to run down the clock in a football game without scoring an extra eight or nine touchdowns you don’t need. They humiliated the other team in front of their home-town fans.  

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  • okay the weekend's over but....

    Open thread: I was really curious about Swati D’s fairly impressive fundraising total, so I took a look at the donors. I was surprised to see Mike Gronstal’s name on the list, as well as Matt McCoy’s, who made two contributions. (I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall when Sen. Dandekar made that visit to Council Bluffs to tell her leader that she was leaving the Senate to work for TB, thus jeopardizing the slim Dem majority in the Senate.)Maybe those guys gave to other 1st District candidates as well.

    Some other items of interest – Geri Huser gave money, and is listed as “State Representative” even tho she’s been outta the House for a while. Some business types who you would think were probably GOPers are on the list, like Kum&Go’s Kyle Krause and Principal CEO Larry Zimpelman.  Doug Struyk, who up until recently worked for House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha), is also a Dandekar Donor.

    I was looking at Anesa K’s donors as well, and I wonder why her unitemized contributions were more than her itemized list. I thought, generally speaking, unitemized donations were small cash amounts, like someone throws in a pass-around hat. She listed about $15K itemized and $20K unitemized. I don’t know enough about those reports to know if this is unusual or not.  

    • usually the itemized amount is more

      because most Congressional candidates get the bulk of their money through donations of $200 or more, which have to be itemized. Anesa must have an unusually large number of small donors.

      Struyk and Dandekar were in the Iowa House at the same time and probably saw eye to eye on a lot of issues.

      McCoy and Dandekar worked closely together on the Iowa Senate Commerce Committee. Maybe now that Liz Mathis is safe in that seat, Gronstal doesn’t feel the need to hold a grudge over the Democratic majority being jeopardized in 2011.

      • Dandekar

        If people really believe that the Democratic agenda is popular and workable in most parts of the srate, people never should have doubted Liz Mathis’s ability to win the seat.

        It’s a bit of a contradiction to say Dandekar’s  voting record is/was too conservative (as some have said) and then turn around and fret about losing that Senate seat.  Admitting that Dandekar leaving either:

        1.  Admits that the Democratic agenda may not always be that popular in swing areas.

        2.  Dandekar had a good pulse on the views and ideology of her constituents.  

  • High school football is child abuse.

    Coaches and administrators are responsible for the care of children. (They’re under 18). Putting them in a situation where injury is common and predictable is abuse. It was bad enough when the injuries were knees, ankles, and shoulders, some serious enough to cause problems later in life. Now, with the knowledge of the impact of concussions on short and long term cognitive function, there is no excuse for this “sport.”

  • Criswell predicts:

    Eventually, high schools will not be offering football as an extra curricular activity. All it’s going to take is one successful lawsuit or large settlement, and that will be that.  

    • it will take a while to get there

      first I think they will try to change the padding/helmets and rules on tackling.

    • Insurance

      While wrestling afficianados often try and blame the decline of wrestling on Title IX, I seem to recall that the dropping of HS wrestling programs in much of the country followed closely on a couple of highly publicized neck injuries causing paralysis and a jump in the cost of insurance as a result.  It seems likely that a similar cost pressure will ultimately hit football, particularly if there is a big class action.  

  • Futball

    Some relatives out of state involved inhigh end football programs report player numbers are down b/c parents won’t let their kids play as a result of concussion concerns. High school football might also end as a result of player numbers.