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Elliot: Go, 18th-century offense

BY BEAU ELLIOT | NOVEMBER 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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There’s something called an election that occurs today. Just saying.

(Though something on the order of 15 or 25 or 27 percent of Americans have already voted, so Election Day seems a bit more like post-Election Day, or You-Haven’t-Voted-Yet?/Whatever-Have-You-Been-Doing-Besides-That-Meth/Prescription-Drug-Thing Day?, or Tuesday-Take-the-Kids-to-Soccer-Practice Day, or I’m-a-College-Undergraduate-So-I-Thought-It-Was-Wear-Khaki-Shorts Day. Seems-Like-Yesterday Day.)

Though I thought it was Use-A-Hyphen-More-Than-Seems-Possible Day, which only leaps around every four years. Luckily.

Unluckily, unfortunately, un-something or otherly, Hawkeye football games seem to come around every week or so.

This has been a tough football season for Hawk fans, especially those dreamers who thought Iowa could win 10 games and James Vandeberg was the second coming of Tom Brady. Or Drew Brees. Or Eli Manning. Or, you know, whatever. (To use everybody’s favorite word these days.)

(Those fans probably also believe that one day, they’ll win the lottery, even though the odds are better that one day, they’ll land on Mars.) And Hawkeye fans have started getting chippy, to use a word that a former DI colleague and now radio star likes to employ.

The target of Hawkeye fans’ ire has become coach Kirk Ferentz, mostly, it appears, because he makes a cool $3.7 million a year and is coaching a sub-.500 team. (No matter that there is no public, taxpayer money going to Ferentz’s salary. For that matter, no taxpayer money is going to the Iowa Athletics Department, which is one of the few such departments that is self-supporting. At least, that’s what has been reported.)

What’s interesting about Ferentz is that he once worked for Bill Belichek, the New England Patriot coach who has embraced the Oregon Duck offense, that 21st-centruy warp-speed, hurry-hurry-hurry, no-huddle, no-cuddle, no-time-for-you-on-defense-to-change-your-players-and-change-your-schemes offense, because we intend to score a metric ton of points. (Not to go back to Hyphenation Nation or anything. Or for that matter, to sound European with that metric-ton stuff, because if you sound European, the Mitt is going to come down on you like — well — a metric ton of bricks.)

Remember a ton of Hawkeye points? Well, some of you, probably not. We say Chuck Long to you, and you say, Chuck who? Is he one of those guys up on Mount Rushmore? (That was an awesome movie, dude.)

(Chuck Long, where have you gone? — a nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Yes, that’s a Paul Simon line, Mrs. Robinson.).

Ferentz, meanwhile, sticks to the 18th-century offense that saved Vienna from the Turks. Which is great, because who wants to speak Turkish? Especially, apparently, Ferentz.

(Though maybe it’s the 17th-century offense that saved Vienna. In the proverbial mists of time, mostly you come out with wet hair.)

No offense to the Turks, of course, who have a fine language, culture, and literature; but how well do they play American football?

But for Iowa football, it’s a shade bit too bad that it’s no longer the 18th century.

Speaking of the 18th century, that’s probably the era Mitt Romney feels most comfortable with. Just going by the things he says. Or one, thing, women couldn’t beat him at the polls.

Of course, when you have a lot of money, any era seems comfortable. Funny thing about money.

Speaking of money, reports say that the campaigns of President Obama and the Good Ship Mitt have spent $6 billion on this election. If they had stuck those bucks into the federal budget, we wouldn’t have a deficit.

Just saying.

Yeah, I know. We have better odds of landing on Mars.

Which is where the Hawkeye offense seems to have landed. I mean, it doesn’t seem to be anywhere around here.


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