Franwich's picture


from North Liberty

MEMBER SINCE   August 03, 2016

Old guy from the old site. Still wanting to be one of the cool kids, so I'm here.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: Rob Houghtlin's kick [Iowa over Harbaugh and Bo]

Recent Activity

Comment 26 Apr 2020

I was already in a great mood following the Draft, all our Hawks going to good situations. Then you provided the free agent listings (including Ahmad Wager) and I got a little giddy. Then you closed with the 3 [email protected], 2017.

I'm going to laughing all day!

query - is Cedric with Carolina OR Seattle?

Comment 26 Apr 2020

Completely agree - however, it's nice to finally be on the GOOD side of combine performance expectations. It seems that more often Hawks are on the Des King, Geno Stone, AJ Epenesa side of the equation

[of course Tristan has shattered for all time that Iowa kids can't be athletic!]

Comment 26 Apr 2020

I was hard on him all year, but obviously am thrilled he's back.

Without trying TOO hard to look for excuses as to why he was so erratic - - I recall that very early last Fall (2nd, 3rd game?) Joe fell really hard on his right elbow and didn't finish the game. Even though he played soon thereafter, I can't help but wonder if that injury nagged at him for most of the year, particularly for his 3-point shot [the rest of his game - driving and finishing, rebounding, defense] all advanced from his soph year, but the shooting from distance was uneven. I'm hoping this is so, 'cuz if we could get back a stronger, smarter Weezy with a consistent shot, LOOK OUT!

Comment 26 Apr 2020

Yes, I'm a glass-half-full, rose-colored-glasses Pollyanna type; that being said, I love AJ going to Buffalo.

1. I'm already a Bills follower (since Micah Hyde got there); I was praying he didn't go to a s#itty organization [Redskins] or a shark gam media frenzy [Jets/Giants].

2. Even though AJ is a tremendously solid, well-grounded young man and could have survived anywhere, culture-wise I'm happy he went to a blue collar city that values toughness, effort, and teamwork. He's going to be a BIG hit with Buffalo fans - further, as the team's first 2020 draft-pick, AJ will ride the wave of emotion that rolls down when the Bills break through this year and FINALLY make the playoffs.

Buffalo the city is a lot like Green Bay, a smaller place where the team's impact is proportionately greater, and where hard-nosed hard-working types are adored. I think this is a perfect fit.

Comment 26 Apr 2020

I agree with Hoya, this is a relatively good situation for Nate - often it's better to be a free agent than get drafted by a team without a plan for you, but style-wise Nate is a good fit for the Vikes. their current backup, Sean Mannion, SUCKS, and has shown nothing in 3 years; current #3 is Jake Browning, who is like Stanley in a lot of ways, but has been there a year. Hopefully Minny will dump Mannion, move Browning to #2, and have Nate as #3/practice squad guy, give him a year to learn/adapt as well as incorporate the "footwork stuff" he supposedly picked up from that QB guru he worked with. If so, he'll have a future.

Comment 26 Apr 2020

Yes, I'm a glass-half-full, rose-colored-glasses Pollyanna type; that being said, I love this pick!

John Harbaugh, unlike his asshat brother, is a coach who values production and character over numbers, intangibles over tangibles. Geno's shortcomings were apparent to all, but the kid can play. I was worried that he might not be drafted at all, but often it's better to NOT be drafted than taken by a team with no vision for you. I can't think of a better spot or coach for Geno to land. 

Comment 24 Apr 2020

I think Tampa is the perfect place for TW to land.

1. He avoided the feeding frenzy of the New York media; Tristan is a nice kid, and they would chew him up and spit him out.

2. Instead of being eveyone's hot topic in Tampa (as most #1s are), the spotlight there will be on Brady and Gronk - this will give tw some time to adjust. I hope he takes Mom with him.

3 Bruce Arians and warm winters.

4. Lesser salary than higher picks, but Florida has NO state income tax. Wirfs' take home will be higher than that of several picked ahead of him.

Like I said - PERFECT.

Comment 09 Apr 2020

Context here - I'm really old.

First game I attended (no TV in those days) was the 1967 season opener against Bowling Green; I don't remember much - we won, and it was obvious the Sam Williams [google him] was a STUD. He went on to be the Big Ten MVP in '68.

Best - Indiana, 1/14/79. More context needed. In Lute Olson's first year, Hawks were embarrassed in Bloomington, 102-49. The local McDonalds had a promotion where, if the Hoosiers held their opponent under 50 points, fans could exchange their ticket stub for a free Hamburger; this game was a real sore spot for Coach Olson.  Cut to January 1979 -  a monster blizzard rolled in on Friday the 12th; the Midwest was paralyzed from Omaha to Cleveland, I-80 closed down, everything was impassable. The Indiana team was staying in Coralville, and it was determined that they couldn't safely make it to the Fieldhouse for Saturday's game, so it was reset for Sunday, January 14. Special plows were called in to create a path for the Hoosiers to get to the game on Sunday. All streets were closed, no transportation of any sort was available; the thought was that they'd be playing before zero audience [sounds like today!]. Imagine the look on Bobby Knight's face when they came out of the locker room and were greeted by me and 13000+ others who had walked several miles over snow drifts to be there. To call that crowd electric would be like saying Bikini Atoll was a pretty big bomb.

This was a ranked Indy team - Hawks won 90-61, and the Hosers were never in it. The crowd was on their feet and yelled almost the entire game. Finally, late in the second half, the noise subsided to a mild roar. During a clock stoppage, a guy 15 feet from me stood and SCREAMED: "Hey Bobby, How about a hamburger?!?" I swear that Knight turned and looked up, and I thought the roof was coming off the place - my hearing didn't return to normal until Wednesday. Knight said afterward that it was the best crowd he'd ever seen.

Worst - I'll go with Ricky, when the Orange Krush invaded Carver - - man, that was a low moment, even for a guy who's seen LOTS of low moments.

But hey - thanks for triggering memories and allowing and old fart to reminisce.

Comment 03 Feb 2020

Absolutely. Whatever that 2nd group you outline lacks in shot-making capability they don't lack for effort and tenacity on D, so it's not like the opponent gets a break. It's important to have JoeT out there, as the one person who can create his own shot, with Connor along to keep things organized. This lineup did a lot of good things at Maryland, and did a fine job of tending the flames yesterday.

Another thing I've noticed and appreciate is how Fran protects Luka's minutes vis-a-vis fouls. In almost every game, no matter how many fouls he has, Fran has pulled Garza out for the last 2 or so minutes to be sure that LG doesn't pick up a cheap foul, thereby assuring the Peacock can fully fly the second half.

Comment 03 Feb 2020

I hate to be sycophantic, but man I'm geeking out over your stuff. Thanks again.

I believe the Fade legend stems from the degree of fall in the 2014 and 2016 February/March periods. We all got our hopes so high, things went to HELL, and we remain scarred for life. As you so rightly point out, the reasons differ, but the emotional impact (and therefore the lack of rational analysis) is the same

Comment 31 Jan 2020

Armchair psychology - I wonder if our guys have lost a bit of their edge (not just last night, Wisconsin too) because of reliance upon Luka. Our ball movement isn't as crisp as it was a month ago, and it seems as if a significant number of our TOs come from trying to force it inside.

I'm not at all saying that Garza shouldn't be the focus of the offense, just that Weezy and CJF should be hunting their shots as well, as opposed to ALWAYS deferring to Garza. It appears to have taken away some of their offensive aggressiveness until late in games when fewer options remain. Garza still needs plenty of touches, but perhaps not every possession.

Comment 30 Jan 2020

I believe that I have a way to mitigate the collective angst many/most of you feel. [Fully justified angst, BTW].

Have no question, I LOVE this team. I was one out on the early limb proclaiming that this would be a better team without Cook and (especially) Moss. I was crushed by the DePaul fiasco. I was heartbroken with the Palestra loss, particularly when CJF couldn't play the second half and there was talk that he might sit for a month or so. I was resigned to a season of doom and gloom.

But then I had an epiphany. I realized that I loved this team, not because they won, but for how they play, with great intensity and intelligence. No "walkabout" periods, few dumb passes, fewer dumb fouls, and almost no bad shots. These young men, led by Garza's RELENTLESS approach, were giving everything they had, all game, every game. What more can one ask?

Consequently, my own angst has considerably diminished. The fact that this group has seemed cursed by injury and illness has made them seem like underdogs to me. I am always presuming the worst [hot opponents, bad officials, etc], and therefore assume a bad result. As in the Wisconsin game - at the seven minute 12 point mark I gave up the possibility of winning, but nevertheless maintained my delight in the effort we were giving; subsequently, when virtue was indeed rewarded and we won, I was exhilarated.

So, there's the recipe for mental health - when things begin to go bad, just assume they're going to get worse, but never lose your appreciation for our effort. This makes the inevitable losses easier to stomach, and the victories triumphant. Plan for and presume the worst, but hope and pray for the best. Good luck.

Comment 28 Jan 2020

No getting around it Houk, you write good stuff. While I skim thru most postings (here and elsewhere) to get people's often-humorous takes on the proceedings, I gravitate towards and read carefully whenever you and a couple of others post (looking at you Olivecourt). I enjoy learning new stuff, and I particularly like statistical analysis that either substantiates or disproves what I think I'm seeing.

So, thanks very much, and keep it up.

Comment 05 Jan 2020

You're right Don, they did force a lot of turnovers with their press, and shot 52% for the season (no 3-pt line). OTH, when oopponents DIDN'T turn it over, they shot 47% for the season. It was the pre-cursor to Paul Westhead Loyola Marymount system - go for steals on Defense, run their asses off on Offense. I'm not saying that style  doesn't require effort, just that's it's more tiring to give full effort on "D". And yes, Miller talked about playing defense, but what coach doesn;t? The question is: how much "D" did they actually play. Fred Brown may have been the best pure shooter in Hawk history, but he admitted that he frequently rested on defense.

Comment 05 Jan 2020

It's okay to play only six guys if only one of them plays any defense. I'm old enough to have seen the Ralph Miller teams play; their defense consisted of shooting the passing lanes for steals, and then simply outscoring you. Defense requires much more effort.

 I'm with the "disappointed but okay loss" crowd. Particularly in the 1st half we made passes either too tentative or too forced for the passing angle. PSU had 20 points off our turnovers - that's the game.

Health is obviously our key, but I too like this team, partly because they play AS a team.

Comment 28 Nov 2019

On this special day I am thankful for the return of FRANALYSIS; this is one of my favorite postings on the interwebs, for the pertinent info it provides as well as its very nerdiness.

[I would posit another possible reason for Toussaint's lower offensive numbers; our style changes when he is in. Our ball movement has significantly improved this year - the closest thing we now have to a black hole (Moss? Cook?) is Garza, who has acknowledged he needs to pass better out of double-teams - but when JT is in he does more point guard stuff (i.e. penetrate, drive and kick, you know -  the stuff we haven't seen since forever) which increases his ball usage, and our possessions take more time, which means fewer shots get up (and fewer defensive shots as well) within a given time frame. Just a thought anyways.]

So, thanks for being back - - looking forward to more.

Comment 13 Nov 2019

Now that the 3+ years of the XFoster saga is finally over [and who among you REALLY thought he was coming to Iowa?], this is a great first day for the future. Ogundele clearly has skills, and has size you can't teach, but most exciting to me is his upside. Like GabeO, Josh came to basketball a little later and is still a long way from reaching his ceiling. As Ross noted, we shouldn't need him to contribute immediately, but he'll be there to step in when the Peacock finally ascends for the last time.

Suddenly this recruiting class feels a whole lot better.

Comment 05 Nov 2019

I love perusing lists like these, mostly for the comments, but also for what it can tell us about the person. However, I'm amused by the very concept of a "favorite" artist or song, or even genre. To me, music is so circumstantial, so contextual, that it would be impossible to single out anything. As examples: you can't tell me your preferred background for lifting/working out [Metallica, Iron Maiden?] would be the same for gettin' busy with your sweetie [Sade, Marvin Gaye?], that your eating dinner or reading background [Handel, Gato Barbieri] would mirror singing along in the car [Smokey Robinson, Righteous Brothers?], or that the feeling invoked at an arena event [the Who, Springsteen] is at all similar to one's mindfulness/meditative practices [Gregorian Chant?].

So while I have no objection to the exercise as a conversation starter, I can't take any of it seriously (even though I take music VERY seriously!).

Comment 22 Oct 2019

Reading all this makes me into the contrarian, rose-colored-glasses, glass-half-full guy.

1] Scholarships are NOT an issue - Fran has up to 4 to give [1 open, + Riley Till for 1 year, Conner, and Patrick]. The bigger issue could be finding playing time to keep kids happy, but Kenyon Murray's kids won't be whiners.

2] The Murrays were admittedly not highly sought after, but this was when they were both 2G/SF prospects. They have each grown 3 inches and 15-20 lbs since then; if they have been able to keep the same degree of skill set with that bigger size, they have become more valuable commodities.

3] I believe in blood lines, both physically and mentally. (How many who have posted were all that excited about Devin Marble?  Many thought he wouldn't play much in the BIG10.) These kids will have been mentored by one of Hawk history's most tough-minded, disciplined, and team-oriented players who himself wasn't considered a dynamic recruit. They also won't be too proud to play some defense.

4] While there can be legitimate questions and cautions about Fran's program (e.g. temperament, use of clock, game management, etc.), he has clearly established that he and his staff have an eye for talent, and that they often see it WAY before other coaches and programs do. Absent compelling evidence to the contrary, I give a 3 year pass to any recruit Fran feels is worthy.

Comment 03 Oct 2019

Yes, I'd rather be an 11 seed over an 8/9, where you're likely to drilled in the second round. At least one 11 advances every year, often 2 (and 3 one year), so I'm willing to take on a 6 seed in the first round to increase the chance of making the Sweet 16

Comment 01 Oct 2019

Pollyanna here. Looking at our schedule, who are our "single plays" and where the games are, I see us as no worse than 6th in the BIG10 and squeezing unto the tourney as a coveted 11 seed. Let's look at who and where (league only):

Mich - @ AA, but Belein is gone, and they'll still be adjusting to a new coach/style [tough, nevertheless]

Minn @home - good place to start a streak

PSU - away, but at the Palestra in Philly; tell me Fran won't have them pumped for that

Nebby @ LIncoln - tough place to play, but students will still be on Christmas break, and besides, they SUCK

Md @home - ouch

NW - anytime, anywhere! [sadly our only meeting]

Mich @ home - Juwan Howard has bad memories of Iowa City

Rutgers - glad it's in IC

Bucky - very glad it's in IC [only meeting-we don't go to Madison!]

Md away - double ouch

Ill - in IC; Illini will be better, again glad our 1st time playing them is at home

@ Purdue - [sigh!]

Neb @ home - get our confidence back

Ind away - after last year they'll be gunning for us, but they're not great

Minny @ the Barn on a short travel weekend; sched unkind here

OSU in IC - only time we play, instant grudge match

@ Sparty - quadruple ouch!!!! [but ONLY time we play them]

PSU @ home - get well game

PU @ home - maybe they'll have some injuries by then? Painter's a terrific coach, but it seems like he has major injuries every year

@ Illinois - playing for tourney seed.

So yeah, I'm a glass 3/4 full kind of guy, but I think our defensive movement and offensive flow will be better this year. We have a tough non-con slate, but I remain confident. Call me back in March.