The 3 for 3 blog, with a Thursday twist …
1: MAKING SENSE OF THE SENSELESS … I’m working on a column for Sunday about the reaction of Kansas City Chiefs players with Iowa connections to the murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher.
On Saturday, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before driving to the Chiefs complex and taking his own life.
Not surprisingly, the players are struggling to sort through the seemingly un-sortable.
“There’s no exact word that’s going to describe a scenario like this. It’s unprecedented,” said Ricky Stanzi, a backup quarterback who played at Iowa. “No one’s gone through something like this. And to go through it as a team, I mean, especially with the tough season, it’s been a lot for guys to handle.”
The Chiefs already were facing on-field pressures during a season that yielded just one win heading into the weekend.
The team bounced back from Saturday’s horrific revelations to double its win total with a 27-21 victory against Carolina.
Then, instead of the jubilation the team had tasted so rarely this season, players were left with jumbled, tangled emotions.
Hayworth Hicks, an offensive lineman from Iowa State, was just picked up by Kansas City this week and met Belcher on Thursday. The situation created a win that felt unlike a win any on the team had experienced before.
“It was a weird feeling,” Hicks said.
To read more, check Saturday night on DesMoinesRegister.com — and in the Des Moines Sunday Register.
2: THE NIGHT A RIVALRY CHANGED … The Register’s Rick Brown (find him on Twitter here) wrote a fantastic piece on the game in 1984 that changed the face and future of the men’s basketball rivalry between Iowa State and Iowa.
The details of what happened on Jan. 14 and, most interestingly, what has taken place since, defined why that game and moment in series history meant so much.
In the story, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said the series included perhaps his best play as a Cyclone — when he dunked over Iowa’s 6-foot-11 Acie Earl in 1991.
Thanks to the wonders of the Inter-webs, video of that dunk exists. It’s at the :40 mark HERE …
3. FERENTZ SUPPORT, PART III … Stanzi and others in the Chiefs locker room (Tony Moeaki, Bryan Mattison) offered unwavering confidence that Iowa football will bounce back after a three-season run that produced a 19-19 record — including just four wins this season.
And yes, I have that voice in my head, too. (What are they supposed to say, right?)
The loyalty of ex-players for Ferentz, however, always proves stronger and more universal than other tests of those types of situations around sports, it seems. While working on a column in Minnesota a few weeks back, Chad Greenway proactively asked about Ferentz, the pressures and reactions from fans — and wanted to offer his support. Ditto for Vikings teammate Christian Ballard, and more of the same a week earlier from NFL kicker Nate Kaeding.
So what’s your faith level in Ferentz to rebuild Iowa for a third time in his career?
Follow Miller on Twitter: @Bryce_A_Miller