Sports Columns

Heart of the matter

Advanced player development is supposed to be the lifeblood of our state's three major football programs.Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa rarely land big fish from the recruiting pond. Instead, these schools pride themselves on finding diamonds in the rough from all walks of life. Coaches ...

Gridlock

In a cruel twist of fate for Iowa fans still cursing out the football program's TaxSlayer Bowl debacle, head coach Kirk Ferentz will receive a $525,000 ''longevity bonus'' at the end of this month.I'd try to lighten the reactionary mood with a joke, but these days, it would just be met with a ...

Making his own luck

The billy goat is starting to sweat.The Chicago Cubs, perennially the punch line to a bad World Series joke told over and over again since before World War I, are beginning to build something legitimate behind the crafty mind of front-office savant Theo Epstein.When Epstein was hired away from ...

Necessary leadership

Being "The Mayor" certainly has its perks, but the title is truly earned when a leader is forced to deal with the community's pitfalls.Fred Hoiberg is the favorite son of Ames, Iowa. He is beloved, admired, respected and even idolized. As the basketball coach at Iowa State University, though, ...

Winning mentality

I'll let any remaining St. Edmond football doubters in on a little secret: once a team reaches the state semifinals at the UNI-Dome, all caveats and qualifiers cease to exist.The 2013 Class A champion, West Lyon, is up next for the Gaels. A potential title-game rematch with dynastic Iowa City ...

Royals’ pain

Kansas City fans would like nothing more than to cast Madison Bumgarner as the villain after the Royals' excruciating Game 7 World Series loss to San Francisco.The left-handed pitcher tortured the American League champions in unprecedented fashion, dominating Kansas City with three different ...

A Royal family

It surfaced in Alex Gordon's total disregard for his own safety.Or when ALCS MVP Lorenzo Cain laid down an impromptu sacrifice bunt - the first of his career.We saw it as Mike Moustakas literally tossed his body into the dugout to make a catch at all costs.Or in the way James Shields celebrated ...

The road less traveled

I used to assume Fort Dodge's streets were the worst in Iowa. Had to be. Potholes everywhere. Uneven and abused surfaces. Roads in desperate need of attention after obviously being neglected for years.After doing a significant amount of traveling and visiting other communities, I began to see ...

Instant classic

Every die-hard baseball fan has their ''moment.''It's the point in time when the bug bites. You go from being a casual observer to a true believer. The game becomes riveting. Mesmerizing even.Patience is necessary. There is no instant gratification in baseball. The pace is admittedly and often ...

Farewell to the people’s captain

Derek Jeter is overrated.He's an overrated hitter. His career numbers, by and large, barely stack up to other players at his position, let alone the future Hall of Fame company he will soon be keeping. Granted, he has well over 3,000 hits - but that took him a really, really long time to ...

The silent majority

The NFL needs an image reboot now more than ever.The stories of Charles Tillman and Devon Still are a good place to start.As the league seemingly sinks deeper into a quagmire of corruption and depravity, players like Tillman and Still remind us of the good that remains among its legion of ...

Ball bounces Cyclones’ way at best possible time

IOWA CITY - In desperate need of some good fortune, Iowa State finally caught a long-awaited break here Saturday - with a little help from the sidelines of its arch rival.Cyclone Nation let out a collective groan as Cole Netten's 42-yard field goal attempt sailed inches wide of the goalpost to ...

The moments when character truly counts

Sometimes a loss can be inspiring to witness.Sounds crazy, I know, but bear with me.This time of year brings ultimate levels of success and failure to the forefront at a rapid-fire pace. From following our local and area teams as they try to fulfill their postseason dreams to covering the state ...

Better with age

The familiar feel of state tournament softball returns to Fort Dodge this week, with nearly 700 players and an expected 17,000 fans calling Rogers Sports Complex home for the next five days.For 44 years, we have hosted Iowa's girls of summer. The partnership will continue through at least 2020 ...

Paying respects

With that vintage gleam in his eye and a quivering voice overcome by emotion, Dutch Huseman thanked the Fort Dodge Senior High family from the bottom of his heart at the inaugural Dodger induction banquet last week.At that moment, the school's Hall of Fame officially - and finally - came to ...

Vote of confidence

In a day and age often short on commitment, there is something very reassuring about the state softball tournament staying in Fort Dodge through the partnership's golden anniversary.The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union recently signed an extension to keep the event in our city through at ...

Mr. Reliable

It's easy - and trendy - to be cynical about the NBA these days.There are plenty of reasons to pile on the criticism, especially in the wake of the Donald Sterling fiasco. Billionaire owners and millionaire players continue to put themselves in precarious positions, whether it be with actions ...

Parable of a princess

The disease is far from unique, and the courageous stories of struggle and perseverance have been told before.That didn't stop Lacey Holsworth from reaching our hearts in a special way during her own battle with an enemy we know all too well.The 8-year-old cancer patient, who befriended ...

More March magic?

We all know by now that the Big Dance can be - and typically is - a full-court free-for-all.There are no guarantees anymore. Not even in round one. Parity, for better or worse, is here to stay. While college basketball has turned into a watered down product of sorts in recent years, the balance ...

Lasting impression

If there's anything I've learned in 20 years of covering high school athletics, it's the value of patience, persistence and perspective in sports.Almost always in that order.I've accepted the ''three P'' philosophy slowly - and at times begrudgingly - but steadily, both as a fan and an ...