This is a day we've all seen coming for awhile. Iowa's beloved (poetic license) "Bubble" goes pop at 9:30 a.m. today.
We'll have coverage of it. I'll stand there and take notes and try to add some historical perspective (did you know it deflated twice in its 27 years of service?). What you'll want to see is Gazette photographer Brian Ray's time lapse footage. Now, it might not be as dramatic as the time Iowa blew up the old press box at Kinnick, but it should be somewhat entertaining. How often do you get to see a dome-like structure deflate? Outside of the Metrodome, of course. (Kidding, kidding, Vikings fans.)
The Bubble was built in 1985 for about $2.7 million. It lies a block north of Kinnick Stadium and about a block south of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa's baseball, softball, field hockey and soccer teams also use the facility.
The Bubble is physically obsolete. It had a 30-year life expectancy, kind of like the character's in the 1976 sci-fi film "Logan's Run," where residents of this futuristic city (with white walls, of course, the quintessential vision of the future for schlocky '70s film) where axed when they turned 30.
"Itís probably more than outlived its life expectancy," coach Kirk Ferentz said at the Linn County I-Club gathering this week.
When I was in grad school at Iowa, the Bubble deflated. It was right before the Hawkeyes played in the '91 Rose Bowl. I worked at the Daily Iowan and wrote a column about it, basically saying that if I were Hayden Fry, I would let the Bubble crumble and build a permanent structure. I wrote that in 1990.
The Hawkeyes will have an indoor facility for next season. Phase II of Iowa's facilities plan fires off soon. It's a total facelift in an age of "bling."
This is an off-the-cuff notion and it might already be in the pipeline, but if I were Iowa, I would sell swatches of the Bubble for maybe $20 a throw, maybe mount it in some fashion, and give all the money to the children's hospital that will fill the space.
Anyway, vaya con dios, Bubble. More coverage coming this morning.
-- Marc Morehouse
-- The Jarrod Uthoff affair came to an end yesterday. IMO, helluva of way to get an 18- or 19-year-old kid's attention. The "we just wanted to meet face-to-face" with him is thin at best, obsfucation at worst. If that's your story, stick to that. Don't go on a painfully melodramatic rant on national radio. The Gazette's Scott Dochterman reports that Uthoff will visit Creighton and Iowa State and will consider others.
-- The Gazette's Mike Hlas writes that coaches are powerful, but sometimes not all-powerful.
-- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus writes that Bo Ryan wanted to force the appeals process to learn why Uthoff wanted to leave Wisconsin. That's one way to do it. A cell phone is another way.
Compiled by Marc Morehouse
WIDE WORLD OF LINKAGE
-- For one-stop shopping for any links involving the Bo Ryan-Jarrod Uthoff saga, check out the glut Dave Heller of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has assembled.
-- Another day, another college basketball player denied permission to transfer to any five of the eight programs he listed following being granted his release. Guard Jordan Clarkson has a hearing a week from today in which he will appeal the process. Maybe Uthoff can give him some pointers.
-- The headline on this USA Today story about Bobby Petrino isn't the kind you normally would connect with a sports item. Oh heck, we'll tell you.
-- The Alabama football parent who accidentally shattered the Crimson Tide's BCS championship trophy last Saturday can laugh about it now. A little, anyhow.
"I told them, 'If you want to put me on the payroll, I can come down and work weekends. We'll work something out,' " Carleton Tinker said.Compiled by Mike Hlas