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We all have phrases we use over and over, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Mine include “Go ahead, make my day,” “The tribe has spoken,” and, of course, “Wassup!”
Kirk Ferentz used one twice during his Tuesday press conference in Iowa City that he has employed repeatedly over the years.
It’s “Kodak moment,” an advertising slogan the Eastman Kodak Company originated in 1961 to sell its cameras. For you middle-schoolers in the readership, that was before phones had cameras. It was an empty time in our hollow lives.
Talking about watching Hawkeye tight end T.J. Hockenson when he was a high school player, Ferentz said this on Tuesday: “And then on defense, at least my Kodak moment, was watching him play safety, and it seemed like he was about 20 yards from the ball.”
Which was followed shortly afterward by something he said while discussing the late Norm Parker’s preparation for the option offense of Iowa’s Orange Bowl opponent eight seasons ago as the Hawkeyes’ defensive coordinator.
“The sideline guy (ESPN’s Roddy Jones) last week was a Georgia Tech player, and we were just talking about it, and I remember Norm distinctly holding that folder up from 1974. I forget who they played, (Parker) was at Minnesota at the time, I think, and that’s when he had his Kodak moment on Georgia Tech with the option.”
After Iowa’s 40-10 win over Nebraska last November, Ferentz discussed a 29-yeard Riley McCarron punt-return that featured a key block by Desmond King.
“To me, that was a Kodak moment, just that play in itself,” he said. “It speaks to the kind of guys we get to work with.”
North Dakota State defeated Iowa in September 2016. Ferentz was wary about the Bison on the Tuesday before that game because he remembered a certain kind of moment.
“Faces change through the years with North Dakota State, names change, faces change, but the way they play looks very, very similar. My Kodak moment would have been somewhere late in 2007, 2008, they were still playing in the Metrodome. I remember them beating Minnesota, how well they played in that ballgame. It wasn’t a fluke by any stretch. The way they played in that game, it’s still the same thing you see over the last couple of years.”
In October 2014, Ferentz discussed quarterback Jake Rudock passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns against Indiana in the previous game.
“I wouldn’t describe it as like a Kodak moment,” Ferentz said. “I thought he played really well. We expect Jake to play well, and we expect C.J. (Beathard) to play well.”
According to Ferentz’ Beathard’s “Kodak moment” came in 2015, a daring 7-yard quarterback draw from a physically beaten-up player that produced a touchdown against Indiana.
On Oct. 22, 2013, Ferentz was asked what stood out about the Iowa-Northwestern game the year before.
“It was a Kodak moment in that there were a lot of things that took place in the game that we didn’t execute well enough.”
The same day, he addressed concerns he had with his defensive secondary.
“I’m having a Kodak moment here going back to 2000, playing up in Minnesota, where Bob Sanders got hurt. Somebody came in for him and took a false step at safety, just a play-action fake. Took a bad step on it, like he’s going to make the tackle. He’s 20 yards from the ball. Ended up costing us a touchdown the other way.”
What’s with all these safeties playing 20 yards from the ball?
About Brett Greenwood, a former Iowa safety who was a master at being in the right place on the field, Ferentz said this on his team’s 2011 Media Day:
“My Kodak moment on him was when we took him to Michigan during his redshirt year, but he was sitting in the locker room studying his notes getting ready to play.“
Ferentz called Adrian Clayborn’s blocked punt and return of the block for a touchdown at Penn State in 2009 “a Kodak moment.” Is there any Hawkeye fan who would dare to disagree.
What Ferentz said about Clayborn the following year was even more complimentary, but for a different reason.
“There’s a lot of weird stuff that happens in life,” Ferentz said. “Some becomes public, some doesn’t, and if you’re a prominent player it becomes a little more public. … But my Kodak moment with him is the things he does with kids at Children’s Hospital. He’s a stellar guy.”
In 2006, Ferentz recalled Iowa quarterback Drew Tate spiking the ball in anger during a 31-6 loss against Ohio State the season before as something even more than a Kodak moment.
“If that was a selfish act, I would have had a real problem,” Ferentz said. “It was frustration. It was a good teaching moment, one of those Kodak teaching moments.”
Tate still is playing in the Canadian Football League. Here is an interesting story on Tate by Tim Baines of Canada’s Postmedia Network.
In fact, Tate started the Ottawa Redblacks’ last game and passed for 185 yards and a touchdown, but was injured in the second quarter of Ottawa’s 29-11 win over the Montreal Alouettes.
Nonetheless, he probably has a treasure trove filled with Canadian Kodak moments.