The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on September 10, 2009 · Page 30
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 30

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Page2C Thursday, September 10, 2009 Mt'iio I (Ihiom I he Des Moines Register The Des Moines Register Lamberti says team could play on national television. Arena Football Stormers hope to land in top tier of redefined league By DAN JOHNSON dansjohnnudmreg.com Whatever game the Iowa Barnstormers are playing in 2010, it won't be arenafootball2. In name, the af2 appears dead, although in 2010 arena football will be played in a new league. Franchises are considering a proposal for a two-division league, one for larger markets made up of the most successful al'2 franchises and larger markets from the dormant Arena Football League and one for smaller markets. The deadline for af2 teams to commit tn the e-amP in 2010 was Tuesday, and none did. That is because me parent ArL is in bankruptcy, and af2 owners feared being dragged into that situation. "All our teams were bound members of af2 up until (Tuesday), and we are no longer that," said Jeff Lamberti, one of the Iowa Barnstormers' principal owners. "We think there's a good opportunity to put together a two-tiered concept." Lamberti said the goal is to match 12 teams for each tier, with the Barnstorm ers eyeing the top tier. The concept could be decided in the next two to three weeks. "It's possible we won't know 100 percent of the teams," Lamberti said, "but if we get to a point where we have the necessary commitments, we would probably make the announcement that it's a go." Players would be paid around $400 per game in the top tier. That's twice the amount af2 players re- i ceived, but less than the $30,000 base for AFL. Lamberti said the Barnstormers' 2009 budget topped $1 million, and that the tier 1 proposal would add $300,000 to $500,000. "In return for losing some of our weaker markets, we are likely to pick up some pretty strong, big markets," he said. Lamberti said selling more tickets, increasing sponsorsnip revenue, and negotiating a new lease at Wells Fargo Arena could help pay for increased costs of playing in the top tier. The Barnstormers' three-year lease at Wells Fargo expires after the 2010 season. The team has been seeking an extension that includes new financial terms. "All I want is the same deal the hockey team had," Lamberti said of the now-dormant Iowa Chops. "If we could get the same deal they had, we'd be fine." The Chops paid $4,200 per game in rent and received a share of concessions and suite sales. The Barnstormers use a sliding scale for rent, are paying $6,500 for games with 10,000 fans or more, and do not receive concession or suite money. Neither team received parking. The Barnstormers finished 13-5 last season and ranked second in the af2 with an average attendance of 9,645. Lamberti said there could be a slight ticket increase if the Barnstormers go to tier 1, but not a large one. "We have to keep them reasonably priced," he said. "We understand the economic times we're in and we want it to be family-friendly." Lamberti said the top tier teams also could play on national television. "The networks always liked the product," Lamberti said. "We believe that whether it be Fox Sports, ESPN, Comcast or someone else, there's plenty of interest." . BILL NEIBERGALLTHE REGISTER Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, pictured with Michael O'Connell, worked under two college football coaching legends - as a player for Bear Bryant at Alabama and as an assistant coach for Bobby Bowden at Florida State. BIG GAME FROM PAGE 1C Big 4 Football: Upcoming Games Drake Bulldogs V Saturday Sept. 19 Oct. 3 at Marist at South Dakota vs. Valparaiso Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday at Iowa State Sept. 19 vs. Arizona Sept. 26 at Penn State Iowa State Cyclones Saturday vs. Iowa Sept. 19 at Kent State Sept. 26 vs. Army mmmm '""'"cm iuwo rdmners Saturday Sept. 19 Sept. 26 vs. Saint Francis at Missouri State Noon 4 p.m. 1 p.m. 11 a.m. 2:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 11 a.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 1 p.m. Area eventsTVRadio Listings subject to change Area events HIGH SCHOOLS Schedule, Sports Roundup Television COLLEGE FOOTBALL GOLF 2:00 PGA BMW Championship (Golf) TENNIS 10a.m. U S Open(ESPN2) 6:00 U S Open (ESPN2) spread offense, old-school defensive coordinators. Burnham and Parker are 67, born nine days apart during the fall of 1941 -- Burnham on Sept. 30 and Parker on Oct. 9. They're the oldest defensive coordinators in their conferences Burnham by two years on Texas A&M's Joe Kines in the Big 12, and Parker by six on Jim Heacock of Ohio State in the Big Ten. "I'm not surprised," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said when told the facts regarding the veteran coordinators. "In their case, they're both older and wiser." Burnham came to Iowa State this season from South Florida, where his defenses ranked in the top 30 nationally six of the past seven seasons including No. 10 in 2008. Parker served as one of Ferentz's original staff members, starting in 1999. The Hawkeyes have specialized in stopping the rush, ranking in that category's national top 1 0 five times in the past 10 seasons. "There's a lot to be said about having the most experience you can find coaching on that side of the ball," said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, a former defensive coordinator. "It's a cliche, but those guys have been there, seen this, and done that." Burnham started his college career as an assistant at North Alabama in 1976. His other stops included East Tennessee State, Richmond, Memphis State, Lamar, Florida State, South Carolina and South Florida. He coached for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, played for Bear Bryant at Alabama. And talk about old school ... "Coach Bryant motivated back in those davs bv mak ing you scared to death that you were going to be sent home and lose your scholarship." Burnham said. "Under coach Bryant, the games were easier than the CHRISTOPHER GANNONTHE REGISTER Defensive coordinator Norm Parker, pictured during the UNI game, has helped the Iowa rushing defense finish in the top 1 0 nationally five times during the past 1 0 seasons. I TV information for the Big Game Saturday's game is being televised by many stations in the Fox Sports Net family. For Des Moines Mediacom customers, that's Fox Sports Midwest (Ch. 40). Comcast SportsNet Chicago-Plus, available on some satellite packages, has the option to pick up the game. A representative from the network said Comcast SportsNet Chicago-Plus expects to carry the game. Comcast SportsNet Chicago-Plus is Ch. 666 on DirecTV. Dish Network does not list that channel, but its sports channels are typically in the 400s. Not all DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers receive Comcast SportsNet Chicago-Plus. Check with your provider. 1 Historic photos from Big Game View dozens and dozens of photos from Iowa-Iowa State games over the last four decades. DesMoinesRegister.com BigGame Cyclones7 tight end suspended after being charged with OWI Iowa State reserve tight end Kurt Hammerschmidt was suspended indefinitely from the team Wednesday after being charged with operating while intoxicated. Hammerschmidt, 20, was stopped near Knapp Street and Welch Avenue at 2:1 1 a.m., Monday, according to an on-line police report. The redshirt freshman from Chesterfield, Mo., played in Thursday's season-opening 34-17 win against North Dakota State at Jack Trice Stadium, but did not record any statistics. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads would not comment, other than to say in a release: "I have indefinitely suspended Kurt Hammerschmidt from our football program for a violation of team rules." The Cyclones entertain Iowa at 11 a.m. Saturday. Randy Peterson Hammerschmidt practices." Parker's first college job was offensive line coach at Eastern Michigan in 1968. His resume consists of stints at Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois, East Carolina, Michigan State, and Vanderbilt. He, too, knows toughness. Parker had one toe removed a few years ago because of diabetes, and another removed last summer because of an infection caused by water that leaked into his fishing boat. "The coaches reminded me that the year I had my first toe cut off, in 2004, we won a Big Ten championship," Parker said. "I've got eight left; I'm not giving up another one." Both work the sidelines. Both can be animated. Burnham slapped shoulder pads of his guys repeatedly during last Thursday's 34-17 win against North Dakota State. And talk about black and gold-tinged old school: Parker unknowingly ventured so far onto the field in the last minute of last Saturday's win against Northern Iowa that he had to be pulled back by strength coach Chris Doyle. "He's a hands-on coach," Iowa linebacker A.J. Edds said. "He's walking around mingling with everyone during practices." Burnham walks, too. L "You ought to go walking with him sometime," said Shane Burnham, Wally's son and Iowa State's defensive tackles coach. "That'll last about two weeks he'll wear you out. He played for Bear. "Talk about old school." 6:30 Clemson at Georgia Tech (ESPN! nfl Radio 7:30 Tenn at Pitts. (WHO) No listings Oudin's magical run ends in quarterfinal How To Contact Us rye Millar, Executive Sports Editor. (515) 284-8288 or brmillergclmreg.com Mart EmHMrt, Deputy Sports Editor, (SIS) 284 8062 or memmertadmreg com Sport, kotm: Call 1515) 284 8012 or (800) 532-1455 (Ert 8012) Gnral email sportsdmreg.com (515)284 8391 From Register News Services New York, N.Y. American teenager Melanie Oudin's run at the U.S. Open ended with a 6-2. 6-2 quarterfinal loss to No. 9-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. The 70th-ranked Oudin. a 17-year-old player from Marietta, Ga , lost 14 of the first 18 points Wednesday night, and never recovered "This has been a great Tennis: U.S. Open experience for me. I had a great run here." the 70th-ranked Oudin told the crowd of 23,881 during an on-court interview right after the match, an honor usually reserved for the winner. "I hope to come back next year and do even better." It'll be hard to top her 2009 U.S. Open Oudin had upset four higher-ranked players including three-time major champion Maria Sharapova and Beijing Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva to become the youngest quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams in 1999. And Oudin's last three victories each came after dropping the first set Other matches: Yanina Wickmayer beat Kateryna Bondarenko 7-5, 6-4 at the U.S. Open on Wednesday. The 19-year-old player joins fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in the semis and will play Wozniacki. Novak Djokovic has reached the U.S. Open semifinals for the third consecutive year. The No. 4-seeded Djokovic of Serbia beat No 10 Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-6 (2) i-w. f-j, o-z on Wednesday ft EELER 1 Butlr cunty NFL Moms Thursday, September 10,2009 Page 3C FtM PAGE 1C I. R s that time of year afBin. The National Football League regular season kicks off tonight in grand fashion Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee at Heinz F'ield with a full weekend slate "UMUm to follow on Sunday. But did you ever wonder: What's a mother thinking as her little boy is being chased by 300-pound men? What about the brave souls who drove them to practice, bandaged their wounds, and cheered their every turn? For example: While you're sitting comfortably in your basement, celebrating the fruits of your fantasy draft, Debbie Orion's stomach is doing the Watusi. "That's my diet during the year," chuckles Orion, whose son, Kyle, is a quarterback with the Denver Broncos after a stellar run at Southeast Polk High School and Purdue. "I'm not a very small person, but when football season comes around, I can diet. I can't eat before games." Laurie Hartwig's son Justin plays center for the Steelers, the defending Super Bowl champions and this evening's main attraction. While you're watching the ball in the air or the tailback breaking into the clear, she's watching the line of scrimmage, making sure everybody gets up in one piece. That big ugly is somebody's baby, too. "I know right away when he's hurt," Laurie says of Justin, who signed a new four-year contract with Pittsburgh on Tuesday. "It's like I can tell by how he runs on and off the field if there's something wrong, because he's just a warrior he'll play anyways. "He got hurt in the (Baltimore) Ravens (game) last year. I knew something was going on just by the way he was warming up. I just had that feeling. And then when I get a text message from him, and this is when we were walking down after the game, (that) he The four NFL players who played high school football at Aplington-Parkersburg might be celebrities in Butler County but their families are anything but. "All of us really are just regular Joes, all pretty much blue-collar people," says Dort Kampman, mother of Green Bay Packers star and former Iowa Hawkeye Aaron Kampman. "So it's really not a big deal. It is a big deal, but people don't treat us any differently because we are all local people." Good people, too. No staring, no whispering at the grocery store, no asking for autographs. While her son Jared's Detroit Lions were suffering through the first 0-16 regular season in NFL history last fall, Marge DeVries says, the folks back home were continuing to focus on the positive. "They're really good," Marge says. "They didn't say anything. I guess they're just happy that he's in the NFL." Sean Keeler aLSESSBaK mWW WWWW tLktWWttWWWWWWWl AL PaB WWW KlL, 0L flH laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBlrJVVaH , eaamff aaahl aaeaaai -aafcJaWTjaa'S aaaaaaW BilaaallBBi fl MaV 5M jB Jrf ANDREA MELENDEZREGISTER FILE PHOTO In the 2003 photo, Iowa State's Nick Passolano works to pin Iowa's Cole Pape under the watchful eyes of referee Mike Allen. Allen retired after a 30-plus years of refereeing. played the Ravens game with a torn medial collateral ligament. He said, 'I think I tore my MCL.' I said, 'I knew it, I just knew it.' " In his eighth season in the league, and his second with the Steelers, Hartwig spent much of the preseason battling a fractured big right toe. Mom expects him to play through the pain, of course, because well, that's what he does. It's what Kurt Warner does, too. Like Laurie, Sue was in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII, watching her son lead the once-woebegone Cardinals through one of the most unexpected postseason runs in modern NFL history. It wasn't that long ago that he was toiling with the Iowa Barnstormers of the old Arena Football League, wondering whether or not it was time to stop chasing the dream and get on with the rest of his life. "While he was with Barnstormers, he asked, 'Should I give up on the idea?' " Sue recalls. " 'I've got Brenda (his wife) and our kids and maybe I should get a real job.' " Mom's reply? While you're young, take advantage of whatever opportunities you can otherwise you might regret it for the rest of your life. "That's when, of course, he said, 'Well, I'll go for this,' " Sue says. "And that's when he went over to NFL Europe representing the Rams. And you know the rest of the story." It's the stuff of legend now, the first chapter of a career that seems destined for immortality in Canton. Kurt's gone out of his way to repay Mom, too or at least, as much as Sue will let him. When the 2008 floods in Cedar Rapids ruined Schumacher Carpets the store run by Sue and her husband Tom Kurt, who agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Cardinals in March, offered to pay for the entire rebuilding process. Sue politely declined, although she says they did consent to a little financial push to help speed things back to normal. "We want this business to succeed because of my husband and I," Sue says. "It wasn't like we wanted him to buy the business, because that would be like working for Kurt. And even though he wanted to do it all, that wasn't what we wanted." Then she pauses. "Besides," Sue savs. "he could fire me someday." Not likely, although the carpeting business isn't as cut-throat as the NFL, where nothing lasts forever. Especially the contracts given to kickers. Billy Cundiff was cut by Detroit last Saturday the seventh team to release him since the fall of 2002. The buzz is that he might be re-signed before the season opener at New Orleans, but Mom is taking any speculation with a grain of salt. She's learned to keep a level head. And a flexible wardrobe. If Dawn takes the family to watch him in Chicago or Minneapolis, she jokes, they're bringing neutral colors to the game. "(After Arizona), that's the last time I wear any kind of jersey," she says with a chuckle. "We wear plain clothes." Mother knows best. ! ALLEN FROM PAGE 1C ' tell her, 'No,' and she'd say, 'Why not?' "So it kind of reminded ; me of what I did when I had my son Victor and my daughter Denise when they were growing up, that I was always gone, too. I kind of promised myself this would ! never happen again. I was j never going to put the sport ahead of my family." I So Allen, 59, has decided J to retire after a celebrated 30-plus year whistle-stop I career that started in 1976 at the high school level. He's a member of the I Iowa High School Athletic I Association's Officials Hall of Fame and earned the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Lifetime Achievement for Official award in 2008. And for good reason: Allen demanded action on the mat. Stallers beware. "It seems like when you had one team going against another, if they wanted to provide an entertainment, they would make sure a guy like Mike Allen would officiate," said Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Dan Gable, who like Allen, grew up in Waterloo. "If there wasn't action going on, he would either call a stalemate or he would call stalling, which I agree with. When I look at our sport at the Olympic level right now, I see that's where we're probably failing the most. We're failing to keep the wrestlers, help them with their activity. And when you don't have activity in any kind of athletic event, then what do you watch?" Allen said his approach was based on the rules. "I did it and they liked it," Allen said of how in-demand his services steadily became. "And they just continued giving me meet after meet after meet, with the understanding, without even talking, they knew I was going to be fair ... That I was not going to control the match. That we were going to make sure you were going to be able to wrestle; not be able to just sit there and do nothing." Gable said a few officials stress action much like Allen did, but he will be sorely missed. Chuck Yagla another decorated wrestler and soon-to-be National Hall of Fame Life Achievement for Official honoree from Waterloo agreed. "He did an awful lot of officiating and had a very commanding presence with his stature, so he will be missed," Yagla said. "Obviously, he did a great job at it, too, because he did it for many, many years and numerous national tournaments and Iowa-Iowa State duals." Yagla and Allen had once planned to retire at the same time Yagla hung up his whistle in 2007. "I want to thank everybody in the state of Iowa," Allen said. "People just don't know how many phone calls I received when I was officiating about, 'Continue doing what you're doing and being fair as you're doing that. Good things are going to happen.' Now as I end this career, good things have happened. ... There are so many people who have recognized me with regard to being fair and being a gentleman on the mat. That's the only reason I got where I got. It was never about me." iowa State NCAA champion Varner leaves for Worlds Varner Towel stomp fuels Steelers in rivalry Season Opener By ALAN ROBINSON Associated Press Pittsburgh, Pa. The stomping their Terrible Towel took on the Tennessee Titans' sideline last December was nothing compared to the trampling the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the field. "It's important for us to get off to a good start," said defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, a former Iowa prep standout. The Titans manhandled I Today's Game WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (WHO) LINE: Steelers by 6 SYNOPSIS: The season kicks off on a Thursday night for the eighth straight year and for the sixth time in a row features the defending Super Bowl champ this time Pittsburgh in a rematch of a game Tennessee won, 31-14. But that was the Titans' last victory, and the Steelers last loss of the season Tennessee suffered the biggest personnel defection (defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth signed with Washington), but it has lost only one other starter. The Steelers have all but three starters from 08 back. Tennessee likes to run with Chris Johnson and LenDale White, but faces the league s No. 2 run defense in 2008. PICK: The defending champion is 5-0 in the last five Thursday openers, winning by an average of 12.8 points. More of the same St. Louis Post Dispatch Pittsburgh up front, and hurried Ben Roethlisberger in Tennessee's 31-14 win on Dec. 21. It was Pittsburgh's only loss in its final 10 games, and it made fans eager for a rematch. To the Steelers, the most indelible image of that Titans rout was running back LenDale White and several teammates tramping on Terrible Towels. The sideline stomp has been replayed countless times in Pittsburgh. "If there's a towel in the stands, I will stomp on it. I don't care who gets mad. ... If they throw a towel at me, I'm going to kick it and stomp all over it," White said. White's words weren't especially well-received in his own locker room. Coach Jeff Fisher quickly moved to end such talk. "It was something that took place in an emotional moment," Fisher said. Iowa State national champion t Jake Varner last wrestled j against foreign competition as I an eighth-grader. Much has changed for the Cyclone senior, but his on-the-mat demeanor entering the Sept. 21-27 World Championships at Herning, Denmark, has not. "To me, it's all training," said Varner, who qualified in freestyle and will wrestle at 211.5 pounds. "I try to get better every day I wrestle." So far, so good. Varner, one of two current collegians on the team, will be joined by former Cyclone Trent Paulson. Tervel Dlagnev, who coaches the Panther Wrestling Club in Cedar Falls, also is on , the freestyle team, which competes Sept. 21-23. Former Iowa wrestler and coach Bill Zadick is a coach with the team. Zadick won a world title in 2006. Varner hopes to add a world title to his growing resume and is undaunted by facing unfamiliar foes. "I've wrestled with (former coach) Cael Sanderson every day, and he's a World silver medalist and Olympic champion," Varner said. "And I've wrestled with Kevin Jackson a lot, and Olympic champion and two-time World champion." And a lack of familiarity with the competition can work in Varner's favor, as well. "They've never wrestled someone like me," he said. "And what I can bring to the table." 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