Tuesday, September 4, 2007
An Open Letter to Andy Brodell's Hands
Dear Andy Brodell's hands,
In the past, I have repeatedly compared you to cloven hooves. I have said you couldn't catch a cold. I have blamed you for the Indiana loss and the end of Drew Tate. I have ripped you so vigorously that my father has dubbed your owner "the whipping boy."
But it is a new season, and a new start for all of us. And so I write you to apologize. We might have gotten off to an unnecessarily bad start, but I need you now. We all need you now. Please, let me explain myself.
Your owner is a track star, undeniably one of the most explosive athletes on the team (just ask Texas). But we've seen these all-speed. no-hands guys before at Iowa (think of Khalil Hill, or Tim Dodge...better yet, don't think of Tim Dodge), with bad results. It's hard to play wide receiver when you can't actually receive. And, at the other end, we've seen the moderate-speed, catch-everything guys (Ed Hinkel is the ultimate example) who have been incredibly successful here. What we haven't had since at least Clinton Solomon, and probably since Tim Dwight, was a speed guy who could catch everything. We need that, and you seem to be the only thing stopping it from happening.
Week one is over, and I'm not going to dwell on the three passes you dropped. I've turned over a new leaf, after all. But we apparently have two top-notch running backs. We have a capable, if inexperienced, quarterback. We may or may not have a bulldozer offensive line (they looked great, but I'm not yet sold). We have a mean, nasty, vicious defensive front seven. We might even have some semblance of a defensive secondary. All we need is someone to catch the damn football.
Your owner seems to realize that fact. He told the press, "It's just a concentration error and fundamental mistake that can be cleaned up relatively easily, and they're plays that need to be made." I agree right up to where he claims this can be easily fixed. It it were easily fixable, it wouldn't be rearing its ugly head again this season. If it were easily fixable, Drew Tate wouldn't have checked himself into a psych ward last November. If it were easily fixable, this letter would be unnecessary.
There is no more time for excuses. Don't hide behind your youth or inexperience (James Cleveland, who is a year younger, made two great catches Saturday afternoon). Don't hide behind the relative unimportance of the drops (Iowa never had a lead over 13; this was never a blowout where plays don't matter). You are the hands of a junior and a two-year starter. There's nowhere left to hide.
I don't want to leave you feeling bad. I know you can do the job. You catch punts without a problem, and that is really tough to do. Rather, I want you inspired, and I realize I could not write words more inspirational than those of Brian Kinchen.
So let's go get 'em, hands!