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The WRNL Summer Mailbag: Mostly Football and Beer

Perfect for the middle of summer.

Hello friends, it’s the middle of July and football season is less than 2 months away, but these are the longest 2 months on the calendar. There’s not much to talk about other than competing beers, gambling, and the end of the Pac-12 I guess. Maybe there is some stuff going on. Alas, let’s open the ol’ WRNL mailbag and answer some questions!

cpride67: Where’s Larry?

He did say he was going wherever the beer took him. I have to assume that means he’s in West Okaboji right now, camped outside the West-O Brewery, waiting for the first batch of Ames Lager to be ready. He’ll be back soon, I promise.

Brian: Why is Pollard gatekeeping the beer at football games?

Let me start off by saying that I fully support selling beer at football games. There’s a proven model about 2 hours east of Ames for how to do it. We have NIL beer now. The demand is there.

Now, let me try and put myself in Jamie Pollard’s shoes. We’ve broken ground on CyTown, this massive commercial development that is one of his crowning achievements. The tailgating atmosphere in Ames is a big deal. I think he believes that selling beer at the games will immediately take potential sales away from the bars/restaurants coming into CyTown, and have a negative affect on tailgating. I don’t believe that to be true, but that’s my best read on the situation.

While we’re at it, a lot has been said about the Sukup end zone seats suffering from a change in policy. I don’t believe that either. I’m not going to spend the money required to sit in the end zone club, but I would happily pay concession prices for a beer or two during a game. That’s an extra say $20 in concession sales from me at least 6 times per year. Stick to a low estimate and let’s say there are 10,000 fans like me that will spend $120 per year on beer at home games. There’s $1.2M in extra sales. I think it makes sense. So Jamie, just in case you’re reading, that’s my pitch.

freddy: With the release of the ISU beers, what are the best individual beers made in Iowa?

Great question. Here is where I reveal that I’m an IPA guy, so you can call me a beer snob if you like. Since I live in the Des Moines area I’d recommend any of the IPAs from Confluence. I also picked up some Tropical Burn Mango Double IPA from Firetrucker in Ankeny recently at the grocery store that was quite good. This isn’t pandering, I swear, but I’ve always enjoyed the shandys from West-O as well. So if it’s summertime, those are a few Iowa beers on my radar.

freddy: With the possible looming suspensions and a murderous schedule, would CMC or any of the assistants be on the hot seat if we see a repeat of last season?

I just can’t see it happening. Even if the defense falls off a cliff, Heacock isn’t getting fired. Nate and Clanton are not going to be fired after just 1 year on the offensive side. The schedule is a good point, because it’s incredibly hard. We could go 4-8 this fall and be much improved from last fall. I also don’t see any potential suspensions being held against the coaching staff. As far as Campbell is concerned, his job is not in jeopardy. However, it is the right time to talk about if he’s peaked or if he can keep up the momentum he’s built in the last 7 years. After the changes from last offseason, he’s earned an opportunity to see things through.

Brian: Why did we let Boomer (Saia) get poached and will tennis now spiral back or did we find something?

Here’s where I have to feign a little ignorance, since I did not follow the women’s tennis run through the tournament. Having an infant at home takes away a lot of extra time and energy. I assume all these situations come down to money and facilities, places where Iowa State is probably lacking. But since I don’t know enough about the inner workings of the program, I can be an optimist and say that we did find something. National champs in 2024, bet on it (unless you’re on the team).

freddy: How do you feel about our new gymnastics coach with zero coaching experience?

Fred Hoiberg didn’t have any experience when we hired him, and that worked out pretty well. Count me in!

Admiral Skinny: What’s the status of the Cockfosters project? What should we expect from the squad in the upcoming season?

Anything less than a championship this season and you can consider my investment terminated.

freddy: Now that soccer has new turf, what do you think should be a priority for the next athletic project? What do you feel needs the most?

I’ll answer this question 2 different ways:

  1. What needs to be improved are the basic amenities around JTS. Wifi at the stadium is a must. Concessions need revamped. And of course, selling beer at the concessions to all should be opened up.
  2. Since I can’t pretend to know what practice facilities need updated or anything, let’s get crazy. If I have the funding for it, how about a new ice arena that can host a D1 men’s and women’s hockey team? We’ve talked about it before but Iowa needs a D1 program. The old arena is fun for intramurals but it’s too small.

Admiral Skinny: Amazon Prime day: most ridiculous thing bought because it was on sale?

I had to check my recent Amazon purchases for this, and sadly I didn’t find anything truly ridiculous. The last big item we bought was a patio umbrella, but that actually worked out pretty well. My next crazy purchase will probably be a new meat thermometer with too many extra features.