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Iowa Gamewatch #1: August 31, 2013 Iowa vs Northern Illinois at 12:30 P.M – Santa Monica Raffle

It’s that time of year Hawk fans!! Another football season is upon us.  Perhaps no team left the field last year with more of a sour taste than the Iowa Hawkeyes.  After finishing the season on a 6 game losing streak and missing out on a bowl game; the Hawks have turned the page and are looking to get back on track this Saturday against Northern Illinois.  This is a repeat of last year’s opener, that Iowa won by the slimmest of margins 18-17 at Soldier Field.

Northern Illinois is a team that is coming off the schools best season ever after being crowned the MAC champions and ending the season with a BCS bowl berth. The Huskies return their dynamic dual threat Quarterback Jordan Lynch who finished 6th in the Heisman voting a year ago.  They are poised to have another great year and are picked to win the MAC under first year Head Coach Rod Carey.

Kirk Ferentz returns to lead the Hawkeyes in his 14th year as Head Coach.  2nd year Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis returns looking to increase offensive production from last year’s unit which averaged less than 20 points a game.  On the defensive side, 2nd year Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker will have to find a way to apply more pressure from the defensive line and linebackers.

The biggest story line coming out of camp was the quarterback competition that heated up Iowa City.  Eyeing to replace James Vandenberg are Sophomore Jake Rudock, Juco transfer Cody Sokal and redshirt freshman C.J. Beathard.  Coach Ferentz acknowledged Rudock had the early advantage serving as last year’s backup quarterback, but Ferentz made it clear the competition was open.  Beathard made the most of his opportunities to impress, but late last week; Coach Ferentz named Rudock the starting quarterback.

Offensively, Iowa’s depth at running back has most Hawk fans talking.  Fullback turned feature back Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock are expected to give Iowa a big boost in the run game.  True Freshman LeShun Daniels Jr. has made a big impact at the end of camp and is looking to contribute immediately.

An outstanding group of running backs is only effective with a solid group of offensive line opening the holes.  This year’s group is expected to do just that, with junior Brandon Scherff, Nolan MacMillan and Austin Blythe leading the way.

Senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz will have to step up big and be the playmaker many have been waiting to see.  Wide receivers Kevonte Martin-Manley and Jordan Cotton are the returning veterans and Juco transfer Damond Powell has shown the explosiveness to be the big play receiver Iowa is desperately searching for.

The Defense had its highs and lows last season, but certainly has the talent to make an impact.  Expect Linemen Dominic Alvis, Louis Trinca-Pasat and Carl Davis to bring the heat upfront; with linebackers Anthony Hitchens, James Morris and Christian Kirksey to be key contributors.

This year’s key matchups will come down to how well the Hawkeye defense can turn Northern Illinois’ offense into a one dimensional attack. On the flipside, can Iowa’s inexperienced offense exploit the Huskies young defense which only returns 4 starters?  The Huskies are coming to Iowa City with revenge on their minds. This game is shaping up to be an exciting open to the 2013 season.

Please join us at either one of the two official game watch Barney’s locations and enjoy 35% of food and 50% of beverages to any Iowa fan who wears something with Iowa on it (offer valid during the game only).

This week’s halftime raffle will be at SANTA MONICA. Make sure to check in with one of the hosts for your 1st FREE raffle ticket for some great Iowa gear. We’ll raffle off a men’s Hawkeye jersey, media guides, 2 signed player photos, and 1 Hawkeye t-shirt. Don’t worry, additional raffle tickets may be purchased at the rate of 2 tickets for $1 on up to as many tickets as you would like!

If you would like to show your LA Hawkeye pride, then don’t forget to order your LA IOWA Club t-shirt. T-shirts can be pre-ordered on our website (www.lahawkeyes.com) or purchased at the SANTA MONICA game watch location for $15.

Santa Monica (Game watch host Alvin Chang, Jessica Scales, Isaiah Scales and Jake Krengel)
1351 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, CA

Pasadena (Game watch host Patrick Carberry)
99 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA

We look forward to seeing everyone.  GO HAWKS!!!

LA Iowa Board of Directors

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Hawkeye Spotlight with Francis Hamit

Francis Hamit - LA Iowa ClubFor this segment of the Hawkeye Spotlight, Isaiah Scales interviewed Author and Iowa Alumnus, Francis Hamit.  Hamit found writing a way to share his experiences in Industrial Security and his service in the Vietnam War.  Hamit gives an eye-opening and thought provoking look at the difficult challenges the world faces in protecting citizens.

The University of Iowa has one of the most respected writing and journalism programs in the nation, what factored into your decision to attend the U of Iowa?

“Actually, the reputation of the Writer’s Workshop had nothing to do with my original decision to attend Iowa.  I had never heard of it.  I came there in the Drama department in 1965 after two years at a much smaller school with a very small drama department, because of a book written by Iowa professor A.S. Gillette, “Stage Scenery”.  I started in theatre at age 15 at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California.  I wanted to learn from Dr. Gillette, but he was close to retirement and there was a lot of competition for jobs on productions MFA students.  Mere Juniors were not supposed to get them.  When I did, it created some hard feelings.

Is there any particular subject, class or professor that you feel made a true impact on your career as a writer?

“Aside from Dr. Howard Stein, who really taught me structure and how to think creatively, my most influential professor was Vance Bourjaily.  So much so that I dedicated my second novel to his memory.  Vance was generally considered the best creative writing instructor in the country at the time.  He was a very kind man, but always willing to call you on your B.S. and try to get you on track.  I loved the Workshop experience.  I never wanted to leave.  Once the {Vietnam} war was over and the politics gone, it was a great place to learn your craft.

You spent 21 years in Industrial Security; what kinds of roles did that entail, and what did you find to be the most difficult aspect of the job?

“At first it was a temporary stop-gap.  I was a Captain in charge of about 200 officers at 24 major accounts in the Chicago area for a year.  Then I got hurt on the job and couldn’t do those ninety-hour weeks anymore, so I went into selling the service, eventually ending up at my fourth company as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  I also became a consultant, and wrote a column for a trade magazine, and articles for others.  The year in uniform gave me great grounding in the industry and you see things that other people never see.  Much of my “literary” fiction is about that environment and life, and ties into my writing about the military and being a private detective.  There is a lot of skepticism about the problems you find, and then they don’t want to spend the money it takes to correct the problems.  After a while it wears you down.”

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New Club T-Shirts Coming for 2016 Hawkeyes Rose Bowl!

Watch this space for information about new Los Angeles IOWA Club T-shirts for the 2016 Hawkeyes Rose Bowl.

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Comedy Night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

The Los Angeles Iowa Club would like to invite you to a comedy night on Thursday March 14th. Former Iowa Alumni Neil Campbell and Paul Rust will be performing Live at the Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre (5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028). Their sketch comedy act was named “Best Improv Show” by LA Weekly Best of LA Issue, 2012. Showtime is 11:00pm and tickets are only $5.00. You can purchase tickets here! Come on out and show your support to local Iowa Alumni!

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Hawkeye Spotlight: Neil Campbell and Paul Rust

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Paul Rust (left) and Neil Campbell (right) get ready for their show.

In our first installment of “Hawkeye Spotlight”, Isaiah Scales interviewed natives of Fairfax, Virginia and Le Mar, Iowa; Neil and Paul’s comedy paths would meet at The University of Iowa.

NEIL: “We actually met at a show called “No Shame Theatre.”  I was hosting a set and Paul came and did it and he did a bit that I thought was really funny and told him he should keep doing the show.”

PAUL: “I had seen Neil do about a months’ worth of stuff and I thought it was really funny, so to get encouragement from people that I was admiring at the time, encouraged me to keep doing it.”

The writing duo eventually found their way to Los Angeles still trying to find their niche. Continue Reading →