Author Archives: John Campbell

Making Deadline

New Year's Eve Night Editing

New Year's Eve Night Editing

–John Campbell


As  I stood outside WFTS-TV the other night waiting to do a live report back to the station I was struck by how far we have come in getting our product (video reports) from faraway places to the station.

When I worked in Green Bay in the 1970’s, we would have to drive our undeveloped film to the nearest major airport and ship it back via air freight.  Once it arrived at it’s desination (which was usually the next day) the film had to be developed and a report put together.

By the early 80’s we were using video tape cameras and going to nearby ABC affiliates to edit the video on machines we weren’t used to and then trying to uplink it via satellite transmission. That was always a touch and go proposition  in the early days.  Prior to the 1982 Iowa Peach Bowl I did the first live satellite feed to KCRG-TV. The shot originated from the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta.

The advent of satellite trucks gave us more mobility so we could feed from stadiums, etc. We actually took the TV9 satellite truck to the 2003 Orange Bowl in Miami and it was  great working out of our own equipment for the first time ever and not having to rely on a local  ABC station.

Now another step forward in technology. We (Matt Nelson) is doing all of our editing on a laptop computer and feeding the video back to KCRG via the internet. It is not as instantaneous as a satellite feed. A minute, twenty second  report might take 15 minues to reach the station. In a business where deadlines are always looming, that can be critical. 

 I know it will be critical after the Outback Bowl. Matt and I will have about two hours to put together and send two game reports back to the station and rush to the airport to make a 6:15 flight.  At least we are the ones getting on the plane, not a sack of film like the “good old days.”


The Day Ricky wasn’t Ricky

122808stanziatpractice–John Campbell

What a difference two years has made for two of Iowa’s top offensive players. When the Hawks perpared for Texas in the 2006 Alamo Bowl, Shonn Greene was the subject of a little experiment and Ricky Stanzi was not Ricky Stanzi. Ricky was running the Iowa scout team and thus he was Colt McCoy, the Longhorn quarterback.  Stanzi laughs at the thought. “I was no Colt McCoy,’ he said.  He does admit the extra practice provided by the bowl experence definitely helped the young players.

Then there was the Shonn Greene experiment.  The Hawkeye braintrust decided to take at look at him at safety. The coaches knew Greene was a great athlete and they were trying to figure out some way to get him on the field.

Two years later coordinators Norm Parker and Ken O’Keefe smile when reminded of the experiment. Parker says Greene would have been the biggest safety around. Probably a better linebacker. O’Keefe just says he is glad Greene is back on the offensive side of the ball.

122808greeneatpracticeThursday, ShonnGreene will most likely wear his number 23 Iowa jersey for a final time. Most expect him to declare early for the NFL draft. Before he does that he has one more game to add to his single season rushing record. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t playing last year. Not bad for a guy who was being looked at as a defensive back the last time Iowa went to a bowl game.


bubble1–John Campbell

Every coach and player on the Iowa football staff should send a Christmas card to Hayden Fry and thank him for “the Bubble”.

Can you imagine having to practice outside the past two weeks to get ready for the Outback Bowl?

That was the situation for Iowa bowl bound teams prior to  1985.

In 1991 there were little structures made of 2X4s and plastic along the sidelines at Kinnick Stadium that provided minimal shelter for the players from the cold conditions.

Because of the poor conditions, Fry took the team to California two weeks before the Rose Bowl.

After that, Fry pushed hard for an indoor practice facility and it became a reality in 1985 before Iowa’s next trip to Pasadena.

The Bubble has gone down twice.  In 1990 it fell victim to an ice storm  and once again, the team  had to leave early for the Rose Bowl.

In June of 1998, a violent wind storm ripped the Bubble to shreds.  Both times it was rebuilt and   has provided Hawkeye football teams a perfect place to practice on wet or cold days.

Workers pull open the University of Iowa football team's practice roof called "The Bubble" on Monday, Aug. 31, 1998, in Iowa City. The structure was damaged during a June 29 storm. (Buzz Orr, The Gazette)

Workers work to repair "the bubble" after a storm back in 1998. (Buzz Orr, The Gazette)