Author Archives: mattknelson

Final Outback Bowl Thoughts

fightsongoutback–Matt Nelson

Thanks to everybody who read this blog and chose KCRG-TV for coverage of the Outback Bowl!

Iowa looked very good in Thursday’s Outback Bowl. This was a team that certainly got better as the year went on and finished the season on a fantastic 4 game winning streak. Of course a person can play the “what if” game with regards to the 4 games that Iowa lost by a combined total of 12 points. So close, and yet so far.

sashoutbackintWhile the Hawkeyes do lose King, Kroul, Greene (no surprise with that annoucement) and others, this is still a pretty young team that will have high(er) expectations in the fall of 2009. It seems that recent Iowa teams have done better when the expectations were lower (such as prior to 2008).

The Outback Bowl was a well run bowl from my standpoint. For the most part everything that the media needed to get to was located in a pretty small area (with the exception of the Beach Day) which makes it easier when trying to cover almost all of the events.

100_7647Raymond James Stadium is a very nice stadium. Probably not quite as nice as another place Iowa played this year, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, but very nice. The exterior doesn’t look quite as nice as Heinz, and the location isn’t as scenic either, but it’s a top of the line facility (which is why it hosts the Super Bowl in less than a month!). You have to give them credit for the pirate ship at the north end of the stadium, that certainly makes Raymond James unique.

I was out on the field prior to the game and the field was in decent, but not great condition. Not only do the Tampa Bay Bucs play there, but so do the University of South Florida Bulls. I would expect that they will rip out all of the grass and replace the field prior to the Super Bowl.

100_7649It’s always fun working a bowl game with John Campbell. He’s been to many of them and knows how to make TV9’s coverage include everything that’s important, and how to make that coverage unique!


greeneoutbacktdIowa’s trip to the 2009 Outback Bowl, a dominant team performance in the bowl, and the conclusion of one of the greatest individual performances any Hawkeye has had in a single season.


Hawks Win!

ferentzkingpic–Matt Nelson

The Hawks cruised 31-10 over South Carolina today!

View KCRG’s coverage of the big win here:

Catching a plane to Minneapolis right now!

Today’s the Day

rjstadiumwide–Matt Nelson

Happy New Year to all! It’s gameday if you’re in the Eastern Time Zone which the KCRG-TV9 Tampa Bureau is!

There’s something to be said for being able to watch the New York ball drop live from the same time zone!

Less than 11 hours until kickoff.

(Posted at 12:04am (EST) 1.1.09)

It Sounds Like “Eeyore,” but with a “B” in it

–Matt Nelson

100_7634Ybor City was the place to be in Tampa tonight. As the subject suggests, it’s got a funny pronunciation. “Ybor” is pronounced like “EE-bohr.”

The Outback Bowl Parade ran down 7th Avenue in Ybor City tonight. The Hawkeye Marching Band was there, and so was the Waverly-Shell Rock High School Marching Band. They looked and sounded good! We also caught up with them at practice earlier in the day, you can find coverage of the W-SR Band under “As Seen on KCRG” to the right, or

Ybor City is a historic neighborhood just a little north and east of downtown Tampa. It used to be known for the cigar factories there and today it is the site of bars, restaurants and shops as well. A pretty cool area with lots to do and it has a cool architectural look to it, with some buildings looking a bit like the French Quarter in New Orleans.


Photos from the Outback Bowl Parade in Ybor City




I Never Heard the Punchline

100_7622–Matt Nelson

Keys, but not the usual Florida Keys

The Hawkeyes and Hawkeye fans were out in full force at Clearwater Beach Tuesday. On a beautiful sunny 75 degree day, what could anger the bumble bees?


Running Back Shonn Greene and Wide Receiver Andy Brodell went up on stage to receive a key to the city of Clearwater from the mayor. The mayor seemed like a nice enough guy. However he quickly garnered the angst of all Hawkeye faithful in attendance.

100_7621His joke started as follows, and as the title of this entry suggests, I didn’t hear the end…”You know there are two things that Clearwater and Ames have in common today…”

My first reaction was that he was going to take a shot at Iowa State. Not the case. Unfortunately for Mr. Mayor, he was under the impression that the University of Iowa is in Ames. I bet he’ll remember the next time the Hawks play in the Outback Bowl after the fans let him have it.

Matt Nelson’s Random Thoughts

– It was great to see a huge turnout at Clearwater Beach for the Outback Bowl at the Beach Day events. The only problem is that to get to Clearwater Beach there is just one road in and out. This presents considerable traffic problems when thousands of football fans try to visit the same spot at the same time. When the team buses get police escorts in and out, it complicates things too. Beautiful beach, but from a transit and parking standpoint, it gets a little ugly.

– I’ve eaten at the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaraunt in Corbin, Kentucky (it’s worth a stop for the small museum). Unfortunately the highway was as close as I got to the original Hooters in Clearwater as time did not allow for a stop. I am told the original Outback Steakhouse can be found in this area too. And to think, all this time I thought the first one was in Australia. So disappointing;).

Photos from Outback Bowl Beach Day







Hungry for Unique Video

122908stanzisaladdressing–Matt Nelson

Hawkeye Dining

The one thing about bowl coverage is that we need lots of material to send back. So pretty much anything on the schedule that can be covered, gets covered.

This photo is 1/30th of a second. I think it was a time period of about 1/3rd of a second during which starting Iowa Quarterback Ricky Stanzi looked up to see if we were indeed shooting video of him while he added dressing to his salad at the Outback Bowl Luncheon Monday.

Yes, Ricky, when you are a Big Ten starting quarterback and the local media needs five packages for the day of bowl coverage, your salad dressing might just make the air.

So did Shonn Greene’s pizza later in the day.122908greenepizza It should be noted here though that in this frame grab he was glancing up at a fellow teammate and not trying to figure out if KCRG’s cameras were fixed on him.

Another reminder that quarterbacks and running backs get all of the attention no matter when or where they are.

Matt Nelson’s Random Note for the Day

– The Hawkeyes and Gamecocks attened the Outback Bowl Debartelo Team Luncheon Monday. Before they ate an invocation was offered from the podium. It seems odd to hear two corporate sponsors referenced in an invocation. At least it blended in a little bit and didn’t consist of, “This invocation brought to you by Corporation X.” It was pretty close though.

Monday Recap

122908scsidfink–Matt Nelson

Sports Director John Campbell arrived in Tampa Monday and we covered a little of everything.

South Carolina Sports Information Director Steve Fink is an Aplington native (pictured at left with Campbell during SC’s Monday afternoon practice). How will the Gamecocks slow down Shonn Greene? The Outback Bowl Luncheon. The Hawkeyes at Gameworks. The North Fayette High School Danceline in Tampa.

You can find all of those stories and more at!