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    JonDMiller's Avatar
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    Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Clauss: Reflections on 2009 Season | Hawkeye Nation

    Here are some random thoughts on the season, the Georgia Tech game and all things Hawkeye Football from former Hawkeye & NFL Defensive Tackle Jared Clauss.

    I am encouraged and excited to welcome another great group of seniors into the former Hawkeye player fraternity. This like so many others was a great class. From Iowa high school standouts, to guys from all over the country; it was a pleasure to watch their careers develop. I found myself standing and watching the players as they rushed to get their championship hats at the Orange Bowl and how they interacted with each other and the coaches. That is a moment they will never forget. As great of a blessing as the NFL was for me in my short career, there is no comparison to the aforementioned celebration and Hawkeye football. Maybe Iíd have another opinion if I was kicking as accurately as Nate Kaeding, laying people out like Bob Sanders or catching every possible ball thrown to me like Dallas Clark, but I bet those guys would agree that the time spent in Iowa City wearing black and gold is unmatched.

    Itís the little things like a hug between two guys who have been putting their hand down on the ground next to each other for years, to a group laugh as Stanzi proclaimed ďUSA #1″ that leaves a lasting memory. All the 6:00am runs, film study and hot two a day practices fade away and you remember those things. It was fitting to go out in such a positive way for those guys. I am going to remember Eubanks reaching nose guards (a sure way to a sound running game), Angerer giving me a great laugh with his sound bites from the media throughout his career, Edds being in the right place at the right timeÖconsistently, Moeakiís rare combination of size and speed, and so many other great seniors and the contributions they made.

    To watch Angerer hold his arm in the air, his fist clinched as he left the field brought back memories of walking down the tunnel following the bowl game in Tampa after putting a hurt on the Gators and having my helmet held high. There is nothing more prominent than a raised fist in celebration. To understand what Iowaís coaches ask of these young men and to see success develop off of that is a remarkable thing. It is not easy to balance school, a social life, and a program that requires complete commitment. That raised fist stands for relentless effort over the course of 4 and 5 years, dealing with adversity, for appreciation for those who have supported you, for a belief in yourself and a satisfaction of leaving the University with nothing but fumes left in the tank. The players that truly embrace this give it an ďeverything you haveĒ Hawkeye mentality and they leave the program proud supporters of those that come behind them.

    Iíd like to think I am in that camp (I guess youíd have to ask Chris Doyle if I gave it all I had). They are also the ones who maximize their potential and give themselves a great opportunity to continue to play ball. Iowa will never have the most talented teams from top to bottom in the country; it isnít in our cards with our in state population and recruiting base, but Iíll take 100% of Ďwants to be goodí, as opposed to 50% of Ďshould be goodí. These seniors wanted to be good. That, mixed in with some great talent, good support from the coaches and University and an ĎIím going to physically make you quití attitude and you get a season like we just had. So thank you to those seniors. Job well done.

    Hawkeye football is a proud and lasting tradition. What I saw in Miami and what I saw all year was another great Hawkeye team led by some fantastic seniors who understood that. Play a little harder, train a little longer, study a little more diligently and leave it all out there. Disagree with me if you want, but I never once saw someone taking a play off, and I never saw laziness this season (hard to ever see in a Ferentz team). When we got beat, the other team capitalized on mistakes. It wasnít them breaking our will; it was athletes wearing other colors making athletic plays and playing good ball.

    I think we broke Georgia Techís will. We out prepared GT, we out played GT, and we earned that victory. We didnít do it with elaborate schemes and trickeration (although the fake field goal was fantastic, I donít care if it didnít work). We won that game with a laser like focus on technique, understanding your opponent and flat out wanting it more. Norm had another gem up his sleeve this whole time and the offense was efficient and steady. The long layoff was a non factor, Kudos to the coaches. Mark my words, records are made to be broken but that record will stand forever (12 yards passing in the Orange Bowl). I donít care if they are a run first team, 12 yards passing! There is nothing better as a player than to look over on an opponentís sidelines and either see everyone in those big winter coats when itís cold, or maxing out the bench space late in a game. I saw that on Tuesday night.

    They earned a lot of things this year and I think itís safe to say they earned all of our respect. I am not in the camp of caring about stats and style points. I heard they were considering allowing one of the two National Championship teams in next year based on statistical dominance but Iím betting they keep it simple and go with wins and losses. This year was special because we had some of the greatest games of the last decade all rolled into one season. Think back, we finished with 11 wins in as brutal a road schedule as there has been in recent memory.

    No one outside of those directly involved with the program took the losses to OSU or NW harder than me. But I also realize we pulled out some heroic wins in East Lansing, Happy Valley, and home against Michigan, Indiana, and UNI when it wasnít looking so good. It was as exciting a season as I can remember. I donít know what gifts or things the bowl gave them but I can assure you that in five years the item theyíll cherish the most is a $5 tee shirt that says Orange Bowl Champs on it. If you polled fans from around the country and asked them to name our best players I bet theyíd have a hard time, maybe Stanzi would be remembered. But thatís what makes Iowa Football great; it is a team effort. This season was a team effort, different guys stepping up in different games.

    Now a slightly different view. Anyone who has ever played knows that the worst thing to have happen on the road is to run out of the tunnel to in an opposing stadium when itís completely silent. Iím a realist and know that you could never stop everyone from booing the opponent (although there are certain fan bases that have accomplished that), but I might offer my two cents to say we fans should try and increase our home field advantage when we have one. Booing only unites the opponent and sparks a fire inside them. It collectively puts their back against a wall and people come out swinging once theyíve hit the ropes. Home field advantage exists based on locker conditions, field conditions, travel complexities, proximity of fans to sidelines, crowd noise that disrupts ability to communicate on the field, and emotional assurance from good plays made by the home team they can feed off of. I never personally left a stadium and said or heard any of my teammates after an away game say ďMan thatís a tough place to play, their crowd boos so darn loud when we run outĒ

    I feel as if this is a detriment to our team and persona as a fan base when we boo. Having watched some games from the stands after my career ended I have come up with a couple of conclusions. 1. Hawk fans are very passionate and knowledgeable. 2. They are committed to their team. 3. They want to see a quality product on the field. One thing I have been surprised to see and didnít notice was the little things. When we beat GT and the Orange Bowl representative said we want to congratulate GT for a great game, we booed. This bothered me. I donít remember a dirty game, I donít remember players running their mouths from GT outside of the Ďnormalí amount, and I canít think of any reason why we as a fan base would do this. We are better than that.

    Now having said that I realize that the majority of fans werenít booing, but 5,000 out of 70,000 or however many attended the Orange bowl can still be pretty loud. Because we wear the same colors we are a family, letís have the same kind of class that the players do. Would you be proud if our guys all started pounding their chests after making a play, or running their mouths constantly? Letís hold ourselves accountable at a level that the coaches expect out of the players. Thatís my two cents on that, call me whatever you want but letís have some more class than that.

    I wish Bulaga, Dace, and whoever else is heading early to the NFL all the best in their careers. I canít fault them for taking advantage of that opportunity. I am not going to act like I have something profound to say because I was never in that position to leave early (they donít draft you high for playing the scoop block well). I hope they take the work ethic and drive that I know exists in them from the routine of Iowa football and keep it going. Thatís what makes a successful pro. I hope they donít fall into the trap of blending in.

    The best guys I ever played around in the NFL werenít the typical. They made the 6:30 am lifts in season when you didnít have to, they took care of their bodies when there were nachos and hot dogs in plain sight, they kept that accountability to themselves and prepared like they were still in college. These guys will soon realize that things change now. One-third of your team rotates in and out every year, guys are 35 years old in the locker room and there is more free time; they have to stay focused. There is a reason why there are a lot of Iowa alumni still in the league. Itís because certain things have been ingrained in them over the last several years and they donít lose it. I hope those guys donít lose it.

    Looking back I am thankful I had a chance to play for those coaches. They got a skinny, slow kid from Des Moines to play at a pretty high level (although that could be argued). I was part of Coach Ferentzís first class. I knew very little about him when I committed to play ball there but I trusted what he told me and felt his honesty was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the big talk I heard from other schools. Kids see right through that stuff.

    I hope these seniors and those on the team next year realize how much these coaches care and put into this team, and what a great opportunity there is to maximize your God given talents in this program. I realize there are other good coaches in this country but I wish I could speak to players considering Iowa and tell them what a wonderful experience it was. Itís no accident that we are a top tier program; it doesnít happen by chance. Another top 10 finish, with a lot of talent coming back. What a year! I enjoyed meeting new people this year and seeing some of the old familiar faces before games and canít wait to see the stupid t-shirts and turkey legs again next fall. Until then, ON IOWA.

    Jared Clauss currently lives in his home town of West Des Moines and is a wealth manager.
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    Billso's Avatar
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    I consider this the definitive word on booing. If you don't "get it" after this former player's heartfelt plea, then you never will.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Great Read............NC/ROSES in 2010!!
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    "Cry Havoc and Release the Hawks of War!"

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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    I'd like to think that booing at the end was not from our fans, rather the Miami fans who were there who booed GT for a poor performance. Or it was our fans booing at the same time for something else that happened at the same time that announcement was made. If it was as the author says it, that is a disgrace. Can anyone who was there confirm what was going on? I heard it over the TV, but not sure it was for the GT announcement.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Amen, Billso, amen.


    Thanks Jared, this is terrific.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Billso View Post
    I consider this the definitive word on booing. If you don't "get it" after this former player's heartfelt plea, then you never will.

    +1...so grab the drunk next to you and tell them to zip it. If you read the GT message boards, that was the one issue they had with Hawk fans...booing during the post-game presentation.

    We are better than that.

    Slience is like indifference...I think it would be a great tradition to ignore our opponents as they entered Kinnick.

    BTW, when do most opponents enter the stadium? It's usually as the Hawks come out in the SWARM, so we short change cheering the Hawks, to boo the opponent.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    What a great read by a great person.

    Jon, make sure you keep Jared around for next year!
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    WOW - plain and simple that was one of the best reads I have ever seen concerning Iowa football. Jared Clauss reflects the true nature of Iowa football, and why I am so proud to be a Hawk. I don't know if he reads the boards (I am guessing he doesn't), but Jared if you are reading this I want to thank you. Simply awesome.

    Jared is a wealth manager according to the bottom of the article. I would sure like to see this guy involved with the program in some way. What a role model he would be for incoming/current Iowa players. He absolutely epitomizes a Hawkeye. Plus, based on what I read from the article, he knows his stuff related to football.

    Thanks Jared and Jon.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    This. Is. Amazing.

    ...and as far as the booing goes, it was incredibly unclassy. I was at the game, on the sideline by the GT endzone at that point, and there were a few around me that were booing...I rarely try to put a fellow hawk fan in their place, but that was just plain disrespectful.

    I really like the idea of the silence thing. Hope it catches on.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Billso View Post
    I consider this the definitive word on booing. If you don't "get it" after this former player's heartfelt plea, then you never will.

    Jon, with the tool that is the internet, would you consider sharing Jared's opinion on booing on every Iowa FB websites' Free Forums, where it can get the most exposure during the next 238 days leading up to Sept. 4 and Eastern Illinois?

    I predict that it wouldn't be long before some traditional media picks up on it, too, and spreads the messge/movement state-wide, and then we Hawk fans who agree with Clauss could help keep momentum going and growing for a brand new tradition in Kinnick for 2010.

    Unlike color-coordinated clothing, this is a tradition that will matter, per a former player.

    What say you?
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Excellent read from Jared, I appreciate the time and effort that he put into it.
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    RIP Ron Santo...you are one of the greatest Cubs of all time. You will be missed on the AM720 airwaves.

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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Certainly breaks the ridiculous stereotype many people have about Football Players not being too bright. What a great article.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Obviously the booing comments stand out for us here. I almost posted Wednesday after I got back from the game about the booing but really didn't want to hear the backlash from those that think it's okay. If I recall, on the scout board or this board, there was a thread about booing last fall and most seemed to think it was okay.

    I have no problem with booing a bad call, but to boo the other team when they come out, or worse yet, to boo your team/team members when they aren't playing well is pretty classless.

    When Iowa came out on the field at the OB Tuesday, the Hawk fans cheered and the GT fans were quiet. When GT came out their fans cheered and our fans booed...and it wasn't just a few fans booing...it was alot of fans. At the end of the game when our players were standing on the podium getting their awards, the jumbo screens started displaying the post game interview with the GT coach. The Iowa fans booed LOUDLY. They then turned off the volume. I don't know if we were meant to see that interview or if they turned it off because of the reaction of the fans. I would have liked to have heard what he said about playing Iowa.

    Iowa has great and very devoted fans and I think we can be just as classy as other fans. I don't know how you get a large fan base at a game to not boo at the other team but apparently other fanbases have done that. Maybe we can use the example of our coach...Ferentz would never say bad things about another team and is always very respectful to the other coaches and team members. I think most of us can follow his lead.
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    JonDMiller's Avatar
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    Quote Originally Posted by hoopthemottle View Post
    Jon, with the tool that is the internet, would you consider sharing Jared's opinion on booing on every Iowa FB websites' Free Forums, where it can get the most exposure during the next 238 days leading up to Sept. 4 and Eastern Illinois?
    I don't think it would be right for me to go linking it on other's sites. However, I cannot control what people might do with it that read it here that also have user names elsewhere.
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    Re: Jared Clauss Reflects on 2009 Season & More

    In the college game in particular, I would say that if there is a reason a fan base at a stadium has been incited to boo, well that is one thing. If they boo like they did at the post-game presentation, that is something else.

    Booing when a team comes onto the field and hasn't done anything to make you boo is dumb. I can see booing if a player takes a cheap shot at one of your guys or if they make a play and start show boating or if a coach is trying to intimidate an official by yelling at him, etc. Those are instances where I can see a legitimate reason to boo at the college level.

    I am not saying I would, but I understand it in those types of cases.
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    Go Hawks!!!!

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