Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Night Dessert: Ganz Hates Recruiting Hype

Joe Ganz tells the World-Herald of the frustration he felt being disrespected in first three and a half seasons in Lincoln. And really...who could blame him? Everybody assumed that he'd be a career backup. A year ago, I considered the idea of Ganz beating out Sam Keller to be a huge upset, ala "Truman Defeating Dewey." Frankly, fans had no reason to think differently, other than some snaps in the spring game. In fact, spring games were the only time anybody really had a chance to see Ganz perform in meaningful situations (if you consider a spring game scrimmage to be a meaningful situation). That's not the fans fault...that's the fault of the former head coach. And it only took two games to realize that Ganz should have been the starting quarterback most, if not all, of last season...

Dirk Chatelain of the World-Herald talked to Ganz's roommate, who placed the blame squarely on the recruiting services:
Ganz's roommate, Jaymes Kralicek, blames the emphasis on recruiting, which Callahan initiated. Recruiting rankings molded Ganz's reputation as a career backup. He couldn't shake it.

"In college, everybody's a great athlete: five stars and all that bull," Ganz said. "I hated it. I was a two-star. I don't know how many four- or five-stars I beat out.

"I hate recruiting, the whole deal. It's a million-dollar business, but I would shut it down if it was up to me."

Keller and Ganz dueled intensely last spring and summer. Teammates described it like a stalemate. But Ganz noticed a different perspective outside the stadium.

"People just gave it to (Keller)," Ganz said. "It's like, 'Why aren't these guys giving me a chance?'"
Ganz's older brother took a few shots at the media and Bill Callahan as well:
Danny Ganz suspects that Joe fell victim to football politics. Perhaps Callahan wanted to put a quarterback in the NFL and Keller was his best hope.

In October, as losses started piling up, as Ganz remained on the sideline, "it was getting to the point where we were hoping something would happen to open Callahan's eyes," Danny Ganz said. "If it was so close in the spring, why not give Joey a shot? There should've been a change."

Keller went down with an injury in the fourth quarter against Texas. During the next three games, Ganz threw for 1,399 yards.

Finally, recognition came.

"I think most of the reporters were stuck with their foot in the mouth," Danny Ganz said. "They thought Keller was their savior and they got one of the worst seasons in 40 years. There's not a whole lot more that can be said about it."
I had to laugh out loud at one of the Omaha Royals excuses for not being as interested in playing in the new downtown ballpark, telling the Omaha World-Herald that they don't think that fans will be willing to pay $6 to park at the new downtown ballpark. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah... I said it in 2005 when the Royals first proposed a downtown ballpark. Which raises the question, how much thought have the Royals really thought about this? I know they want Santa (i.e. some government entity) to give them a new custom ballpark for their exclusive use, but most of us outgrew that phase some time ago.

I see the Royals position that the new stadium is bigger than is necessary for AAA baseball. Fair point. Being sent on the road for two weeks in June is inconvenient for them. Fair point also. But the Royals have a sweetheart deal with the city currently: The city pays them $95,000 to play at Rosenblatt, they get all of the concession revenue during Royals games and a cut of CWS concession revenue as well.

If the Royals don't want to play in the stadium, that's their prerogative, though I'd expect that co-owners Warren Buffett and Walter Scott might have something to say about it. If the Royals move on, look for another baseball team to come to town. Some might say that the loss of AAA baseball would be a huge black mark on the city, but that's not the case. Even Stein admits that most minor league fans care more about the experience, not the game. So, if a reformulated Royals start were to start playing in the American Association against teams from Lincoln (Saltdogs), Sioux City, St. Paul, and Fort Worth...would area baseball fans notice much of a difference?

I think this is a negotiating tactic by the Royals, playing a little hardball to see what they can get. In the end, I think there will be some sort of professional baseball team playing in the new downtown stadium. Hopefully it's the AAA Royals.

It's been a rough season for the WCHA in college hockey. First, a sub-.500 Wisconsin team somehow made the NCAA tournament. North Dakota got blasted by eventual National Champion Boston College in the Frozen Four semis. And the WCHA director of officials botched a key replay in the national championship game after having to apologize for two previous replay errors by his officials earlier this season. Boston College was up 3-1 in the third period of last night's national championship game when the replay wiped out a Notre Dame goal, ruling that Kyle Lawson kicked the puck into the goal. ESPN's Gary Thorne didn't see it. (Well, sometimes Thorne is watching a different game anyway...) I didn't see it. CHN's Adam Wodon didn't see it. But it was a crucial call that took the heart out of the Irish, and once BC's Nathan Gerbe made that sick pass to assist on Ben Smith's goal to make it 4-1 instead of 3-2 just 35 seconds later, it essentially clinched the national championship for the Eagles.

Can we FINALLY drop the inane talk about a Tiger Slam in golf? Let's make one thing clear: Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world. Let's make another thing clear: He's one of many great golfers playing on the PGA Tour. Yesterday, ESPN showed highlights of The Masters focusing almost exclusively on Tiger Woods... who was in FIFTH place. They showed exactly one highlight from the tournament leader. If Tiger Woods is leading a golf tournament, he deserves the attention. But when he's in the middle of the pack, focusing all of the attention on Woods hurts the game by not showcasing the accomplishments of others. I know Tiger finished second in the end. Good for him. But he shouldn't have been the focus of this weekend. The guy who led wire-to-wire should have been the focus. Back in December, he had to withdrawn from a pro-am tournament in such severe pain that he ended up in the hospital. Doctors found a tumor that fortunately turned out to be benign. It took him two weeks to walk again, a month before he could pick up a golf club. And three months later? Masters champion.

Great story. Too bad we had to listen to Tiger Slam garbage instead.


AJ said... forgot one person to blame for poor Joey's lack of faith....the Fans. If I recall, it was CALLAHAN who kept saying the race was tight..but it was the FANS who thought it was complete giberish.

I love how everybody is so quick to blame Callahan for pretty much everything (even players..which is fine.) But the fans should get no such free pass. ALL OF YOU...not just some..but ALL OF YOU thought the fact that BC was even considering Ganz was insane.

I remember the guys on 1620 talk about how Ganz would be better off as a UNO QB, rather than challenge King Sam.

This is all on you people, and I would have expected a bit less than the blame game from you my friend.

Hope you had a nice weekend.



Husker Mike said...

I'm not going to disagree with you, but keep in mind that the only time fans saw Joe Ganz was in the spring game. Ganz should have seen action in 2005 when Missouri and Kansas took Nebraska behind the woodshed, and should have seen some playing time in October 2007 when Nebraska was getting blown out.

So why would fans give Ganz any sort of chance? They never saw the guy play in any sort of meaningful situation. Fans assumed that Callahan knew what he was doing. Fans assumed that recruiting experts knew what they were talking about. Until, of course, both were exposed as the frauds they are.

Now, should fans take some of the blame for drinking the BC/SP/Rivals kool-aid. Sure.

hackermav said...

It was a goal, kick happened after the puck left his right skate. Blew the game for ND.

All I ever heard was Keller was supremely more talented than Ganz, but I don't understand why it took so long for Callahan to name Keller the starter. I heard one story where the QB battle was close and nothing else. Now we know just how close it was, and like everything else Callahan did, it was the wrong decision.

I have to disagree a little on the Masters. While Immelman is a great story and had a great tourney, Tiger is the story in golf. ESPN is about ratings and playing up what everyone wants to hear. We all wnat to see Tiger come roaring back and whoop anyone on the course. And you know what, if Tiger had made two more putts, the highlights and the hoopla are completely different, Tiger gets rolling to the win and crushes Immelman's dreams.