Big Ten Media Days in Chicago just wrapped up, and for the most part it was the same boring old questions, asked 100 times by 100 different reporters from across the Midwest. So it takes something special to stand out. Ed Littler, Sports Director at News 5 in Nebraska, you are something special.
Ed's a Husker, of course, and he'd never finish up his session with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz by asking for his autograph. But Ed happens to have a girlfriend who is a Hawkeye fan, and if it wouldn't be too much trouble, coach, maybe you could make this license plate out to Ed's girlfriend, and write "To Jeanette, Go Hawks, thanks for being a fan," and don't forget to sign it.
It's so, so awkward, and the exchange is even more painful when you read it in the transcript. Ferentz had reasonably assumed that, when dealing with the media for a few days, signing autographs was the one thing he wouldn't have to deal with. And Littler, who's been covering college football for 20 years, should know better. It's not that we're children and we need Littler to maintain the charade that all media members are objective robots and immune to getting star-struck, but — have some goddamned self-respect, man.
Besides, Kirk Ferentz autograph requests are supposed to be accompanied by a $25 donation to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.
Update: We received this missive from Ed Littler:
I wasn't getting that autograph for myself, though. It is for this gal who is an Iowa fan that I know. She is pretty sharpe. I hope she likes it.
Of course, I would never get an autograph for myself and had never done anything like that. I hadn't met coach Ferentz before.
I really didn't think anyone would tape record the conversation, but with cameras on every cell phone these days, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Have a great week!