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James Ferentz

James Ferentz was with the Denver Broncos when they won the Super Bowl following the 2015 season and he has been part of the New England Patriots organization when they played in the Super Bowl each of the past two years. 

I’ve got it. I’ve figured out how the Chicago Bears can get to the Super Bowl next season.

All they need to do is sign James Ferentz.

They don’t need to play him, probably don’t even need to have him be active for most games. But just having him in the organization seems to have a magical effect.

The second oldest son of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has been with the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl in three of the past four years and in two of those cases, his team won.

He was with the New England Patriots this season and with the Denver Broncos in 2015. He also was on the Patriots’ practice squad last season when they got to the big game and lost.

"If I was a GM, I'd get him on my team," Kirk Ferentz said. "That's three out of five he's been in. He's got like a rabbit's foot."

James, an offensive lineman, has played only 23 games in five NFL seasons and spent part or all of three seasons on practice squads. He’s never actually played in a Super Bowl. But he has a very nice start on a very enviable jewelry collection.

***

With FBS football programs now signing a majority of their new recruits in December, the old February national letter of intent signing date isn’t all that interesting.

When Kirk Ferentz met with the media to discuss recruiting on Wednesday, the first eight questions pertained to the team’s punting situation.

***

This name caught our eye on the list of preferred walk-ons being brought in by the Hawkeyes: Thomas Hartlieb.

You may recall that Iowa had three Hartlieb brothers play for them in the 1980s and 1990s. Chuck and Jim Hartlieb both were starting quarterbacks and John Hartlieb was a solid defensive end.

Thomas, who also played quarterback at Edgewood High School in Madison, Wisconsin, is Jim’s son. He’s expected to be a safety at Iowa.

***

After the Patriots got to the Super Bowl for the ninth time in 18 years and won it for the sixth time, many people proclaimed this the greatest dynasty in the history of professional team sports.

It’s a classic case of something that has come to be known as "recency bias."

Consider the 18-year stretch that the New York Yankees had from 1947 through 1964: They played in the World Series 15 times in 18 years and won 10 of them. In the three years they did not get to the Series — 1948, 1954 and 1959 — they were 90 games above .500 (276-186).

You could make a very compelling case that the Patriots aren’t even the greatest dynasty in Boston history. The Boston Celtics won eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 through 1966 and over a 13-year stretch (1957-69), they won 11 titles. The only year they did not play in the NBA finals was 1967.

***

If you’re like most of us, you probably lost track of Steve Krafcisin after his days as one of the "twin towers" on the 1980 Iowa basketball team that made it to the Final Four.

He’s been busy. He went on to serve as an assistant coach at various places, including several years under Johnny Orr at Iowa State. For the past 14 years, he has served as the women’s head coach at Des Moines Area Community College and he recently claimed his 300th victory at the school.

***

Roger Craig’s wait to get into Pro Football Hall of Fame continues.

You may recall that the former Davenport Central star, who was the featured back on the great San Francisco 49ers teams of the 1980s, failed to get elected last year in his final chance as a modern era candidate.

His fate now lies in the hands of the Hall of Fame’s nine-man Senior Committee, which selects from among players whose careers have been completed for more than 25 years. The committee nominates one or two people every August to be among the 18 Hall of Fame finalists. The senior nominees almost always get elected.

This year the senior candidate was Johnny Robinson, a star safety for the Chiefs in the 1960s.

So, Roger’s wait continues. Hopefully, he won’t need to wait until he’s 80 years old, as Robinson did.

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