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It’s A Great Time To Be A Cyclone!

Posted by isuisu on November 17, 2006

Or is it? As one of the many die-hard Cyclone fans, am I expected to buy into all it seems we have left: our belief in Jamie Pollard’s skills and the dreaded four letter word that most fans cling to at all times, the ultra-motivator known as ‘hope’?

Are we really headed in the right direction as an athletic program, with elite status and national attention being the norm, or is this just another detour on the long path of disappointment we as Cyclone fans have experienced over the years?

I’ll address these questions in a second, but first I’d like to thank Dan McCarney, and all of the past coaches who have patrolled the sidelines over the years for Iowa State (in all sports), for their service to the fans and for helping to establish the current status of the Iowa State athletic programs.

Most of the time, coaches who move on are forgotten within a few months of their leaving. Contrary to popular belief, a coach doesn’t have to win every game or five national championships to have an extraordinary affect on a program for years into the future.

Heck, with no Jim Walden, there’s no Troy Davis. Take T.D. out of our football history and what do we have? I’ll save that discussion for another time.

By the way, it’s not a coincidence I used Mac’s mantra as the title of this article. It’s seems pretty ironic, that what might just be the best time ever to be a Cyclone (remember hope), it goes on without Mac as the football coach.

I won’t forget.

But for now, it’s time to focus on the future. And if you haven’t already, it’s time to hop on the J.P. bandwagon, because if his current plan works, you’ll need a Corvette to catch it. If a complete overhaul is what it takes to get us to the next level, then g..g..g…iddy up!

CAELReally, what is there not to like?

Our wrestling program is now in the hands of the most successful wrestler in NCAA history in Cael Sanderson. He’s only been an assistant for a few years, but how could we let the second coming of Dan Gable slip away again? Well, we couldn’t. I’m not saying Cael is the coach that Dan is or was, I’m just saying I have hope he can be someday.

GMACAs one Mac is on his way out, another is beginning his legacy. Basketball’s head man is the new BMC (Big Mac on Campus). He comes from a successful stint at UNI and is the hard working, no-nonsense, do your job or sit on the bench type of coach this program has needed the last few years. Greg McDermott gives me hope too.

Bring in a football coach with similar attributes and we may be onto something.

Now for the bad news. Hold on tight for this one. Here I go again. As much as I like Jamie and Cael and Greg, it all comes down to what we do as fans to support the current programs. It’s time for us fans to reach down and embrace hope and belief like never before.

Are you kidding me?


You see, in order to get superior student athletes that are going to take our sports programs to the next level, we need to have a few things, including great coaches, facilities and fans. Let’s just assume for a second that we do indeed have, or will soon have, great coaches.

How about facilities?

While we’re probably not the bottom of the barrel, I’ve never seen a College GameDay feature on our 15 acre weight room. Facilities come from a plan and funding to execute that plan.

POLLARDJamie has put the plan in place, now it’s up to us to do our part to make it happen. Your part may just be to come to one game or one meet next year. Or you could be the one to donate a couple million dollars (I wish I were that one). We all just need to do our part.

As I write this article, I’m also preparing for my semi-monthly road trip back to Ames for the final football game of the year against Missouri. It’s my one last chance to watch Dan and the 2006 Cyclones in action. I’m excited, mad, glad and sad all at the same time.

I’ll be leaving Atlanta, where I currently live, on Thursday afternoon in my ’94 Accord. I hope to be back in Iowa by sometime Friday evening. I’ve only missed one home game this year. It’s the least I can do to support my beloved Cyclones.

Some of you are probably wondering why I would drive half-way across the country to cheer on a 3-8 squad with a lame-duck head coach. Well, because I have the hope and belief that this program will survive and succeed far beyond this season.

How much hope and belief do you have?


P.S. We’ll see you at the game!


4 Responses to “It’s A Great Time To Be A Cyclone!”

  1. Josh Calvert said

    Loss of a Leader

    My mood resembles electric blue. Softly spoken but energized by thought. I feel like I just walked away from my brother’s funeral with no questions asked nor any questions answered. The end of an era you say, how about the loss of a leader. Dan McCarney was Iowa State Football and was everything we wanted it to be, except a champion. My fault when was the last time the 75% of the universities in the nation won a national championship? Are we as fans asking too much? Do we know what is really going on? Are we to quick to judge?

    Ask yourself those questions.

    Then put yourself in the head football coach’s shoes at the university of Iowa State. Those are some big shoes to fill that almost nobody amongst you bashers would be able to put on, let alone wear. All we as fans can do at this point is talk about the negatives. It is frustrating and I think we lost focus because there were not enough positives to this season.

    Put the records behind. I know just like the next guy the records McCarney produced at ISU. I know he was one game away from the big 12 championship game two years in a row and couldn’t pull it off. I know he didn’t win the big game. I know he say’s the same thing in press conferences.

    I also know he was proud, energetic, and loyal of being a Cyclone. He made men out of boys. He got new facilities built for football. He got new renovations built at Jack Trice. Lights put in for more night games. We were actually on national TV. He made us believe we had a chance to win. As far as I can remember that’s better than anything cyclone football had in the 80’s and early 90’s.

    Dan McCarney built Iowa State football. He built it from the ground up. Just for us to tear it and him down. You bash, you bash, you bash… and surly the wall will come down. Some Cyclone fans got what they wanted. Some Cyclone fans disagree. Do you agree that the energy in the Jack is a lot more electric than before? Are Saturday’s more exciting for you, your family and your friends? Do the losses hurt more now than they did 10 years ago? That means you care more about Cyclone football now than you ever did before. I ask you why? Coach who?

    One thing Mac brought to Cyclone fans that goes UN thought about is the passion amongst us as a fan base. We actually started going to the games and talking about what we can do to win the game and not about how much we were going to get beat by. We snapped losing streaks unheard of in college football. When Nebraska came to town at least we had a chance. We won at Iowa, K-State, Colorado and Texas A & M. When we went south for the winter it wasn’t for vacation it was for football. Don’t forget the excitement that was Phoenix, Arizona Dec 27th & 28th 2000. Wow if I could only have that day back. That was one of the best days in Cyclone football history.

    Did I just mention Cyclone football and the word history together, The only history I have of Cyclone football before Mac was… let’s see here Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and players like Barry Sanders, Ahman Green, Chuck Long, and Brian Bozworth just to name a short few. I went to the games to watch those teams and those players. Who usually dominated us so bad that my dad and his friends were in the parking lot by halftime while the boys and I played on the hillside to the tune of “That’s another Cornhusker touchdown”. Don’t fight the fact that we were bottom dwellers. We were the dust bunnies. We were tormented by our Hawkeye friends and family while they were packing up for there December trip to follow the Hawks.

    What doe’s we mean? Doe’s WE mean the Cyclone fans of America or doe’s WE mean the Cyclone players. We as fans didn’t do anything but cheer. We gave up on these kids this year. We booed when Meyer missed a read. We booed when are D-backs missed a tackle. We sat and bitched about everything we could, tell we couldn’t bitch no more. We as fans gave up on are leader. We gave up on the one person that has actually made us fell good about being a Cyclone Football fan. Seneca Wallace wouldn’t have been Seneca Wallace without Dan McCarney. Ellis Hobbs Jr. is successful because of Mac. He gave these kids a chance to get an education and play ball. He raised these boy’s and grew them up to be respected men in our communities. When I say the word WE I mean the whole Cyclone community. There is more to a coach than the win –loss record.

    Coach McCarney got the best out of his players. And he got the best out of us as fans. He was our leader of the Cyclone Community. Best wishes to a man that brought the atmosphere of college football to Ames, Iowa.

    Show your gratitude to a man that took our football team to places it has never been before. Cause god only knows when WE will be back.

  2. Dan Reding said

    I agree Brad, it seems an oxymoron to have hope for the future but our beloved Dan McCarney will not be part of it. I suppose I feel better about it seeing Mac carried off the field by his players his final game with the win over Mizzu.

    We have had 2 coaches in the past 23 years. No coaching graveyard here but that amount of time covers most adult lives. I was here for Bruce, Duncan, Criner and Walden as well but I don’t remember any of them putting as much into their job as McCarney and for that he will be missed.

  3. jc said

    great seeing you down on the sideline this year…wish i could be down there next year too!
    oh well…i will keep checking the isuisu site to see it progress into the best cyclone site out there!

  4. Garrett Williams said

    Thanks for making the trip from Atlanta ever game you can, that is great… i love to see fans like that because i only drive 143 miles to my parking spot, and when the team isnt doing so hot its hard seeing the stadium half empty.. but the true fans are there and i wish we had more true fans.. the amount of fun that is produced with an electric atmosphere of 55,600 people and a winning team is un-explainable.. i hope we can get back to that high. By the way, i saw the police take you off of the field during one game,, haha what was that about. Keep up the good work, and lets hire Larry Coker!

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