You summed up my gameday experiences with the Cyclones to a tee. This is the first time I've come across these same sentiments on a blog/website. So I kinda saw this as an opportunity to post my feelings to the rest of the readers rather than just my friends and family, whom I've voiced these opinions to numerously and vigorously... and they still don't really care.
Jeff Johnson is a great guy, I've met him on a couple occasions and he's a pleasant fellow, who is very enthusiastic about his life and his work, a great guy and someone we need in the Cyclone family. BUT we need to stop having him come out to pump up manufacture excitement in the crowd. Cyclone fans are loyal fans but we're not the most raucous fans out there. Nearly all of my experiences have come from the student section, which generally has more enthusiasm and electricity going through it than the rest of the stadium. It appears that most of the rest of the stadium has to acquire that enthusiasm throughout the game, and if it's not a great game, it tends to show up for small portions of the game, or not at all, and it tends to dissipate from the student section by the end of the game(unless, of course, its a great game like the TTU game last week). Also, along with Jeff, we have the PA announcer telling us to rise to our feet on 3rd down situations or redzone situations... Again, manufacturing excitement. We need to get over this lethargy and do it ourselves. We respond well when prompted on first downs; we all know what's coming when we get one, yet we still can't figure out that 3rd downs and redzone situations are big deals? Cyclone fans need to get into a habit of this. So, all in all, I can see why we have Jeff out there trying to get that mojo going early and hopefully keeping it going during the game... But it just needs to stop, from my perspective. It seems to hinder more, or just manufacture fake, excitement which lasts all of ... not long.
Then when you follow him up with the "Bells of Iowa State", I mean, seriously? You put everyone but the 70 year old donors(who probably love it and demand we play it) to sleep with that. The student section doesn't care, grads within the past 20+ years probably don't care(or know the words even though they're on the scoreboard), and generally, the whole stadium seems docile at this point. Am I the only one who thinks this? Please tell me I'm not.
And finally, among the laundry list of gameday complaints I have, I'll share this with you. We need to not come out of that weird bubble-tunnel thing with the smoke. It just doesn't work, but that is from my perspective. If it excites players and coaches, then keep doing it. I want them to be jacked up the most when they hit the field. But having a rocking crowd alongside jacked up players is even better. I'm going to admit that when the Hawkeyes come out in 'The Swarm' it's pretty damn awesome. So I've always envisioned having like something on the jumbotron about like a storm rolling in to Ames, in a fake weather radar thing then it cuts to like big plays made by the Cyclones, like what we have now and a picture of Rhoads' face or something... I think this would like recreate the Iowa State/Colorado game mojo a few years back. Then when the team enters just have tornado sirens going off as the team walks down the cement by the hillside. If the team wants music, go for it, but I think it would be pretty chilling to see our guys walk out with tornado sirens going off. Kind of a real personification of a natural disaster(cyclone).
Ok, enough ranting. I'd like to link it back to what ProudClone was originally posting about. The excitement, the buzz, the hype, the noise, the new sound system, the bowled in south side, etc. will all come with wins. And the more we win, the more we get on TV, the more we influence our graduation classes who will remember good years with the football program and will donate money later in their lives. CPR is building this team and seems to be doing a good job, too. Like ProudClone said, we need wins to generate what we want from Iowa State football, and partially from its fans, too.
Anyone else's thoughts on the matter? What do you guys like/dislike about gameday? If you could give Jamie Pollard orders for gameday, what would you have him do?