As you may have already heard from various media day reports, the Big XII has partnered with GSD&M ad agency to help re-brand the conference in an attempt to create the illusion of solidarity after last year's splintering fiasco. Apparently, the re-branding effort focuses on the three "core purposes" of the conference: Fierce Rivalries, Heartland Values, and the ability to crown One True Champion at the end of the season.
The fierce rivalries is clearly meant to evoke images of the Red River Shootout, Texas/Texas A&M, or maybe even the border war. What it doesn't evoke, however, is any game that includes Iowa State. (And no, the Telephone Trophy game does NOT count as a "fierce rivalry." Mizzou's fierce rival is Kansas, because Iowa didn't spent the 1850s tromping around western Mizzou and burning shit down, and Mizzou has never made shirts showing Ames being burned down with the word "scoreboard" written underneath. Mizzou and Kansas have a "fierce rivalry." We've got a stupid telephone on a hunk of wood.
That's some quality hatred right there.
Despite the term being a cynical and obvious ploy to placate the former north division schools as being "a real part" of the Big XII, "Heartland Values" is the only real descriptor in that list that applies to Iowa State. But after seeing the initial results of the campaign, I'm not so sure those values are what they're really going for with the Iowa State ad. The initial run seems to have one team per Big XII team, and if you want to see them all, they're right here. If you just want to see Iowa State's contribution, keep reading.
That dude in the front sure looks like he's in the middle of a "strong finish."
All ejaculatory jokes aside, let's be honest: Iowa State doesn't finish strong. Iowa State lucks into early leads and tries like hell to hang on. Iowa State had Texas down 28-7 in that game and still had to come up big defensively on the last drive of the game to keep Texas from tying it up. And I'm sure some of you remember ISU's choking against Mizzou two years in a row ('04/'05) with a trip to the Big XII championship on the line. Or for that matter, trying to run out the clock against Kansas while still early in the 3rd quarter.
But hey, it's not really worth getting upset about. It's pretty clear that the ad agency looked at Iowa State and asked themselves "What the hell can we say about these guys? I mean, that coach of theirs had that great speech about being proud after the Nebraska game, but how can we distill that down into a single image?"
*Checks Google Image Search for "Paul Rhoads After Nebraska Game"*
"Hey Jim? I think I may have an idea for that Cyclone ad..."