With the state of flux that is the "Big XII" and the recent win over the Hawkeyes, I wanted to write up a piece as to why I am a fan of Iowa State Athletics. I seriously considered writing for this blog when they were looking for writers. Shit, as much time as I waste playing Call of Duty, I have the time, but I've never been overly confident of my writing. You see, I'm not even an Iowa State alum. I haven't taken one single class in Ames, but cardinal and gold is as dear to me as the purple and gold of the Vikings, and the white and black of the Sox.
I grew up 15 minutes outside of Ames and when my father took a job working at Iowa State University as an avid sports fan himself he bought season tickets for Iowa State basketball on a regular basis(Iowa State football in the late 80's was horrific, we went to games, but few and far between). Ever since, I've been a Cyclone. I will always remember the excitement of divvying up the games between my two older siblings. Being the youngest, they smartly chose games such as Missourri and Kansas while I picked games against the likes of Marathon Oil. I must have thought it was a cool name, who knows. I may have missed out on the chance to see the heated games against the Norm Stewart lead Tigers, but I didn't care. Any chance to experience the magic that is Hilton was enough for me. Terry Woods, Victor Alexander and Justus Thigpen became heroes to me as a child. I still rock the 24 in most of my handles. I'll never forget they way Hilton erupted when the announcer exclaimed, "there is Justus in the building!" It was electric.
I saved and still have to this day every single game program from 87-91. Must be the archivist in me. That's why seeing Nebraska and Colorado from the old Big 8 bolt for the "Big 10" and Pac 12 was so difficult. A part of my inner child died when that happened. I don't know what's going to happen to our current conference. More than likely it will dissolve and Iowa State will be left scrambling. It's going to be sad day, but no matter what, I will always be a Cyclone. Who knows, maybe the "Big 10" will miraculously let us in. That's about the longest shot, but it sure would piss off Iowa fans and I could handle that.
Hawkeye fans will deride us for our choice of teams. Claim we have an inferiority complex. Well, truth be told, we are inferior, athletically and academically. Money talks, and Iowa has much much more. They also offer more academically beyond Iowa State's agricultural school with the likes of medicine and law. More donors, more money, better athletics. Cut and dried. But you know what, I don't care. I love being the underdog. I love taking on teams that are able to recruit 4 and 5 star athletes, and beating them. That's what being a Cyclone is all about. We won't contend for national titles, but we play for the pride and I think there is something inherently special about that. A victory over U of I is always sweet, any Cyclone victory is. Some Hawkeye fans may try to dismiss the game as unimportant and wish to trash the rivalry for good, but I know deep down they get extra satisfaction in beating us, just as we do them.
So as the football season continues along and eventually runs into basketball and wrestling. I sit back and enjoy being a Cyclone fan. Whether we are FBS, FCS, or FML...I'll always be cardinal and gold.
In addendum: I look forward to the transition of the new blog here. I know State doesn't have the greatest athletics, but I've been a bit disappointed in the lack of passion shown here on the website. It's usually the same few posting and commenting. I don't expect the numbers that professional team's blogs or BHGP can put up, but I hope to see the fan base on here grow. Living in Maryland now I don't get to hang around any Cyclone fans anymore, so this is it. Hopefully the new blog can generate some growth on here.