Category Archives: Iowa State

Jack Trice Wallpaper

My friend Shawn is a badass graphic designer. He recently made a new wallpaper featuring Jack Trice. You should know who Jack Trice is and if you don’t, then I have failed you as a friend.


He is the man in this statue.

Jack Trice was the first African American to play sports for Iowa State. During the first half of his first game, Trice suffered a broken collarbone. He continued to play during the third quarter, until he was thrown on his back and trampled by three Minnesota players. He died three days later. Four thousand students and faculty members attended his funeral service on central campus.

Before the night of the game he wrote this letter to himself on some hotel stationary:

My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life: The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break thru the opponents’ line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of mass interference. Fight low, with your eyes open and toward the play. Watch out for crossbucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good.

Below is a small version of Shawn’s Jack Trice Wallpaper.

Some other exciting news about Shawn (the former drummer of UnHingd) is that he has a new band up and going. They have yet to pick a name, but they are planning to be playing a show near you by April.

A Great Saturday

Many great things happened on Saturday.

Iowa State beat Kansas State
I got to take my nephew Johnathan to his first ever Cyclone football game.
I got to tailgate with the Fausts, Willy, Jay, and Derrick.

Then just to put icing on the Great Day Cake:

Kansas put up over 70 points on Nebraska< Navy beat Notre Dame for the first time in 43 years. Don't just glide over that last sentence. Think about that for a second. Notre Dame had beaten Navy 43 straight times. It is hard to fathom losing anything 43 straight times. To put it in perspective, the last time that Navy beat Notre Dame, Kennedy was still President. I do have the pictures from the ISU victory posted. All you have to do is click on the picture of the link below:

ISU vs. Kansas State


“It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Von.”
– Alex DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange)

If all things are relative, the loss to Oklahoma on Saturday felt like a win since it was an incredible improvement over the Texas game. I have to admit to feeling pretty good when I left Jack Trice. I did not listen to Beethoven on Saturday night though. I mostly sat around thinking about how I left some necessary documents at work and then fell asleep.

Unfortunately, there are no moral victories. Iowa State did lose. My Beethoven CDs still collect dust. I did however get the pictures from the game up on the website moments ago.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Culbertson 15-13: A Parable of Redemption

When I look back on it, I believe that Saturday was a nearly perfect day. There is perhaps only one more thing that would have made the day better. I got to spend the day in a series of social interactions with some of my favorite people in the world. Plus, Nebraska and Notre Dame were humiliated. Oh yeah, and we beat Iowa.

USC 49 Nebraska 31
Michigan 38 Notre Dame 0
Iowa State 15 Iowa 13

I don’t know if there is anybody out there that would describe me as being a romantic, but when I think of the glowing scoreboards hanging in those stadiums proudly displaying those scores I automatically think of a song. You might have heard it, the lyrics go something like this:

Some day, when I’m awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you…
And the way you look tonight.

Yes you’re lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart…
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.

Lovely … Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won’t you please arrange it?
‘Cause I love you … Just the way you look tonight.

I have so many things to say about the Iowa State-Iowa game from Saturday that I don’t even know where to begin.

Here are some quick observations:

A Ten Letter Word for Redemption?

I was not very excited when Chizik clearly started laying up for a field goal with a minute to go in the game. Culbertson has been a good kicker throughout his career, but he was nobody’s idea of clutch. He had missed two field goals that would have given the Cyclones North Division Titles. When Culbertson drilled that ball right between the uprights, all of that was forgiven. However, I have seen ISU miss so many field goals in similar situations over the years that even though that ball went right between the uprights, my mind saw him miss wide left. While everybody else in my section was celebrating, I wasn’t going to believe anything until I saw the refs hands go straight up in the air.

A Lucky Injury

Steve Johnson left the game in the second half. Steve Johnson had been playing a pretty good game, but when Chris Brown came in, he made one huge play after another. He rocked Young on a 3rd and 1 run up the middle that put Young down in the backfield for a loss of yardage. Then he broke up a huge third down pass that forced Iowa to settle for a field goal attempt. As big as Culbertson was in this game, don’t forget about Chris Brown and his contributions.

Shades of Billups

When Iowa State went to the Bowl a few years back, we had a stud running back recruit by the name of Billups. All he really did his freshman year was return punts. For 11 games I thought that this was the biggest waste of his talent. In my mind they should have clearly redshirted him so that he would have more years as a starting running back (of course in the end he would end up moving to safety where he did prove to be a stud) after Haywood had graduated. However, my reservations about his wasted freshman season were washed away when he took a Pittsburgh punt sixty-some yards for a TD to secure the first bowl victory in Cyclone history.

I felt that way about Bates’ freshman year. Why not redshirt a guy with that much talent if all he is going to do is be a 5th option receiver and run the occasional trick play? If he doesn’t make another play the rest of the season it was worth it to see him haul in that 38 yard reception that setup the game winning field goal.

Iowa Fans

I am a firm believer that there are two kinds of Iowa fans. Those that are intelligent, incisive, thoughtful, and well spoken. Then there are Iowa fans that are arrogant, ignorant, (once again it is always surprising how arrogance and ignorance are so tightly intertwined) brash, and Pavlovian. The first type of Iowa fan you can sit down and discuss things rationally. The second type of Iowa fan you really can’t do much with them. They are dreadfully un-self aware. Incapable of actual meaningful communication and can only utter the dumbest of comebacks or fathom any world where ISU has beaten them 7 out of 10 times. The surest way to know which type of Iowa fan you have is to check their walls for a degree from the University of Iowa. If they have one, they probably are a pretty good chap. If they don’t have one, then they probably are a rabid freakshow without a good grip on reality.

I believe the best entertainment in the world (relatively speaking) is listening to Soundoff! after Iowa has lost a game. However, this year I was a little bit disappointed. It seemed that only drum that Iowa fans have left to beat is there supposed and inaccurate supposition that “the game means more to Iowa State than it does to Iowa”. This excuse didn’t work when you got beat by a girl in dodgeball in the 4th grade. It doesn’t work now. If you guys didn’t want to win the game, over 30,000 of you wouldn’t have made the trip to Ames knowing full well that you couldn’t get into the game.

There is a third classification of Hawkeye fan. It is the Uncle Tom. The best example is my friend Mark, but I like to pretend that these fans don’t exist.


You know it is a rivalry when the fans were booing Iowa’s marching band so loudly during their pre-game show that I couldn’t even hear them playing and I sit really close to the field.

I can’t wait to see what kind of billboards Pollard puts up in “Hawkeye Country” next year.


I do have the pictures up now, but I made a couple of mistakes and I will have to change the gallery sometime in the next few days. Yes, there is a picture of the scoreboard with the final score on my computer and I will get it posted when I make the other corrections.


A Cold Mountain

So Saturday was a pretty horrible game. Iowa State got completely smoked by a Division 1-AA opponent on its home field. Please don’t give me the line that if we hadn’t committed all of the turnovers or missed the field goal and the extra point we could have won the game or the score would have been closer. All of those things are part of the game and it doesn’t change the truth. That truth is that we flat out got smoked. We flat out got smoked by a Division 1-AA school. We got smoked on our own field. This is the equivalent of getting beat up by your little sister. No make that this is the equivalent of getting beat up by your little sister while all of your friends are watching it happen. Plus all her friends are watching it happen. Plus your mortal enemy is watching it happen and he gets to fight you next week.

The scariest part to me is that some Cyclone fans are starting to panic. They are starting to panic because it is already 2 games into the season and the realist is looking at our schedule and it is dawning on them that we are very likely looking at an 0-12 season.

That is a hard pill to swallow. Even Jim Walden never had a season where he lost every single game.

It is my sincerest hope that some of the what I like to call “New Age Cyclone Fans” that ran Dan McCarney out of town last year noticed what happened in Auburn last Saturday night. While UNI was making us punch ourselves in the face while saying “Quit hitting yourself”, McCarney was helping his new team beat nationally ranked Auburn. You can try to minimize his contribution to that victory if you want, but it is only a matter of time before you have to admit that he can coach. He did things at Iowa State that were considered practically impossible. Yet after falling 1 field goal short two years in a row of winning the Big XII North and then having a bad year, he was run out of Ames like he was Frank Solich.

I’m not saying that I don’t think Chizik won’t get it turned around. I just want it noted by some Iowa State fans at some point that Dan McCarney could coach and was not treated fairly. Essentially he was run out of town based on inflated expectations that wouldn’t have existed if he hadn’t made the Cyclone program into a program that had expectations.

I don’t expect this to happen. I hear the same people that ran McCarney out calling the call in shows and they are angry. They don’t get why we are this bad. They don’t get why a team with a first year head coach with no previous head coaching experience could be this bad. Why a team with virtually no talent on the offensive line could struggle. Why a team with no defensive line depth can’t get pressure on the quarterback or stop the run.

They have their scapegoats already. They already are demonizing Meyer. They think if we just threw the ball to Blythe more everything would work out. These people remind me of a quote I often think of when I see somebody that has created a bad environment, but don’t understand why bad things keep happening. This quote is from Cold Mountain and it is a reference to the South and the Civil War, but I think it applies to this Iowa State football season and the “New Age Cyclone Fans” that keep calling radio shows and clogging up message boards completely confused by why we are so bad this year:

“They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘Shit, it’s raining!'”

If Dan McCarney wasn’t the high class person that he is, I would swear that he is sitting in his Tampa home laughing his ass off.

Don’t get me wrong, because I didn’t agree with the decision to fire McCarney doesn’t mean I didn’t agree with the decision to hire Chizik. After the betrayal had been completed, somebody had to pick up the sword. We had to hire somebody. I think Chizik is an excellent coach, but when you hire somebody without any head coaching experience, you need to realize that there is going to be growing pains. We are essentially paying him to learn on the job. The first few seasons might be pretty brutal. Eventually I have no doubt that he will get us back to being as good as we were under McCarney. Perhaps even a little further than that. Cyclone fans just need to be patient and lower their expectations. They just have to realize the criteria for success this season is not going to be wins and losses. The criteria is going to be whether or not we improve as the season continues. I just hope that we can keep filling the stadium.

The pictures from the game have been posted. I also posted a couple seemingly random bee pictures and a couple of pictures from the Pufferbilly Days 5K. I was going to combine the ISU-UNI pictures with Pufferbilly Days pictures, but in the end there weren’t many Pufferbilly Days pictures because I slept through the parade and I didn’t stay out on Saturday night because I had church in the morning and my Aunt Linda was going to be there and I hadn’t seen her for awhile. So I guess it is kind of random.

Iowa State Cyclones versus Northern Iowa Panthers

Brush with Fame

I don’t have the pictures from Saturday’s butt whooping that UNI put on us put together yet, but there was one story that occurred on Saturday that I wanted to share right away.

I didn’t do my normal tailgating on Saturday. Instead I went to see 3:10 to Yuma with Russell. After we had spent the appropriate amount of time discussing the movie, I made my way to my normal tailgating party. The kickoff for the game was at 6 pm. I made it to the tailgate at about 4:45.

By this time Corey and Willy had moved their tailgate closer to the stadium by combining their tailgate with the tailgate of Corey’s friend Chief. No sooner had I tracked them down when B-Ross from SoundOff! walked by. I didn’t see him, but one of the other people in our group yelled his name as he walked by.

B-Ross came back and shook my hand and asked us who we were. I introduced him to Corey and Willy. Then I told him that he needed more airtime. When Andy left for Kansas City I knew it was going to be a major blow to the show, but the week that B-Ross co-hosted he showed that he was the best person to replace Andy.

For whatever reason, they decided to give the co-host job to Heather Burnside who is actually quite wretched and the show has suffered.

B-Ross told me that I should tell that to Keith Murphy.

I told him if I ever see him I’ll let him know.

B-Ross said, “Let’s go.”

So the Willy, Corey, and I followed B-Ross down to another tailgate where Keith Murphy was hanging out with his family.

B-Ross told him that we had something to tell him, so Keith Murphy got up and walked over and shook our hands.

I told him that B-Ross needed more airtime.

Keith looked at B-Ross and asked him, “How much did you pay these guys?”

I told him that he didn’t need to pay us anything and if I was ever lucky enough to win the Chili’s gift certificate (for answering the weekly trivia question) I would be honored to take B-Ross with me.

Keith said, “Nobody has ever done that.”

Then Keith saw my camera and asked if we wanted our picture taken with B-Ross.

We all wanted to. So Keith Murphy took the picture below:

Iowa State vs. UNI

After the picture, we talked about how years ago, Keith Murphy had compared Willy to Chewbacca after he and Jesse were interviewed before the Iowa/Iowa State game. Keith and Willy laughed over this story and he told me that with my beard I would have to be our Chewbacca now.

Then we bid them a fond adieu and Willy and I headed into the stadium. This awesome story helped take some of the pain of the loss away.


I eventually plan on writing about the debacle that was the beginning of the Gene Chizik era, but not quite yet. However, I thrown some pictures of the game in the Snapshots section of the website. If you don’t want to browse on over there, you can just follow the link.


I should give special thanks to Jason Stensland for making these pictures even possible as I did something incredibly stupid and he managed to bail me out. I guess I might need to make one of the game day checklists that are all the rage these days.

Going On Record

Most of the recent conversations I have had with my Cyclone friends have been about the proposed designs for the new Cyclone helmets. The athletic department has unveiled three potential new designs. They will eventually choose one of these three designs and the Cyclones will start sporting that new helmet during the 2008 football season.

I do not think that intrinsically Hawkeyes are bad people. I have some good friends that are Hawkeyes. Some of my blood relatives are Hawkeyes. If everybody I knew was a Cyclone my world would be a boring (yet admittedly beautiful) place. It just so happens that the majority of my friends are Cyclones and the minority are Hawkeyes or Panthers or apathetic.

It is because of this wealth of Cyclones that I know, that I have had the “helmet” conversation a lot lately. It goes a little bit like this:

“Hey man. You voted for a helmet yet?”

“No. I am a conscientious objector. I am abstaining from voting.”

“Why is that?”

“I will not pick the least of three evils.”

I was not a Jamie Pollard man. Not through and through. Not even a little bit. I didn’t trust him. I didn’t like his decisions. I felt that he was trying to make a name for himself at Iowa State and then he would move on to a greener pasture. I did not agree with the firings of Wayne Morgan, Bobby Douglas, or Dan McCarney.

However, I have changed. What changed my feelings about Jamie Pollard were Hawkeye fans. Hawkeye fans are terrified of Jamie Pollard. Hawkeyes have been the top rooster in this state at least ever since Hayden Fry flew into Iowa City.

Despite Iowa State’s athletic dominance of the state during the late 90s, Hawkeyes never wanted to consider it anything more than “cute” that the school in Ames fielded athletic teams.

This is attitude did not derive from the self refreshing supply of smugness that Hawkeyes keep next to their soul. Well not entirely. Cyclones have to share much of that blame.

Even when we beat the Hawks 5 straight years in football, we always kind of felt that it was fool’s gold. We often didn’t have higher aspirations than just making it a “rivalry again”.

Jamie Pollard changed that. He brought an entirely new attitude to the Cyclone Nation. He threw down the gauntlet. He let it be known that we were no longer to be satisfied with occasionally beating the Hawks. He let it be known that we were no longer willing to just be the poor sisters to the Hawks. We were now more than willing to compete with them for athletic dominance of the state.

This scares Hawkeyes. They don’t want the Cyclone game to become a game that they might not be favored in. They want this to be a game that they can count on in getting them close to bowl eligibility. If the Cyclones jump up and beat them every now and again, it is cute, but they still are clearly #2 in the state. They can have their bone now and again.

Whether I wanted to admit it or not, Pollard’s moves have proved to be the right moves. Sanderson nearly lead Iowa State to its first national championship in wrestling since 1986. McDermott brought in one of the top recruiting classes in Cyclone history. Chizik has yet to prove himself on the field, but the buzz around the program is pretty amazing.

I applauded Pollard’s bold move of placing Cyclone billboards in Hawkeye enclaves. I found it hilarious when he refused to sell single game tickets to the Iowa – Iowa State game. I was on my feet applauding when he announced that we were getting rid of these terrible Kansas City Chief* knockoff uniforms and returning to our true school colors of cardinal and gold.

I was quite taken aback when I felt Pollard has made his first mistake. That first mistake is the new helmet options. The new helmet options are terrible. Have a look.<

I have two major complaints.

First is the fact that these logo designs look horribly dated. For example look at the cursive “Cyclones” design. Now look at this:

That is the helmet the Cyclones wore from 1987-94. It was pretty cutting edge, in the 80s. Now it looks like Iowa State is showing up to an 80s theme party. Perhaps if they choose these helmets their new intro music will be “Axel F”.

Now look at the “ISU” helmet. Then look at this:

The top helmet is the helmet the Cyclones wore from 1981-82. The bottom helmet is the one that they wore in 1979. The lines coming off the back of the ISU on the top helmet scream “USFL expansion team”. The star that dots the ISU on the bottom helmet screams “Starlight Express”. If you are a football team, you don’t want to remind people of musicals about roller skaters.

Take a look at the “I State” helmet and then look at this:

The top helmet is from 1976-78. The bottom helmet is from 1980. It isn’t that I hate these helmet designs. It is that they are from 30 years ago. They look like they are from 30 years ago. The new helmet design looks like it is from 30 years ago.

I’m not against retro. I daresay that I am a big fan of retro. Not just in the world of athletics. I love antiques and things that have been used and are clearly from a different era. I’m a huge fan of anachronism.

However, when it comes to the sports world, retro is fine for special occasions. You have a retro uniform day once a season. You don’t design your uniforms to look like after the game the players are going to the disco to hear the latest song from The Tramps.

I would make one exception. I would hope buy a ticket for the retro train if we were to bring back my favorite helmet in Cyclone history. The 1967 helmet. Take a look at this sweet baby.

That is a helmet! It is still retro, but it does correct the 2nd error I feel that the Cyclones have made. That second error is choosing white helmets. The goal of the athletic department was have a white background so that the logo really popped.

I don’t dispute that logic, but with gold pants, cardinal jerseys, and white helmets we are going to look a bit like a walking joke. We are going to look like clowns. So I hope that these 3 helmets are a joke, like putting Jim Harbaugh on the list of coaching candidates and when they announce the new helmet, they pull an entirely new helmet out of thin air. This is my dream.

*Jason Baier requested that I remove the line about the Chiefs. I had to turn down his request because anybody that follows football can tell you that by comparing the uniforms to the Chiefs it is a double slam because the Chiefs are a sorry franchise. You don’t even have to point it out. It is a tautology.