No Surprise At All

The latest category to earn a wing in the CycloneNation.com Hall of Fame is media. This vote was the ultimate no-brainer, because only one man has been, and forever will be, immortalized as Mr. Cyclone.

The first media personality inducted into the Cyclone Nation.com Hall of Fame should come as no surprise to Iowa State fans:

 

·        Pete Taylor

 

Taylor, who passed away in March of 2003, was the overwhelming choice of our panel of experts, who were choosing from a list of outstanding broadcasters and writers.  The nominations for the Cyclone Nation.com Hall of Fame were submitted by Cyclone Nation.com readers.

 

Here are my thoughts and some of the comments made by voters regarding Taylor:

 

Pete Taylor called Iowa State games for 33 years and always seemed to be at the top of his game.  He was voted Iowa's Sportscaster of the Year four times.  I can't even imagine how much Taylor knew about the history of ISU athletics.  He was there through the good times and bad times in Ames and around the Big 12…and he was always one of the finest play-by-play announcers in the country.

 

The "Voice of the Cyclones" was a tremendous ambassador for Iowa State University and athletics in Iowa.  Everyone who follows the Cyclones knew Pete.  Sure, they might not have known him…but they KNEW him.  From Sioux City to Dubuque, he was in their homes and their cars every "game day," giving the ISU play-by-play on their radios.

 

And with Taylor, you wouldn't need to hear the score to know if Iowa State was ahead or behind.  You could hear it in his voice.  You knew.  And while you knew he was pulling for the Cyclones, that didn't keep him from providing a fair call of the action.

 

There were three things that I really liked about Taylor as a broadcaster...

 

1) He was very good at his job.  You always knew exactly what was happening in the game.

 

2) He never tried to become "the show."  He wasn't interested in becoming bigger than the game.

 

3) He was a true FAN.  You could just hear the emotions in his voice—good or bad—when someone scored or an official made a call.  He wouldn't sugarcoat things, but you had no doubt which team he was pulling for.  Exactly the type of guy you'd like to watch a game with.

 

Comments from other voters:

 

"This is not meant to disrespect anyone on the list, most of whom I hold in high esteem.  But Pete was simply the man."

 

"The VOICE of Iowa State University."

 

"Is there any question?  He was ISU to many of us growing up."

 

"He's perhaps the greatest Cyclone personality the University will ever know."

 

"Through the 33 years, the coaches changes multiple times.  The Athletic Directors changed.  The players changed.  Everything changed, except for the one constant—Pete Taylor.  He was a tremendous play-by-play man and an even better person.  Pete was a hall-of-famer in every walk of life."

 

"Come on, do I really need to detail why?  The original Mr. Cyclone, case closed."

 

"No other voice was so recognized as the VOICE of Iowa State athletics.  There will be great broadcasters that will follow him, but none will equal him."

 

"This was a no-brainer for me.  He will always be ‘Mr. Cyclone.'  He brought Iowa State fans all of the action for so many years, and gave them a great description of what was going on.  He was also more than just the play-by-play voice of the football and men's basketball teams, as he held the Cyclone athletic department together during several crucial junctures over the years."

 

**********

 

Breakdown of the voting…

 

          Each member of the panel voted for three media personalities (1st gets 3 points, 2nd gets 2 points, 3rd gets 1 point).  The panel includes some very knowledgeable sports personalities…

 

·        Steve Deace … Popular radio personality on KXNO and Publisher of Cyclone Nation.com and "CN" magazine.

·        Bill Seals … Senior Writer for Cyclone Nation.com and "CN" magazine.

·        Bob Helmers … Producer/Director for ESPN and ESPN+Plus.

·        B.J. Schaben … Sports Director, Iowa Radio Network.

·        John Walters … Sports Director at WOI-TV and play-by-play voice of the Cyclones.

·        Marc Hansen … Columnist for the Des Moines Register and one of Iowa's all-time best sports writers.

·        Eric Heft … Former ISU basketball standout and long-time Cyclone Radio Network color analyst.

·        Larry Cotlar … Weekday morning host on KXNO 1460-AM.

·        Marty Gallagher … Me.

 

Total points:

 

·        Pete Taylor  (33)

·        Gary Thompson  (19)

·        Eric Heft  (12)

·        John Walters  (4)

 

Look for the Cyclone Nation.com Hall of Fame inductees in other categories—Athletes, Games and At-Large Bids—in the coming weeks.  Feel free to e-mail your comments and feedback to me at Marty@IowaSportsOpinions.com.

 

(Marty Gallagher founded the popular web site IowaSportsOpinions.com and now publishes IowaPrepsToday.com. E-mail him at Marty@IowaSportsOpinions.com.)


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