I can't wait for the Houston Bowl. There are so many things to look forward to. Not the least of which is meeting Houston-native Beyonce at a local night club. "Hey Beyonce, you ever heard of Cyclone fever? You haven't, well it's your lucky day."
Ah, who am I kidding? I've got no
shot and Jay-Z has lots of money. I'll stick to Yao Ming's groupies. Yes, that
15 hour trek seems daunting at the moment. Goodness knows, that drive through
That's why they invented car games to kill some time. One I suggest is, "Cyclone line-ups." You say the year and those in your vehicle have to name the starting five in basketball, and the quarterback, running back, and one receiver in football. It wastes a good hour. For example 1996: "Jacy Holloway, Dedric Willoughby, Shawn Bankhead, Kenny Pratt, Kelvin Cato….Todd Doxzon, Troy Davis, Ed Williams, Ty Watley. Extra points for me. Trust me; once you delve into the early ‘90s things get difficult.
But, the drive home is always a bit more somber, regardless of a win. December 31st will be the last chance for Cyclone fans to see 15 Cyclone seniors. For most of them, it is the last time they will strap on the gear. Nick Leaders, Nik Moser, Tim Dobbins, Steve Paris, LaMarcus Hicks, and Cephus Johnson, Kory Pence, Troy Blankenship, Tony Yelk may get a lot of attention from fans. But, we can't forget program veterans and little recognized Brett Jarvis, Broc Bebout, Landon Schrage, and David Brown. These men put in just as much, if not more, work than the starters and did all they could to make Cyclone football what it is. And also Cory Wierson.
Wierson was an all-state recruit
out of Waukee and was going to be an offensive lineman. He never played a down
of football for
I'm not sure if we realize how close this Cyclone family is. When Bret Meyer says he wants to win for the seniors, he isn't just blowing smoke. They are all like brothers. They fight sometimes, but always have each other's back.
Quick story: I'm broadcasting the
That's what makes this Houston Bowl resonate even further. 15 members of the Cyclone family are going on to better things. This is their graduation party. There will be many cheers and meaningful tears. It won't be easy saying goodbye. We often get caught up in the recruiting game; it's exciting and fun to anticipate the next great one. But, while watching the game Saturday, don't forget about the current Cyclones that have been a part of ISU football, and in large part, our lives for 4, 5 or 9 years (Just kidding, Tony Yelk.)
Sorry to keep you, but one last anecdote.
Back in 2001, ISU had suffered the
heart-breaking loss to
He jogged to the locker room, helmet held high in the air as if to say, "I will always be a Cyclone."