Optimism - The Key to 2006

Depending on how fans look at things, it's been a rough couple of weeks for Cyclone football. No matter how you're choosing to look at next season, CN is here to keep your head up. There are a lot of great things going on, even if they aren't getting front page attention. Come check them out here at Cyclone Nation.

Cyclone fans are a lot of different things in this world. Some are very large grizzled men, some are beautiful petite women. Some are doctors and some are garbage men. The one thing that all Cyclone fans have in common is the fact that they are not stupid. They realize when it's been a bad couple weeks for Cyclone football. I realize that there hasn't been a lot of great news coming out of the Cyclone football program in the past few weeks but that's where I come in. I come in to give you passionate Cyclone fans the positives, not because I'm trying to cover up the bad, but because we as fans have nowhere to look but forward.


The big negative that I will put my positive spin on is no secret; it's the loss of Jason Berryman. Like I said, you all aren't stupid. I'm not going to sit here and say that this certain loss won't sting come September. Jason Berryman is arguably one of the best defensive players in this history of this program, but he is replaceable. The thing that I want to point out is that Berryman is a defensive end, not a quarterback. It's very rare that defensive ends make or break a team or a season. I'm not saying that next year's inexperienced defensive line won't miss him, but it's not the end of the world. More than likely we'll see Collins Eboh fill the void left by Berryman which I think he can handle. What I'm looking forward to is seeing what Rashawn Parker can do. What if he comes in this summer and is an absolute freak and plays like Berryman did his freshman year? What if Parker can be the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year? After watching his highlight video, it could happen.  


Here's a story that might make you fans feel better. I was in a local grocery store the other night. I ran into an Iowa State player who I happen to be pretty decent friends with, whose name I won't mention. He's a key player on defense and he'll be a senior next season and he's an established team leader. I asked him how he was dealing with all of the stuff going on and he simply told me that there's nothing he could do but set an example for the young guys and work harder. He told me that everybody on the team is accountable for themselves and he felt responsible to drill that into the young guy's heads. I asked him how the mentality of the team was and he told me that everybody was just ready to put this behind them and start winter workouts, which he said were going to be a bear.


My point is that if the team is putting all of this behind them, we as fans need to do that as well. Jason Berryman is one player. Greg Coleman is one player. There are a lot of great guys on that team doing great things with their lives outside of football that never get talked about because the bad stuff makes the front pages.


When it all comes down to it Cyclone fans should still be excited about next season. Ten of 11 starters are returning on offense. We will all have the privilege to watch Bret Meyer and Todd Blythe grow even more together and with a solid running game, the Clones could put up a lot of points. Jamie Pollard is making improvements everywhere around campus and the future is bright, as dim as the past few weeks have been.


Yesterday I was late for a test. I woke up extra early just so I wouldn't be late. Little did I know that it snowed the night before. My car doors were frozen shut and I ended up being late for my test. When I got to my test, I was complaining about how crappy my morning had been. My friend said this to me.


"Just tell yourself that it's a good morning. If you think it's going to be a bad day then it will."


Let's tell ourselves that about next football season as well.

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