Putting Lipstick on a Pig

CN loves Iowa State fans so much, we give them their own columns. Check out what Russ from Winterset had to say about last week's loss to Nebraska in this week's version of Putting Lipstick on a Pig, right here at CN.

My wife read my article last week and made the observation "You should tone down all the talk about drinking before everyone on the internet starts to think you're an alcoholic".  After sitting through the Nebraska game Saturday night, I feel like I can't possibly drink ENOUGH booze to kill the brain cells where those memories are stored.  If I could drink a bottle of English Leather or Brut and burn all those memories out of my head, I'd have to give this a long hard thought.  I seriously considered submitting a review of "Caddyshack" as my article for this week, but I decided that it's way too early to go that negative.   I might be angry at the football team and their coaches, but I'm not going to go all Private Hudson on you and start screaming "Game over, man!  Game over!"   Well, not yet, anyway.


We started off with our best tailgating position thus far.  You know where that pseudo-campanile sculpture near Reiman Gardens is at?  We were pretty much right across Elwood from that; right next to that lone walnut tree where they stick all the portapots.  Hogfarmer and some of the "Young Guns" (recent ISU grads who tailgate with us old farts & help translate all the hip lingo the kids are using these days) sat in line for a couple of hours to get a better position.  You know how the ISU website says that "lots will open six hours before kickoff"?  Don't believe them.  They started letting people into the public lots at 11 a.m., which is two hours earlier than the published opening.  Jamie Pollard has done quite a few things to improve parking & tailgating since he arrived at ISU, but this is one thing I'd like to see him address.  If the policy is "open six hours before kickoff", then open the lots six hours before kickoff.  If we have consistent problems with lines forming along Elwood & 16th and obstructing traffic, then our athletic department should re-evaluate the policy.  Ignoring their own policy just makes the athletic department look like idiots to the fan base.  After all, if they'll ignore the lot opening times, why not test their prohibitions on kegs & beer bongs?  Heck, let's see if firearms and bottle rockets can make the cut.


We went strictly "keep it simple stupid" for the tailgating fare this week. Cheese brats, pork burgers, and regular brats were eaten in massive quantities, while I enjoyed a cooler full of ice cold Shiner Bock while watching Minnesota/Penn State and Michigan/Michigan State on the ratty old bus TV.  "Bobby" got plenty of attention from bystanders once again, and several people climbed up on the hood to have their pictures taken with the "grand old hog of ISU tailgating".  We had two Nebraska fans visiting our group this week (one of them is a family friend of my brother in law), and best part of the afternoon was watching one of them indulge in a LITTLE too much Black Velvet and wind up wearing his stomach contents on his shirt.  He was carried onto the bus and thrown on one of the couches to keep him from spending the night in the Ames drunk tank.  I thought the "50% casualty rate" of Nebraska fans at our tailgate was a good omen for the upcoming game, but I would be proven to be horribly wrong as the events of that night unfolded.


My wife and I got into the stadium at roughly 6:45, and got to see warm-ups and the National Anthem before kickoff.  Nebraska immediately moved it down the field………………………………………………………………


You know what?  Screw it.  That's all I'm going to write tonight about our game experience.  I've got some green beans & Mrs. Paul's fish sticks in the oven, and I'd like to enjoy a good meal while I watch the embarrassing butt whoopin' on the Mediacom replay (Nebraska's just started on their last scoring drive right now).  My thoughts on the game?  Quickly:


The defense let Nebraska run at will in the first half, but they manned up big time in the second half, forcing four "three and outs" while the offense kept crapping their pants.  Tough news for Carper and possibly Raven, but their replacements did good work out there.  The last drive did result in a capping touchdown for the Bugeaters, but my first impression (and the replay unfolding right now in front of me) was that our D was trying to strip the ball more than they were trying to make a defensive stop.  Just like Charlie Brown, they kept trying to "kick that ball", even though our offense was right there to pull the ball away at the last second every freakin' time. 


Keeler's article in the Sunday Register (BTW, nice job (not) out of the Rag for failing to put the stat lines in either Sunday or Monday's paper.  I could understand if the final was too late to make it into the Sunday paper, but come on, why not run it on Monday?  Too many articles about TO's disappointing visit to Philly?  Puh-leeze.) It addressed the fan's disappointment with the offensive pass interference call on Blythe in the third quarter.  Good job with the concept, but to use a golf metaphor; he lined up and hit a screaming 350 yard drive……………..right into the parking lot and through the windshield of his own Yugo.  I don't know of anyone who doesn't realize that Blythe uses his hands sometimes, so Keeler's anger towards ISU fans seems a bit contrived.  Especially when he failed to mention the (righteous) outrage over the officials' failure to review Flynn's apparent touchdown catch on the next possession.  Should we have gotten both calls?  No.  I figure that if you get 50% of the calls that are questionable you're doing alright, but considering that every call during that portion of the game went against us (the calls that "balanced out the stat sheet" and made it appear that the game was called evenly mostly happened on that last "mercy score" drive at the end of the game), I'd say that ISU fans have a reason to gripe about the officiating.  Would Flynn's touchdown have given us the momentum to win the game?  No, but when you change one play, you never know how the rest of the game is going to unfold after that point.  Nebraska might have taken more chances deep (causing them to score, or give up an INT), we might have played for field goals late instead of always going for the end zone, and our defense would have had another reason to keep Nebraska out of the end zone in the 4th quarter.  All in all, I'd have to say that Mr. Keeler's article gave a good impression of what actually happened in Ames; if you didn't see the game, know nothing about football, and suffered a severe head injury sometime in the late 90's. 


What is wrong with our offense?  I don't know if it's a scheme problem, a personnel problem, a coaching problem, or if God just hates us; but whatever the reason, it's starting to really get me angry.


Jamie Pollard and the Athletic Department did a great job of getting the crowd out for this game, and the fans really stayed with the team.  They didn't start leaving in big numbers until it became abundantly clear that our offensive game plan was about as effective as a North Korean ballistic missile.  Kudos to you, ISU fan.  Keep coming to the games and someday we'll have a full team to cheer for.


I'm going to go now, and I'll have another "didn't see the game" review for you next week, because I'll be at a wedding in Des Moines during most of the second half of the game at Oklahoma.  After our performance against Nebraska this weekend, I'm thinking that I'm getting off easy here.


I'll see you out in the lots, Clone fans.  Go Cyclones!

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