On Campus: One Crazy Week

Holy Smokes. Goodness Gracious. UnBEEEEElievable. This past week has been one of the craziest I have ever experienced. In no uncertain terms, this week has been the equivalent of showing up drunk and riding the most exotic roller coaster with Mike Tyson continually punches you in the stomach.

I haven't had any time to think. My mind is as jumbled as the BCS standings. I feel like Jessica Simpson staring at a math problem. I can't make sense of a thing right now. In these cases, I tend to process information in short, incoherent phrases as complete thoughts are entirely too difficult. So, I present to you my rambling rambles.


-I had a strong suspicion Dan McCarney was going to be let go after the Kansas debacle, but when I officially heard the news it was a very hard thing to swallow. I do believe it was a necessary move for Jamie Pollard's vision to get to the next level, however, my stomach still flipped a few times when the news was put in stone.


-When I regained some semblance of thought, my mind reverted back to 12 years ago when my dad lugged me up to Mac's first game at Iowa State against Ohio. I was only nine years old and at the time I went to the games to show off my blazing speed on the empty hillsides. That is when I discovered Troy Davis. His second half performance was incredible and for the first time I can remember, I actually had more fun watching the game instead of playing on the hillside. Now, 12 years later I will be watching Mac's final game in the press-box. It is astounding how time passes, people change and moments happen in that time-span.


-Timing is crazy. Only two days after Dan McCarney announced he is leaving ISU, Greg McDermott coached his first win as a Cyclone and Cael Sanderson won his first match.


-Mike Taylor plays the game of basketball like a kid hopped up on pixie stix. You know those plastic tubes filled with pure sugar. I picture Mike before the game rummaging through his pillow sack of Big League Chew, Tootsie Rolls, and fun size snickers bars. It's great to see someone who is enjoying themselves while playing a "game."


-Cory and Wesley make it very difficult on a broadcasting team. Somebody needs to come up with a differentiating moniker for one of the freshmen forwards. They are starting to sound like a pharmaceutical company. And goodness knows, that is not good.  


-I'm mildly uncomfortable with the NFL's all-time leading rusher participating with guys like Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence to win a dance competition. Call me insensitive. Was Doogie Howser already booked?


-My favorite part of broadcasting the games on Friday and Saturday night was the reading of the beer commercial liners during the game. I felt like I should break out my best Harry Carey or Mike Shannon impersonation.


-I can't decide if I am a Kelvin Sampson fan or not. Something bugs me about Kelvin. Then again it might just be his former association with Edjuardo Najera that still stings me.


-Iowa's Kurt Looby looks nothing like I pictured him. I'll leave it at that.


-I'm really going to miss Ryan Baum and Austin Flynn at press conferences. There aren't two more honest, direct individuals on the team. Both will make fantastic coaches some day.


-The TV show Friday Night Lights is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I mean who can turn away from a show where the paralyzed quarterback's girlfriend is having "relations" with the fullback, who happens to be the quarterback's best friend? I know I'm four years removed from high-school, but where was this type of action when I was younger? I thought it was a big deal in high-school when one of the band members got caught drinking on a cruise boat. I guess I should have lived in Texas.


-Lou Holtz is terrible. Doug Gottlieb is worse.


-Iowa State Journalism professors don't understand that covering the biggest sports story at ISU this decade is a legitimate excuse to miss class. You'd hate to have some real world experience.


-Here's a question that has been nagging at me: What would this team's record be if Seneca Wallace was the quarterback?


- I guess this year's ISU game was Iowa's Super Bowl.


-Anybody else excited at the potential of next year's basketball team? Think about this lineup:





F-Wesley J (plus 20 pounds)

F- Thompson (plus a year of maturity)

Brackins, Cory J, Dunson, Marsden, Diante, Lucca coming off the bench. This rebuilding job is advancing quicker than even I thought was possible.


-I would love to see Iowa State leave Jack Trice with a win on Saturday and put to rest all of the bad vibes and negativity that have sprouted up this season. How great would it be to see Dan McCarney doused with a bath of Gatorade just like he was in his first game, just like he was in ISU's first win over Iowa in 15 years, and just like he was in Iowa State's first ever bowl win. He deserves it. So do the seniors.


-The most memorable part of the week and the thing I will take with me the rest of my life about Dan McCarney happened on Monday night. Sensing this may be the last time to be around the man that made ISU respectable again, I traveled to Applebee's to take in the call-in show. When Coach Mac walked in the place erupted and gave him a standing ovation. There was barely any room to stand as assistant coaches, players, friends and family gathered to give Mac a final send-off in his last of many lasts this week. Mac could have just accepted the applause, finished the show, and went off into the sunset. But that isn't how he operates. He did his show in as professional of manner as he always does and thanked each and every one of the callers. He was only getting started.


During one of the breaks, the manager of Applebee's announced over the loud speaker that, "Coach McCarney is going to buy everybody in the house a round of drinks and as much cake as they want." And indeed that is what he did. The 250 plus folks at Applebee's received a beverage and some delicious dessert on the man that had already given so much to Iowa State University. It was a gesture that characterized his entire era of Cyclone football. He always looked out for others first. He didn't do it to show off; he did it because he loves this place and the people. After the show was done, he stayed and chatted with folks for over an hour. He even posed for a few pictures. As I sat in my booth watching this unfold, I smiled. Even in the most difficult of times, Mac found the positive. It is a lesson I will always remember. Thanks for everything Coach. We'll miss you.    



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