Vander Sanden's Top 5 - The Season Finale

It has been a long week for former Iowa State football players. Emotion is running high and the gas is running on empty. In this piece, former Cyclone team captain Luke Vander Sanden gives five reasons why fans need to show up to Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, from a first hand account.

The last week of the college football regular season is here, but not with a lot of distractions and sadness coming out of Iowa State's Football program.  This week I focus my efforts on the top five reasons to come out and support the Cyclone football team of 2006.  Sit back, absorb what I have to say, and hear me out.



1.  Coach Mac


The first reason that Cyclone fans should pack Jack Trice Stadium is for the man, Dan McCarney.  There are a lot of negative fans out there, and fans that are glad to see him gone.  Everyone is entitled their own opinion, but personally, we are losing a hell of a coach.  So why come to support the 3-8 Cyclones?  Well, Coach McCarney has done so much for Iowa State University, not just for the football program.  He has been across the state numerous times on club outings, greeting fans, showing he cares, and most importantly, giving fans the time of day.  Not too many division one head coaches will do that on a continuous basis.  We all need not to forget how much of a dump Iowa State was when Coach McCarney took over.  It might have been one of the worst programs in all of college football when he took over.  He brought back winning, bowl games, respect, dedication, excitement, and most importantly, bowl championships.  He is a man of integrity, and runs a first class program.  Cyclone fans owe it the Coach McCarney to support his squad of 2006 for all the success he has brought to ISU.


2.  Players


The players need Cyclone fans' support in the finale against Missouri this Saturday in Jack Trice Stadium.  These guys are full-time students, and full-time football players.  Sure, everyone dreams of being in these guys shoes, but it isn't always easy.  The balance of football and academics can easily get overwhelming, and it takes a special person to do what they do.  These guys put in so much time, sweat, hard work, and sacrifices into each week.  These guys don't like the results.  I guarantee you that it eats at them more than it does to fans.  Trust me, I have been there.  Also, Cyclone fans need to send out the senior class the right way.  Cyclone fans need to pack the stadium and support this group of seniors that have invested four to five years of their live to eat, sleep, dream, and live ISU Football.  They deserve the credit for their hard work, their success, and their guidance to Iowa State's program.


3.  Continued Support


I will make this one short and sweet.  Cyclone fans need to be true fans and come out and get after it tailgating week in and week out; rain, shine, sleet, snow, tornados, wins, or losses.  Cyclone Fans need to build a community of fans…fans that rally around their team.  I have learned that being a fan is my personal escape from my work week.  I have looked forward to each week, like many people do.  Continued support to the program is the biggest attribute fans can give an athletic program outside of funds.



4.  Assistant Coaches


These guys deserve a lot of credit for their hard work too.  Many people don't realize how much time, effort, and commitment it takes to be an assistant coach.  Not only are you a coach, but you are a mentor for your players all the time, as well as you are a dad, father, husband, etc.  These coaches work their butts off to prepare 18-22 year olds 350+ days of the year.  Long hours, criticism, wins, losses, etc.  They deserve a ton of credit for their efforts.


5.  Cyclone Family


I hear a lot of fans always talking about being a Cyclone Family.  A family is very supportive through the good times and the bad times.  I don't see a lot of support from the Cyclone fans as a whole.  You want to build something special?  You want to be part of something special?  The answer is to show up week in and week out, no matter how the season is going.  That is how you build a "true" fan base.  That is why the Cyclone Family has to pack Jack Trice Stadium…to show everyone what being a Cyclone is all about.  To show the coaches and players you appreciate their efforts.



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