Dumm Thoughts: Never a Better Time To Be a Clone

Naturally, it's Iowa State Week and the smack talk has reached a fever pitch. Sure, ISU has managed the near miraculous feat of eeking out five straight victories against the Hawks. ISU has attended three straight bowl games. ISU was even selected to help kick off last year's football season at the Eddie Robinson Classic in KC. ISU even cracked the Top 10 for the first time ever in 2002. You see it everywhere: Iowa State fans proud of the fact that it's "a great time to be a Cyclone."

While I would like nothing better than to look ahead to Saturday's game -- many of the Cyclone faithful seem to want to look at the past now that they have entered into a "Renaissance period." So, rather than talking smack, let's look at the facts.

Let's just take the Iowa State year in review:

August 24, 2002: thousands of ISU fans who would had never attend a home game managed to find a more fun place than Ames, Iowa, on the first weekend of school. Kansas City area retailers cashed in as Zubaz pants, toothpicks, fireworks and the cheapest liquor flew off the shelves. Hair salons everywhere were deluged with requests for mullet haircuts. Story County, Iowa, license plates were seen heading the wrong way down a number of Plaza area streets. Two percent tips were left behind. Oh, and ISU failed to beat an extremely mediocre Florida State team at Arrowhead Stadium.

September 14, 2002: ISU beats Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, 36-31, after taking advantage of a number of turnovers and a possible Brad Banks wrist injury. ISU wins its fifth straight contest against Iowa. Senaca for Heisman!!! In other news, scientists discover an imbalance in the Earth's gravitational pull which have resulted in some abnormalities in the state of Iowa over the last five years. Scientists quickly corrected the problem.

October 19, 2002: No. 10 Iowa State travels into Norman, Okla., to take on the No. 2 Sooners. Reality sets in and ISU is dispatched 49-3. Heisman candidate Senaca Wallace looks stellar.

November 23, 2002: After going 4-4 in the Big 12 Season and losing to every ranked conference team they played, ISU hosts the University of Conneticut, which arrives to Ames with one of the nation's lowest rankings after recently moving to Division I-A football. ISU loses 37-20.

December 7, 2002: The Heisman Trophy is awarded to USC's Carson Palmer. Brad Banks of the University of Iowa comes in second. Senaca Wallace is not asked to attend the ceremony and does not finish in the top 10 of the balloting.

December 31, 2002: Literally dozens of excited ISU fans descend upon Boise, Idaho, for the Humanitarian Bowl presented by Larry Miller Automotive Group. ISU's amazing season and the new year is celebrated at the world's largest potato bar. It is a sunny, crisp 20 degrees at kickoff. Former Heisman candidate Senaca Wallace completes 13-of-38 passes and leads ISU to a 34-16 defeat at the hands of Boise State. Cyclone fans blame the blue turf. Meanwhile, Iowa fans pass out on the sun-drenched beaches of Miami.

January 22, 2003: Iowa State's basketball team loses on the road to Missouri. ISU basketball coach Larry Eustachy hits a few after-hours parties before heading home.

January 24, 2003: The United States Postal Inspection Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted ISU police after discovering an individual on the ISU computer network was having online conversations and soliciting sex from an individual whom he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. A search of assistant men's basketball coach Randy Brown's office results in the discovery of computer disks containing images of minors engaging in sexual acts. Brown surrendered two computers at his home and takes his leave from the team.

March 3, 2003: Randy Brown resigns from his position.

March 11, 2003: Brown is indicted by a Federal grand jury and charged with one count of receipt and one count of possession of images containing minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Brown was also originally charged with obstruction of justice after destroying over 30 disks in his office containing sexually explicit photos of minors.

April 30, 2003: It seems someone took a few photos of Larry Eustachy while he was at those parties behaving as any 47-year-old married coach should represent the university. Natty Light is the brew of choice for this coach who was the highest-paid employee in the State of Iowa. Larry is sent packing.

May 24, 2003: Jackson Vroman likes the chronic and gets caught holding.

May 29, 2003: ISU's best basketball player, Adam Haluska, withdraws from the university and transfers to Iowa.

August 30, 2003: Iowa State dominates Division I-AA Northern Iowa, 17-10. After being whipped for much of the game, ISU comes from behind and manages to sneak out a win. ISU fans blame the close game on Bennie Sapp.

That about brings us up to date. Oh wait there's also these factoids to mention:

  • Senior point guard Tim Barnes was charged with drunken driving along with possession of marijuana in an incident in Campustown June 25.

  • Jared Homan, a junior-to-be starter at center, pleaded guilty to charges of public intoxication in late March.

  • Clint Varley, who has exhausted his eligibility, was suspended in February after being arrested and charged with drunken driving.

  • Chris Alexander, a 7-1 center who played nine games last season before leaving Iowa State to enter the NBA Draft and be with his family in Chicago, was arrested for serious assault in October 2002. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

  • Omar Bynum, another Cyclone with no eligibility remaining, was arrested last June for operating while intoxicated and possession of marijuana.

  • The July 22, 2003, trials of football players Royce Hooks and Brent Nash for second degree sexual abuse, after being charged with assaulting their teammate's little sister. (Hooks was found not guilty on July 31 and charges were dismissed against Nash on August 8)

  • Last Sunday senior defensive end Tyson Smith was arrested and charged with domestic assault.

    As you can see, ISU fans do have a lot to be proud of.

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