Friday, October 4, 2013

2000 THE 13TH

Much like Friday the 13th, 2013 has been oh so haunted for ISU athletics.  First there was this:

Then there was this:

And then:

Which resulted in:

And that was just basketball.  Iowa State had a basketball season in which they had gained an incredible amount of momentum come to an abrupt halt and was once again the subject of controversy.

After a summer to simmer down and get excited for football Iowa State started the fall campaign with a couple of complete clunkers to two in-state schools.  Just when all of the wind was out of our football sails Iowa State shows up in prime time on ESPN to take it to ESPN's darling Texas.  In a position for the first ever win over Texas in Ames 2000 the 13th struck again:

Down in the dumps, the Iowa State faithful was reminded why they care so much about their athletes and their coaches:

Times like last night are reminders of why I care more about Iowa State athletics than I do anything that happens in the sports world.  I was asked by a student the other day if I would rather have my fantasy football teams win or the Cyclones win.  That, however, got me thinking on what I would be willing to come out on the short end of in order for Iowa State to win.  The answer was a whole hell of a lot.  I've been an Iowa State fan from the time Kelvin Cato and company advanced to the Sweet 16.  My dedication cemented during my four years as a student.  
Times like last night are why college sports are great.  You can watch professional sports an awe in the athleticism on display.  You can watch college athletics and cheer for YOUR school.  Now outside of Iowa State football, my allegiances are shifting toward the NFL.  However, I will always, always place ISU at the top of my list for better or worse.  
Mornings like this morning remind me how much I care.  The entire day was filled with comments (mostly positive, some snarky) from colleagues about the game last night.  Sports allegiances have become part of my identity and I'm ok with that.  Watching events like the above are tough to take.  Watching events like last night make me question why I keep setting myself up for this disappointment.  Those thoughts don't last long as I come to the realization that I don't cheer for Iowa State because its the hip thing to do or because they are the best in the business.  I cheer for them because I am invested.  I am invested not only with season tickets, time and money but most importantly an education that has allowed me to do something I enjoy.
I will continue to watch because you never know when something special might happen.  It is an abnormal amount of optimism that I have fallen victim to my entire life as a fan.  When ISU gets press like they have recently it makes me optimistic one day they will be talking about something big.

Here is to hoping the next recognition is for something that was rightfully earned and not taken away.

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