Day After Monday Musings: August 7 Edition
You know the song "Monday, Monday." The next line in this rather annoying song that was performed by "The Mamas and Papas" back in 1966 is, "so good to me."
Yesterday - Monday, Monday - was not so good to me. It was hectic. It was crazy. At times it was obnoxious. Hence why Monday Musings has been pushed to Tuesday on this fine week in August. Thank you for your patience Cyclone Nation. I know that not reading my shallow, borderline obvious observations on Iowa State athletics and the world around me on a Monday like you're used to had to be difficult (If you can't tell, I'm spewing with sarcasm today).
Hey before I get started, I wanted to take a moment to remind you all about a couple of big events we have coming up here at Cyclone Fanatic. This Sunday, Austen Arnaud, Tron Smith and I will return to my hometown of Clarinda, Iowa for a big preseason kickoff party at J's Pizza and Steakhouse located on the square.
Question: Have you ever eaten a pizza at J's in Clarinda? If not, you've still yet to experience heaven on earth. I'm fond of kicking it custom style and opting for pepperoni, sausage and black olives. Yeah buddy.
Anyway, the event will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m. Tron, Austen and I will all put on a bit of a program and then we'll just hang out some more while talking Iowa State football. It should be fun to get members of the Cyclone Nation together in western Iowa for a change. You don't have to be a Clarinda native to make this event either. I wanted to hold a Cyclone Fanatic event somewhere other than Des Moines for a change. Hope to see you all soon!
Don't worry Des Moines. We're not forgetting about the Capital City. On Saturday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m., we'll host the inaugural Cyclone Fanatic kickoff party at Kippy's Place in Elkhart. Heck, we've even got a live band coming to this event. Be there!
ON IOWA STATE FOOTBALL...
--- Here's a little sneak preview as to one of the features that will be on the new Cyclone Fanatic. Last week, I was inserting the football scholarship chart where one area of the Iowa State football program really stood out to me. That's the offensive line. Not only does Paul Rhoads and Co. have a wealth of experience coming back for 2012, check out this nugget. There are currently 11 freshmen and sophomore offensive linemen in Iowa State's program (that's before factoring potential and likely redshirts from the latest recruiting class). Rhoads' recruiting plan to build this program from the ground up really is just starting to make its way onto the football field. We saw glimpses of it last year but 2012 is when this will really start to shine. I talked to offensive line coach Bill Bleil last week at Media Day and he confirmed to me that going heavy in the trenches was Rhoads' plan from day one. The best part is that so far, we don't know of any "misses" from that recruiting class three years ago. In my opinion, Tom Farniok is a future pro. Jacob Gannon has already proven that he can play Big 12 football. From what I've been told, Shaban Dika was a potential starter in 2012 before injuring his knee...again. I've never heard a negative comment made about Ben Loth or Bob Graham. Depth. You've gotta love it.
--- I found it interesting that freshman kicker Cole Netten isn't allowed to talk to media, for now at least. Netten was the first Cyclone I targeted during Media Day last week. I had a gauntlet of fun questions to ask the rookie. For real - I was going to do a fun piece on a local kid. But he very kindly told me that he wasn't allowed to chit chat. I'm cool with that. He's a true freshman at one of the most critical positions on the field and I'm still convinced demons float around the meeting room for Iowa State kickers. It's a good thing that football is moving out of the Jacobson Building right? Hopefully those ghosts don't follow. In all seriousness, Netten is a grade A kid. I watched him during Friday's open practice. It doesn't mean much but I thought he looked good during the 10 minutes I watched. Rumor has it, he cleared the uprights and busted the window of a nearby car...Sucks to be that guy.
--- Speaking of cars, this has nothing to do with Iowa State football but I thought that the last blurb was a fine segway. So my wife and I were driving home from Ames on Friday night and a semi blew a tire in front of me. And there went the bumper of our Wilson Toyota Camry. And the worst part? My wife was following me. If you guess that the tire bounced off of the Camry and into my Tacoma, you're correct! Gotta love good luck right? This is one of the reasons why my Monday suuuucked. Big thanks to my main men Tron Smith and Adam Gray for making life much, much easier over the weekend. These are two great friends and businessmen alike.
--- I get this question a lot from fanatics: Who is your favorite Cyclone to interview and why?
I don't pick current favorites but if I did, Shontrelle Johnson would be up there on the list. Talk about a guy who just loves to live life. In fact, I'm not sure that I've ever seen Shontrelle NOT smile. He's constantly got that grin on his face. The dude can run with the football to by the way.
--- How much deeper is Iowa State's defense now compared to two years ago? Remember when Matt Morton had to start in Kinnick Stadium in 2010? Morton, who is now a redshirt senior, isn't even listed on Iowa State's two-deep. I'm not singling out Morton in a negative way - just pointing out the positive in how far depth, especially at a position where Iowa State doesn't appear to have a ton, has come.
--- Having said that, after having a few conversations last week, I really think that Jeremiah George is finally ready to go. You'll see a lot of him in 2012.
--- Iowa State's wide receivers have been a hot topic so far this offseason. I think that this group has more talent than it did a year ago. But will it produce? I don't know. I just don't know.
--- Props to CBS on snagging commentator Doug Gottlieb from ESPN. Iowa State's fan base went to war with Gottlieb last season. This was comical to watch but even so, I'm a Doug Gottlieb fan. His opinions aren't fabricated. He's very knowlegable. CBS hit a home run. Their college basketball lineup is top notch.
--- I got a new cell phone last week. It's big. Too big to fit in my pocket at times in fact. So what'd I do? Fanatics - I've reached the point in my life where convenience is more important than style. If you see me rocking the cell phone clip in the very near future, don't be hatin'.
--- And last but not least, here's a fresh update on the new and improved Cyclone Fanatic. We were supposed to launch this thing last Wednesday. That obviously didn't happen. I then pushed it back to this Wednesday. That ain't gonna happen. Realistically, we could launch today and get away with it. We've just put so much time, money and hard work into this thing that I really don't want to do anything other than right the first time. So sit tight. I'm hoping that over the weekend or early next week this will all be over with. I personally cannot wait to be a sports writer again.