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    origin of cy

    i remember looking this up way back in undergrad but have a terrible memory. i vaguely recall reading about us going and playing at NW and beating their heavily favored team and some newspaper headline made reference to a cyclone tearing through their city or something.

    but then i read recently a different story about actual tornadoes in the area long ago

    can someone post a link with the true story. i looked on Iowa State University and this is all they had (which is kind of pathetic).

    An industrious group of Iowa State University students, which included pep council president Chuck Duncan, brainstormed in 1954 about ways to build school spirit. The Pep Council got the go-ahead from ISU alumni director “Red” Barron, sports information director Harry Burrell and Cyclone Club director Ray Donels to pursue the creation of a mascot.

    Since a cyclone was difficult to depict in costume, a cardinal was selected from the cardinal and gold of the official school colors. A cardinal-like bird was introduced at the 1954 homecoming pep rally. A contest was conducted to select a name for the mascot, and the winning entry of Cy was submitted by 17 people. The first to submit the name, Mrs. Ed Ohlsen, won a cardinal and gold stadium blanket



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    Re: origin of cy

    the cardinals were the previous name of our athletic teams... or so i think i read somewhere


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    Re: origin of cy

    They "Cyclone" headline is the truth, and our old mascot was a cardinal, hence the color Cardinal, and "Cy".



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    Re: origin of cy

    I seem to remember ISC going to play Northwestern back in the early 1900's and the media claiming we went to Northwestern and whipped them around like a cyclone. So Cyclones stuck.



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    Re: origin of cy

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonus View Post
    the cardinals were the previous name of our athletic teams... or so i think i read somewhere
    I think this is a myth. I'd love to see a link to something official on the "cardinals.". It was one of school colors in the 50s when mascots were catching on and they had a contest to design a mascot and someone came up with the cardinal. A local factory, maybe textiles or something, either sponsored the contest or agreed to make the mascot. The "cyclones" name came much earlier and was indeed a reference to isu northwestern game in which Chicago tribune or some Chicago paper stated something to the effect of it was like an Iowa cyclone blows through.


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    Re: origin of cy

    Quote Originally Posted by everyyard View Post
    I think this is a myth. I'd love to see a link to something official on the "cardinals.". It was one of school colors in the 50s when mascots were catching on and they had a contest to design a mascot and someone came up with the cardinal. A local factory, maybe textiles or something, either sponsored the contest or agreed to make the mascot. The "cyclones" name came much earlier and was indeed a reference to isu northwestern game in which Chicago tribune or some Chicago paper stated something to the effect of it was like an Iowa cyclone blows through.
    i'd buy that... weren't the original colors silver and gold or something along those lines?


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    Re: origin of cy

    Quote Originally Posted by everyyard View Post
    I think this is a myth. I'd love to see a link to something official on the "cardinals.". It was one of school colors in the 50s when mascots were catching on and they had a contest to design a mascot and someone came up with the cardinal. A local factory, maybe textiles or something, either sponsored the contest or agreed to make the mascot. The "cyclones" name came much earlier and was indeed a reference to isu northwestern game in which Chicago tribune or some Chicago paper stated something to the effect of it was like an Iowa cyclone blows through.
    The Stories Behind 10 Weird College Mascots



  9. #9
    CyBer
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    Re: origin of cy

    Since a cyclone was difficult to depict in costume, a cardinal was selected from the cardinal and gold of the official school colors. A cardinal-like bird was introduced at the 1954 homecoming pep rally. A contest was conducted to select a name for the mascot, and the winning entry of Cy was submitted by 17 people. The first to submit the name, Mrs. Ed Ohlsen, won a cardinal and gold stadium blanket.[1]



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    Re: origin of cy

    so both are true? the article does not state it specifically, but is one to assume that isu played NW in 1895, the year of the tornadoes? or is that just coincidentally around the same time?

    "The "Cyclones" name dates back to 1895. That year, Iowa suffered an unusually high number of devastating cyclones (as tornadoes were called at the time). In September, the Iowa State football team traveled to Northwestern University and defeated its highly-regarded team by a score of 36-0. The next day, the Chicago Tribune's headline read "Struck by a Cyclone: It Comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town."[63] The article reported that "Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday." The nickname stuck and the Iowa State team had made a name for itself."



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    Re: origin of cy

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonus View Post
    i'd buy that... weren't the original colors silver and gold or something along those lines?
    Yes, prior to that we had silver and gold, but at the time cy came out in the 50's cardinal and gold were the colors. I have NEVER seen isu referee to as the cardinals, and I believe this to be a propagated urban legend among isu fans. It makes enough sense that it is easy to believe and pass on, but it is untrue.


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    Re: origin of cy

    This one is kind of interesting
    Mascot Monday: Cy | KC College Gameday - In Austin



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    Re: origin of cy

    Also, because this question always turns up next: no, tornadoes and cyclones aren't the same weather phenomena today, but back when this name came to U's the weather terminology wasn't standardized and tornadoes were often called cyclones.


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    Re: origin of cy

    I forget where I read this, but the official colors of IAG/ISC were once black, gold, and silver, but were ditched in favor of cardinal and gold because they found it extremely difficult to make letterman sweaters with the old colors. This was more than likely done prior to the game with Northwestern. The unanswered question (and thus the urban legend) would be if Iowa State was known as the Cardinals prior to that game.


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    Re: origin of cy

    Here's Cy, circa 1957, getting friendly with the Drake cheerleaders:



    From 1957: In honor of the upcoming football season, we bring you Cy the Cardinal from 1957. Here's what the caption says: "20-year-old Dick Mead of Davenport, all dressed up to serve as Iowa State College mascot, gets a close examination from a pair of pretty Drake cheerleaders before Iowa State's 92-71 basketball victory Thursday night at Ames. The co-eds are Karen Campbell (left), 18, of Clarion and Betsy Bonner, 19, of Grafton, Wis."
    Old-time photo of the day Aug. 27 :: dmJuice.com



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