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  1. #1
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    Tre4ISU's Avatar
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    State of the Fanbase (long)

    Let me preface this entire post by saying I am not a "long time" Cyclone fan. I did not go through the good years as an avid fan. I didn't witness, in person, anything Seneca, Troy or JJ did. I didn't have any of that. I grew up with little-to-no athletic influence in my life. My dad didn't care about any sport unless it was golf and even then, it was as a casual interest. He didn't play, he just admired the technicality of the game. My grandfather was a casual observer of the Packers. The only influence I had was from two uncles who attended ISU. So, I was an ISU fan in regards to the Iowa/ISU battle but, in my heart, I was a Michigan fan. I started following sports around 1996-97. Charles Woodson had won the Heisman. Michigan had won the National Championship. They were always on TV. With no influence around me, I was free to cheer for whoever I saw the most of and it was them. This also explains my love for the 49ers, Mariners and Sixers. It's obvious I didn't pick teams. I picked Woodson, Rice/Young, The Kid and The Answer.

    I came to ISU in 2007 when I was 20. I had no idea that my fandom, both in terms of who I rooted for as well as how hard I rooted was going to change. Gene Chizik was here now. Yes, Iowa State had somehow lured one of, if not the biggest, candidates for a head coaching job to Ames. There were some who were still sore that their beloved McCarney had been let go. Some looked at this as our next step to becoming a program that could more consistently challenge. The excitement was high. Relative to what? I don't know, but it seemed high. Sedrick Johnson went against his mother and came to ISU. We grabbed Leonard Johnson. Times, they were a changin'. We were about to do things on a consistent basis Iowa State hadn't seen. We beat Iowa and it amped up even more. Then the rest 2007 happened and lead to less excitement. What excitement there was wasn't about football for most. It was about tailgating and partying how messed up you can get. Maybe we could beat Iowa but for the most part it wasn't about football. It was about being the best gameday atmosphere on the planet with bad football to follow."Win or lose, we still Booze" "We are a drinking program with a football problem" Those were our mottos. Not many cared because, hell, they were having fun. The next year was worse. After winning two games, rumors floated that Auburn, yes that school that had been a powerhouse in the SEC was interested in a 5-19 coach from ISU. We laughed at the thought that someone would even float out such garbage. Then it happened. The Chiz left the building.

    What has happened since then, to me has been impressive. We hired a guy from Central Iowa who choked up at his initial press conference. The emotion there was something you didn't see from the previous coach. Chizik was a CEO. Paul Rhoads is football's Tony Robbins. He is the quintessential college football coach. More than any other sport, college football thrives on emotion. The players and fans aren't like others. Somehow, some way, in 4 years Paul Rhoads has changed this fanbase. Like I said, when I got to ISU, it wasn't about football. Now it is. The same people are all there, however instead of drinking through the afternoon games they are now buying tickets. Instead of everyone filing in 15 minutes late, the place is full for the band. Everyone talks about the Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma State post game speeches. That isn't the one I remember. It isn't the most powerful to me. The one I remember is the one Rhoads gave to the gridiron club a year ago. He told the club there would come a day when you won't be able to find a ticket to Jack Trice. Those days are approaching. It isn't about the party and drinking anymore. Don't get it wrong, we will still do plenty of that and always will but, for a lot of people, football is now the priority. We care about the games. Some of this is because you don't know what will happen when you watch this team. There aren't half full stadiums anymore. If we had played that OSU team 4 years ago, no one would have had hope. Now we do.

    I have been critical of our fanbase in the past. I'm not anymore. I keep in touch with numerous college friends and other people who were ISU fans. I can see the change in them. We aren't getting together for a reunion of sorts on October 27th to party and drink. We are going to watch ISU beat Baylor. I'm not going to the WVU game to have a hell of a time with their fanbase. I'm going to watch the next upset. When I go to the Oklahoma, game I'm not going to watch us get our teeth kicked in and drink a bunch like I did in 2007 for the Texas game. I'm going to watch the next great moment. Will all of those happen? Maybe, maybe not, but dammit, I'm not missing it if it does. We have gone from a fanbase who hopes good and expects the worst to expecting great and hoping for even better. You can look at attendance and ticket sales to see this.

    This is just my observation from five short years as a die hard Cyclone fan. The fanbase has changed little by little. Paul Rhoads did that. His passion got to the players. Once we saw it in them, it got to us. Now we have a new videoboard and a new football facility. As a kid, I picked winners. I picked ISU in 2007, not because they won. I picked them because I have an actual connection to them and now they are becoming winners. It's a much better feeling than Michigan has ever given me even though the success hasn't been there. I watched a program and a fanbase completely change. It was a lot better ride than any bandwagon will give you, trust me.


    I'm on Twitter too: Tre4ISU

    Or so I have read.

  2. #2
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    damn dude... glad to see you on board




    Self proclaimed 2012 CF Newcomer of the Year

  3. #3
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Yeah it is a great time to be a cyclone fan.



  4. #4
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Very nice.


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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Well put, I see these thing happening as well. Still have a ways to go though



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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)




  7. #7
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Well that was inspiring, and I am being serious. Great write up man. I grew up in Eastern Iowa in the 80's, I wore a Hawkeye jersey to church in 1985 after they beat Minnesota to qualify for the Rose Bowl, I believe I was 9 at the time. My whole family are Hawk fans except my sister whom I converted. Long story short, I came to ISU in 2000 and too felt a special connection that I cant explain. Go State and welcome aboard. Now lets kick Tulsa's ***.



  8. #8
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Momentum is building, hopefully it ends with the results we want.


    I LIEK CHOCOLATE MILK - The Partisan Bat

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  9. #9
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    I'm somewhat like you, except my fandom started in the Fall of 2004 when I first came to ISU. I wasn't here for Seneca or Troy. And like you, I saw a somewhat defeated fanbase that had seen its football team come apart since the disastrous OU game in 2002. Knowing that the previous year the football program had gone 2-10, I kinda laughed at the idea of getting student tickets, but it didn't matter. I loved watching football, and I thought "if this is what there is to do every Saturday during the fall, I may as well jump on board."

    From the opening 23-0 win against UNI, I was hooked. I saw the energy surrounding the program build around two almost-division titles, and that energy peaked when Chizik was hired. The two years he was head coach were some of the darkest I'd seen, and after he left for Auburn I didn't know how long it'd take to recover.

    But the state that the program was between 2004-06, I don't think it even comes close to how it is today. Rhoads has injected a burst of enthusiasm in the football program that surpasses what McCarney was capable of.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

  10. #10
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    The fact that somebody would even bother to make this post is exactly why I'm so glad I didn't end up going to Minnesota like I always assumed I would as a kid. When I got to ISU in 2005 I had NO CLUE about college football. Nobody in Minnesota cares about the Gophers. They've got a gorgeous new stadium and can't give tickets away. There is no emotional investment and I think it would have been sad to miss out on that. There is just something about connecting with a school and a team that will probably always be the underdog and then seeing them start to succeed. It's good for the soul.


    Last edited by MNCyGuy; 08-30-2012 at 04:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Its amazing when you go back and look at attendance numbers.

    Look at 2000. Our winningest team ever had these attendances:

    September 2 11:30 a.m.[13] Ohio* Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA FSN[14] W 25-15 34,385
    September 9 1:00 p.m.[15] UNLV* Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA W 37-22 35,408
    September 16 11:10 a.m. at Iowa* Kinnick StadiumIowa City, IA (Cy-Hawk Trophy) ESPN[16] W 24-14 70,397
    September 30 6:00 p.m.[17] at Baylor Floyd Casey StadiumWaco, TX W 31-17 31,126
    October 7 2:30 p.m.[18] #1 Nebraska Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA ABC[19] L 27-49 50,074
    October 14 7:00 p.m. at Oklahoma State Lewis FieldStillwater, OK W 33-26 41,310
    October 21 2:30 p.m. Texas A&M Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA ABC[20] L 7-30 48,931
    October 28 6:00 p.m. Missouri Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA (Telephone Trophy) FSN[21] W 39-20 46,599
    November 4 1:00 p.m. at #15 Kansas State KSU StadiumManhattan, KS FSN[22] L 10-56 50,114
    November 11 2:30 p.m.[23] at Colorado Folsom FieldBoulder, CO FSN[24] W 35-27 46,430
    November 18 1:00 p.m. Kansas Jack Trice StadiumAmes, IA W 38-17 36,725


    We couldnt even clear 35,000 for our OPENER!

    2002 isn't much better, barely clearing 40k in our first 2 games.

    Now we'll have well over 50,000 for our first game, and it wouldnt surprise me if we end up clearing that mark for every game this season. The fans are responding. The stadium is full (to the point where if you look at this 10 year trend it says we absolutely need to do the SEZ, but that's another thread). If the team continues to improve things are going to get really fun.


    Last edited by alarson; 08-30-2012 at 04:08 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Awesome post Tre, that actually got me really jacked up!

    It's been a fun ride so far, it will only get more fun as we move forward. We have a bright future!



  13. #13
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Excellent post.



  14. #14
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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    +1 for not being a meltdown post.



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    Re: State of the Fanbase (long)

    Great post! Glad to have you on board!


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