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    This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    So, late last summer I wrote a post that was similar to this about the football program and what had happened over the last few years. It was simply about how I had changed as a fan and how the culture had changed since I entered ISU in 2007. As I have mulled over this loss for 24 hours, this basketball season has done the same thing to me in an accelerated manor.

    Let me first start off with stating I don't remember the heartache of the MSU game. I vaguely remember the Hampton game. I do know that I watched ISU lose in the final second but I wasn't a huge Cyclone fan. It just happened to be the game that was on. I don't remember the Eustachy incident vividly and I don't remember the struggles of Morgan. My Cyclone sports life has been sheltered, to put it mildly.

    When I came into ISU in 2007 there was certainly the same amount of excitement around the basketball team as there was football. People still cared and believe that under Greg, things would be fine in the long run. Obviously, that didn't happen. He compiled a losing record over the next three years, two of which with me as a student and we know the rest. When I left ISU there was no doubt the interest in ISU basketball had diminished. Then there was the next year which went no better than the previous two and basketball fans were livid. I would guess 90% of the fans wanted him fired and the other 10% (including me) still naively believed this would work. Then Creighton came calling. I remember there being a sense of relief in the fanbase because even though most wanted Greg gone, they didn't wish him harm. So with him gone, we speculated on who the coach would be. Would it be Gillispie? Would it be a young up and comer? No, it would be a guy with no literal coaching experience but a guy loved in Iowa and a guy with a basketball background in NBA. I remember thinking and saying this was a bad hire. Why did we hire a guy with no experience? We can do better than this I thought. I was wrong.

    We went through the first season which was better than anything in the previous 4 years and there was optimism Hoiberg had turn Diante Garrett into a borderline NBA guy in a single year. He had at least made the team fun to watch. We had guys with huge accolades sitting on the bench waiting to play the next year. Things we looking up. Then came year 2. This year we got to watch the most unique player in the NCAA do things you never see a 6-9 270 lb guy do. We watched Chris ALlen take his second chance and lead a team from the PG position. We watched a PSU transfer lock everyone down. There was hope and there was a reason to tune into this team. Not only did they win, they were fun to watch when they lost.

    Now we are done with year 3 and I finally stopped ******** long enough to ask myself where the program is and how do I feel about it compared to three years ago at this time. I am a fan of other college teams outside of ISU. One of my teams became the first to lose to a D-II football team when they came in ranked 3rd in the Nation. When you watch sports as closely as I do and cheer for numerous teams, you find heartbreak now and again. This basketball season, without a doubt was the most heartbreaking season from any team in any sport I can remember. The fact of the matter is this team was so close to winning a B12 Championship it isn't funny. We lost a game on a banked 3, a charge not called, numerous other late game situations and to end it all, a poor call in a close game with one of the nations hottest teams with a guy who was four for his last twenty hitting a three with a half of a second left. I'll be honest here. When we were down 13 without our best defender and arguably our most clutch shooter, I thought it was over. Then there was a stop. Then a bucket. Another stop another bucket and pretty soon I saw a ball heading Tyrus McGees way in the corner. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. Not one. I yelled tied game before he caught the ball and sure enough, we had a tie game. When Aaron Craft missed the frint end of two consecutive one and ones, I thought to myself "We are finally going to catch a break. This is it." Then he hit the dagger.

    It seemed like every week was a new way to lose a close game the team deserved to win. Watching the seniors after their college career had come to a close was heartbreaking. This group was special and not just because of where they have taken the program. It was because this is a group of kids Hoiberg took a chance on, was questioned on, and then made into a team that won and was exciting to watch night in and night out. Fred was adamant on his pride in these guys. They were awesome. From Lucious keeping us in the first half of the game yesterday to Clyburn pulling reverse oops while being fouled, to Tyrus dropping bomb after bomb on KU, to Booker coming in and being a physical presence to Babb locking down any guard who dared try to score and to McBeth being a vocal presence on this team.

    I now really truly care about the basketball program. I feel like I am invested for the first time. Hilton Magic is back. ISU is expected to beat top 10 teams regularly. No one doubts Hoibergs strategies anymore. As disappointed as I was in that loss, I finally care about where this program is heading and am optimistic. I suppose it's like that saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all." Somehow, some way, being demoralized numerous times during a season has made me even more interested in what's in store for this program in the future. I know that a lot of people have always cared more than I have and to be honest, I have felt bad about that. It felt like I wasn't doing my part. Now I feel like I am one of those people and in some strange way it feels good.


    Last edited by Tre4ISU; 03-25-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    The way I felt hearing the last 30 seconds on the radio yesterday tells me all I need to know about how invested I am in this program.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    One of my all time favorite quotes:

    “The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.”


    -Michael Lewis, Moneyball


    --Luck of the Cyrish--






  4. #4
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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tre4ISU View Post
    I now really truly care about the basketball program. I feel like I am invested for the first time. Hilton Magic is back. ISU is expected to beat top 10 teams regularly. No one doubts Hoibergs strategies anymore. As disappointed as I was in that loss, I finally care about where this program is heading and am optimistic. I suppose it's like that saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all." Somehow, some way, being demoralized numerous times during a season has made me even more interested in what's in store for this program in the future. I know that a lot of people have always cared more than I have and to be honest, I have felt bad about that. It felt like I wasn't doing my part. Now I feel like I am one of those people and in some strange way it feels good.
    Welcome, Tre! What a great post. This part in bold goes along with being a fan of even the greatest college basketball programs; it's an up and down game. One of the things that I've always loved about the sport compared to football is that you can absorb a few bad losses and learn from them without killing your season. We had a few clunkers this year, but we learned from them and bounced back, and until there was less than a second left on the clock yesterday, we still had a chance at winning the national title. In football, one bad loss (even if it's by a field goal as time expires), and you're pretty much screwed. Basketball is much more "forgiving".



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    What bothered me about the loss wasn't how I felt since, to be honest, it's like water off a ducks back for me anymore. It was how much my heart ached for the players. That really hit me. Like I said, I took the loss of the game in stride but I couldn't shake how horrible I felt for the players and staff. Especially Babb. It still has me shaken. We have more ISU teams to root for but they are DONE (seniors) playing Cyclone basketball...forever.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by mike4cy View Post
    One of my all time favorite quotes:

    “The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.”


    -Michael Lewis, Moneyball
    Love that one!



  7. #7
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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cydkar View Post
    What bothered me about the loss wasn't how I felt since, to be honest, it's like water off a ducks back for me anymore. It was how much my heart ached for the players. That really hit me. Like I said, I took the loss of the game in stride but I couldn't shake how horrible I felt for the players and staff. Especially Babb. It still has me shaken. We have more ISU teams to root for but they are DONE (seniors) playing Cyclone basketball...forever.
    Very well said, I agree.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cydkar View Post
    What bothered me about the loss wasn't how I felt since, to be honest, it's like water off a ducks back for me anymore. It was how much my heart ached for the players. That really hit me. Like I said, I took the loss of the game in stride but I couldn't shake how horrible I felt for the players and staff. Especially Babb. It still has me shaken. We have more ISU teams to root for but they are DONE (seniors) playing Cyclone basketball...forever.
    I guess I would say the same. The thing is that I didn't care when Craig, Diante or Chris played their last game and I cared for these guys when they did.


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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tre4ISU View Post
    I remember there being a sense of relief in the fanbase because even though most wanted Greg gone, they didn't wish him harm. So with him gone, we speculated on who the coach would be. Would it be Gillispie? Would it be a young up and comer? No, it would be a guy with no literal coaching experience but a guy loved in Iowa and a guy with a basketball background in NBA. I remember thinking and saying this was a bad hire. Why did we hire a guy with no experience? We can do better than this I thought. I was wrong.
    I am glad there are new fans for ISU and all, but hearing Fred referred to as "a guy" shows me how "new" fans should learn some history. Saying Fred is some guy is like saying Babe Ruth is some Yankee baseball player.

    It is like saying Johnny Orr is some coach. Fred is a huge part of ISU and ISU a huge part of Fred. Maybe it is because we were classmates, but he is too much a part of ISU basketball history to be referred to by anyone as some guy.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tre4ISU View Post
    I guess I would say the same. The thing is that I didn't care when Craig, Diante or Chris played their last game and I cared for these guys when they did.
    What about Scotty? I still miss watch Thug Life on the court.


    ďUrgency,Ē Rhoads said. ďThatís exactly what I told our staff. Itís exactly what I told our players. Urgency in getting your job done. Thatís in a 100 percent rate of speed at executing your responsibility ó whether itís a fit, whether itís a tackle, whether itís a route, whether itís a cut-off block. Everybody needs a little bit more urgency in coaching and playing.Ē


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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tre4ISU View Post
    I guess I would say the same. The thing is that I didn't care when Craig, Diante or Chris played their last game and I cared for these guys when they did.
    That is well said, and much how I feel. I can't figure out why, but I specifically feel about Babb and McGee. I'm not sure why.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret44 View Post
    What about Scotty? I still miss watch Thug Life on the court.
    The center court kiss gave me goosebumps.



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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret44 View Post
    What about Scotty? I still miss watch Thug Life on the court.
    His behavior was just over the top. Kidding. Maybe it had to do with how it we lost his final game. I don't really know. I don't remember feeling bad for him though.


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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by cyeah View Post
    I am glad there are new fans for ISU and all, but hearing Fred referred to as "a guy" shows me how "new" fans should learn some history. Saying Fred is some guy is like saying Babe Ruth is some Yankee baseball player.

    It is like saying Johnny Orr is some coach. Fred is a huge part of ISU and ISU a huge part of Fred. Maybe it is because we were classmates, but he is too much a part of ISU basketball history to be referred to by anyone as some guy.
    You missed the point of phrasing it that way evidently. To clarify, I was trying to convey that the hire was somewhat unexpected and it was questioned. Sorry for the confusion.


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    Re: This Season Has Left Me Caring (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tre4ISU View Post
    His behavior was just over the top. Kidding. Maybe it had to do with how it we lost his final game. I don't really know. I don't remember feeling bad for him though.
    You could tell his love for Iowa State Though This quote says it all:
    “Hilton’s been good for me, And just like in real life, anytime a girl is good to you, you've got to let her know. I was just telling her thanks.”


    ďUrgency,Ē Rhoads said. ďThatís exactly what I told our staff. Itís exactly what I told our players. Urgency in getting your job done. Thatís in a 100 percent rate of speed at executing your responsibility ó whether itís a fit, whether itís a tackle, whether itís a route, whether itís a cut-off block. Everybody needs a little bit more urgency in coaching and playing.Ē


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