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  1. #1
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    The rest of the story

    The history of ISU football that I've never heard before and I'm guessing you haven't either.

    In 1894, a terrible tornado hit the Iowa town of Grinnell. During the summer and early fall of 1895, a number of "Cyclones" continued to wreak havoc on the state of Iowa. Hence, when Iowa State's (then called Iowa Agricultural College) football team blew away highly-touted Northwestern that fall, the winners were likened to a cyclone. The name stuck as this group of Cyclones helped propel Iowa State into the world of big-time football.

    An organized group of athletes first represented Iowa State in 1892. In 1894, College President William M. Beardshear spearheaded the foundation of an athletic association to officially sanction Iowa State athletic teams. The 1894 Iowa State team finished with a 6-1 record, including a 16-8 victory in a bitter battle against what is now the University of Iowa.

    A college football legend was the next catalyst in the growth of Iowa State's fledgling program. Glenn S. "Pop" Warner, later to become famous as coach of the Carlisle Indians, University of Pittsburgh, Stanford, and Temple, and also as the inventor of the double wingback system of offense, came to coach the Ames team for the first time. Warner, just beginning a coaching career that would span 44 years and 313 victories (currently ranking fourth on the all-time NCAA coaching list behind Eddie Robinson, "Bear" Bryant and Amos Alonzo Stagg), came to coach the team in the late summer before heading to Georgia where he had been named head coach. This arrangement was followed each year through the 1899 season. Before he left for his jobs in the east, Warner turned the 1895 reins over to Burt German, who was the team manager, one of the star backs and, during the regular season, a mentor. Warner's pre-season drilling soon paid big dividends.

    Iowa State's team opened the season with a game against the Silver Bowl Athletic Club of Butte, Mont. The Ames team traveled to Montana on a train that included a combination tourist sleeper and dinner car. The squad had its own chef along. That luxury lost its glitter when the train became snowbound and ran out of food. The squad had to subsist on raw berries purchased at a sold-out general store for the balance of the trip.

    The game was even rougher. The Butte team, comprised mostly of former eastern collegiate stars and a few hardy mountaineers, scored two touchdowns in the game's first 15 minutes. Warner, a gridiron standout himself at Cornell, suited up for the second half. Iowa State closed the gap to 12-10. The game got rougher and a third Ames touchdown was negated by the local official. He may have been intimidated by miners who were shooting their guns off amidst the crowd of over 3,000. Iowa State's players left the field in disgust.

    Most observers didn't expect Iowa State's reception to be much better two weeks later when the Ames team traveled to highly-regarded Northwestern for that school's home opener on Sept. 28. But the home team was in for a big shock. Iowa State rolled to a 36-0 victory. Right halfback Joe Meyers was the offensive star, making several long runs, including a 70-yard scoring jaunt. Iowa State led 30-0 at half-time. The final outcome was so decisive that the Chicago Tribune reported the next day that "Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday." The article's headline read "Struck By A Cyclone." The nickname stuck and the Iowa State team had made a name for itself, literally.

    The "Cyclones" went on to beat Missouri, 6-0, before dropping a 24-0 contest to Minnesota. The fact that this team played every game on the road underscored its effort. Iowa State won its second straight game over Iowa, 24-0, on October 26 before closing out the season with a 12-6 loss at Wisconsin.

    "I'm afraid some of us got a bit stuck up after that Northwestern game," German would recall 50 years later. "Some of the boys didn't train too well either."

    But Warner, German and the rest of this 1895 team had put Iowa Agricultural College on the football map. And as I.A.C. grew into Iowa State College and then Iowa State University, its athletic teams carried the same name the 1895 unit had earned on that cold afternoon against Northwestern.
    Iowa State Cyclones History


    Last edited by jaretac; 03-17-2009 at 10:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: The rest of the story

    Cool! I've never seen most of that before. Good find!


    True and Valiant

    I also remember a game with Kansas when Cy (wore a huge suit then) went out to center field, squatted, and "pooped" a couple of chickens that had been dyed blue then chased them around.
    Quote Originally Posted by DJK15

    God I hope so, even if it's not the right thing to do, KF needs to do it.
    Victory before honor.

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    Re: The rest of the story

    Could you imagine a bunch of guns going off throughout the stands in JT. It's a different time we live in.



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    Re: The rest of the story

    Quote Originally Posted by jaretac View Post
    Could you imagine a bunch of guns going off throughout the stands in JT. It's a different time we live in.
    Clearly you've never been to a high school game in Texas.



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    Re: The rest of the story

    Quote Originally Posted by jaretac View Post
    . . . Chicago Tribune . . . headline read "Struck By A Cyclone." The nickname stuck and the Iowa State team had made a name for itself, literally.
    I wonder if the Tribune story was bylined. It'd be kinda nice to know the name of the reporter who gave ISU its nickname 114 years ago.


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    We, the People, are the problem. I knew it!

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    Re: The rest of the story

    Quote Originally Posted by CyValley View Post
    I wonder if the Tribune story was bylined. It'd be kinda nice to know the name of the reporter who gave ISU its nickname 114 years ago.
    You can buy the article for like $5 and read it online.



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    Re: The rest of the story

    I hadn't heard that...(see sig).


    Cyclone
    Iowa State became the Cyclones after they leveled Northwestern in 1895. As the Chicago Tribune (9/29/1895) noted:
    'Struck by a Cyclone
    It Comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town'

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    Re: The rest of the story

    Quote Originally Posted by Cy Hard View Post
    I hadn't heard that...(see sig).
    I think we have all heard the first part about being stuck by a cyclone. I've never heard the rest of it and it seems like others haven't either.



  9. #9
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    Re: The rest of the story

    Good find!



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