CF Mailbag: St. Paddy’s Day edition

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Before reading, click on the video up above. It will really help set the mood for the first part of this column. Thank you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Cyclone Fanatics! I trust that you will all be in bed before nine this evening after a long day filled with work or study?

Okay….That was a blatant lie. How does a person not love this day? Think about it. The entire holiday is based off of the fact that people go out and drink. I’m sure that there is probably more to it than that but here in the states, that’s how we view this beloved holiday.

Here is an example. This morning on my Twitter feed (ChrisMWilliams), I posted “I have a serious case of writers block today. Just went for a jog. Anybody have any tips?”

That is the type of hard hitting analysis you’ll get from me, should you decided to follow.

Within 30 minutes of posting that, two good friends of mine replied telling me to “drink heavily” because it is St. Patrick’s Day.


Before we get to the mailbag, it’s time for a shameless plug Fanatics If you’re going out tonight in Ames, hit up Es Tas Bar and Grill. Is Des Moines the place for you? If so, 3-Bag will be waiting.

Be smart though. Take a cab Fanatics.

Also, remember not to go out on an empty stomach. Go out and grab a Planet Sub on your way to the bar.

Please don’t roll your eyes. Just smile. This is a free site people. Reading three sentences of advertising isn’t going to kill you.

Enough preaching. Time to get to the mailbag where we will begin with a festive question from MoreCowbell.

MoreCowbell writes: Shamrock shakes, yay or nay?

CW: Yay. I am a very festive young man. For instance, during the Christmas season, I drink more eggnog than most people do in a lifetime. In the fall, I am obsessed with pumpkin flavored treats. So how could I possibly turn down what Wikipedia defines as a “green, mint-flavored milkshake that is a seasonal dessert sold at McDonald’s during March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”

And for that matter, corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day or Irish stew?

CW: I do not like cabbage. Daddy does love himself some corned beef though. So I guess I could just pick around the cabbage. What is this Irish Stew that you speak of MoreCowbell?

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with some good ole fashioned green eggs and ham. I first had that in preschool. That’s my St. Paddy’s Day meal of choice. Holler if you hear me.

Clones21 writes: Chris, what have you done this spring break so far?

CW: First of all, I believe it is time to announce to half of you that I am not in college anymore. Though often times I have the maturity of a 17-year old junior in high school, I am a 25-year old grown man with a career. So 21, I am not on Spring Break. I’ve noticed that our visits from Ames have been down dramatically this week though. Hopefully there are a handful of Fanatics down in Mexico thinking of us right now.

Burn587 writes: What do you think the RB 3 deep will look like for the Northern Illinois game?

CW: Seriously Burn? You actually want to talk about sports? What a mood-killer. Just messing my man. Obviously, I’ll put Alexander Robinson at number one. According to what I’ve been told, the next two spots are wide open. I might surprise a few people with who I am about to put at number two. Gun to my head, I have to make a pick today; I’d go with true freshman Shontrelle Johnson. I understand that a lot of you won’t like this pick and that is fine. But if you were at our recruiting party earlier this month, you heard how in love with this guy the coaching staff is. Running back’s coach Kenneth Pope just glowed when describing Johnson’s highlight tape. He used the words “special player” to describe Johnson multiple times. On top of that, offensive coordinator Tom Herman was crazy-excited about Johnson when I talked with him on Signing Day. A lot can change. Yes, he’s just a freshman. But he’s a very talented and explosive freshman. Shontrelle is my pick at number two. If I had to guess right now, I’d go with James White at number three. White is still a bit of a mystery but from what I’ve been told, he was very impressive during scout team work last season and if he is ready mentally, the physical aspect of the game shouldn’t be a problem.

RyCy04 writes: Clone fans are split between the camps of Support McDermott and Fire McDermott. From what I have heard of the Support McDermott group, the tone seems to be, "He is going to be our coach so we may as well support him." My question is if he were to be fired, how much of the Support camp would be genuinely upset with the move?

CW: I need to start this one off by making a simple statement. I cannot stand the term “McDermott haters.” I get the fact that you don’t like Iowa State winning 15 games a year. Totally understandable, but hate is a strong word regardless of how you are using it. RyCy, you gave me an opportunity to make that point, so I decided to take it.

I think that if for some crazy reason Greg McDermott would lose his job right now, fans would do what fans do. They’d rally behind the next guy. I don’t remember too many coaching changes in the past where the majority of the fan base is angry. That is if the coach gets let go. I’m not talking about a Tim Floyd-type of situation. Usually, when a coach gets fired, he hasn’t done his job. Iowa State has the greatest fans in America. Whoever the next guy would be, they’d embrace him with open arms.

Having said that, like I’ve said all along, I don’t see this happening this year. Great question though.

Yaman3 writes: You are a candy designer or whatever you call it. Make up a flavor of Cotton Candy you have never seen but think it would be good. Note: Mine is peanut butter so you can’t use that.

CW: I have absolutely no idea how to answer this Yaman. Such a weird question. I’ll go with ole reliable here though. How about some cheesecake flavored Cotton Candy? That or pumpkin pie cotton candy?

Cycloin writes: Which is more confusing and why: The infield fly rule or the popularity of Kanye?

CW: No question about this one. The popularity of Kanye has always boggled my mind. It doesn’t take a pop culture genius to figure out that this guy is an idiot. Just look at those stupid glasses he’s worn in the past. What about the Taylor Swift situation? You all know me pretty well by now. T-Swift is my girl. If you mess with her, you mess with me. Forget about Kanye people.

Which would you take in a race: An Alaskan Glacier or the server that CF uses?

CW: Ouch. Definitely our server. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Cycloin. Don’t worry. We are on it. Trust me on this.

RhoadsRage writes: Is there a short list for the MBB asst. coaching position?? If so, who? and where from?

CW: I have been all over this one since Monday and not one legitimate name has surfaced. Nobody is really talking about this. The first guy who came to my mind was SE Iowa Community College’s Terry Carroll. He’s a former ISU guy. If he gets the job, then you’d like to think that John Wilkins and Norvell Arnold would come with him. Still, I think he’s a long shot. I expect Greg to hire some sort of a former head coach to be the associate head coach at Iowa State. More leadership. If it were my decision though, I’d be all over RECRUITING, RECRUITING, RECRUITING. As Dan McCarney would say, "there’s no doubt about it." You cannot win if you don’t have players.

Ylabhunter writes: Which spot is going to be tougher to recruit to get the right person, the frontline or the assistant coach position?

CW: Easy answer here in my opinion. The frontline guy will be much tougher to find. There aren’t many assistant-coaching jobs at BCS universities that pop open every year. That type of work is a lot like what I do. It is harder than hell to find a job in sports journalism. Why? Because everybody wants to do it. So think about all of the JUCO coaches or prep school guys who want to go big time. Think about the lower level division one coaches. Regardless of how down we think this program is right now, it will still be a step up for the majority people in the coaching business.

As for finding a frontline player who is ready to contribute on a Big 12 team in the middle of March…good luck.

Isucy1234 writes: In your opinion do you think UNI got snubbed with a 9 seed? What do you think made them drop so far? And what are their chances of beating UNLV?

CW: I do think that the Panthers will beat UNLV. UNI is a tough matchup for the Running Rebels. The Panthers are just such a smart, disciplined basketball team. It is hard to believe that they are going to be run out of the gym in any game. Did they get snubbed? I’m not sure. I thought that they deserved a 7-seed. But still, the Valley is a one-bid league this year. UNI didn’t play a great schedule. But they were very dominant. I would have given them a 7-seed so yeah; I think that they got snubbed in a way.

Alarsen writes: Why did greg mcdermott’s contract get extended for 3 years in april 07, for 3 scholarships lost in 06-07, when his original contract specifically said

If by reason of any violation of applicable law or rule by any perspn or entity (other than McDermott) prior to the Effective Date of this Agreement, University agrees that if either or both of the following events occur:
a) The men’s basketball program is deemed ineligible for, or otherwise held out of NCAA post-season tournament play; or
b) The men’s basketball program is penalized with the loss of one or more scholarships, and the team does not compete in the NCAA tournament during a year inwhich such loss of scholarship or scholarships occurs,

University shall extend the term of this Agreement, at McDermott’s option, for an additional year for each year that one or both events described in Subparagraphs a) and b) occurs
This would otherwise indicate only a 1 year extension (since despite there being more than one scholarship, there was only one year effected), for some reason he was given 3 more, when he already contracted out 5 more years at time of extension.

CW: I am not a lawyer so all of this fancy talk is a little much for me. I’ve done some research and here is what I’ve found out.

What you posted was McDermott’s original contract. It was for six years and had a provision that provided for an automatic extension if the program was penalized with the loss of one or more scholarships for violations prior to him arriving to Ames. An altercation to his contract was made in April of 2007. The team lost three scholarships during his first year (two APR’s and one NCAA violation), the effect was that three years were then added to his contract term.

Again, a lot of fancy talk right there. Hope that it makes sense.

St8 writes: Would I (a 25 year old pasty white guy) look good with the Brackins fade mohawk? and does Tommy’s Salon give discounts for haircuts that emulate those of cyclone players?

CW: I will ask Michelle from Tommy’s that and report back to you St8. Yes, you could pull off the Brackins cut. I was doing it there for a while. The chicks loved it. Well….not really but I tried. Go for it. Change the game. There’s nothing wrong with that. How about going with the old school Jackson Vroman cut?

CYdTracked writes: Which piano player was hotter at Howl at the Moon, the blonde or the brunnette wearing a hat? Good to meet you in KC by the way!

CW: Great to meet you too CydTracked. Had a great time at Howl at the Moon. I’d go with the brunette in a second.

On a serious note, do you think/know if Jamie Pollard reads CycloneFanatic? I would guess he’d take things he saw in the forums with a grain of salt but would be interesting what he reactions would be to some of the stuff here.

CW: I don’t know if Jamie reads CF but I’d be shocked if others in the Jacobson Building don’t. More Cyclone fans frequent CF every day than any other place on the Internet. It’s a great gage of the Iowa State fan base. In fact, I’ll go on record and say that I hope they read our site.

DumbFan writes: Where are our points going to come from on next year’s MBB team assuming we land Clyburn and Wilkins?

CW: Diante Garrett will have to score more. I think that DeMarcus Phillips will get his share of buckets. What about LaRon Dendy and Jamie Vanderbeken? The biggest difference between the 2010 and 2011 teams will be balance. Next year’s team will not have a Craig Brackins who will lead you in scoring on the majority of nights. It is all about who is hot. Scott Christopherson? DG? Name the night. There isn’t one go to guy though. It will be very spread out.

CYKXBUT writes: What is Jerome Tiller’s status for the spring practices? Is H. Hicks available to practice this spring or is he still out until this summer? Is Money Reynolds ready to kick some butt?

CW: Jerome is ready to go this spring. As far as Hicks goes, he’s been cleared to play next fall. He won’t participate in spring drills but will join the team this summer. And yes, Money is also ready to go. He actually could have played in the bowl game but the staff didn’t want to burn his medical red-shirt.

DRCHIRO writes: Is the men’s basketball team done with player defections (for this year)?

CW: Hold on DRCHIRO…let me go grab my magic 8-ball…….The verdict is….”I have no clue.” Just being honest with you bud. At this point, nothing would shock me. I could see everybody staying. I could see some guys leaving. With all of these rumors out there, it is hard to know what to believe. But at this point, they are all rumors and nothing else.

4429 mcc writes: What is your favorite accent on a woman? Australian is a bit out there for me. I’m a big fan of the southern belle drawl, not to be confused with the no teeth TIN-A-SEE trailer drawl.

Russian would be second
Spanish third (think Penelope Cruz Selma Hayek)
British Fourth

What’s your rank?

CW: Great men think alike 4429. I love the southern accent. My mother was born in South Carolina so we always went on trips there during my adolescent years. I’d always walk the beach looking for southern girls. Good times. I’d put Spanish at second and from there on out, I am indifferent.

Wheels686 writes: With Haughton moving to guard and Burris most likely to take over the position, I was wondering if he has made any progress on gaining weight from the 6’6 277-pound frame? I was hoping he could eventually make it to the prototype size of about 6’6 310 lb.

CW: The latest roster update has Burris at 6-6, 277 so right now, I’ll have to go with that. I will be doing a handful of interviews over the next month so I’ll be sure to get to the bottom of that question for you.

Mizouse87 writes: Supper or Dinner?

CW: Supper.

Toilet paper, Over or Under?

CW: Over

Boxers or Briefs?

CW: Boxer-briefs.

So you’re walking by a dark alley and notice a person getting mugged/jumped by 2-3 hoodlums. There’s a 10% chance the person being mugged is a family member or close friend of yours. Do you A) Avoid the altercation all together B) Try to stop the mugging yourself or C) Call the police and hope they arrive on time?

CW: I’d go with B because I am an idiot. This situation would result with me going to the ER.

1100011CS writes: Oh, my question is: Who’s a better coach: GMac or Lick?

CW: Really? Did you actually expect me to say Lick? Greg.

Eddyclone writes: Is there a difference in academic standards between Iowa State and UNI for kids to get into the school?

CW: I honestly do not know the answer to this question. I doubt there is much of a difference though.

What does Pollard have up his sleeve in terms of the next item to be built or refurbished athletically?

CW: Just an assumption, but more improvements to Jack Trice Stadium have to be on the list don’t they?