Happy Wednesday Cyclone Fanatics! It’s time for another edition of our weekly CycloneFanatic.com mailbag column. We’ve got some interesting conversation on tap for you today. I’ll be answering all sorts of questions ranging from Greg McDermott to handicap wrestling matches involving Paul Rhoads and Mike Ditka.
You don’t want to miss this.
Let’s start off with a football question.
VeloClone writes: Who is your pick for surprise football performer in the spring game? This fall?
CW: My surprise performer for Saturday’s spring game is red-shirt freshman wide receiver Keith Blanton. The Garland, Tex. native has turned a lot of heads over the past few weeks and I believe that he is a dark horse to see some serious time at the wide receiver position this fall. If that is going to be the case, he’ll have his work cut out for him with a crowded group already in tact, plus the coming additions of Chris Young and Albert Gary this summer.
For next fall? That’s tough. I’m going to stay with the wide receiver position and give you two names. The first one probably shouldn’t be considered a surprise but after last season, it would be. That guy is Sedrick Johnson. I’ve been told that he’s been a different man this spring, now that he is totally healthy. Cross your fingers on that one. Sedrick Johnson stepping up and becoming a big play guy for that offense is a scary thought. The other guy is Albert Gary. Granted, he is a JUCO. We have no clue what to expect. All I know is what I saw in his highlight film and comments that Tom Herman made to me on signing day. I’m hoping that Gary is a surprise impact player for not only Iowa State, but the Big 12 Conference next fall.
Clones85 writes: You are Jamie Pollard. With the recent news of an assistant and top young talent leaving the program, are you rethinking your stance on bringing Greg back next year? Or is it to late to make a change?
CW: You have to rethink it don’t you? Circumstances are very different than they were back when Jamie met the media a little over a month ago. If I am Jamie Pollard, regardless if I ultimately make a move or not, yes, I definitely take another hard look at the current situation and determine what is best for Iowa State basketball.
You are David Stern. How do you feel about your two star player (Kobe and Lebron) sitting out for literally no reason other than to rest before the playoffs?
CW: Maybe I am wrong here but I don’t remember Michael Jordan ever doing that. Am I wrong? I could be. But to me, this is just more proof that today’s athlete feels like they are owed the world. It’s a bunch of crap in my opinion. I’m trying to compare this to week 17 in the NFL. Kind of similar. It’s actually weird that you brought this up 85 because two of my best friends went up to Minneapolis on Friday night to watch the Lakers play. One of my friends has a young son who worships Kobe. If you are a dad, how do you explain to that young man that Kobe isn’t playing?
“Is he hurt daddy?”
No son. He’s a prima donna.
“What is a prima donna daddy?”
Something that you better not ever be son.
I have an idea for David Stern. How about giving money back to people like my friends who paid to see Kobe Bryant play last Friday? You don’t have to give them a total refund but at least a free meal or something.
That obviously won’t happen, but crap like that is the reason I don’t have much to do with the NBA anymore. I don’t consider myself a traditionalist in much of anything in this world. But in the case of professional basketball, we were much better off in the old days. I just can’t relate to these players anymore.
You are a Hall of Fame voter. Do you vote Jason Heyward in now? Or do you wait until after the season?
CW: This is what I would do if I had supreme powers over the game of baseball. After that career-beginning bomb by Jay Hey, I would have called the game. Come on, we all knew that the Cubs weren’t going to win. I would have called it a game and scheduled a parade in downtown Atlanta. At that time, I would have thrown Jay Hey into the HOF and given him a lifetime contract. How’s that?
Cycopath25 writes: Albert Pujols . . . Man or Machine?
CW: Machine…Or man taking some sort of stuff…
Since it is Baseball Season . . . Describe to me your perfect hotdog/brat/sausage (toppings and all).
CW: The perfect brat is all about the bun in my opinion. If you have one of those crappy buns that falls apart, the whole thing sucks. So I like to spend a little bit more money on my buns (wow that really sounded great). As far as toppings go, I’ll kick it pretty casual. I’ll go with some spicy mustard, a little bit of ketchup, some ranch and diced onions. Those are a must. If I had some green peppers lying around, I’d toss them on as well. Not going to get greedy here though.
Who would win in a handicap match between Cy/Paul Rhoads v. Ditka?
CW: Paul Rhoads and Cy in a landslide. Mike Ditka is getting old. Have you seen CPR with that goatee? He is a scary, scary man with that look. There’s no way that even Hurricane Ditka can hang with a bearded Rhoads and Cy.
IcSyU writes: Get to watch the Cyclones play football at any stadium in the country against any team: Where you going and why?
CW: Cool question. The answer is pretty simple for me. I’d like to see Iowa State play at Notre Dame and kick the living crap out of the Irish. This game would feature everything. We’d get to see a game at Notre Dame, a stadium that has a ton of history. Plus, we’d get to watch the second most arrogant (behind Nebraska) fan base in America weep after the Clones win. It’d be a perfect combination.
Get to watch the Braves play at any stadium in the country: Where you going and why?
CW: I lived this dream last year. I went to Fenway to watch the Braves play the Sox and here’s the best part, I sat on the green monster wearing my Atlanta hat. One of the best times of my life. As far as a stadium where I haven’t seen them play, I’m going to get a little boring here for a second. How about Kansas City? The Royals are my AL team. I grew up going to the K. I’d love to see Atlanta play there for nostalgic reasons.
SCCY writes: The over/under is 10.5 for men’s basketball wins next season…what do you take?
CW: That’s kind of unfair considering I have NO CLUE what the team is going to look like in October. Right now, I’ll take the over just because I think the schedule is going to be pretty soft. But in taking that 10.5 over, I’m only expecting 11 wins, unless some serious players head to Ames over the course of the next month.
RhoadsRage writes: Will you be watching the NHL playoffs and who will you root for? Since my Rangers didn’t make it, I’ll be cheering for Buffalo and USA goalie Ryan Miller.
CW: Sorry man. No NHL Playoffs for me. I care about hockey about as much as I care about whom Northern Iowa’s third-string guard will be in football this September. The Olympics were cool. I watched that. The NHL just doesn’t do it for me. If I lived in Detroit or something, I’d probably care. I don’t hate the sport. It just doesn’t interest me.
Wesley writes: How soon will the basketball coaches be hired? The Iowa Energy interview is still to be made.
CW: I’m not sure about this process. Greg has been very hush-hush about it. I’d assume that the Nurse thing will happen within the next few weeks. As far as filling the other spot, I honestly have no clue.
Clone136 writes: As my signature says, I tend to be a McDermott apologist. Admittedly this is becoming more difficult with each passing day…If there were to be a coaching change next season who is the way to early front runner?
CW: I can’t answer that because I don’t know who is going to be available. An obvious thing to look for is somebody with Wisconsin ties, who Jamie Pollard might have worked with in the past. Greg Gard for instance? Just a shot in the dark.
Also what will it take this year for McD to keep his job?
CW: I assume that he just needs to improve and sell the program somehow, which is becoming tougher by the week.
Should I be excited about Andre Clark or are we thinking he is way better than he is (we have a tendency to do that on this board) looking for something positive?
CW: I don’t think that Andre Clark will ever play for Iowa State. Let your mind wonder to other places 136.
Cloneu writes: You are forced to move to Detroit or Cleveland, which city would you choose?
CW:CLICK THIS LINK and watch the video, especially the last second. Then you’ll see why I chose what I chose.
Which Division I sport (doesn’t have to be one that ISU has) would you have the best chance in succeeding at?
CW: I assume that racquet ball doesn’t count? I’m going to say at football, being a kicker or punter. I have never kicked in my life. However, I really feel like if anybody decides at a very young age that they want to be a kicker and that’s all they practice growing up, they can be a kicker. Am I wrong? Think about it. If you start constantly kicking, going to camps and practicing field goals at the age of 10, you can be a good kicker? So there you go. I feel like I missed my calling in life. Maybe had I done this, Dan McCarney would have made a Big 12 Championship Game. That’s a joke by the way.
Your golf ball is lying on the fringe, 3 feet from the green, 20 feet from the hole. What club are you using on your next shot?
CW: I’m going to go with an old trick that my father taught me at a young age. Pull out either the seven or nine iron and roll it towards the hole. You can opt for either club, whichever is more comfortable. I prefer the nine. Or, some like the putter. I’d go with the nine iron though. Before you try this, know that I suck at golf.
WalkingCy writes: Seriously, is our AD going to make a change with the head men’s basketball coaching job?
CW: At this point, not that I know of.
Isucy1234 writes: Favorite VEISHEA memory?
CW: VEISHEA was awesome during my senior year, back in 2007. The temps were in the 80’s and everybody on campus was feeling a little frisky. Some of my best friends had a house on Lynn and we literally stayed there all weekend. We had a giant swimming pool full of ice that we used as a fridge. Great times. Just thinking about that makes me really miss my college friends. Gotta grow up sometime right?
CyHard writes: How long do you think it will be before I can open a thread not related to the men’s basketball program and not see someone bringing it up?
CW: Football season.
Clones 21 writes: Starting 5 next year for basketball and a 6th man off the bench. Who are they in YOUR mind?
CW: Again, I have no clue what the roster is going to look like. Here is my best crack at this thing.
PG: Diante Garrett G: DeMarcus Phillips G: Melvin Ejim F: James Vanderbeken C: LaRon Dendy
6th Man: Scott Christopherson and Charles Boozer
Galactawitz writes: Chris, any chance baseball gets brought back to ISU?
CW: In this economy? Are you kidding me? I highly doubt it. Sorry if that ruins your day.
MoreCowbell writes: Because it’s 80 degrees and gorgeous out: DQ Blizzard or McDonald’s McFlurry? Flavor? I’m a blizzard gal, personally.
CW: I agree with you MoreCowbell. McFlurry’s have never done anything for me. I am a good ole fashioned strawberry Blizzard type of guy. I love fruit flavored ice cream.
Thanks for your questions everyone. If I didn’t get to yours, I apologize. I will try to answer them all next week. Thanks for your participation!