By Brent Blum, CycloneFanatic.com Columnist
To commemorate one of the more entertaining weeks of the year in the state, I bring back the third edition of a column I wrote for the Iowa State Daily in my younger days: “The Real World: Ames.” It follows the fictional adventures of roommates Dan McCarney and Wayne Morgan as they take on this crazy world. Needless to say, wherever they go, comedy ensues. In previous editions they have put up with the shenanigans of Larry Eustachy, Shawn Taggart, Jessica Simpson and Ron Artest. And after four years they make their grandiose return. This time they take a road trip to Iowa City. And make some friends in the process. After all this is a friendly rivalry.
(September 9th, 2010. McCarney and Morgan pull up to Kinnick Stadium. 8:45 p.m.)
Dan McCarney: Obviously, Wayne, this is a real, real special place. I spent a lot of phenomenal, phenomenal years at this fine institution. Real, real good memories. No doubt about it.
Wayne Morgan: I came here one time. But I don’t remember what happened. I’ll have to look at the tape. But I know this place makes me feel like an overfed rat in the New York sewer system.
(McCarney looks just as confused as the rest of us.)
WM: Oh look, there’s Coach Fran he knows all about those New York City rats!
Fran McCaffery: I’m MAD. So angry.
DM: Coach Fran, what is there to be mad about?! That’s just happy horse crap, happy horse crap I tell you. This is the time when the state of Iowa comes alive. The state gets that look in its eye and it’s real, real special. Tremendous, tremendous weekend.
(Ricky Stanzi accidentally knocks over a Herky statue as he pulls up in his Ford F-150.)
Stanzi: Yea coach Fran, if you don’t love it, leave it, USA #1!!!!
WM: Who is this Rick Stanzi? Never heard of ‘em. Going to have to see some tape.
DM: Wayne, he’s a special, special player. And Rico I love your passion, but you gotta be more careful. That was a real, real careless move. There’s one thing I don’t tolerate and that’s turnovers. Maybe in Conference USA, but this is the BCS we’re talking about here. No doubt about it.
RS: (Accidentally trips as he jumps out of his Ford) Whoa, that was a close one! Thanks for the advice coach, you’re a great American! So, what are we doing tonight? I brought my pal Adrian with me to be our tour guide.
Adrian Clayborn: Ricky, who are these guys? We’re the only team in the state as far as I know.
WM: It is clear from this young person’s rhetoric that he isn’t aware of our history. I once tutored the great Curtis Stinson and Robert Faulkner, young man. You could learn a thing or two from them. Curtis was like a pit bull chasing down the mail man on the third Sunday before Tax day. Relentless.
RS: (Stanzi attempts to throw away his gatorade bottle in the nearest garbage can, but misses by five feet) Adrian, it’s cool, Dan and Wayne are great citizens of this country of ours!! I love exclamation points!!
FM: I say we go check out Carver Hawkeye arena.. Uh oh…I’m getting MAD again.
AC: Where is Carver Hawkeye arena? Never heard of it.
DM: Adrian, you’re a dandy, a real dandy, you just make me laugh. Tremendous, tremendous comedic potential you have. Real, real special.
AC: Coach Mac, seriously I have no idea where it is.
WM: Adrian reminds me of a lost greyhound running amok in the greater Appalachian mountain region of West Virginia. Lots of speed, little direction. It’s like I told Curtis Stinson, if you don’t have a tape to look at, then you better have the internal compass of a 1480’s Christopher Columbus.
(Everyone is extremely confused.)
RS: Well boys, since we can’t seem to locate Carver-Hawkeye, whose going with me to the Steak n’ Shake? That’s a fine American restaurant right there.
DM: Yeah, Yeah, Rico, I’d love to go to Steak n’ Shake. It’s a tremendous establishment with some real, real good steak burgers. But I’ve got a 2nd half of the day to go win tomorrow. Gotta get my shut-eye. No doubt about it.
(A dejected Gary Barta approaches in a Brink’s armored money truck.)
FM: Hi boss! What’s wrong? Looks like you have some MAD money in there.
GB: Sure do Fran. Kirk is flirting with the NFL again. The private plane wasn’t enough for him anymore. He asked for a battleship as part of his extension.
RS: A battleship?!?!?! Like the one in Top Gun? I love that movie!! Maverick is a great American!!!
GB: So I did some negotiation. We talked him out of the battleship due to logistics and financial concerns. That Lickliter contract isn’t going away you know. Wow that was a doozy, huh. Anywho, I talked to Kirk and we compromised on an armored car.
WM: Gary, I am impressed with your negotiating skills. It reminds me of one of my favorite taped cassettes, “The Negotiator” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Kevin Spacey negotiates in that film like an octopus navigating the rocky terrain of the lower Indian Ocean.
RS: Kevin Spacey!! Talk about an American Hero! In fact, he’s an American Beauty!!!
(A taxicab pulls up as Ricky trips over his own feet in excitement.)
AC: Look, there’s our ride to Steak n’ Shake.
GB: Oh, Adrian, I don’t think a taxi is the best idea.
RS: Love it or leave it!!!!