By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
You saw her on the sidelines during Iowa State’s 52-38 win over Texas Tech last Saturday.
Her name is Samantha Steele. Samantha is the sideline reporter for FOX College Sports and she’s about to come back to Ames for the second week in a row.
CycloneFanatic.com caught up with Steele on Wednesday to ask her five burning questions regarding the Cyclones, her job and her experience in Ames. Enjoy fanatics.
CF: Where does last week’s Iowa State – Texas Tech game rank on the craziness scale as far as games you’ve covered in the past?
SS: This is going to sound like I’m sucking up to Iowa State fans but the only game I can remember being that exciting in recent memory was last year’s Kansas State/Iowa State game I covered at Arrowhead Stadium. I think it has something to do with the passion these guys play with. Iowa State has one of the most loose and energized sidelines I’ve ever been on. Coach Rhoads is a great motivator and you can tell his players feed off of that. Seeing the guys cheer on Jeff Woody like they did towards the end of that game was a really cool moment… so much loyalty on that team.
CF: Outside of the game, what else did you do during your time in Ames?
SS: Not much. We stayed at the Texas Tech team hotel in Des Moines so I didn’t experience much besides the McDonald’s next door… and they were out of ice cream. We will be staying in Ames this week so I’m looking forward to hanging out on Welch Street and seeing what Ames has to offer. Alexander Robinson told me it’s the Mill Avenue of Ames, so as a former ASU student, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully there are fewer hippies on Welch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
CF: On average, how many times per game do crazy (sometimes drunk) college students yell at you trying to gain attention?
SS: In all honesty, I don’t hear most of it. Sometimes people think I’m being rude because I don’t respond, but they probably can’t tell that I have a producer in my ear talking to me and I’m listening to the call from the booth. Part of being a female sideline reporter is listening to intoxicated men (and sometimes women) critique the way you look. It’s unfortunate in the sense that I’m not a model… and I have no aspirations of appearing like one or moving my way up (or down depending on your perspective) to men’s magazines or entertainment shows. I just like football. My dad is a coach and my brothers played, so the idea of standing on the field and getting paid to talk about ball just seemed like a natural fit. My experience with fans in Ames was really positive. From everything I observed, the players and fans were all refreshingly respectful.
CF: You’re about ready to head to Ames for the second week in a row. You’re basically like a resident now. Do you anticipate the city naming a street after you or something like that?
SS: If Iowa State beats Utah, I think I should get some sort of compensation. Not that I’m rooting for anyone, of course. I’m open to anything… whether it be a street name or some Chicken McNuggets. Although I hear Chicken McNuggets have 43 ingredients, so maybe that’s not a good idea. Don’t say I never taught you anything.
CF: What are your early thoughts on this week’s Iowa State vs. Utah game?
SS: I’ll start with the obligatory, "it’s going to be a great game". Besides that, I think a lot depends on what Iowa State can come up with on offense. Utah is going to score. They have a ton of speed and balance offensively, not necessarily referring to the run game, but balance in the passing game… they throw it all around the field and expose any weaknesses. They didn’t have a single turnover in their last game. Iowa State needs to capitalize on every drive offensively. You probably aren’t going to wear out their d-line because they rotate so many guys in and out and keep them fresh. I think a lot is contingent upon what Utah does with Collin Franklin. If they continue to play a lot of man coverage, Collin should have a great game and help this offense tremendously.