By Brent Blum, CycloneFanatic.com Columnist
(With the latest Al Gore technology, I was able to send an email back to my 15 year old self in the year 1999. This is what followed.)
Dear November 1999 Brent,
Quit chatting with those freshman girls on AOL Instant messenger and read this for a second. Your attempts at wooing them to the winter formal will ultimately fail miserably and it is clearly not worth the effort.
I’m writing to you from the future. It’s November 4, 2010.
First, let’s start with the bad news. Stuart Scott and Chris Berman are still on television. Yes, it’s hard to fathom, but figured we’d get that out of the way. Oh, and that whole McGwire/Sosa home-run race that you were just transfixed by…well it turns out both were jacked up on more steroids than Hulk Hogan and Goldberg from the WWF. It’s best to not ask questions. Speaking of the WWF, you should probably curb your weekly viewing of Monday Night Raw. Only degenerates like your future friends Chris Williams and Adam Carper still watch that show in 2010.
The news isn’t all bad however. The country is chugging along, as the whole Y2K hysteria is a bunch of nonsense. The band Hanson has pretty much disappeared, that guy who sang Mambo #5 will never be heard from again, and the Backstreet Boys are now irrelevant or in rehab. It’s a small victory for America. Although, get this, one of the biggest stars these days is the daughter of that dude that sang, "Achy Breaky Heart" a few years back. Strange times.
I know you probably have a million questions running through your mind right now. Things like, "Am I a starting point guard in the NBA?" And "Did I marry Kelly Kaposki from Saved by the Bell or at least settle for Jennifer Love Hewitt?" I don’t want to ruin it for you, but that growth spurt you were banking on didn’t quite deliver. Regardless, it’s been a pretty fun ride.
But enough of the meaningless drivel, let’s get to the stuff that I know you have to be begging to know: What does the future hold for the Cyclones?
Some of the things I am going to tell you won’t make much sense. Don’t worry, I promise you aren’t friends with Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson in the future and don’t have any dependencies on mind-altering substances. This is all very true.
Let’s begin with basketball. That new JUCO point guard Larry Eustachy brought in this year…. Yeah, he’s filthy good. Enjoy him for the two years he is wearing the cardinal and gold, because it’s an amazing journey. Don’t get discouraged with the upcoming loss to Drake in a few weeks. I think that squad will respond just fine. One note of caution: hide any breakable objects around the house on the dates of March 25, 2000 and March 15, 2001. You will discover a venomous dislike for Michigan State and Hampton that you never knew existed. Damn, dirty Pirates. Nothing good ever happens in Boise.
You’re going to have to sit down for the next part. Iowa State’s current head men’s basketball coach is none other than Fred Hoiberg. Yes, for real. Now the really strange twist. Turns out Eustachy has a bit more personality than everyone realized. He and Tim Floyd are now coaching separate schools in relative obscurity in Conference USA. It’s not even worth trying to explain.
Just to add to the confusion, K-State and Baylor are coming off Elite 8 appearances. K-State is even picked by some people to win the 2011 national title. I know what you must be thinking, "Wow, Waco and Manhattan must have really turned the corner then." Nope, not really. Still dumps. Nobody is really sure how that happened. Luckily there have been a few constants, Nebraska sucks at basketball, Roy Williams continues to poach the state of Iowa’s best high school talent and Dick Vitale is still annoying the masses. Oh and those championships that new coach Steve Alford is promising to bring to Iowa…. not even close. It’s actually pretty hilarious in retrospect.
More good news, Bill Fennelly is still holding down the fort for Cyclone women’s basketball. You are in for some really good times. One quick tip: start practicing your Australian accent, it may come in handy.
And be sure to take advantage of watching Cael Sanderson on the mat. Let’s just say he ends up on a cereal box. Unfortunately the milk in that cereal turns a bit sour several years down the road, but enjoy him nonetheless.
Now to the main point of my letter: Cyclone Football.
How would you react if I were to tell you that in the next 10 years, the Cyclone football team would go to six bowl games (and be in good position to get to a 7th in year 11) , win three of them, be ranked in the top 10 at one point, have a legitimate Heisman contending quarterback, win a road game at Texas and have multiple chances to win the Big 12 North?
It all happens. My guess is right now you’re running around in your oversized Starter jacket and rocking out to some Jock Jams in celebration. Settle down, you’re going to wake up ole’ cranky Ron next door. And start listening to some better music please. No…..“Barbie Girl” from Aqua doesn’t qualify.
Now to the really goofy part. Remember how you used to have the nightmares about Nebraska football? They frightened you more than that dude’s creepy voice in Unsolved Mysteries. You’d wake up in cold sweats dreading the next beat-down from Tommie Frazier, Scott Frost, Ahman Green, Grant Wistrom, Lawrence Phillips and the ‘fellas. Those shellacking’s were definitely not enjoyable, in fact the Huskers outscored Iowa State 290-63 from 1995-99 as you are well aware.
Well, no need to worry anymore. (For one, Lawrence Phillips is in jail, but we don’t need to get into that.)
It may seem like a daunting task, but in the coming years, the Cyclones catch up with the Big Red. They aren’t so spooky anymore. As I write this in 2010, Iowa State is prepping for a big show-down with the Huskers. The winner moves into 2nd place in the North and controls their fate to win the division. Crazy to think that when the millennium turned and you were busy watching episodes of E.R., the Cyclones had defeated the Huskers only four times since 1960. Yet if Iowa State were to beat the Huskers in 2010, they would have their fourth win over Nebraska in the last nine years.
Hard to believe.
The unfortunate part is this may be the last time these schools meet on the football field. Right when the Iowa State-Nebraska series turns into a legitimate rivalry, the Huskers run away. The Big 12 eventually becomes a little too difficult for the Big Red. So the Huskers decided to take their ball and move to the Big 10 conference. (Same thing happens to your buddy Brian. He may have dominated eighth grade competition because he’s 6-foot-3 and has a mustache, but trust me, once he gets to high school and everyone else is just as big as he is, he becomes very ordinary. )
The Huskers will say they left for better opportunity and more money in the Big Ten. Very fine reasons, but I think there may be another motive. Do me a favor. Tell those obnoxious bandwagon Huskers fans popping up all over Central Iowa that when they win the 1999 Big 12 Championship next month, it will be their final title. Let them know that they will lose 45 times over the next 10 years, nine more losses than the ’80’s and ’90’s combined. They will not beat a top 20 ranked team from October 2001 to October 2010. And remind them that Kansas will go to just as many BCS games as they will in the next decade. That may have a little something to do with their decision to change conferences.
To be honest, it’s actually a little sad to see a once feared member of the conference leave relatively abruptly. Despite the grief that the Huskers caused over the years, it was always a game you would look forward to. Creepy mascots and all. They were a national measuring stick just a couple hours down the road.
So, when you’re asked if you want an extra ticket to the game in Lincoln in 2009 don’t say, "No, I think I will just sleep in and watch that one on T.V." You’ll regret that decision. Memorial Stadium is actually a pretty amazing place to watch a football game. And the Cyclones last trip there will be talked about for years to come. Make sure you get there.
A couple final tips for the coming years:
Start practicing field goals. Iowa State could use your services in several years.
Try to ignore Michael Jordan’s comeback attempt. It’s a regrettable move for all involved.
Brett Favre will retire and un-retire roughly 3,456 times over the next 11 years. Don’t fall for it. And also, if by chance you run into Favre, avoid the temptation to give him your cell phone number. You’ll understand later.
And when you end up at college in Ames, avoid going to "Outlaws" any time after midnight. You will save yourself many nights of embarrassment. And even though it’s very tempting, eating several Super Dogs at 3:00 in the morning is an unwise decision.
If you can follow those pointers, you’ll be just fine.
Now get back to AOL, but for the good of everyone turn down Sisqo’s "Thong Song." The world thanks you.