By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
I swear that I put on 10 pounds over the last three days. That my friends is what a guy gets when he goes home for Easter weekend. Now that I am married, I have two families. My mother, who I love dearly, loves nothing more than stuffing a ton of food down her baby’s throat.
Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law (who had three girls and loves having a boy around, I think she does at least), feels the same way.
So here I sit on a Monday at the CycloneFanatic.com home office that overlooks the always-beautiful Wilson Toyota lot, bloated as ever.
Besides gaining weight, you know what else going home does for a man? It allows him to get some serious thinking done….Here are my weekly musings on Iowa State athletics and more.
Couldn’t believe it…
Last Thursday, Wilson Toyota’s Tron Smith and I went to lunch with three prominent members of Iowa State’s Cyclone Gridiron Club. While there, I enjoyed a lovely tuna salad sandwich, along with some quality conversation that frankly, blew my mind.
Blowing my mind isn’t a positive thing to do in this scenario by the way.
Prior to this lunch, I had never asked anybody how many members the Gridiron Club had. I had always assumed that the number was in the thousands. I mean, Iowa State is a Big 12 football program. The Cyclones are in the same league as Texas, Oklahoma and you know the rest. Heck, the Cyclones beat Texas last season.
At that point in time, the Cyclone Gridiron Club had nearly 475 members.
Now understand me when I write that I don’t fault anybody for this. I don’t blame Cyclone fans for not being a part of the group. I don’t blame the group for not having more members. Tron and I really agree that this is and has been a communication issue for quite some time. Somehow, the word needs to get out that fans don’t have to be rich to support Iowa State football through the Cyclone Gridiron Club.
CLICK HERE to visit the club’s website, where you can simply join online. Memberships begin at $100 a year and are as little as $25 a year for Iowa State students.
You’ll likely hear more on this from Tron and me over the next few months, as we’ve set a goal to help the Gridiron Club have over 1,000 members by kickoff 2011. As of Monday morning, 18 new members had signed up after watching the video that we posted on Friday. It is only a baby step, but a positive one to say the least.
Some sports media banter…
– I hope that ESPN’s Jon Gruden never coaches again.
Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” is some of the best sports television that I’ve seen in 26-years of life and trust me, I’ve consumed a lot of it.
There’s no doubt that Gruden is an upper-tier football coach in the NFL But he is an elite football analyst. By now, you should all know that I am a college football guy. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the NFL. I am a diehard Vikings fan. But if the men in purple aren’t playing or a game doesn’t directly impact them, I normally don’t sit and watch any contest in its entirety. BUT, I do watch Monday Night Football consistently. That’s because of Gruden’s analysis. There’s no question in my mind that Jon Gruden is the best in the business. If you haven’t seen his "Quarterback Camp" yet, I highly recommend checking this thing out before Thursday’s draft.
– On a local level, I am excited to work with KXNO’s new sports talk host Jim Brinson. Brinson, who is Ken Miller’s new partner (replacing Matt Perrault, who has relocated to the New England area), has forgotten more about this business than I’ll ever know. I got to chat with him for about a half hour last week. He’s a seasoned veteran who I think Cyclone fans will really enjoy. The Miller-Brinson combo has a lot of perspective and I think that their new show will do very well in this market. Like Miller, Brinson will be down the middle. He’s not a Cyclone. He’s not a Hawk. He has no loyalty to anybody. That should result in some great local radio content.
– In one more radio note, I’ll be co-hosting 1460 KXNO’s Miller & Brinson Show with ABC 5’s Dave Zawilinski the next two Wednesday’s. Cyclone fans will want to tune in this week as one of Fred Hoiberg’s new assistants, Matt Abdelmassih will join us to talk college and NBA playoffs. I’m going to try to get one of Iowa State’s potential draftees on the program as well.
– The newest member of Fran McCaffrey’s Iowa basketball program, Anthony Hubbard, has only played two years of organized basketball in his life. He’s 26-years old and was charged with four felonies as a teenager. Am I going to kill McCaffrey for bringing this very talented prospect on board? Absolutely not. I don’t know anything about Hubbard, who according to reports has really turned his life around. I will tell Hawk fans who have continuously ripped Fred Hoiberg for giving guys like Chris Allen, Korie Lucious, Anthony Booker and Royce White second chances to zip it. Really…Seriously, just shut up. Nobody is asking you to defend McCaffrey. Iowa’s second-year coach realizes what Hoiberg knew when he landed the Iowa State job a year ago. You need talent to win games at this level. Both coaches are taking calculated risks to upgrade the talent within their programs. There’s nothing more to it than that. These guys are trying to win games. Period.
– On a lighter note, my wife and I attended an awesome concert last Thursday night at Iowa State’s M-Shop. Ever heard of the “Civil Wars?” I hadn’t until a friend called me up and offered us his tickets as he couldn’t attend the show. We accepted and I’ve never been so happy with a free concert in my life. I’m not quite sure how exactly to describe this group. They’re kind of a folk, country and rock mix. It is a male-female duo that is somewhat comparable to Little Big Town in the country ranks. Check them out if you have time. CIVIL WARS WEBSITE
– It has been nearly a decade since I’ve enjoyed the NBA Playoffs as much as I have this year. It helps that my favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, are a number one seed. Still, it all goes back to last summer for me. The free agent storylines captivated me and sucked me back in.
Look for a couple of exclusive Iowa State men’s basketball interviews later on this week here at CycloneFanatic.com. I’m heading into the offices tomorrow to sit down with Abdelmassih and associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger to discuss numerous topics. My intentions are to catch up with Cornell Mann once he gets back to Ames, as he is away from town right now.
We’re now officially in the offseason so I’ll be looking for different ways to come up with compelling content here on the site over the next few months. As always, if you have a story idea, shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.