By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can always tell what Paul Rhoads is feeling by the look on his face.
“I am an animated guy. I am a passionate guy," said Rhoads on Monday. "Coaching football is my livelihood and fighting for our football team and most importantly our kids and the opportunity to win football games is my responsibility. I love that. I’ve never made any apologies for who I am or how I do it and I never will.”
That was in response to his actions in Iowa State’s 33-17 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday. After a questionable pass interference call that went against the Cyclones and another situation that involved whether or not Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill was in bounds, Rhoads was repeatedly seen making his presence known to a side judge. That side judge is likely still having nightmares of Iowa State’s fiery head coach.
And some want an apology from Rhoads? For what? Being himself? Give me a break.
Take the raw emotion out of Rhoads and you get an Oreo cookie minus the cream filling.
“I think that our football team is fully aware of who I am. I yell. I cry. I laugh," Rhoads said. "If you ask me if it had an adverse effect or a negative effect on them, I would really highly doubt that because they see it on a daily basis. I don’t change from Wednesday to Saturday. They know what they’ve got.”
Rhoads’ combustible spirit isn’t a problem for his players.
"As a player, I fed off of his energy," said former Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud. "I’ve never been around someone as charismatic about the game of football, period. I would do anything for him and that’s how 100 percent of that locker room feels for him as well."
Iowa State’s new starting quarterback, redshirt freshman Jared Barnett, remembers Saturday’s incident quite well.
“It is an awesome feeling to know that he is fighting for you," said Barnett. "To know that he sees what you see and that he does think that you’re being cheated in some sort. That is a great feeling. Coach Rhoads is a great guy and he is always going to fight for us.”
The charisma, passion and emotion that Rhoads brings to work every day is exactly what Iowa State needs. This isn’t the easiest BCS school to win at.
Iowa State needs a man in charge who loves Ames, Iowa as much as the fans do. That is Rhoads to a tee.