MID-WEEK MAILBAG: Chris Pratt as Cael Sanderson? Plus picking David or Hakeem to have a better rookie season

I have good and bad news.

The good news is, I’ve returned from my work-related trip to Las Vegas over the weekend. The bad news is, I did not gamble my way onto any “World’s Youngest Billionaires” list. Thus, you’re all stuck with me and the Mid-Week Mailbag for now. I’ll do my best to earn enough to leave everything behind and move to my own private island when I head back to Vegas next year.

The calendar has yet to turn to June and that means we’re still in peak off-season mode here at Cyclone Fanatic, but the three-day Memorial Day weekend is coming up and that’s something to get excited about. By the time you’re done reading this mailbag, you’ll have time-traveled five minutes closer to three days of freedom.

Here we go.

CycloneNorth (forums) asks: May is obviously a slow time for Cyclone news. What has been the biggest Iowa State related news story of the past decade to break in May?

While he was officially announced on June 2nd, Fred Hoiberg’s NBA rumors were swirling hard during May of 2015 and that qualifies as the biggest news story of the past decade in my opinion. I’m not even sure what would come in second place…

Hoiberg was initially hired by ISU in April of 2010, so that just misses the cut. NBA Draft stuff (Royce White being picked in the 1st round most notably) happens in June. There may have been some recruit who committed in May in the past but there’s no way any single recruit could top Hoiberg bolting for the Bulls.

It’s probably just best to hibernate through the month of May in the future if you’re a Cyclone fan.

cyclones500 (forums) asks: Suppose you’re a filmmaker with a modest budget, and can produce a biopic about any prominent Iowa State sports figure, past or present, living or non-living. Assume you cannot choose Jack Trice (too much of a go-to choice). Who would it be, and who do you select to portray him/her? If that project fell through, who’s your second choice?

Taking out Jack Trice, I think the answer has to be Cael Sanderson. To this day he’s still the only wrestler in NCAA history to finish his career with a perfect record: 159-0. Yes, there’s the rough spot of his coaching career, but what he did in an Iowa State singlet was legendary. Four individual NCAA titles in four years, plus he ended up on a Wheaties box. Nice.

To portray Sanderson, my choice would be Chris Pratt. There may be a slight weight and age difference between where Pratt is now and where Sanderson was in college, but Hollywood can work a little special effects magic to help close the gap. And I think Pratt with a buzz cut would look quite a bit like Cael.


Plus, Pratt comes from a background that includes wrestling, so he should be able to pick things up faster than the average actor would.

Who’s with me?

My backup plan would be to do a biopic on Johnny Orr, simply because his attitude and energy seemed infectious and I’m sure it would translate perfectly to the big screen.

SpokaneCY (forums) asks: Bolton visit and all is quiet. My working assumption is Bolton has pledged but we are just waiting for the OFFICIAL official word that LW is staying out. What is YOUR working assumption?

You know what they say about people who assume?

bsaltyman (forums) asks: Which player will have a better rookie season for their team, Hakeem Butler or David Montgomery?

Always go with the running back, especially when that running back figures to have a more direct path to playing time.

Montgomery, as long as he can beat out Mike Davis, should get the bulk of carries vacated by Jordan Howard in Chicago. Even if Butler starts for Arizona, he’s not guaranteed to be thrown the ball enough to make an impact just because that’s the nature of the wide receiver position, even in an air raid offense like Kliff Kingsbury’s.

It’s a safe pick, but Montgomery is the answer. I love Butler’s potential but he’s certainly still the more raw player of the two and won’t get as many touches initially as Chuck Bruce.

Jkclone15 (forums) asks: Favorite Cyclones from other countries? (ex: Naz, Lindell, Ejim)

I love them all equally, of course.

But, if I had to pick one, it’s gotta be Naz. Ejim is right up there and he was an absolutely outstanding combo of athletic success blended with perfect representation of Iowa State – Naz just had that extra “it” factor personality-wise that draws people in. It helped to hit a few notable shots or two in his career…

Cycsk (forums) asks: How much of 3 on 3 with Royce White will you watch?

For those of you who aren’t already aware, Royce White was the first overall pick in this year’s Big 3 draft. The Big 3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league made up primarily of former NBA players. White was drafted to the “Enemies” team and is on the same team as names like Gilbert Arenas, Lamar Odom, and former Baylor star Perry Jones III.

If the Enemies end up making the Big 3 championship game (there’s one of those, right?) then I’ll tune in for that just to see how Royce is doing. Otherwise, I’ll just swing through social media and catch highlights after each game.

Sigmapolis (forums) asks: What would you try to do with AD, Jrue Holiday, and Zion if you were the Pelicans? Try to convince AD to stay and make a “big three?” Flip AD and/or Holiday for assets and then build around Zion? Which teams’ assets (of the likely suspects, including the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, or even the Clippers or perhaps Nuggets) would you want the most? Here are some trade options.

There’s no way you can convince Anthony Davis to stay in town at this point – I think the damage has already been done. You’ve gotta leverage his worth and bring in some more assets to build around Zion.

I like the assets the Lakers have (guys like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball), but that trade wasn’t able to get done last year and I wouldn’t count on it happening this year. Other than the Lakers, I have to agree with the writer of the article you linked – the Knicks seem like the perfect suitor. I think they’re prepped to make a splash and since they didn’t get the result they wanted out of this year’s draft lottery, they’re going to make a big move at some point.

coolerifyoudid (forums) asks: I love a dramatic game, but, for the major sports, how many overtimes/extra innings/extra time is too much?

Baseball: anything past 14 innings. Within 5 extra innings, you’re likely to see the heart of the lineup come through twice, and giving the sluggers a chance to end things on one swing of the bat is exciting. After everyone’s had a couple of chances though, it just starts to drag.

Basketball: anything past three overtimes. In a fourth overtime and later, usually at least a few guys have fouled out by then and that takes quite a bit of excitement out of it. We want to see the best players play, after all.

College Football: anything past five overtimes. College football is one of my favorite overtime setups and very rarely gets beyond three overtimes since teams are required to start going for two-point conversions. Give me three rounds of two-point conversion tries before I get tired of it.

Hockey: things should be wrapped up after two overtime periods.

Golf: every playoff hole in golf should be sudden death. You choke, you’re done.

NASCAR: when all of the cars have been totaled.

Soccer: anything beyond when the clock starts at 00:00.

madguy30 (forums) asks: When is August?

When the air feels like a blanket and the bugs have more of your blood than you do.

pulse (forums) asks: One after-party, which one? DMX or Backstreet?

Depends. Are you single? Backstreet. Are you taken? DMX.

Gunnerclone (forums) asks: Scenario: Your SO is 8 months pregnant and you know it is going to be a son. A benefactor offers you $25,000 NET cash if you name the child one of the following: Lil’ Swagger, SixtyNine, TacoBell, Mankind, Alabama. Do you take it and which name do you choose? If not, and you were forced to take it, which name would you choose?

First of all, no, I would not take $25,000 to name my son any of those names. I think it would have to be six digits in order for me to do it.

If I was forced to take it, I think I’d have to go with TacoBell mainly due to the fact that “Taco” would be a natural nickname and I think everyone would just come to accept that eventually. TacoBell would get some weird stares from waitresses and TSA agents when he is forced to pull out his identification, but the embarrassment would eventually pass. Plus, it would build character.

BCClone (forums) asks: What is your favorite person to use in a gif? JLH has to be at the top.

Michael Scott’s versatility cannot be beaten. There’s a gif of him from The Office for virtually every situation.

Prime Jennifer Love-Hewitt was certainly a force to be reckoned with, but my assumption is the majority of Cyclone Fanatic forum users who gravitate toward her are in the 30-years-old range and above. I’m not saying that’s old by any means, but people between 18-29 (like me) didn’t grow up in the prime JLH era. My only real exposure to her growing up was from Garfield (2004) when I was 11, and you can make the case that her career was already on the downswing at that point.

Highly gif-able ladies from my generation that fit a similar mold would include two of my celebrity crushes: Alexandra Daddario and Nina Dobrev. I rarely pass up the opportunity to use a Dobrev gif.