GARRINGER: Step it up, Cyclone Nation

Emily Garringer

Congratulations, Cyclones – we packed the Jack last week!

That said, what happened once we realized the game was lost?

If you were one of those people who streamed into our glorious stadium and looked around in awe at 7 then again in disgust at 9:30 – you were not alone.

Cyclone spirit is supposed to be one of the strongest forces in the state. This is the same pride that ignites Hilton Magic every basketball season. The Cyclone pride is the same pride that won Cy the title of Most Dominant Mascot this summer. Yet, at the football team’s moment of need, the benches stood clear.

Despite strong student section ticket sales, we all knew what to expect this year. These expectations were nothing spectacular.

Coach Gene Chizik came into Ames with high hopes. He is someone new and hopefully better for our football team, but he needs time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a brilliant football team won’t be built during one game.

Although by all rights we should have won the game against Kent State, it didn’t happen. Chizik himself claimed that it was a “comedy of errors.” Maybe subconsciously we all thought it would be easy, so as spectators, the thought of losing never occurred.

Kent State proved to tougher competitors than we had anticipated and our hearts weren’t in it. Cyclone Nation, admit it – you phoned in the spirit.

When the end came, only a few faithful stayed to see the shameful final score. Where were the rest of you that claim to bleed cardinal and gold?

Sure, the hours of tailgating before undoubtedly wore some of your out to the point of not even remembering kickoff, but that’s no excuse to not stay to cheer on the last few plays.

But the lecturing should be left to those who have either raised you or are getting paid to stand in the front of the classroom to do so.

The basic point is that we have no reason to have this scenario happen again. Every year it takes place, and it does nothing but show that our love is nothing more than superficial.

Cyclone spirit is not like that guy that you go to the bar with because you know he’ll pay for your binging for the night. Cy should be the best friend you can call at 4 in the morning after you’ve been dumped.

Last Thursday was the first of 12 potential nights of heartbreak. Saturday we will be battle the University of Northern Iowa Panthers not only for Coach Chizik’s first win, but our state pride.

If you’re from Iowa, you have friends that will pester you for the next year if we lose. Whether we’re down three points or 30, I’m hoping we all stay crammed together like sardines and finish what we start in the stands.

As a part of the Cyclone Family, we need to remember to find ways to make one of our newest members, Gene Chizik, feel welcome. Leaving him before the buzzer sounds is no way to keep him here.

Hopefully, on Saturday we will keep in mind all the things that make our university great. Iowa State has amazing professors, a beautiful campus and great students. We have Hilton Magic and the nation’s most dominant mascot.

As you walk or stumble into Jack Trice this weekend, walk with a little bit more pride. Drinking away your sorrows can wait until the final buzzer sounds, and the least we can do is show the Panthers that we love our school and our team enough to hang around until the end.

Pack the Jack at 6 and keep it packed all night!

Emily Garringer is a senior in marketing from Williamsburg.