Football players spend time watching instead of being watched

Zac Reicks

On my day off, I like to wake up at noon, proclaim the couch my own fortress of solitude, and enjoy the television brilliance that is “Elimidate” and “The Fifth Wheel.”

By now, my roommates know it is pointless to ask me to contribute to anything constructive on my “off” days, because getting me to do work is about as likely as Lance Bass teaming with Russians to rocket into space.

Coming off a 36-14 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, you would think members of the ISU football team would use their Tuesday off to catch up on school work, sleep in until noon or send ESPN college football analyst Trev Alberts a thank-you note for picking his old school to put a hurt on the Cyclones.

Instead, five players from the 15th-ranked team in the country took their day off to pay a visit to Colo-Nesco’s junior high football game against powerhouse Gilbert.

ISU student Josh Dobson, Colo-Nesco’s head coach, convinced a few of his buddies on the team that the kids would love it if they came and watched one of their games.

So sure enough, Lane Danielsen, Jordan Carstens, Joe Woodley, Casey Shelton and Nik Moser strolled onto the track at the middle school field in Zearing to the amazement of the partisan Royal crowd.

Justin Spade, Colo-Nesco’s 5-foot, 100-pound wingback has been a Joe Woodley fan ever since the Cyclone fullback gave him his arm pads after the Kansas game. To get to talk to his favorite player and the rest of the guys made his day.

“I didn’t think they would come, but it was awesome when they showed up,” Spade said. “Somebody famous came to watch us kids instead of us watching them.”

Sure enough, there were two arm pads on his elbows that looked big enough to fit around his waist.

“I wear them for every game,” Spade said.

“Sometimes I forget them for practice ’cause I am busy with school.”

Now, I don’t like to admit it, but when I was young, I was one of the biggest Iowa Hawkeye fans around.

I thought about how amazing it would have been if Nick Bell, Matt Rodgers and any number of old Hawks had come to watch me terrorize opposing 8th-grade quarterbacks from my defensive tackle position (if they had kept track of sacks back in junior high, I would have been known as little LT).

Anyway, it would have been pretty cool.

Shelton, Iowa State’s starting tackle, was surprised at some of the similarities between Colo-Nesco’s team and his own.

“They play hard every play,” Shelton said. “And Dobson is a true coach, because his hands are either on his hips or his belly every play.”

Danielsen, Iowa State’s leading wideout, didn’t mind using his afternoon to make some kids have a better day.

“Coach Dobson is a good friend of mine and he sort of talked us into it,” Danielsen said. “I would have loved it if Iowa State players had come to watch me play when I was little.”

The excitement of the ISU players attending their game was not enough to spur the Royals onto victory.

They lost 38-26, dropping their record to 1-2.

But if you ask half the team the score, they would barely remember, as too many were looking over to the concession stand while Carstens polished off three hot dogs.

“It was kind of hard for them to pay attention when two 300-pound guys are on the field,” coach Dobson said. “I didn’t get mad, though, because the kids will remember this game for the rest of their life.”

Hmmm – kind of sounds like the game on Saturday.

Zac Reicks

is a senior in journalism

and mass communication from Lawler.