Remembering the good times

Mark Pawlak

Time is up. It just seems like yesterday that I was a freshman wandering around, lost on the campus, looking for Gilman Hall or walking across the Zodiac at the entrance to the Memorial Union – but that was four long years ago.

I was not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I tried engineering when I first arrived in Ames.

A few engineering and computer programming classes later, I knew that I could not cut it; I was not doing well, but I did not make it to academic probation as was rumored.

After fleeing as far as possible that side of campus, I landed in journalism and Hamilton Hall. I made a good choice. The people I have met and opportunities that I have had at the Daily have been great.

The last four years of ISU athletics have definitively been eventful. Here are a few of the many memorable moments that I will take with me.

Sept. 19, 1998 – Iowa State 38, Ball State 0

A football game against Ball State as a top moment?

Yes, this was the first home game that the Cyclones won while I was here. This was the one that started it all. The crowd even stormed the field and went after the goal posts.

From there, how can you forget the the washing machine spin cycle of Darren Davis, the explosiveness of J.J. Moses, the big plays from Adam Runk or most importantly the No. 4 – the streak that Iowa State owns over Iowa.

March 25, 2000 – Michigan State 75, Iowa State 64

This was an Elite Eight matchup between the top two men’s basketball teams in the country. The second-seeded Cyclones were facing the top-seeded Spartans in Detroit, less than 100 miles from the East Lansing campus.

Even with the cards stacked against them, Jamaal Tinsley, Marcus Fizer and company had Iowa State on the brink of the Final Four. If you think the riot after beating UCLA to reach this game was huge, think what would have happened if the outcome had been different.

Holding a five-point lead with less than six minutes to go, the Cyclones just did not have enough to finish it off. After the Paul Shirley charge and block call and the Morris Peterson dunk, Michigan State was in control.

I still have not watched the tape of the game, and do not consider myself a fan of Mo Pete or Mateen Cleaves.


Enough said. Being here while Cael Sanderson did the unimaginable has been priceless. Sanderson has had an impact on the sport of wrestling that cannot be measured. Too bad little has been mentioned of Joe Heskett, a four-time All-American with a 143-9 career record.

It is time for me to start another part of my life and whether I am two or 12 hours away, I am always going to be a Cyclone fan. Who knows where ISU athletics will be in another four years?

As I leave there are a few things I have learned: Never pass up a spring break to Cancun. Never pass up a trip to a bowl game. Never walk across the zodiac at the MU, bad things will happen.

Thank you Iowa State for everything – the great athletics, the nicknames, the stupid things I have done that everybody knows about. I am going to miss it.

The loud scream you hear Wednesday will be from me.

Mark Pawlak is a senior in journalism and mass communication from Waterloo.