Hilton magic depends on the students

Jenny Joanning

I know this phrase has probably been beaten to death in the past few weeks, but I just can’t let the opportunity go by without joining in on the beating festivities: What a great time to be a Cyclone basketball fan! Men’s AND women’s.

The women’s team, as no surprise to anyone, is kicking butt and taking names. They are doing what everyone knew they would do before the season started. And they are doing it well.

One of the best things about the women’s team this season could possibly be going to the games and seeing all the different people who are there. Not only are college students there showing their support in non-coordinating ensembles, but younger kids, and a lot of younger girls, are there too.

At the game on Wednesday against Kansas, I looked behind one of the baskets and thought I had accidentally gone to a Britney Spears concert instead of a basketball game.

There were also many older women there. This makes sense. Some of those women might have liked the opportunity to play sports when they were in college, but didn’t have the chance. Some of them may try to live vicariously through the players by coming to the games and yelling at the refs.

The thing that I wasn’t expecting to see, however, was such a large number of older men. But they were there, yelling and swearing with the same intensity as they would at a men’s game. That was very entertaining.

The men are also kicking butt. This is something that not many people, besides myself, expected of them. What can I say, I always had confidence in them.

I must admit, when it comes to the ISU men’s basketball team, I am a bit of a freak. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I’m at the home games. I watch the away games on TV. I watch “Sports Sound Off” on channel 13 after a big win because I want to hear the Hawkeye fans cry and try to come up with some excuse about how ISU won again.

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

The men have had some very exciting wins this year. Many of which were by something like 80 points or so. That is just a ballpark figure, though. I could be a little off.

The team’s only two conference losses have been in overtime and have been extremely close. They have also been extremely heartbreaking. Try being in a room with about five of my male, die-hard, Cyclone fan relatives when Jaquay Walls hit that three-pointer from somewhere around the third row of the balcony.

I have never seen the excitement level rise so high and then drop so fast in one room as it did in those 4.4 seconds.

Honestly, just beating Iowa and Kansas twice would have been enough to keep me happy. Being 22-4, however, is almost too much excitement for me to handle. Not really! Please keep winning!

The only thing I don’t like about the games is something a number of people have already talked about — the seating arrangement. People complain that Hilton magic is gone and then the school sits people in front who want to watch a nice, relaxing, “let’s not talk above a whisper” game of basketball. Go home and watch it on TV if that is what you want.

I have seen people, who are obviously not students, sitting in one of the scattered student sections, complaining about students who get excited and yell at the games. Hello! Let actual students sit in the student section if you don’t like them.

It’s pretty dumb that only a handful of students get to sit close to the action and yell obscenities at the refs. Why should people with money get to have all the fun? Who says that the students in the balcony don’t have something very deep and meaningful to say to the refs after a bad call?

Yes, college students get discounted tickets, but our discounted ticket is still a bigger chunk out of our funds than it is for the other people who get to sit in the arena circle. That right there shows enough devotion to at least deserve parquet seats.

Here’s an idea to try out. For one game, have all the seats around the court be loud, yelling, swearing, sweaty college students packed in so tight there is no place to sit, and we will just see if Hilton magic returns.

Or they could just keep Martin Rancik on the sidelines to yell at the crowd to stand up and cheer. He is very good at that. I guess that wouldn’t be much fun for him though, so maybe not.

My predictions for both teams are definitely NCAA tournament, and at least the third round for both. They could probably do even better than that, actually.

I have a request, though. Could the men’s team please win the whole tournament? I got Iowa State on the cap of my 20 ounce Pepsi, and if they win I think I get a hat or something. It would be very nice if that could be arranged!

Jenny Joanning is a junior in journalism and mass communications from Norwalk.