Petzold: Join the Cyclone sports family


Jacob Rice

Fans dance to “Juicy Wiggle” at the ISU vs. Texas men’s basketball game, Jan. 17.

Megan Petzold, Columnist

As someone who has always admired the sports culture of Iowa State University but never felt like they had the time or money to go to games consistently, my views have changed. 

Growing up, my family was never really into sports. Occasionally we’d go to some semi-pro game or, of course, kids’ sports games, depending on whatever sport my brother or I was playing at the time. 

But my family never had sports on the TV. We never went to big games. We never knew enough to hold a decent conversation about any teams. 

So, coming to college, I didn’t make Iowa State’s sports games one of my priorities. 

I can fully say I did college wrong.

The Iowa State sports community ranges from students, to staff, to our community and to others around the nation. And for most games, a good portion of people gather together to cheer on our team, support our family. 

According to an article from CNBC, Daniel Wann, a professor at Murray State University, illustrated why being a sports fan is a psychologically healthy activity. 

“These relationships are significant: People who identify as sports fans have higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of loneliness and tend to be more satisfied with their lives compared to those who aren’t interested in sports,” Wann said. “Fans tend to have more access to social support, help and resources as well. Research suggests that when people have support from their communities, they have better health.”

These points are truly apparent when you are involved with the Iowa State community. 

Being surrounded by hundreds of people who are cheering for the same people you are, who are sad when things don’t go well or happy when things do go well, people who you can celebrate with, can really change how you feel. 

WebMD shares the mental benefits of being a sports fan. “Below are a few ways you may benefit mentally and socially from being a sports fan…self-esteem, eustress, escapism, strengthening family relationships, entertainment and group affiliation.”

Between cheering, booing, talking to your neighbors or simply engaging in the experience, one sports game of your choosing is likely to change your views on going to more games as it did mine.

Specifically talking about the men’s basketball game versus West Virginia on Monday, even though the game ended in a loss, it was still an incredible experience. 

Fans enjoyed the music, scores, the anticipation of winning or losing, and even clone cones. 

And while some fans left heartbroken, there is still an experience to bond over. There is still much love for the team and the sport. 

So, don’t be like me. Especially incoming students or those in their early years, don’t knock it until you try it. The Iowa State athletics department has made tickets affordable for students.

Come join the Iowa State sports family, if even for a day.