Cy’s mysterious love life

Cy the Cardinal was introduced as Iowa State’s mascot during the homecoming pep rally in 1954. 

Iowa State’s beloved mascot, Cy, has lived a life full of love, family and in this case, heartbreak. Cy has seen his fair share of romantic quarrels, and although many current students do not know, Cy has been married and has two children as well. This Valentine’s Day, Cy’s story is being told.

Cy’s love life began with a secret marriage to Susie Snapper Hawk of Iowa City on September 17, 1966, during migration. Although they eloped quickly after meeting, he didn’t announce it to the public until a year later during Parent’s Day.

Many rumors began swirling about why Cy kept it to himself for so long, but nothing was ever confirmed.

Was Cy ashamed to marry a Hawkeye?

While there may not be a concrete answer, his affection was clear. He referred to Susie as his “Chickie Poo.”

Shortly after Cy and Susie announced their marriage, Herky the Hawk, the University of Iowa’s mascot, suffered a broken heart because he too was competing for Susie’s love.

Herky had no comment on the matter.

After much debate, the happy couple chose Ames to be their nest, and Susie was seen incubating their egg between the Hub and Beardshear every afternoon from October 17 to 27 of 1967.

During that year’s homecoming, the pep council organized a competition to name the newest addition to the family. Entries were taken while Susie was incubating.

During the homecoming game against Missouri, the chick hatched and was welcomed with open arms by the Iowa State community.

At halftime, the baby bird was presented, and after sifting through hundreds of entries, the name Psychick was chosen. Unfortunately, the Cyclones lost that game, but the spirits of the students were not shaken thanks to Cy, Susie and Psychick.

Soon after, Susie vanished with Psychick, and neither have been seen since. Their disappearance is still a mystery. There are no clues as to their whereabouts, and there are no court records indicating whether Susie or Cy filed for divorce or annulment.

Did she fly back to Iowa City to be with Herky, or did she fall in love with another during the 1967 migration?

It was noted in a 1970 article by the Daily that Cy had an incident that involved alcohol in 1967. He fell ill at a school function, and it can only be assumed that this was due to the heartbreak of the missing Susie.

Clearly, Susie’s disappearance left Cy shaken and unable to trust another lady bird again. His commitment issues led to the child he had out of wedlock, Clone.

In 1989, Cy was given a gift during the halftime show of the Oklahoma game. Clone was wrapped up and presented to Cy as a surprise to him and everyone else who was there to witness the historical moment.

It was clear this newest addition was a shock to Cy, and we can only wonder who the mother is.

Cy either had Clone with Susie 23 years after she left him, or he cheated on his wife after her disappearance.

Although Clone’s origin remains a mystery, the father-son duo impressed crowds for years with their complementary routines, and Cy even let Clone take the lead in some events such as away games and alumni events.

In a 1989 article by the Daily, Rod Wilson, former field secretary of the National Cyclone Club, said, “Clone will appear at a larger variety [of] events than Cy was able.”

In a strange turn of events, Cy and Clone were merged into one in 1995 to create the mascot that we now know and love.

While there are a lot of questions surrounding Cy’s past, at the end of the day, we can all agree on this lesson learned: never trust a Hawkeye.