Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Throwing Stones at the Clones

Less than 72 hours to kickoff.

News of the day:

Tate was named as a captain and will almost certainly play. That should just about do it for any ISU hope of a Manson start (or a win, for that matter).

Responding to the infamous Lames billboard, Al Young said simply, "It's on. It's as simple as that."

Iowa AD Gary Barta and Cardinals AD Jamie Pollard announced today that the Iowa/Iowa State game will not be moved to the end of the season. They cited "competitive advantages" of keeping the game early. I supported Barta's hire, mostly because he said he would take the rivalry with Lames seriously, but this is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Barta said, “our goal, like Iowa State’s goal, is to win the conference championship. We want to get into the Rose Bowl or another BCS bowl. This game means a lot to the state. It’s important that we both focus on winning our conference championships when the game is over.”

Unfortunately, there is absolutely no logic to that statement. If your goal is to win the Big Ten, then why put a rivalry game early in the schedule where a loss destroys your confidence? A November loss to Iowa State would be much less damaging to Big Ten play than a loss in September. The BCS point makes no sense, either. A loss to Iowa State late in the year may drop Iowa's poll numbers more than a loss early in the year (see 2002), but Iowa's best chance of going to a BCS game would come by way of winning the Big Ten. Once again, a late game helps us get there. Move the game to November, when every one of Ferentz's Iowa teams has reached its peak. It would help Iowa State, too. If they were to make this the last game of the year, ISU's season would actually be over after the game (instead of being over only in their little minds). This way, they couldn't implode down the stretch in the Big XII north. Plus, a late-season loss to Iowa probably wouldn't have any effect on the decision of the Furniture Bowl selection committee.

Gary Barta had the wool pulled over his eyes
(we don't want to know what Jamie did with that wool)

In the same article, Jamie (I refuse to use any other name to describe him, because no other name would be as appropriately girly) told reporters that the State Patrol has reported traffic jams near the infamous billboard. Jamie asked if it was due to State fans slowing down to get a look. Of course it's not state fans, Jamie. State fans wouldn't stop to read the billboard, because state fans can't read. And those that can read don't have to slow the tractor down to get a good look.

I haven't yet brought it up, but Todd Blythe has been running his mouth considerably less this year after catching zero - I repeat, zero - passes against the stiff UNLV secondary (for ISU grads, that is one number less than one; it's a complicated concept, I know). To put it in perspective, my grandma caught as many passes last week as Todd. I've been reading that a USC transfer was covering him, and that should be the rationale for the shutout. I can't wait for Merrick and Paschal to lay the lumber to this idiot. You aren't so fast when you're knocked on your ass, son.

Today's target: VEISHEA

Ah, VEISHEA. Lames' yearly celebration of backwards visors, shirts with the collar popped, consumption of straight ethanol, and burning things. I always thought VEISHEA was French for "Todd Blythe got shut out by Nevada-Las Vegas." Turns out it is an acronym for the things Iowa State is best at: Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture. Note that football and basketball are not included.

Fifty bucks says these people couldn't find
Greece with an atlas, a compass, and Socrates

It doesn't really matter what VEISHEA stood for (though that home ec department is really something to be proud of; I wonder if that means Stevie Hicks can do his own laundry after crapping his pants Saturday afternoon), because now it stands for class, dignity, and intelligence. So much class that a student was murdered in 1997. So much dignity that cops were forced to use tear gas on students in 2004 after partygoers started throwing bottles and cans at officers. So much intelligence that they had to arrest Cardinal basketball player Jared Homan (of course, he wasn't thrown off the team, even though it was his third incident).

Iowa State students tear down the only traffic light in Ames; horsedrawn carriage accidents triple

VEISHEA was being touted as "the largest student-run, alcohol-free celebration of entertainment and education in the nation and second largest in the world." Of course, there is no information which backs that up, and saying that VEISHEA is alcohol free is akin to calling Dan McCartney svelt. The VEISHEA web site now quotes Gandhi, even though 98% of Iowa State students couldn't tell you who Gandhi was if you offered a heffer as a prize.

When the band refused to play another Toby Keith
cover, the sober, well-educated students of Iowa
State burned the stage to the ground

VEISHEA is set to return to Lames in 2006. And not a moment too soon; they finally replaced that stoplight. Stay classy, Iowa State. Stay classy, indeed.

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