What a weekend! What else can I say? The benefits of this win are clear; I don't have any new twist you haven't heard, and I can't really add anything to the discussion that hasn't been said. All I can add is how I experienced this win, and what it meant to me.
Being an Iowa State fan yields a lot of crap. We all know that, and I have an example of what I''m talking about. I live in Denver, Colorado, and I got crap here for being an Iowa State fan from Iowa fans. Labor Day weekend, I was wearing an ISU shirt and walking around downtown Denver. I then hear some guy start yelling "GO HAWKS" and I turn and see his jeep with Iowa flags on it. I was like "damn". No matter where I am, I can't shake some obnoxious Hawkeye fans.
With all of the different things going on with conferences, I was worried as well. I was worried we'd be relegated into a smaller conference, that the football program and basketball programs would go down, and that the lack of money would kill the volleyball, wrestling, and other non-revenue programs that have a following here.
I have just been plain tired of it. Tired of the crap, tired of bad things happening, tired of not wanting to wear my Iowa State gear, tired of seeing us get worked by teams like Baylor and Missouri, tired in general.
Then something like Friday night happens. It was something to remember. I could go in depth on why Oklahoma State can't defend the zone-read, why the bubble screens were working well, or why Oklahoma State got all conservative at times, but it doesn't really matter. This is all bigger than that.
What matters is the fact that the team is going to a bowl game for the 11th time in school history. What matters is that our fanbase got to taste something they have never gotten to before. I watch college football all the time and would see everybody go all crazy for getting an epic win. I always wondered if it would happen with our team, and quite honestly, I didn't think it ever would. I was wrong and I am glad for it.
I will never forget being on the phone with my wife (she was watching the game somewhere else), and watching Woody run in for that winning score. I screamed so loud on the phone, and was so pumped that I hung up on her.... And similar to what most people would do during a time of extreme excitement, I was uncharacteristic of myself: I was quiet.
I'm a big talker, I talk a big game, never shut up, always have something to say, and always have an opinion. What I saw on Friday night silenced me for a good 10-15 minutes. It was crazy.
I'm critical, skeptical, and I don't drink any kool-aid. But I am a fan of this program. I love this team. Love to me means staying up late because you are all jacked up. Love is re-watching the game on the ESPN replay. Love is rocking the same Iowa State T-Shirt for 2 days straight because you are so excited about what happened.
This is the best season of Iowa State football in school history, and even though saying that for most programs would mean going to a BCS bowl or playing for a national championship, I'm still pretty dang happy. Anytime you can beat your instate rivals, beat a ranked team on the road, and come back from 17 down to beat the #2 ranked team in the nation, it's hard to complain about the season. I think I am going to ride this high all the way through next season... Maybe for the rest of my life.... I hope there are more moments like this, but I want to get all of my excitement in, in case it's a once-in-a-lifetime type of an event
With those pesky Hawk fans, I gotta give it up for them as well. They gave props, and did not ruin the moment for us fans.
A win like this might start giving me that optimism that so many of my fellow Iowa State fans have. It will start making me believe that on Any Given Saturday (or Friday night), that our team can win..... I think.