AMES, IA - Saturday night's tribute to former Cyclone coach Dan McCarney was a smashing success, according to sources close to the Iowa State Athletic Department.
"We really wanted to highlight how far the football program has come under Coach Rhoads," said an athletic director at the university, who asked to remain nameless after Saturday night's disappointing loss to the Red Raiders. "In order to really help the 55,000 Cyclone fans in the stands appreciate the strides this team has made, we decided to remind them what Cyclone football was like a little over 8 years ago."
The game, which included a repetitive and predictable play calling selection of option reads, a complete breakdown in discipline after a quick start to the year, and a general lack of the sort of risk-taking and go-for-the-throat ballsiness that has been the signature style of the Rhoads era, was both a perfect impression of and tribute to the 2004 and 2005 McCarney teams, who both came within a single win of the Big 12 championship game.
The game even included a cameo by crowd favorite, "Shanked Extra Point."
While the tribute was a success, some Cyclone fans were confused by the school's lack of communication and advertising regarding the surprise event. Sources close to the program assure WRNL that this is not the case.
"It would have lost so much of the impact had we let fans know beforehand that this game was going to be a tribute to mediocrity," said the source who only wished to be identified as "The 'Stache."
"For this to be a true tribute to Coach Mac, we needed to blindside Cyclone Nation with a slow, frustrating, crushing defeat of both the football team and the general spirits of the fans."
"And you know what? Mission Accomplished."
The Cyclones take on TCU this coming Saturday in the Horned Frogs' Big 12 home opener. The athletic department denies rumors of a planned tribute to the 2005 Houston Bowl squad, in which the Cyclones will reportedly battle back after an early deficit, only to see a late game collapse facilitated by late fumbles and interceptions.