Face aglow from the sacrificial bonfire that occupied most of the space in front of the Beardshear Hall steps, head wreathed in a ceremonial goat's skull; Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard addressed the hordes of ISU students, faculty and alumni gathered on central campus. Crying out in a voice seemingly pulled from the depths of hell itself, Pollard made his purpose known:
"Unholy minions, ready yourselves, goshdarnit! Operation CoCYtus: Hell on Earth is a GO!
After sweeping every religious school they faced in the basketball and football regular season, Iowa State quickly made plans to launch a holy war against every religious university in the country. But with the Cyclones' draw of the Notre Dame Fightin' Irish in the second round of the NCAA tournament, officials in the school's athletic department are scrambling to move their blasphemous project forward ahead of schedule.
"We planned to take the summer off to prepare for next season's games against St. Marys, Oral Roberts, St. Johns, Liberty... You know, we tried to schedule any school affiliated with any form of religion," basketball coach Fred Hoiberg explained. "But when we learned that Iowa State would have the opportunity to destroy the most prominent Catholic school in the world live on national TV... Well, that was too good of an opportunity to pass up."
"Hail Satan," Hoiberg added.
The Cyclones' commitment to the Catholic annihilation is all-encompassing. School officials don't want to just defeat the religion's most prominent university, they want to completely destroy a church that has existed for hundreds of years. In fact, some believe that Pope Benedict resigned after seeing a vision of the bloodbath that would ensue Friday night in Dayton. "Oh, he was terrified of this game, most definitely," Jamie Pollard explained. "My sources at the Vatican told me that most of Baby Benedict's last week as Pope was spent huddled in a corner, sucking his thumb and wailing to the heavens."
And both the old and new Popes may have good reason to be terrified. Iowa State has laid out a 666-point plan for the complete annihilation of every religious school in the world. This document was leaked to WRNL earlier this week by a source close to the basketball program who asked to be identified as Mad Abyssdevilmaster for the sake of anonymity. It is a chilling vision of things to come.
Among the major tactics laid out in the document:
- Schedule and defeat every school affiliated with a religion in athletic competition, even universities without athletic programs like the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and Rosedale Bible College.
- Switch the holy water at campus chapels with sparkling mineral water. Taste the bubbles... Of eternal damnation!
- Refer to all campus reverends and ministers as "God-boy" and "Pope-hugger," regardless of denomination.
- Place all Bibles, Torahs, Qur'ans and other religious books under the "Fiction" section of university bookstores.
- Teach ISU pep band how to play Slayer's "Reign In Blood" and Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" for in-game use.
- Replace communion wine with purple MD 20/20 and communion wafers with week-old hamburger buns scavenged from the dumpster behind Hardees.
- All-bacon & shellfish cafeteria menu at Jewish institutions, all-pork menu at Muslim schools, all-beef menu at Hindi universities, no fish on Fridays at Catholic colleges, etc, etc.
- Ensure that no priests, rabbis or ministers walk into a bar or take fishing trips together. This is no laughing matter.
So when ISU matches up with Notre Dame this Friday in Dayton, Ohio, there won't just be a victory and pass to the round of 32 at stake. This game may well kick off the final confrontation between good and evil, the one foretold in the Book of Revelations. Although, with the child abuse scandals that have consumed the Catholic church in the past few years, this may be the first time the forces of darkness have had the moral high ground over a faith-based institution.
Despite that, almost everything about the match-up seems to have diabolical significance. Iowa State takes on Notre Dame at 9:45 EST (945). ISU is a 10-seed; ND is a 7-seed (10 x 7 = 70). Iowa State's record is 22-11 (22 - 11 = 11), while Notre Dame's record is 25-9 (25 - 9 = 16). This is Notre Dame's 32nd NCAA tournament appearance. So with Iowa State's singular, unholy goal (1), that makes 945 - 70 - (11 x 16) - 32 - 1, which equals...
666! THE MARK OF THE BEAST!
With this match clearly damned from the tip, fans in Dayton, Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, even viewers at home are advised to take the necessary precautions. No one knows what those precautions may be, as this is a completely unique experience. Still... be careful out there tonight.