The Greg McDermott era in Ames was plagued by unmet expectation, unanswered questions, and a seemingly never ending revolving door of players. But to say that GMac didn’t leave his mark on the Ames community would be a vast misconception. Sure, the Cyclones posted a meager 59-68 record in four years under his watch. They didn’t make the NCAA tournament, the NIT, or even the laughable CBA. Many would go as far as saying that GMac accomplished nothing during his time at ISU… well I’m here to set the record straight; this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Post season appearances are not the sole standard of success in the eyes of one Greg McDermott, "I pride myself on my many off court accomplishments", he said, in an interview earlier this year before his defection to Creighton. During his tenure at Iowa State, GMac took time away from driving the basketball program into the ground in order to set a multitude of records that will most likely stand long after the damaging effects of his coaching have been repaired.
In over two dozen Ames and surrounding area bowling alleys, restaurants, and drinking establishments GMac holds the high score in erotic photo hunt. One local bar owner we spoke to told WRNL, "GMac only came in once. He brought with him a single quarter and a bottle of yoohoo. He sat at that machine for over two hours, then got up and left when his drink ran out. After he left I checked the machine, and I’d be a liar if I told you it wasn’t the highest score I’d ever seen". Having gone a few rounds myself with which many refer to as "titty touch"; I can assure you this is an impressive feat. Comparing and identifying the differences between ingrown hairs and cesarean section scars of penthouse rejects is a daunting task. Being able to perform at such a high level time and time again takes a steady hand, a desire to be the best, and the ability to make precise split second decisions. Had only those skills translated to basketball in any way, Creighton just might have had a chance at making the tournament sometime in the next ten years.
La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Ames is known throughout Story County for their vaunted "Monster Margarita Challenge". No one knows this better than McDermott. The now former ISU coach holds a record for completing the challenge 47 times during his stay in Ames. GMac spoke in an interview with La Ley (KBGG Spanish radio 1700AM) last summer, "I’ve got more shirts than I know what to do with, and I’ve actually started using them as an incentive for my players. No game balls being given out here, I think the shirt has a bit more personal touch to it anyway" To give some perspective to how impressive this record really is, the individual with the 2nd most completed Margarita Challenges is a thirty year old construction worker who gave up his quest to catch McDermott after 23. All I can say is well done coach! And how could a player not want to put it all on the line for the guy night in and night out, I mean we’re talking T-shirts here?
As if these weren’t enough achievements for one individual, they both pale in comparison to this one. McDermott’s crown jewel, the record that will remain standing long after Cal Ripken Jr’s consecutive game streak, Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game, and the Dolphin’s perfect season have all been eclipsed… 4 consecutive Reiman Gardens Spring Fling Easter Egg Hunt wins in a row! Yea, you heard me correctly. FOUR! From 2005 until just this past April GMac dominated the event. And to set the record straight, this isn’t some chump amateur egg hunt in grandma’s backyard; this is the freaking spring fling we’re talking about here. In most Easter egg hunting circles it’s considered to be the most prestigious modern day contest; the plastic egg enthusiasts Super Bowl. WRNL caught up with former Spring Fling record holder Timmy Paulsen, "I used to be the king of this town, back in 94’ after my back to back wins. Then that son of a bitch McDermott comes in here and takes everything from me. He ruined my life!" The envy of GMac’s talent and accomplishments apparent, the interview ended there as Timmy began divulging his Ray Finkle-Dan Marino-esque obsession with Greg.
Now I’ve known for a while that GMac was a talented guy, well, outside of coaching basketball in a major conference that is. But when I found out that we had this caliber of an individual in our midst and we allowed Creighton to sweep in and in take him away, lets just say that the 10-year contract they offered him made all too much sense. Who knows what GMac is yet to achieve? I’d sure hate to be the guy that allowed this gem to slip away, knowing what might have been. Jaime Pollard must have brass balls to let something like this happen.