I wanted to write something really special for this lesser-revenue-hate-week, something that really resonated with the fan base. The talking heads on the radio waves and the Twittersphere have lectured us all week how great of a matchup this will be.
"TWO RANKED TEAMS!"
"TWO BELOVED COACHES!"
"BEST MATCHUP SINCE 1987!"
1987 huh? That year is pretty foggy to me, I was barely past the bed wetting stage (the little kid version, not the drunken college one). Time to immerse myself in research; The 1987 Iowa State / Iowa matchup ... Iowa's Roy Marble & BJ Armstrong ... Iowa State's Jeff Grayer & Lafester Rhodes... Rhodes scored his breakout 52 points! Cyclones won! Hooray!
Hmm ... what else happened in 1987? Pouring through the history books, I noted: President Reagan's famous "Tear Down This Wall" speech, Michael Jackson released 'Bad', Tim Tebow was born (in a manger)... blah, blah, blah... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted... say what? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?!?! Awesome. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or "TMNT" to those of us in the know. They were heroes in a half shell... turtle power. I admit, I was sort of into them, but being born into a family of four boys in the 80's pretty much guaranteed that. How can I turn this into a basketball article?
Let's look at the 2013-14 Iowa State Cyclone Men's Basketball team as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Splinter: DeAndre Kane
There are 5 starters, so I almost have to include Splinter. Besides, DeAndre is old (relatively speaking) and wise. He's an ass-kicker when necessary, but usually just plays the steady, confident game of a ninja master, turned giant rodent. He's also crafty enough to employ the use of the the eye-gouge when necessary.
Leonardo: Melvin Ejim
Every group of over-grown reptiles needs a leader and Ejim is definitely that. It took all of about 10 seconds into the Michigan game to know he means business this year. Leonardo carries two giant katana swords, which must've seemed unstoppable to the typically unarmed, bad-guy Foot Clan - and with Ejim's promising 3-stroke this season to match his inside game, he's a brutal matchup as well.
Michelangelo: Georges Niang
Georges' skills on the court are impressive, but his ability to get the crowd going with a perfectly timed blown-kiss makes him the peoples champion. Just picture in your mind Niang picking up a pair of nun-chucks and throwing out some classic turtle line like: "Wise man say: Forgiveness is divine, but never pay pull price for late pizza. " It's almost too perfect.
Raphael: Dustin Hogue
Cool, but rude. Yeah, that pretty much defines Hogue's game. Calmly knocking down shots and rudely grabbing rebounds regardless of who he has to go around, over, or through. Those sai he uses are kind of a lame weapon, but he gets the red mask, so that's a win for a Cyclone any day.
Donatello: Matt Thomas
Sorry Matt, you get the kind of forgotten turtle. He didn't talk much, but usually ended up saving the day with some sort of invention, which was necessary because you can only kick so much ass with a stick as your go-to sidearm. Leonardo had 2 swords, you think he could at least give you one? But hey, Donatello is better than April O'Neil I guess.
Iowa week, TMNT, Cowabunga dudes.