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Bullshitting with Blaise Bryant

Part two.

Reflecting on Jacob Park, I hope he’s alright wherever he is.

I don’t know much about that kid.

After the Texas loss, he took a personal leave of absence from the team.

I hope there’s nothing wrong with his kid, maybe while he’s gone he can get rid of that perm. The hair is terrible, for the love of God, either shave it or straighten it.

I think he’s taking the business in the front, party in the back to a new level.

Different level, but it’s his own level and it’s terrible. (laughter) I’m just messing with him, his hair isn’t any worse than when I was at Iowa State.

I have picture of your trading card, and that is some good stuff there.

Isn’t that great? A flattop with a mullet, talk about straightening.

Man, your hair is almost as flat as the entire state of Iowa.

(laughter) Iowa is great though, every time I go back they treat me like I just played a game yesterday. And I’m like, “I haven’t played, or scored a touchdown, in like 30 years!”

I’m going to try and make it to the bowl game as long as it isn’t in New Jersey again. I was going to go the one (Pinstripe) in New Jersey, but you had to be out of the hotel at like 10PM on New Year’s Eve. Where you gonna go? So then you’d fly home and spend New Years in the air? It was just a bad gig. Hopefully it won’t be over there again. If I was there in New York, I’d want to stay and keep the party going. Being up in the air, you know, it’s so expensive to do New Year’s in New York. All the rooms were sold out anyway when I looked at it.

According to what I’m hearing (SB Nation projection), we’ll be playing in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl again.

As long as it isn’t Shreveport, Louisiana. That place is terrible.

Did you go to bowl games there?

When I was in Canada, there was a bunch of American teams that popped up, in 1994, that didn’t last long. One of them was in Shreveport, Louisiana, and it was awful.

I know we had some bowls down there, one against Alabama. The Shreveport Pirates?

Yeah, that was it. What’s his name, that old legend from the NFL was their coach .. Forrest Gregg!

(Gregg) Played with the Packers forever, ‘56-’70? Damn.

He was a pretty cool guy though, he definitely was a players coach, one of the guys said. But the stadium (Independence Stadium) was horrible. The field was horrible.

If you want to get mad/have proof that the refs conspire against Iowa State, look no further than the ending of the 2001 Mainstay Independence Bowl.

Oh I know. To be honest, there was an unnecessary roughness against an Iowa player that would’ve gave us a first down, and we could’ve literally ran the clock out and they could’ve never scored, but they didn’t call it.

Iowa State will never get a call, ever. They won’t give it to us. Especially if we’re playing a top ranked team, we gotta beat ‘em. Because they’ll want them in the Playoffs or in a better bowl than us.

The TCU game for me was a lot of fun as I was front row of the student section, what are your thoughts about the win?

That was a good win. TCU has good athletes too, TCU basically recruits everybody from the state of Texas.

I just found out that Kenny Hill and backup Shawn Robinson are questionable for the Baylor game on Friday. So if Baylor wins, and we win, and some other chips fall we could be in a Big 12 Championship game.

Baylor has athletes too! It just depends if they put it together at the right time. There’s only a handful of teams that are stacked. Like there were teams that were stacked when I played. It’s not like you got all the blue-chippers going to Nebraska or Oklahoma anymore or Notre Dame. They’re all pretty spread out except for Alabama. Alabama is like a pro team.

I bet they could beat the Browns.

They probably could! Alabama is stacked, but the rest of them, there’s so much parity in the game right now that you got a couple athletes out there.

A punt return here or an interception returned for a touchdown, you can sneak 17 points the hard way, and then your offense puts up 21, ball game! That didn’t really exist when I played. There was just so much depth on some of these teams where you could play them tough for a half, but then they would just wear you down. They keep rotating all these blue-chippers off the bench.

Is it starting to get cold?

Today (November 21), in particular, is beyond crappy. It appears the wind has finally died down, but it was gusting quite a bit. We’re going to have a low of 18°, but don’t worry, it feels like 15° currently.

I know right after Halloween, man, it was like Trick-or-Treat and then the hawk was here.

I guess the “trick” would have to be the weather.

(Laughter) I mean, it was coming quick.

Hopefully Memphis will be like warm enough if we go there. I think that’s like a 10 hour drive from my house.

It’s usually pretty nice in the day, also Iowa State man it gets cold quick there like it turns overnight.

Did you ever know a Ron “Bear” Green when you were at Iowa State?

What’d he do?

Equipment Manager

Yeah! I know of him.

Cool! I worked under him when I was at Ames High.

It’s amazing because whenever I go back I always run into someone I know. I can’t believe he’s still there. Time goes quick once you get out of high school.

How’s our basketball team looking this year? I haven’t checked them out yet.

We lost our first two games, but now things are looking up. We just won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament in Myrtle Beach. We got Cameron Lard and Nick Weiler-Babb, so we’ll be alright. At least I hope.

That Burton guy last year was insane, being able to dunk and shoot 3s.

There was a Hilton Madness — to promote the season — and this guy is dunking in Timberland Boots, like come on man!

(laughter) That guy, he can play.

He’s currently playing in the Korean Basketball League (Wonju DB Promy).

That is a mistake. NBA teams are making a mistake there. If they let him play, he could be a Draymond Green, but better. I don’t get where these guys get their advice on who should they draft and who they predict to be great. There’s just so many guys that they’re wrong about, and he’s one of them. Just look at him in the tournament! He’s a baller! I definitely thought he should be a late 1st, early 2nd.

Another former Cyclone, Niang, was just in Des Moines on Sunday playing a G League game.

Niang is another one I don’t understand, he’s another baller. When you start playing for money, it’s just different. It’s not the same where like everybody gets a fair shot. If they have someone they’re paying more money than you’re paying or they have a higher draft pick. You’re just stuck; nothing you can do.

I’m hoping that Monté and some of these other guys can get pulled up to the NBA, because it would be cool to see them play, you know?

Exactly. Monté, Niang, Burton, should all be up there playing. Trust me, I’ve been in that situation before.

I can honestly say that Terrell Davis was a better blocker than I was, but as far as a running back, I don’t know. I know when I was with the Jets, there wasn’t a better running back on that squad. With the Jets there was like Blair Thomas and he was like the second pick in the draft.

Reflecting on another Cyclone, Troy Davis, I wish he had better NFL successes.

That NFL, it’s such a boy’s club, and if you ain’t in that right club, it’s you don’t know, you know?

Troy definitely should’ve won the Heisman, and Seneca was in against Florida State, but these are just more superstitions I have.

It’s definitely tough. How did we start with Seneca Wallace, 6-0? 7-0?

6-1 I believe, because we lost to Florida State that opening game.

I liked Seneca, he was a good player, I liked him a lot. I was at that game when we beat Nebraska (2002)

Turns out we’ve been at the same game at least once (laughter).

I bleed cardinal and gold.

To end that season, we lost to both Oklahoma and Texas, beat Mizzou, and then went 0-4.

I about cried, what do you do.

I do know, that if we’re playing a Top 10 team, we have to beat them, you cannot leave it up to the officials because they won’t give us the call.

Do you think we should retire Jack Trice’s number and/or give it to the player that most exemplifies his “I WILL” legacy?

Oh, definitely. That’d be a good one too! It’s kinda weird that Iowa State has the only stadium named after a brother. I never knew that either. When I went on my recruiting trip, they kind of explained his legacy to me, and I never put two and two together.

Not to give Iowa a compliment, but, I like how they honor one of their heroes of the past with Kinnick. That’s probably the only nice thing I’ll say about that TOE.

Yeah, that’s about the only thing you can say. I actually root for them when they’re not playing Iowa State. It was always fun to play at Iowa. I like their stadium.

Some of the people I work with like to say that Iowa is the better team because they won the head-to-head matchup, but at least we didn’t lose to Purdue.

How do you lose to Purdue?

Man, I don’t know. The joke I was coming up with this weekend wasn’t that funny to my coworkers. I speak French decently well and in French the past tense of “To lose” is perdu so I was like “You just perdu to Purdue.”

(Laughter) that’s great. Again, how do you lose to Purdue?

I don’t think they’ve been good since Drew Brees was there.

I know. Is that legal?

You know, it’s funny, my last two schools that I narrowed it down to were Purdue and Iowa State.

What made you choose Iowa State over Purdue?

My junior college coach was like “Well Blaise, they don’t have a returning starter (Joe Henderson), and I’m not saying you can’t play, but you definitely want to go where the job is open.”

I know Paul Thibodeaux had played a lot in his career (1985 and 1987-1989 at ISU), but he wasn’t like the returning starter. So I figured and my coach was like “yeah, go to Iowa State,” and I was like “I always wanted to play against Nebraska and Oklahoma.” We would always wear them out in the first half. We played them tough, we just ran out of gas.

I met Johnny Majors at the Playboy All-American. He was the All-American coach back in 1990. They flew us to Florida. Is he back in Ames?

He was for the TCU game, yeah.

Hopefully you don’t feel the hit in the featured image. Also it was the only picture of you I could find in color.

Back in the day, color must’ve been expensive (laughter).

Blaise is one of 14 Cyclones to have over 1,000 rushing yards in a season with 1,516 yards in 1989. He was drafted by the New York Jets (148th overall) in the 1991 NFL Draft. Any ideas for future Cyclones to interview will be considered.

Thanks again to Blaise for doing an interview with us!