Just weeks after revamping the football team’s entrance into Jack Trice Stadium, Matt Campbell is looking to put an end to another one of the staples from the Paul Rhoads era, the “Sweet Caroline Curse”.
The head football coach is asking fans, players, and even the intimidating Per Mar security team, to take a stand by kneeling during the playing of Sweet Caroline Thursday evening.
If you are unfamiliar with the “Sweet Caroline Curse” this GIF sums it up quite spectacularly.
If that doesn’t help you understand this Neil Diamond hex then this image certainly will...
You see, Iowa State has a history of gut punching defeats that, up until Saturday night, no other program could ever top. It is admirable to be the best at something, but this fad has overstayed its welcome.
“On the rare occurrence we enter the fourth quarter with a lead, they play that stupid fucking song and next thing you know the opponent is posting up shop in the Case IH Red Zone, Betsy the drum major is fighting back tears, and sun-torched bleachers re-appear after the senior citizens get an early start on the Saturday afternoon traffic” student John Smears told WRNL.
More often than not though, the chorus is a prelude to an epic collapse than can only be topped by the events of the next home game.
Last season there was the fourth quarter collapse against Northern Iowa, giving up 17 unanswered fourth quarter points to the Baylor Bears and allowing the Mountaineers from West Virginia to score three straight second half touchdowns in a very fitting season finale.
And, of course, who can forget this fourth quarter kick to the nuts against Texas on a Thursday night just four years ago?
As for this year? Well, the damn curse has reared her ugly head once again after a ten point lead was quickly erased in Week 2. Fans watched as perennial bowl game runner-up Iowa crawled back to an overtime victory.
Matt Campbell continues to preach on his effort to change the culture and that is why he is asking fans to protest the dated ballad this Thursday evening.
Will he be fine with his players joining the movement? It sure sounds like it.
Campbell asked if he's OK with guys taking knee: "Whatever our guys do, you hope it's unified, you hope it's powerful." #Cyclones— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) September 25, 2017
Iowa State’s starting quarterback Jacob Park also apparently has no issues with fans or teammates supporting a cause they believe in.
Should the Cyclones take the lead going into the fourth quarter against Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns this week, Neil Diamond will be cued up on the scoreboard and fans will be tempted to sway their arms and join in the weekly tradition of waving a late game lead goodbye. Matt Campbell has asked that you don’t.
“It is all about the process. By focusing our attitude and effort and boycotting that wretched old tune, we can hopefully find something better, less cursed. Like, I don’t know, some Taylor Swift maybe,” Campbell told reporters at his media availability Monday afternoon.
Not everyone appears to be on board with this movement though. Cyclones basketball coach and good friend of Matt Campbell, Steve Prohm, is a big Neil Diamond fan and no doubt will be very, very upset with the effort to denounce the role of Sweet Caroline inside of Jack Trice Stadium.
We here at WRNL though have fully endorsed Coach Campbell’s request. Will you kneel with us in an effort to make fourth quarters great again?