2020. A year that will forever be remembered by those who endured through it. The year of difficult times all across the world. The year where many lost those who they loved to a global pandemic. The year where so many people have been struggling due to jobs being cut and the uncertainty of when it may come back. The year where a powerful storm ripped through our state, causing mass damage and destroying crops and adding more havoc to an already struggling agriculture community.
Many were looking for something positive to help them through this year. Something that could shed any ounce of hope on what will be a year many will never want to look back on. This Iowa State team gave a lot of us just that.
Iowa State has always been a place where you can build a family along side the ones you share blood with. Coming to Jack Trice Stadium every Saturday and tailgating and being with 64,000 of your closest friends has always been a part of that journey.
It just couldn’t possibly be the same this year due to the circumstances surrounding our world. The gameday atmosphere was as basic as can be and the tailgate lots were quiet. Hell, even the stands were basically all but empty for two of the games. One things remained the same, the perseverance and determination of this Cyclone football team.
Matt Campbell always talks about dealing with adversity and being remembered for how you handle it. Adversity came early for this team, and I didn’t believe it back on September 19th after a loss to Louisiana, but it was a defining moment for the 2020 season and for the better. It’s a credit to the culture that Matt Campbell has built around this program since coming to Ames in 2015, which has since bled into the fanbase.
While most of us bought into the Matt Campbell Culture well before this season, the messages he’s been preaching to his football have carried an unexpected weight for the rest of us this year. 2020 has been the year of fighting and picking yourself back up to find the best in each and everyday, which Iowa State has done each and every week this season, and you all continue to do as we continue to trudge through this global crisis. That fight has put Iowa State on the cusp of a Big 12 Championship.
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” No quote can quite capture the people of Iowa and this fan base in 2020 better than this one. While the tough situations of this year undoubtedly won’t last forever, Matt Campbell’s football team continues to be an example for how we can all push through.