Ever is a long time. Like, a really long time. Some evers are longer than others, but ever is a long time just about any way you spin it. Lots of things can happen in that amount of time. So many, in fact, that it’s extremely difficult to to pick out the “most” anything within that time period, and sometimes just as difficult to identify a define what exactly that is.
To determine the “most Iowa State thing ever,” we’ll first need to define the phrase. It obviously has to be an all-encompassing definition that summarizes the general feeling of being a Cyclone fan, both in short and long time frames. Let’s first take a look at the long time frame.
Iowa State’s historical athletic legacy depends on exactly which sport you’re referencing. Men’s and women’s basketball were both largely lackluster in their early years, but have seen levels of unprecedented success over the past three to four decades. Wrestling is historically the third-best program in NCAA history, but has largely fallen off over the course of the past decade and a half. Various other Olympic sports have had intermittent success, but have largely failed to compete near the top of the conference on an annual basis.
This brings us to football which endured most of a century of unspectacular, unceremonious losing before transitioning to a decade of relentless ass-kickings and gut-punching failures. Obviously, the Campbell era has brought a new horizon and hope to the program, but Cyclone football still endures the occasional “most...ever” moment (more on that later).
For the short term, we need to look at individual games and moments. We can’t just look at simply winning or losing as being an Iowa State thing, because those things happen to every program all the time. The meat of the discussion is in the details, and exactly how those things happen.
Most would generally that some form of heartbreaking collapse would fit the bill, as it’s happened in basically every sport, and happens uncommonly frequently in football and men’s basketball. But the uniquely Iowa State thing about those gut shots is that they always come at a time when we were *this* close to achieving something historic, only to have those hopes dashed away by any of officiating blunders, opponent luck, or complete total failure on the part of Iowa State.
We’re not going to go through every single heartbreak ever, because the list long and painful (and we already did that a couple years ago). However, we can pick out a couple moments that illustrate what I’m talking about.
- The muffed punt against Iowa
- At the end of the 2019 CyHawk football game, Iowa State had a prime opportunity to finish the game with a final touchdown drive and take home the CyHawk trophy for the first time in five years. However, as Iowa State was fielding a punt to start that game-winning drive, Datrone Young ran directly into the punt returner, causing a fumble, which Iowa recovered. After an excruciatingly long game due to multiple lightning delays, Cyclone fans went home broken-hearted after an absolutely breathtaking disappointment.
- Shaggy’s missed field goals to lose the Big 12 North
- We couldn’t leave out two of the incidents for which this site is named. On two separate occasions in 2004 and 2005, Iowa State found itself with a change to clinch the Big 12 North title and earn a spot in the conference championship game. However, on both occasions, Iowa State kicker Bret Culbertson missed game winning kicks in the final seconds wide right.
So what is the single most “Iowa State” moment ever? It’s difficult to narrow that down, and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to.
But how can determine what is a “most Iowa State moment ever” going forward? Well, it must take place when something great is possible, even likely, yet nearly the worst possible thing happens instead, likely completely at your own fault. Let’s go through a few examples of how you can most effectively use the phrase “most Iowa State thing ever” in your everyday life.
What’s the “most Iowa State thing” possible when...
Q: opening up your refrigerator for the first time in the morning?
A: You find a breakfast perfectly prepared for you that simply needs reheating, then the fridge door you forgot to fix falls off the hinges and breaks your foot, sending your perfect breakfast plate tumbling to the floor, and the fridge manufacturer sues you for wasting a perfectly good breakfast.
Q: washing the dishes?
A: You aren’t paying attention and you accidentally load the dishwasher with regular dish soap instead of the special dishwasher detergent, flooding your kitchen with suds.
Q: you’re driving?
A: You get a phone call and it’s the company you applied for calling you to tell you they were offering you the cushy job you interviewed for, but while answering the phone, you drop it on the floor. In your quest to retrieve the phone, you accidentally lose control of the wheel, crash into a house, which turns out to be your own.
Q: you’re getting ready to watch an Iowa State football game at home?
A: You buy a brand new TV and you hang it on the wall because that’s what real ballers do, but you didn’t mount the bracket on a stud, sending the TV crashing to the floor and ripping a giant hole in your drywall.
So hopefully this clears up exactly what the “most Iowa State thing ever” is, and how you can more effectively use the phrase in your everyday life.