By Justin Kendall
Can they spell "optimism"?
I'm hopeful every August. This year cannot possibly be worse than last year, I
lie tell to myself. A 3-9 season in a coach's first year is understandable, right? And we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a few of those. God does hate the Iowa State Cyclones.
But I'm an optimist (check back with me after week 4). So I renew my season tickets. I know there'll be "growing pains." It's only year two of the Gene Chizik era, and Chizik's still building up a basement dweller. Hell, the Cyclones have more holes to plug than a New Orleans levee.
Don't look sad, Chizik.
Who's going to replace Todd Blythe at wide receiver?
Who's going to fill the holes on the defensive line left by "Tuba" Rubin and Bryce Braaksma?
Can a freshmen kicker hit a field goal when it counts?
Yep. Lots of questions. But it's August. Coach Chizik is bringing a new attitude to Ames -- or at least new uniforms (no more red on red; cardinal and gold, baby!). There are a lot of newcomers to get excited about (receivers Jason Carlson, Sedrick Johnson and Darius Darks, defensive back Kennard Banks). The Cyclones finished strong (except for that ass whipping by the Jayhawks), beating Kansas State and Colorado. The Cy-Hawk Trophy is in Ames where it belongs (suck it, Herky). The Cyclones open the season with South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits aren't even on NCAA Football 09. Gotta be a good sign, right? And the schedule isn't nearly as brutal. Texas and Oklahoma are off (praise Lee Corso!). Baylor and Oklahoma State are on. Of course, Kansas and Missouri are both in the top 15. But those are home games this year. See, optimism.
It's been a couple of seasons since the Cyclones have played in a bowl game. But a few surprise wins this year, and I just might be spending New Years Eve in Houston or Shreveport. Again. The dream begins Thursday, August 28.
I'll be sitting in the second row of section G next to the guy in the seam-splitting "If God made anything better than pussy, money, beer and the Cyclones, he kept it for himself" shirt.
If you're a Kansas City area Cyclone fan who can't help pack the Jack, the Kansas City Cyclone Club is throwing a fall kickoff party at Kelly's in Westport. Happy hour starts at 5 and the game watch starts at 7.
If Kansas can do it ... yeah, I'm optimistic.