So last night, shortly after Monte Morris hit the jump shot at the buzzer that sent Iowa State past Texas and into today’s semifinals, I grabbed my bag and headed out to my car.
I like the Oak Street door at the Sprint Center. Less crowded. Quicker walk to where I park. Anyway, I’m not quite a block away when I see two guys, about my age, in ISU shirts, drunk off Morris’ shot and surely something a bit stronger, jumping up and down and hugging each other and screaming about their Cyclones.
There is nobody around, of course, the party happening inside Sprint or on the other side at Power & Light. I love that stuff like this happens around sports, two old friends by themselves, ecstatic over something as awesome and largely unimportant as a basketball game won at the buzzer, so as I walk by I’m laughing and smiling and we exchange hellos.
“Sir,” one of them yells out after I’m past.
Sir is someone else’s name, so I keep walking, but he says it again so I turn around.
“Where’s the Power & Light?” he says, looking across Oak Street at what he’s certain should be lots of taps and ice.
I start to give them directions, and as soon as I point the other guy takes off in that direction.
“Have fun,” I say.
They are hugging and hopping toward happiness when one of them turns around.
“WE’RE CYCLONES!” he says.
I know generalizations and stereotypes are bad, but damn, Iowa State fans are a lot of fun.