For Pete's Sake

Iowa State players defend fans after bashing by Cyclones quarterback

Iowa State’s Joel Lanning celebrated with fans following the Cyclones’ 38-31 win against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 7, 2017.
Iowa State’s Joel Lanning celebrated with fans following the Cyclones’ 38-31 win against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 7, 2017. The Associated Press

The comment was tucked deep in a Des Moines Register story about Iowa State quarterback Jacob Park planning to transfer.

Park was the Cyclones’ starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, but he took a leave of absence from the team before Iowa State’s upset at Oklahoma.

According to the Register story, Park said he was overwhelmed by the task of juggling school, football, fatherhood and living with the mother of his child. He also said he failed a drug test because of “marijuana usage” and was facing a one-game suspension for the game against the Sooners on Oct. 7.

That time off didn’t end with the Oklahoma game. Park never played again for the Cyclones, and while talking with the Register’s Tommy Birch, he said Iowa State fans turned on him:

“Everybody says these fans are so loyal, right? Like, they were the first ones to turn on me. I got to witness this from a whole other perspective that most of you never get to witness.”

That didn’t sit well with Iowa State football players, who took to Twitter to defend Cyclone fans.

Linebacker/quarterback Joel Lanning wrote: “You can’t disrespect the fans that are loyal to everyone no matter what the circumstances are!”

Defensive end J.D. Waggoner wrote: “We have the best fans in the country who always make Saturday’s special! You’ve NEVER abandoned us for a second. This senior year has been special because of your support #thankyou”

Tight end Cole Anderson wrote: “ISU FANS = BEST IN AMERICA.”

Cyclones running back Mike Warren wrote: “Through thick and thin #cyclONEnation had always been by my side, best fans in the country hands down!”

Here’s the puzzling thing about Park’s comment: just last month he tweeted his gratitude for Cyclones fans.

He wrote: “Thank you for the continuous love and support from not only Cyclone Nation but most importantly my family and friends! Thanks for always sticking by me. Y’all are the best!”

Not surprisingly, Iowa State fans were not happy with Park’s comment to the Register.

Hat tip to the Iowa State Daily.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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