How to Watch an Iowa State Sporting Event: Sweet 16 Edition

Score more points than the other team, AMIRIGHT.

1. Make a plan. A Cyclone game isn’t something you just “catch just the beginning or end of.” It’s a commitment because A.) you never know what’s going to happen in these games and it is impossible to assume, B.) do you really have better plans than spending the end of your work week with over-priced beer and overly-entertaining friends?, and C.) because school pride. So whatever game it is — a blow out against TCU or idk guys, a Sweet 16 tournament game — make a plan to watch that thing whole-heartedly, from beginning to end. You will kick yourself if you don’t.

2. Know your facts. So that when someone says DeAndre Kane is a drama queen with Marcus Smart tendencies, you can say, “DeAndre Kane goes to AJ’s. AJ’s makes you happy. Happy people don’t flop. They just don’t.” Or you can use my favorite method, which is spouting facts really quickly and immediately making everyone think conviction is synonymous with fact. Phrases like “split the paint” “posting up” “double double” “shooting from downtown” and “field goal percentage” will all be extremely helpful. OR you can say actually true things like this:

USA Today Sports ranked DeAndre Kane fourth in the Top 10 best players entering the Sweet 16.

Hoiberg will continue to take different approaches due to the loss of big guy Niang, 6’7 soph, who had the nerve to go get his foot broken last Friday (aka when “break a leg goes too far” aka “we didn’t mean it literally” aka “maybe with all this new attention sports announcers will stop pronouncing your name phonetically”).

Kane averages 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game and will, essentially, be Shabazz Napier’s worst nightmare. Speaking objectively here, people.

In part with being really ridiculously smart and good-looking, Melvin Ejim is the Big 12 Player of the Year and will take advantage of shooting both 3′s and inside the paint, because UConn’s highly ranked defense is scared of big guys apparently.

Let us not forget Monte Morris, Dustin Hogue, Naz Long, and Matt Thomas — together, they’ll make up for Niang’s absence.

So I mentioned Napier. He’s actually ranked no. 5 in that USA Sports Top 10 player thing, as he advantageously spent his 2011 freshman season on UConn’s national championship team and, you know, learned a shit ton doing that. He’ll be primarily responsible for guarding Kane, but Ollie will need to send in other troops so his star guard doesn’t get worn out.

UConn’s head coach Kevin Ollie is the same age as Hoiberg and they actually played for the Chicago Bulls during the same time. Both at the beautiful, ripe age of 41, you could say the former-NBA players are doing well for themselves. Or that one is doing REALLY SUPER EXTRA well.

FredHoibergLockerRoomDanceISUVid

3. All the beer. The last thing Cyclone fans need is something to up their blood pressure, so go for your favorite familiar depressant. If you’re like me and drink anything that is in front of you, beer is your optimal choice. (I also get super quiet when sports get intense. It’s why my career as a competitive yodeler never hit the fan.) You will be drinking A LOT. Your eyes will be glued to the screen, your lips glued to a frothy glass (or a PBR can if that’s what you’re into), and your heart glued to so many empty athletic promises. Your sixth beer tastes like water anyway, so you might as well let the hydrating commence. Parts of the game might get fuzzy and NCAA rules may be confusing, but that’s what tomorrow’s Internet is for — to remind you that yes, it is in fact okay for a basketball player to dribble between his legs. Hey, beer leads us all astray sometimes, but it is a comfort in the unknown territory that is sports.

4. Be with friends. The only people who are safe around you during Cyclone games are other Cyclone fans. Your ailing physical, mental, and emotional states during these events only become more severe as game time passes. And who do you want picking up the pieces? Hawkeyes? Jayhawks? No thanks.

Side bar: “rock chalk Jayhawk” literally has no meaning. Some KU scientists made it up a bunch of years ago because the school was in desperate need of a chant. So they decided on some words that a four-year-old declared a rhyme and that make about as much sense as non-alcoholic beer. But hey, we won’t hold it against them or their tournament loss to a school whose mascot is a color.

Anyway, the point is whether crying tears of pain or of sweet, sweet joy, you’re going to want to be surrounded by the people who know you – not a rando dude who just happened to wear cardinal and gold that day.

5. Survive and advance. Let the March Madness mantra be your mantra. Whether that be surviving the commercials and advancing to the bar, or surviving the game at hand and advancing to the next round. We can all take a cue from Freddy here and maintain sheer coolness during a game.

Lolz.

It’s important to take things one step at a time and to not get too ahead of ourselves. We’re Iowa State fans. How boring would it be if we knew how each and every game was going to turn out? Where’s the fun in alumni apathy? Your finger nails may be gone, your hope in humanity may be restored, lost, then restored again, and your thumbs may break after favoriting each and every #cyclONEnation tweet, but we do for it a specific reason. This is a team well worth fighting for, and we couldn’t be more proud to be one.

Now watch this.

The Quick & Dirty Guide to Understanding Super Bowl XLVIII

26500Sports are good. Most of the time, the games allow me to drink during the daytime (sans-judgment) or wear an oversized jersey or sweatshirt (sans-real pants). And at the very least sports are a good excuse to stop whatever you’re doing in order to go hang out with your friends because this is what America does, dammit. Generally most of my football knowledge comes from Friday Night Lights and the greek god that is Tim Riggins #33, and I feel slightly unAmerican not giving too much care to Super Bowl XLVIII (which is Super Bowl “48″ in human math). Maybe I’d care more if the Vikings (lol) were playing. But if you’re going to attend some sort of friendly football-focused gathering this Sunday, here are some fast facts to catch you up to speed:

1. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are playing each other. That’s important to know, sources confirm.

2. The game is in New Jersey (random?) and Bruno Mars is playing at halftime because every other artist was unavailable, except for The Black Eyed Peas and/or Marc Anthony.

3. The Broncos apparently have a pretty big fan base in the Midwest, which is cool if you’re into the bandwagon thing. And Richard Sherman of the Seahawks basically made everyone else in the world hop on that wagon with his weird freak out after his team won the NFC Championship.

4. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seahawks, is the second oldest coach in the NFL (62 years young) and is a big Macklemore fan so that’s cool.

5. Peyton Manning took a timeout from Buick commercials to be in another Super Bowl, which is sweet because he could potentially be the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl title with two different teams (or “franchises” as the NFL likes to say.) Peyton’s brother Eli is the QB for the New York Giants. They have another brother named Cooper who is the black sheep non-NFLer, but he IS an energy broker. So you can thank him for the blackout during last year’s Super Bowl, as one can clearly assume that COOPER MANNING BREAKS ENERGY.

Btw, this was an awkward search…

Picture 2

I was going to give you guys a really detailed account of all things football (obvi I’ve done a lot of research) but then I found this super helpful thing on the Internet and will just link you to it: here it is! Also if you’re going to a Super Bowl party, it’s usually nice to bring a plate of something, you heathen. This might be a good time for you to try out my guacamole recipe, hint hint. But the most important thing to realize is that the Vikes, Packers, and Bears are all missing from this game so we’re basically all just in it for a Sunday Funday.

VS Fashion Show: Post-Game

Candice Swanepoel’s bust busted out the $10 million bra to start the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, because her body and that budget are two things we can all relate to.

I’m watching all these angels and hearing them speak in their South African/German/Brazilian accents, and Picture 1I suddenly wondered why they aren’t the spokeswomen for everything. Their sexy, husky voices make me want to buy lipgloss and drink scotch neat at the same time. Then the music starts and vocals kick it into full-gear; a familiar voice, a homely face. I’m having flashbacks to junior high and my black nail polish phase and now I’m wondering how I ever forgot about Fall Out Boy. Ugh, am I more than YOU bargained for yet, Patrick?

FOB continues on with an actually great performance (I mean, nothing can be worse than Black Eyed Peas, VS Fashion Show circa 2009) while the angels show us what they would look like if they were all British. You see the angels’ bods and that hair – THAT HAIR – and you immediately assume that’s what you would look like too, if God gave with both hands. It takes about nine seconds to get past that thought, so you find solace in the fact that it’s gotta be impossible for them to date anyone. Like, where would a normal human take an angel on a date? Probably the nicest Olive Garden you can find. But then the screen pans out, and I’m like oh Adam Levine. That’s who takes you on dates. Because one of you (the one with the tan and the boobs) is engaged to Adam Levine.

Before the angels escort us to Paris, one of them is kind enough to remind us that Taylor Swift is THE All-American girl, who coincidentally is wearing the British flag. Music keeps going and models keep walking, and I’m getting lost in a sea of the one angel who has the audacity to have short hair, the one who’s wearing yellow rubber gloves, and then one who kinda looks like Britney Spears.

Finally Miley makes a musical (but figurative) entrance for Parisian Nights, as “FU” paves the way for the angels. IT’S ABOUT TIME MILEY GOT SOME ATTENTION. Attention is quickly stolen as Adriana Lima starts off this portion. She’s one of those girls who is fierce AF. She’s also the complete opposite of Lais, who fell during rehearsal last year and had to sacrifice her spot in the show. But don’t worry — Lais’s dreams came true this year, and she’s able to walk again via this conversation:

“You fell last year, so, you’re the best now.” K.

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Basilica or Bust

N_W_Photo_Block-Party_147A block party held outside of a church sounds more like something our parents would be keen on attending. There’s an entire two days devoted to the Basilica Block Party – an event held every July outside the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. But if you’re fresh to the Twin Cities area or if you don’t listen to Cities97 radio (and therefore don’t know what’s good for you) then you might also be unaware that Basilica is the highlight of the summer for a ton of music-goers.

For the sixth year, Bud Light is one of the sponsors of this outdoor music festival, confirming that this event is more in our wheelhouse than anyone else’s. Who enjoys being outside and drinking a beer with other people more than the recent college grad? It makes us feel at home again. And it’s nice not to drink alone every once in a while. (Hah. Jokes. Kind of.) But in all honesty, I’ve found Basilica to be a great investment. Tickets are available for either this Friday night or Saturday night, or you can purchase both. All three stages are outdoors so you don’t have to worry about seating. And hey, Minnesotans are the nicest people around so you don’t have to worry about being shoved around or shut down when asking for directions to the nearest fried food booth. The crowd you’ll find is a friendly one. Don’t be alarmed if parents or older people are there. These music-goers are attending to enjoy music that’s great to listen to but not the type to start a mosh pit. Basilica is a great in-between-party for someone who’s young but not looking to hang out with college freshmen.

Just to name a few in this year’s lineup: 

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Mayer Hawthorne (new album out a week from today – score)

Matt Nathanson (featured in Cities97′s Studio C this Friday and new album out a week from today- double score)

Goo Goo Dolls

ZZ Ward

Matchbox Twenty

Walk the Moon (had one of my favorite albums of 2012/band I’m most excited to see perform)

Tickets are a bit on the pricey side for a lot of our budgets, but the friends you can make, beer you will drink, food you will eat and live music you will enjoy are way worth it. The event goes on rain or shine, so the weather-risk factor of purchasing a ticket is non-existent. So if you don’t have plans this weekend, check out Basilica. If you do have plans this weekend, I suggest changing them and attending this all-night music event. The party starts at 5 p.m. Check out their website or #PraiseTheLoud for more info.

Live music. Summer. Outdoors. Beer. Now that’s music to my ears.