Waterloo a Special Stop on Tailgate Tour
WATERLOO, Iowa – Iowa State’s third stop on the 2008 Cyclone Tailgate Tour started at the Covenant Medical Center Tuesday and finished at the Cattle Congress grounds. Iowa State’s coaches, student-athletes and staff won’t soon forget either stop.
Hundreds of Iowa State fans, many with Cardinal and Gold adorned children in tow, flocked to the Cattle Congress rally, seeking autographs of their favorite ISU student-athletes and coaches.
Iowa State head football coach Gene Chizik attested to the unwavering loyalty of Cyclone fans.
“Last year, we went into our last game with a 2-8 record" Chizik told the crowd. " I looked up in the stands and every seat was filled. “Show me another place in the country where you would see that kind of loyalty. We want you to know that we realize what a special place Iowa State is and we are totally committed to getting better. We will.”
WOI-TV sports director and play-by-play "voice of the Cyclones" John Walters spoke about ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard's personal leadership style.
“When I hear our fans talk about our athletics director, they always just say ‘Jamie,’” Walters said. “They don’t do that at other schools when referring to their athletics directors. It shows you how involved our fans feel in this athletics program. You fans here tonight are the major factor in the overall success of this program.”
Earlier, the ISU contingent had attended a reception at the medical center, hosted by patients and staff, before heading to the rally. It was the second straight year that the medical center played host to a Cyclone tour stop. After the reception, Pollard, Chizik, head women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly and men’s head basketball coach Greg McDermott, visited patient rooms.
At Waterloo Covenant, the Cyclone group met several individuals recovering from injuries suffered in the F-5 tornado that hit the town of Parkersburg, Iowa on May 25. Seven people were killed and more than 480 homes damaged or destroyed. The positive spirits of those recovering made a strong impression on the entire Iowa State party.
Before the main program at the Cattle Congress, ISU Alumni Association president Jeff Johnson had the hundreds of fans in attendance note a moment of silence for those killed or injured by the tornado. It was an especially appropriate moment for the Iowa State traveling party which had come directly to the rally from the hospital.
The Tailgate Tour heads for Mason City Wednesday for a 5 p.m. stop at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. A short program will begin at 6:30 p.m. The tour will be in Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday.