MASON CITY, Iowa -- The bandwagon of Iowa State athletics fans following the vision of ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard left Mason City Monday night and is on its way to the final stop of 2007 Cyclone Tailgate Tour in Waterloo Tuesday.

 

Pollard formulated the 2007 ISU Tailgate Tour to accommodate families.  To enhance that atmosphere, the evening’s entertainment was geared for children and adults. The tour includes games. There would be no charge for families to listen to Pollard and Cyclone coaches in a short program. ISU’s traveling party would head to different parts of the state of Iowa and give fans a truly uninhibited opportunity to talk with the Cyclone head coaches and staff.  It worked.

 

The fifth stop on the Tailgate Tour was at the North Iowa Fairgrounds in Mason City.  An overflow crowd ebbed out of the large tent that shielded the crowd from sun that blazed throughout the late afternoon. It has been obvious that each event has been well received.  Fans continue to thank Pollard personally for creating a family-friendly event.

 

“Thank you for doing this,” said Nikki Cooney of Iowa Falls to Pollard early on. “This was a great idea.”

 

The ISU travel party first separated into two groups to visit the east and west Mercy Medical Centers Monday.  Then it was on to the North Iowa Fairgrounds. The event encouraged people to mingle and get to know other birds of a Cardinal and Gold feather.

 

Chizik closed the program with talk of the first weeks of workout with almost all his football squad in Ames.

 

“Somebody came up to me and asked ‘what have you done to (ISU quarterback) Bret Meyer?’”

 

Chizik said that Meyer had put on an additional 12-14 pounds and that the whole team was buying into what he and strength and conditioning coach Ken Sheppard were trying to accomplish.

 

Pollard’s sales job to Chizik last November on coming to Iowa State exceeded the expectations of local and national media, which wouldn’t believe until the new Iowa State coach stepped onto the podium in Hilton Coliseum that the defensive coordinator of the 2005 national championship Texas team had chosen Iowa State.

 

“In reality, I’m grateful that Iowa State chose me,” Chizik said.

 

The tour wraps up Tuesday at the Waterloo Cattle Congress.  Its overall success assured the Tailgate Tour looks to go out with an exclamation point.  The tailgate begins at 5 p.m. with Iowa State’s coaches, staff and a host of Cyclone student-athletes in attendance.