Donor Profile: Bruce Blythe
AMES, Iowa - After receiving a forwarded e-mail from his brother-in-law, Bruce Blythe felt compelled to join a new club. Blythe said the e-mail was from Jamie Pollard and was a “call to all Cyclone fans to donate money to become part of the Cyclone Club.”
After thinking about it for a few days, Blythe, a 1990 Iowa State University alum living in Chicago, decided to join at the Century level. He said, as a lifelong Cyclone fan, he has been known to complain about the teams and facilities out of frustration.
“It was time to put some money where my mouth is,” Blythe said.
Although he only makes it back to Ames for a few football or basketball games a year, Blythe has been attending Cyclone game watches organized by the Chicago Chapter of the ISU Alumni Association ever since moving there in 1992. A few years ago, Blythe was asked to step into the role of ISU game watch coordinator for Chicago.
Cyclone fans have bounced around four game watch locations in the last four seasons since they keep getting bumped out by Big Ten schools. Game watches are now located at Mullen’s Bar & Grill in Wrigleyville. The bar has put up ISU banners and plays the ISU fight song during game watches.
“They are welcoming us with open arms, so I think we’ve found a new home,” Blythe said.
After spending years competing with Big Ten fans for game watch locations, Blythe had some sweet revenge on the field. One of Blythe’s favorite memories from a game watch was the 2007 football matchup versus the Iowa Hawkeyes.
“The bar was packed to the gills with fans,” Blythe said. “When we won on that last second field goal, the place just erupted.”
In the future, Blythe would like to grow the game watches enough that they will need more than one Chicago bar to accommodate fans and is trying to apply some “Pollardesque” thinking to do so. Blythe said success on the field and on the court will help achieve his goal.
“I think Cyclone fans are as loyal and diehard as they come,” Blythe said, “but we want to see a winning product, and, when we do, we’ll see more people come out.”
Blythe is excited about the direction that ISU Athletics is headed in and thinks the plans put in place now will help the programs reach new levels. He eventually hopes to “be somewhere warm watching the Cyclones play in a New Year’s Day game.” Until then, he’ll settle for a bar stool at Mullen’s, surrounded by other Cyclone fans cheering on their team.
Click here to learn about the official 2008-09 game watch locations in your area.