I was a student in the late 80's and it was a good environment, but there is a little bit of nostalgic "enhancement" when people talk about it now. You tend to remember the high points of a game and then that becomes your memory of the entire game. I think if people could go back in time it wouldn't quite be what they remember.
I know this has been mentioned many times...but there was not a "Cyclone Alley" The students were scattered throughout Hilton..One game I was behind the bench, next game my seats were top row mid court... not sure that made for a better atmoshere, personally I would have preferred a student section...but as an "old timer" it was different.
The implementation of the 4 TV timeouts per half has killed the ability to replicate what used to occur in Hilton. Hilton still gets loud, but there are so many stoppages of the game that you just can't sustain the energy for long periods like you could in the past.
When you add the 16, 12, 8, and 4 minute TV timeouts to the coaches timeouts, it is virtually impossible to have a big run in a game like you could in the past. It was those big runs that would really bring the energy and passion into a game. If we could eliminate the 4 structured TV timeouts per half, we could bring back that old environment. Sadly, I don't see that happening.
the other "old school" entertainment used to be, you know, students. pep band, cheerleaders etc. the pep band played tons of songs, and seemed to be much bigger then.
also, there used to be male cheerleaders with huge megaphones that would yell "DE- FENSE" and then pound the floor twice with the megaphones. so everyone would yell "DE FENSE, clap, clap" almost every possession in close games. that got EVERYONE into the game, not just the "ooohhhhhhh" you hear from cyclone alley.
Even as late as 2004 I remember yelling my *** off during timeouts. There was music going and stuff, but I don't remember tons of stuff on the video screen going on. Every once in awhile it was the apple shuffle, but most of us students were too busy yelling **** to the opposing team to care about it.
I remember getting specific seats at games, just for the pure chance of getting into the other teams' player's heads..which was a lot of ******* fun if you ask me.
I went to the Lehigh game this year, and I"ll tell you it was a ******* buzzkill half the time during timeouts.
I just want to add that in the past Hilton wasn't loud from tip to buzzer. The bigger the game the more energy you could feel from the minute you walked into the building. That part hasn't changed much from my perspective.
The big difference between now and then is that you could have a long string of possessions where you would get a stop on one end and a fast break score on the other. With each stop and score, you could feel the energy and volume go up another notch. It became infectious. Coaches weren't as good at using their timeouts to quiet the crowd, and you didn't have the programed timeouts to stop the runs.
The other thing that I've noticed is that players in the past weren't quite as good as they are now. The noise really seemed to rattle them more then it does today. The noise would lead to turnovers and bad shot selection which would help sustain the runs.
Hilton still gets loud today. I give the fans credit for showing up and being loud. The change in timeouts and the quality of players and coaches has made it virtually impossible to have the long uninterrupted scoring runs you had in the past.
The fans haven't really changed it is the game that has changed.
I really Loved Johnny Orr and still do and I also Loved the way Johnny would draw the plays on the FLOOR with chalk and then put the chalk back in his pocket...
Tickets were really hard to get back then but I did get to go to the Oklahoma game when billy tubbs was coaching the sooners and man oh man it was LOUD inside hilton that afternoon as our clones beat'em pretty good...
Go Cyclones Go Freddie
I can't put my finger on one single thing that made it magical. Maybe people were less distracted then. We didn't have cell phones, satellite TV with every game imaginable on and so forth. When my dad drove me from Cedar Rapids to Ames on a school night to watch the Cyclones play Kansas, it was indeed a magical experience from start to finish. It felt like we were heading out into the great beyond to meet 14,000 close friends in the middle of nowhere and will the Cyclones to victory. It seemed like we were on an island together and it was just the place to be.
There are other factors as well. Players didn't generally leave early to go to the NBA back then. All the Cyclones and almost all their opponents were there the full four years. It allowed for intense rivalries to be developed and sustained. You felt like you KNEW the players and their opponents more. I know it is a cliche, but everyone, fans and players alike, was ALL IN, ALL THE TIME. Even when we didn't have great teams, we had a chance every night at Hilton. I have no doubt a .500 Cyclone team from the 80's would have won that game last night in dramatic fashion. And the crowd would have willed it to happen and truly become part of the game.
I know the students today probably hear about Hilton Magic and think it's nothing more than a bunch of old folks ******** about how great things were in the good old days. I can assure you it was not that. It was real and I and many others were there and it really wasn't THAT long ago.
All of this said, I am not sure if the magic has declined because of "kids these days" or just because there is more to do. We as a society are just more distracted than we used to be. At places like Duke or NC it doesn't matter -- they have a larger population base to draw from and have plenty of people ready to fill in the seats. In a place like Ames, Iowa we don't have that. Getting to the games is a chore and with so much else to do and so much more on TV, people just don't get there like they used to and when they do it's not the "place to be" it once was.
There have been glimpses recently and I think with some sustained success we can get it back.
Timeouts were used for taking pulls off of Lord Calvert and telling the Refs to please remove their dicks from our ***** because we were getting ****ed over so badly.
I started a (too lengthy) post that included a couple of those.
(1) it wasn't start-to-finish insanity, but it was a buildup, an energy, and it could vary depending on the opponent and the flow of the game. In Hilton Magic context, I saw plenty of "dud" nights.
(2) I do wonder if the media timeouts have reduced the effectiveness of home-court advantage (not just at Hilton, but any venue known for its noticeable "rattling" effect.
Exactly! The verbal abuse that was heaped on officials and opposing players back then was off the charts compared to now. It was direct and specific and personal. Right or wrong, that's how it was. The first few rows were for the guys who had virtually no limits. The girls and the rest of the guys took their place higher up away from the floor.
I'll take up for today's students and say the ones that show up for games do a great job within the confines of what they are allowed to do. The ones that stay home from a game like last night are, however, *******.
To me the biggest misconception is the argument that "if we win the crowd will respond", Orr's Cyclone teams were no where near great , who knows maybe that "underdog" attitude made the crowds more passionate (our football atmopshere could be explained that way too). Could it be that we got spoiled during the Floyd, and early LE years?