I think you have an unhealthy attachment to athletes.
However, please feel free to give your thoughts about Phillip Bates 5 years after he left ISU.
Philip Bates may have left us high and dry for the greener pastures of Ohio, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him after catching the long pass that put us position to kick a fifth field goal to beat Iowa 15-13.
If I meet Philip Bates at the crossroads, I will yield to him and his vehicle.
So I’m driving to work through downtown Minneapolis a couple years back and I come to a four way stop. The car to my right didn’t move immediately and my eyes then locked on to the driver directly across from me. It was a face I knew pretty well. It was Wesley Johnson. Time can be relative and a whole universe of thoughts raced through my mind while our two cars simultaneously drove by each other. My first thoughts went something like this:
“$%&# &@$ #$@%^$ #$%&*@!!!! You ruined our team! You ripped out McDermott’s heart and showed it to him! You were so raw when you got to ISU you could barely shoot and when all our hard work paid off you left! Etc. Etc. Etc.!!! ”
But when I drove directly past his driver side window he just looked so sad. He was just about to officially become another big draft bust for the T-Wolves. He looked like a kid in his dad’s car. He looked lost. My next thoughts went like this.
“If I ever get genuinely mad at an 18-24 year old kid I need to check myself. Would I like to be held accountable for every decision I made at that time? I think not. Maybe Syracuse really did poach him and he just got hooked by a well crafted pitch. Just a crap situation that happened to crush my team. $#%@. I guess... good luck Wes.”
So the patron saint of ISU’s dark years went down the road and I decided to forgive him. I hope he enjoys his last chance in L.A. and finally finds the internal confidence to be successful. More likely the media pressure there is going to utterly crush him. Which makes me feel even worse that he has to live without the enduring support of the Cyclones. You mad a bad call Wesley but hey… it happens.
Only this summer did I realized that Wesley Johnson actually did us a huge favor. Maybe we should love Wesley Johnson? If he stayed you have to think he would have brought us back to the tourney. Then maybe McDermott feels more secure and gets another recruit or two. Then Hoiberg gets a job with a competent GM and starts to climb the NBA ladder. And then today we would still be watching boring basketball and lurching into the tourney every couple of years. Our future would be no better than that of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Just writing that sentence overwhelmingly nauseating.
Today I am elated that Wesley left the program and ultimately brought us the Hoiberg era. The Cyclones are about innovation and second chances. The Cyclones are about loving kids from anywhere as long as they give total effort and ruthlessly splash the 3. Yes we take transfers. And yes it feels way better than losing them. Freddy isn’t here to glorify his system. Freddy is here to get us the title.
This story would be cooler if you were at a crossroads with Robert Johnson.
If my rep gun was loaded I would blow rep all over you. +1
“They're very, very hard to guard,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said. “They're really good. And with Niang in the middle kind of wheeling and all those guys spreading you out, they're kind of a nightmare matchup. And they're men. They're really men.”
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