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December 14, 2001

Iowa Staters prepare for bowl game in their own ways

by Debra Gibson
If this is early December in Ames, ISU must be heading to a bowl game. OK, so two in a row doesn't a dynasty make. But for those faculty and staff whose professional -- and personal -- lives center on Cyclone football, the announcement that Coach Dan McCarney's team had been invited to play in the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl was a welcome holiday gift.

But it's not just the guys with the big shoulders and headsets who are prepping for the trip to Shreveport. As the comments below attest, it takes a university village to bring home another championship trophy.

Breck Breitsprecher
Just two short months after joining the ISU Alumni Association staff as an events planner, Breck Breitsprecher finds herself coordinating logistics for spirit rallies and pregame parties. Last year's bowl game attracted crowds of 10,000 avid Cyclone fans to these events.
"Before the game was ever announced, we'd already prepared our Web site, written draft press releases and collected alumni names for a mass e-mail. Now I'm spending my days focused on convention spaces, caterers, sound systems, parking, security and insurance. Even though I'm very new to all this, I'm so excited about being a part of these Cyclone events."

Marty Province, ISU's associate director of bands, will lead the Cyclone Marching Band -- 267 students strong -- to Shreveport. Marty Province
"We had a great show from earlier this year that we planned to perform at the bowl, but then we learned the productions must have a patriotic theme. So now we'll have two weeks to learn a brand-new show. The good news is that I have the best band kids in the world -- if not, I would be terrified to pull a new show on them at this time. These kids will definitely rise to the challenge."

Matt Lewis Matt Lewis' job as the football team's head equipment coordinator involves organizing, packing and delivering every item an athlete may use during both practices and the big game -- times 122.
"Right now I'm into collecting sizes for every player, coach or staff member directly related to football. These will be used for gifts from the bowl itself, like workout clothing, warm-ups, T-shirts, hats, jackets. ISU will also purchase a ring and a plaque for each of the players. We're waiting on the official bowl patch for the uniforms. Typically when we prepare all this for the regular season, we start in December or January -- now we're trying to fit all these details into three or four weeks. But I'm still looking forward to it."

As McCarney's secretary, Joyce Vegge is Command Central for the football office -- a post she simply will transfer to a Shreveport hotel next week. Joyce Vegge
"We basically just set up this office down there during the week of the bowl game -- laptops, copiers, printers, you name it. We'll be busy sending out recruitment letters from Shreveport. We'll also be the contacts for the players' families and the coaches' wives. Last year's experience was a great training camp for us --- I anticipate a very smooth operation this year."

Judy Reese Judy Reese, a secretary in the Office of Admissions the past 18 years, has been a Cyclone season-ticket holder "since we were in the other stadium." She and her husband are Shreveport-bound.
"My husband, Mike, and I knew we would be going to the bowl game even when we didn't know where. We'd already decided to hold our family Christmas the weekend after the holiday -- but now we've called our kids and said don't look for us until the 30th. I don't think we ever would consider staying home and watching it on ESPN -- unless, of course, we ended up going to the Furniture Bowl."

Dick Horton, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has also served the past six years on the ISU Athletic Council. He and wife Sandy will be attending their third ISU bowl game. Dick and Sandy Horton
"I haven't missed a home football game since 1958, when I was an Iowa State freshman playing in the marching band. Sandy and I missed a few of the earlier bowl games when we were poor grad students, but we made it to the Liberty Bowl, and we were in Phoenix last year. We'll attend all the spirit rallies and the pregame parties in Shreveport -- that's why you go, to be with ISU friends, families and alumni. And we'll pack for whatever weather -- surely it can't snow two years in a row."

Photos by Bob Elbert

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