Wednesday, August 29, 2012
ISU's Rhoads wowed by Obama shout-out
By David Ubben
President Barack Obama visited Iowa State on Tuesday, and just so happened to utter a quote that will live forever in Iowa State history.
"I won’t pretend I can give a speech like Coach [Paul] Rhoads can, but I’m going to try," Obama said.
Somebody get that thing on a wall up in Ames. Rhoads is famous for his post-upset locker-room speeches, and he's had plenty of chances after upsetting Nebraska in 2009, Texas in 2010 and derailing No. 2 Oklahoma State's national title run a year ago, all as underdogs of more than 20 points.
Rhoads spoke to the media later on Tuesday and the significance of the shout-out wasn't lost on the coach.
"That is really, really cool," Rhoads told reporters.
The catchphrase most closely associated with the Cyclones coach is "So Proud," the hook on his first speech that caused the locker room to explode a few moments after upsetting Big 12 North champion Nebraska in 2009, despite missing two of the team's best players, including starting quarterback Austen Arnaud.
"There was some good research done there by his writers," Rhoads said. "They had him prepared. He didn’t know my name before he said it, and he forgot it right after he said it, nonetheless, still pretty cool."
Humble as always. I wouldn't be so sure those speeches are as forgettable as Rhoads thinks they were.
He's the best thing to happen to Iowa State football since Seneca Wallace, and as long as he's in Ames, it's hard to imagine Tuesday's occurrence being topped, even by a second bowl win.