Why Is Cy A Cardinal If We Are The Cyclones?!

Many people often say, “Why is the mascot a bird if it’s the Iowa State ‘Cyclones’?!”

Well, let me drop a little knowledge on you…

Iowa State University has been known as the Cyclones since 1895 after the Chicago Tribune claimed the Northwestern football team had been “struck by a cyclone”. Iowa State Cyclones has since been the name for over 100 years!

In 1954, members of Iowa State’s Pep Council decided that Iowa State needed a mascot to represent the college. As you can imagine a cyclone would be hard to make into a mascot, and after they realized this they decided they needed to come up with something else. They landed on having a cardinal as the mascot because of Iowa State’s colors of Cardinal and Gold! The Pep Council then had a contest to come up with a name for the new mascot. There were 17 entries for the name ‘Cy’, and Wilma Beckman Ohlsen, of Ames, was given credit for being the first one to submit the name ‘Cy’! Collegiate Manufacturing then produced the first Cy, who was 8ft tall, and cost $200! Cy made his debut at Homecoming on October 16, 1954! Thus, our beloved Cy has been around ever since! He has gone through a few makeovers over the years, and now looks more fierce than ever!


Cy celebrating his 2nd birthday at the 1956 Homecoming game!

Fun Facts About Cy:

– In 1966, Cy was married to Susie Snapper Hawk, but the union must not have worked out because Susie has not been seen since!

– Iowa State introduced Cy’s more agile “offspring”, Clone, in 1989 at Hilton Coliseum. Clone and Cy cheered on Iowa State together for several years!


Cy and Clone at Hilton Coliseum in 1989

– Cy and Clone were merged in 1995, and became the fierce Cy that we know and love today!

– Iowa State currently has three different sized costumes, and each one costs several thousands of dollars!

– Four to six students have the honor of being Cy year round because he is making appearances more than 200 days out of the year!

– Winner of CBS Sportsline’s ” Most Dominant Mascot” contest in 2007

– Winner of the Capitol One Mascot Challenge in 2008

Cy in the face of Iowa State University, and everyone here knows and loves him!

I wanted to throw in this picture too, because as an agriculture major I find this picture entertaining and funny! Enjoy! 🙂

Cy Showing Cattle

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