Recall, if you will, the collective jaw of the sports world hitting the floor in April when Iowa State’s superhero, Cael Sanderson, decided to leave ISU for the relatively unheralded Penn State. While most of the wrestling world pointed and laughed at ISU, Cyclone fans were livid, and probably rightfully so.
One tiny problem: he’s still in Ames as we speak, working on things like summer wrestling camps. And as the CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE notes, it’s probably not a good idea to give jilted fans multiple months to get their Glenn Close on, whether it’s to you, your wife, or your infant son:
Sanderson faced a great deal of criticism from Cyclone fans and, to some, will long be an unpopular figure in the state because of his career choice. Vulgar and even threatening e-mail and letters were written.
One fan, Sanderson said, went to his house, rang the doorbell and threw ISU clothing into the house at his wife, Kelly, and 2-year-old son Tate. They now don’t go to the front door when it is someone the family doesn’t know.
Throwing clothes at a wife and child you don’t know? Why, that’s both classy and mansome, Iowa State fan! Stand up and take a bow, won’t you? Doubtless, the heroic act caused the entire Sanderson family to reconsider his move and come back to Ames, where the fans are like family. A family that throws things at you.
To the Sandersons’ credit, they’re cognizant of the fact that their mere presence is an invitation to fantardation, and have adjusted their lifestyle accordingly:
To avoid any kind of confrontation, the Sandersons keep a pretty low profile. Cael has shied away from public appearances and will continue to do so until ISU summer wrestling camps are over in late July.
“The only problem is that I like to eat (out) a lot,” he said. “I’m not in Ames a great deal. I just do what I have to do. I don’t go out.”
Not making an eat out joke. Not making an eat out joke. Not making… anyway. It would actually suck pretty hard to be in Sanderson’s position: he went from being a toasted, feted king of a town that didn’t have many winners to Public Enemy #1, something he has to live with for a solid three months. That would be quite the opposite of fun. We don’t expect hugs and forgiveness to come pouring from the denizens of Ames any time soon, but still, people, let it go for the family’s sake already.