Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 14 1998, K-state 40, Nebraska 30 Posted by Picasa

The End of an Era

K-State has always been a part of my life. My parents met there. Growing up, K-State was always there. One of my earliest memories is attending my sister Margaret's graduation in Ahearn Fieldhouse. I remember visiting my sister mary in the dorms, a picture I had drawn on her wall. I remember attending a basketball game with jeanette--one of my fondest memories (la...KIETH). I spent my spring breaks in high school at KSU. I remember shaking Jon Wefald's hand as he handed me my scholarship. I remember walking across the stage to get my diploma.

And I remember K-state football.

I remember my first K-State football game. It was against KU. "The Governor's cup" or as it was better known "the toilet bowl" We didn't pay to get in, we ust waltzed in after the second half... and we left early. I had a sweatshirt when I was younger..it read "K-state football '87... The Art of Winning" KSU won zero games that season. I remember going to a game at oklahoma, and the jovial atmosphere, since it was simply a question of how badly they would beat us.

The game to watch back then was basketball.

K-state basketball in the late eighties! The stoic Lon Kruger, blood on Steve Henson's uniform, another three from Will Scott, NBA rookie of the year Mitch Richmond. Linda crying as they lost in the round of eight. Then.. a new coliseum, Dana Altman (think Frank Solich) and the medeocrity of Asbury. but by then...

I remember seeing on the news Bill Snyder's first K-State press conferance and the words he spoke "I see us in ten years being competitive in the conference, going to a bowl game now and again. It was Crazy Talk! Hadn't Sports illistrated just declared the "mildcats" the worst team in college football, possibly of all time? And then, he introduced that ridiculous new logo: the "powercat" only like the ugliest thing ever. so sleek, so modern, so very un-k-state football.But then bill did something in his first season that no-one expected, he won a game. IT WAS A MIRACLE. Suddenly K-state football was interesting. Suddenly, we paid attention.

I remember the night before the inagural game of the big XII conference. I, a freshman, was returing to the dorms from band practice, my new polyester pants draped across my shoulder. Walking by the Derb, I crossed paths with an older gentleman, he smiled and nodded as he passed. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was none other than Bill Snyder, and I didn't even say hello! I remember the sky that night, that deep purple sky. The K-state football purple sky.

Bill Snyder has given me some great memories. The Cotton Bowl: "first on the first!" , the Fiesta Bowl: 50,000 K-Staters in Arizona! College Gameday and Hell Freezes over as K-state defeats Nebraska! Sports Illistrated: "the greatest turnaround in college football ever, possibly in all of sports history." The horror of the TWA dome and a narrowly avoided elopement. The heartbreak of 2001 in Kansas City, the glory of 2003.

Thank You Bill Snyder. We all had a great time.