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Game Day

Story ID:5340
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Only Here
Location:Manhattan Kansas USA
Year:2009
Person:Bill Snyder
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Game Day

Note: This is the entry posted on my blog today. www.writergrannysworld.blogspot.com

No writing world for me today as it's the first game of the season for the Kansas State Wildcats. Another first is that the stadium of 50,000 seats will be sold out for a non-conference season opener. Over three years ago, our coach, Bill Snyder, retired. He said later that he felt it was what the administration had wanted. since the season had not been as successful as past ones. A new coach came onboard and the next three years saw a declining program and less fan support. So, mid-season last year, Coach Prince was fired and a search for a new coach began.

Anyone involved with college football knows this happens frequently. Everyone wants a winner, and K-State had one in the Bill Snyder years. We'd once been the worst college team in the nation, but Coach Snyder brought us into the Top Ten over and over again. So, even though he'd been retired for three years, Bill Snyder was offered the job. Urged by his family to go back to the job he loved, he accepted. The fans are behind him. This will be a building year as he inherited a team that had lost cohesiveness, lost morale, and had never come together as a team.

Interviews with team members give the overall impression that these young men have pulled together as a team, they have a feeling of family, and they're going to give their best for the new coach. Today has been designated as The K-State Family Reunion. Nearly 350 former players and their families will be cheering the Cats today along with thousands of other faithful fans, all clad in purple.

Ken and I will be there to tailgate and for the game, which is against UMass. Our purple K-State flag is flying in front of our house, and we can hardly wait til late this afternoon when it's time to go. Friends will pick us up, cat decals and flags flying on their car. We'll spend a couple hours tailgating with a horde of others as cheerleaders, Willie the Wildcat and the band march through the parking lot. Purple flags will fly high, charcoal grills will scent the air, and the anticipation will be felt all around us. Pre-game activities will include a fly-over and a parachutist bringing in the game ball. If you hear a great roar between 6 and 10 tonight, it just may be coming from The Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Go Cats!

Photo 1: Two little wildcat fans