For all of you that aren't aware, Curtis Kitchen is a producer and columnist at Sports Radio 810 WHB (really the only station I listen to - irritates the Hell out of my wife), and he writes a lot of great columns that appear on their website. Personally, I think he's one of the best sports writers in the area (print or online), and we're really proud of the fact that he's a regular reader of BOTC.
Due to some technical issues on the 810 website, Curtis has asked me to post this article he wrote on our blog. I've perused it myself, and I think it's a really good read. Check it out.
(Nov. 26, 2008) - In his first go-round in Manhattan, Bill Snyder made the impossible happen by getting everyone to paddle the Wildcats boat in the same direction.
Proud donors had no problem giving money to the man they saw help bring national exposure to their alma mater. Groupie-students had no problem attending class and partying next to the superstars they saw in class and on television. Thankful faculty had no problem giving help to the man who helped draw more tuition dollars through that same exposure that came with a winning football program.
Everyone was in.
As it stands today, everyone is not in.
Snyder knows that. It is why he spent the majority of his time during Monday's re-hiring press conference emphasizing family. It is why he diplomatically said fans are in a "state of flux" and made separate reference to the idea of cohesiveness multiple times, using terms like "true family," "settle the waters" and "put the K-State family together again."
Family. Settle. Together.
Full support is vital. Getting K-State back to where it was five seasons ago is going to be an all-hands-on-deck deal.
It is why Snyder is going to barnstorm the state of Kansas on December 2 (I wonder if he will wear a ten-gallon hat like his predecessor...but I digress).
He wants to be in front of everyone, including the money folks who did not necessarily want to return to Bill Snyder. Everyone appreciates the original miracle. It doesn't mean they wanted to go back.
Yes, those people are out there. They are in the form of the folks who were asked to write checks that were going to be used to lure Gary Patterson away from Texas Christian University. The fact that he is still the head coach of the Horned Frogs isn't sitting well with those donors. In a way, those folks feel a little misled. They were asked to pledge support for a product that ultimately wasn't delivered.
Some of those people probably even thought they had earned a little power - seeing as how fans had started the rise that ultimately forced Ron Prince out (athletic director Bob Krause admitted as much an interview with the Kansas City Star). With Snyder back, forget it. That probably doesn't sit well with all of those people either - not when they had grown used to the idea that their vote (money) counted.
Nobody likes to have their power revoked.
That said, yes, while Snyder may have been President Jon Wefald's first and last choice, I fully believe he wasn't everyone's.
Not that it matters now, but you will never hear a word about it now that Snyder is back. Same story equals smiling, happy family.
Wildcat-land will return to Snyder's lock-down days because why? Because a successful family can't have the internal bickering. It can't have a different agenda. It can't disagree with the head of the household, who, ultimately, has the final say.
Wefald had his and secured his legacy (so he hopes) by unilaterally bringing Snyder back.
Now that he is back in, Snyder's say is the only one that matters now.
It was interesting to watch the press conference unfold last Monday. In a media only gathering, there were those old-school journalists who beamed like it was 2003. You could almost hear them closing their eyes, clicking their heels together and saying "There's no place like Snyder. There's no place like Snyder."
They, like the fans, remember the wins. They are willing to wipe away the last two of Snyder's first 17 years.
Hey, I'm all for that. Snyder looked and sounded refreshed - ready to get going. An amped Snyder could be a lot of fun.
He said no plan existed for his hiring of assistants. I don't buy that, and you shouldn't either. Having no plan is not Snyder's style. His plan better include the 2009 version of his early and mid-1990s assistant staffs - young, hungry recruiters who have energy to burn.
If his staff winds up being the K-State version of Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys, the Wildcats won't find another 1997, '98, or '03. No, it will be another p-h-a-t 2005.
I don't think it will go that way. I think K-State will be a much improved team even next season. But, you may want to hold putting that mortgage check down on eight or nine wins next season. Bill Snyder 2.0's conference isn't the conference he left behind the first time.