The clock is ticking down on 2017, and while there’s still one more game to be played before we close the books it’s time to reflect and discuss the year that was.
The Bring on the Cats staff got together to talk about the best moments of 2017, as well as the worst, as well as some other year-end topics. Your hosts today: JT VanGilder, Jon Morse, Luke Sobba, Eric Rubottom, Gracey Terrill, and AMS.
What was your favorite K-State moment of 2017?
Gracey: By far the removal of John Currie from the athletic department. Under Currie, K-State's athletic programs had everything they needed and more thanks to his stellar job at getting facilities built and money raised. On the flip side of that, Currie alienated a large amount of the fan base with his obsession with the putting the program's "appearance" as a priority over performance. His disastrous run at Tennessee was a beautiful disaster to watch from afar, although I sympathized with upset Tennessee fans.
JT: The Big 12 women's track & field title. Nobody else was even close to that kind of accomplishment.
Jon: The first three quarters of the Oklahoma State game. Even though I KNEW what was going to happen in the second half because Stillwater, that two hours was about the giddiest I was about anything all year.
Luke S: Only one moment got set to dramatic music, to the best of my recollection. Skylar to Zuber in the back of the endzone was special, as moments go. One of those euphoric blips that explain why we go through the prolonged agony of fandom.
Eric: Either the last-second football score against ISU, or seeing Wes Iwundu close out his K-State career in the fashion he did, working his way up into the NBA Draft.
Adam: As much as the question of Bill Snyder's possible retirement and succession has overshadowed things, my favorite moment still is Bill taking the field for that first game of the season despite cancer treatments. Honorable mentions go to Weber finally winning an NCAA Tournament game (even if it was a play-in) and to my first time at a K-State soccer game when I went to get photos.
What was the low point for you?
Adam: The football loss to Vanderbilt. It ended up being an awful loss, and one that was totally winnable. If we win that, we're looking at a 9-4 year, which while below my hopes at the start of the season would still be a success. Instead we went 8-5, which is only a conditional success in my eyes (that condition being that we started our 3rd-string QB for a third of the season).
Gracey: Easily when the media field day surrounding Bill Snyder allegedly blocking Jim Leavitt taking over as head coach at K-State broke loose. After finally getting rid of Currie, his BS seemed to haunt K-State through the "leaked information" from an "anonymous" source. Coach Snyder's legacy should not be tainted by the image painted with the seemingly senile attempt at forcing K-State to let him make Sean Snyder the next head coach. However, now he has a blemish on the 2017 season even with winning a bowl game against a solid UCLA team.
JT: Football loss to Vanderbilt. Just absolutely deflating, created a lot of bad momentum that took a long time to get out of.
Jon: The OT loss at home to TCU on February 1. It’s not even close. Losing to Vandy hurt in retrospect, but even with hindsight it wasn’t as bad as losing to TCU at home... because even though TCU is pretty good now, they were still finding themselves last season.
Luke S: I'm with JT. The loss to Vanderbilt sucked. The offense we all expected to be an unstoppable juggernaut made the Commodores' defense look like the '84 Chicago Bears. Then that same defense got annihilated nearly every week by SEC teams that are supposed to be plodding monstrosities. In the return game, we'd better hang 60 on them.
Eric: The Vanderbilt loss is the trendy pick here...it was certainly the most deflating. The lowest sports-related for me is seeing the general dissatisfaction with the direction of the big sports. Coaching questions in football, coaching questions in basketball, a baseball team that has struggled to find relevance since winning the Big 12 title several years ago. More big picture, though, it’s been extremely disappointing to see the topic of race continuing to be an issue both on campus and in the surrounding community. Racism has no place at K-State, but neither does the hair-trigger judgemental reaction to events, as we all saw. We’re smarter than this.
Was there anything which you think was important but didn't get enough attention from the fans and/or media this year?
Eric: I’m going to eschew the trendy picks and go for one right under our nose: Matthew McCrane. Career 90% FG, had league-leading 54-yd this year, 133-134 in career XP attempts. Dude was basically a lock when he came onto the field, and outside of talking about him when he was actually on the field, he seemed like he got very little fanfare.
Adam: Soccer's first "full" season with a conference schedule. One of the major media outlets covering K-State could have definitely have done a behind-the-scenes series throughout the season, which I think would have done a lot for fans' attention to the team.
Gracey: Other than what was mentioned with our staff already, I think we did a great job covering all aspects of the programs this year.
JT: Definitely the track & field title. The big outlets covered it, but K-State fans in general care little outside of football and men's basketball. A close second would be the end of the WBB season.
Jon: The women finally breaking through to win the outdoor track & field title. It was the only conference title K-State won last academic year, and I might not even be exaggerating by suggesting BotC covered it more thoroughly than any other K-State media outlet.
Luke S: Other than the track title and soccer, which JT and Adam already covered, I can't think of anything. We even covered the Crops Judging dynasty. Can't get anything past us.
What's your New Year's resolution for BotC?
Luke S: There is no Game of Thrones to keep me busy, so I should have time to cover more sports. Maybe actually write a football article. It would be nice to give more coverage to Jeff Mittie and the women's team. They seem to be steadily building, and with such a young squad, the future looks bright. But there is only so much time to devote to fanaticism.
Eric: Not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. January 1 is an arbitrary day to do better or start something new.
Adam: Not really a resolution, but I would love to get up to Manhattan to get photos of some of the non-revenue sports again. If we could make it part of a BotC meet-up, even better.
Gracey: My resolution is to do more live videos and streams for you all. I have definitely been quieter when it comes to writing at the end of this year, which I miss doing! Hopefully I can jump back on the National Signing Day bandwagon with JT and figure out a new nickname for #EMAW18! Long live #spicyboyz
JT: I'd like to have a reason to cover baseball again, and get some more of that games up. I know we don't have a big baseball fanbase, but there's no reason we shouldn't try to cover them more. Same with track & field (though even I have a hard time staying excited about that).
Jon: I want to expand the staff, but I think everyone can tell by how we’ve done things that I really prefer to do it from within the community. Outsiders tend to flake. (Hint hint, readers.)