In the Fall of 2009, I was invited up to Kansas State for a campus tour of the geography department. My family coincided the tour around the return of Bill Snyder against UMass. Although I liked Kansas State before then, this tour was the first hook. My inner fan grew throughout the year, as well as the next as I watched the skies open against UCF. My interest of K-State football and geography began to mix, and I began thinking of what life would be like attending every game of an entire, or multiple, seasons. 2012 came and got me hooked on K-State football like never before, as the Wildcats seemed headed to a destiny in Miami. That destiny would be crushed on a November night in Waco, a night which I still remember vividly. That loss, however, did not crush my Kansas State pride.
In 2013, I made sure not to miss a snap, and I watched, listed to, or attended every snap of that season except for two I missed during the Texas game. In 2014, I began college at Kansas State, attending my first home game as a student against Stephen F. Austin. The following weekend, a friend and I woke up in Manhattan at 2AM to make the game in Ames at 11AM, my first Wildcat roadtrip while in college. This trip would not be the last of that season for me, as I was in attendance for every snap of the season heading into a trip to Fort Worth. The Wildcats’ College Football Playoff hopes would die that evening, and so would my streak as the next game was a Thursday night school week game in Morgantown. I was frustrated for a while, not at on-field results but at the fact travelling to Morgantown for that game was not feasible for a 17-year old college student.
However, I resolved that the following season, starting with the South Dakota game, I would try to make as many games in a row in my power as I would be an adult at 18. I remember emailing San Diego State superfan Tom Ables on 9/4 about my quest, and he told me to "enjoy my Wildcats with a passion." That evening I remember going to Konza for some personal reflection, and resolving to myself that I would from then on try to attend every Kansas State game and see what would happen. The next day, 9/5/2015, was the opener against South Dakota. The game started out well, as my fellow high school teammate Morgan Burns returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The next week saw my girlfriend and I leave Manhattan after an Engineering Physics test that ended at 530 PM to make the Wildcats’ 11AM game in San Antonio the next day. 2015 would also see me driving to Austin in a monsoon and making a game in Lubbock, Texas, with my dad after I was released from a week-long stay at a hospital in Kansas City at 1PM the Friday before the game. I have never felt more desolate than driving I-27 at 4AM. After attending the 2016 Liberty Bowl, I saw with my own eyes every single snap of the 2015 K-State football season.
2016 would be a bit more daunting, having road trips to Stanford and West Virginia on the schedule. I tried to win a free trip to the Stanford game, but after 30-hours of standing at the Bill Snyder statue my dreams were dashed in rock-paper-scissors. Alas, I still was determined to go the Stanford game and made the trip to the stadium just fine. However, the trip home was miraculous. I lost my wallet on a bus after getting off at United Nations Plaza three hours before my flight. Luckily, I downloaded Uber and entered by information just before I lost my card. Somehow, I got through TSA and made my flight to Denver fine, however I did not have enough money in my car or body to get home. I magically found a $20 somewhere in my car in Western Kansas at 2AM, which allowed me gas money to get home. My wallet was also found and returned all components intact by a gracious bus driver. The trip to West Virginia was long, but I managed the 30-plus hours of driving.
I have many more stories, but there is a word limit. Right now, I have attended 26 straight Kansas State football games and have seen every snap. I want to keep going until my death, I would love to have a streak like Giles Pellerin but maybe life and reality will get in the way, especially with graduation coming soon. But who knows? Here’s to hoping I have some K-State luck and Snyder magic on my side.