My Visit to Fandom

7 Jan

Photo from the Kansas City Star gallery

Prior to last night’s visit to the Cowboys Stadium for the Cotton Bowl, I had not been to a Kansas State football game as a fan in over two years – since my freshman year in college. Since I now write for the Associated Press, which has writers stationed all over the country, this Friday’s game away from my home base of Manhattan gave me a chance to revisit that glorious Wildcat tradition of cheering on the team from the stands.

I have to say, I enjoyed it immensely.

My wardrobe consisted of a purple sweatshirt, two sparkly K-State shirts, a black K-State sweatshirt and a few gray free T-shirts I had received at various K-State events. I recited the fight song – potently off-key, I’m sure – at least a dozen times throughout the game. I got a thorough ab workout through several renditions of the Wabash Cannonball. I bellowed while Arkansas was on offense and listened intently for the BOOM BOOM of the K-State band member’s drum that signaled the student section to holler, “First down!”

I jumped up and down and high-fived my friends and nearby strangers when Ralph Guidry blocked yet another kick, when Nigel Malone returned it all way across the field, when Andre McDonald snagged a touchdown pass, when John Hubert valiantly paved the way for Collin Klein going for a first down, when the K-State defense held the Arkansas offense to field goal after field goal against all probability.

After paying $30 to park, my friends and I spent the hours before the game lounging in folding chairs and drinking non-alcoholic beverages in the beautiful Dallas sunshine. Without a cloud in the sky, we took in views of the Ballpark at Arlington and Cowboys Stadium while competing in “tailgate golf,” which I had never played before. We read a scouting report of the game on someone’s phone and dissected the various elements of each team.

Hours later, after the clock hit 00:00, we left the grandeur of “Jerry’s World” feeling a bit dejected but totally convinced that we had gotten our money’s worth. Those days in Dallas are ones I will never forget. No wonder Wildcat fans are so faithful. When players and coaches give everything they have for the team on the field, it is only natural for the fans to want to give back by traveling to games to support them.

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4 Responses to “My Visit to Fandom”

  1. Joseph Melendrez January 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Great job Ashley and what a cool page. I am a Colorado Buffalo who is a fan of KSU football (which is not easy to admit) but EMAW to you!

    • Ashley Dunkak January 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

      Thank you! Hope you enjoy the stories. I enjoy writing them!

  2. Kate Ediger January 9, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    It was an awesome game, even on TV!! Thanks for sharing what it was like in person! Go WILDCATS!!

    • Ashley Dunkak January 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      My pleasure! Glad you liked it!

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