Moments become memories. Memories become stories, often fuzzy on the details but strong on emotion. For sports fans, simply being in the stadium or arena builds bonds and memories that last forever.

I was there for one of the greatest 4 years of K-State football. Only one loss in Manhattan from ’96 to ’99. I was there when the losing streak to Colorado was snapped. I was there when Mike Lawrence rushed for 252 yards to become the All-Time Leading Rusher in Wildcat history. I was there when K-State climbed to No. 1 in the polls and ended the losing streak to Nebraska. I was there when Michael Bishop and the Wildcats blitzed Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl.

You also never forget some of the negative moments. I was there when Sirr Parker scored to end the dream in 1998. I was there for a number of ugly basketball losses. I’ve never been in the building to watch a K-State win over KU, but not many people can say they have.

My two most powerful sports memories fall on both sides of the spectrum. Growing up in Kansas in the 1980’s, I denied the fact that either of the two major Kansas schools had football programs. I cheered on the Jayhawk basketball team because my dad did. Enrolling at K-State, I told myself I could become a Catbacker but it wasn’t real until one of those negative moments. The Cotton Bowl loss to BYU made me a Wildcat fan for life. It hurt so much. Sitting six rows back for the awful ending to that game, I realized I was a K-Stater. So proud of our fans and team, I had bought in.

The other moment was the 1998 win over Nebraska. The emotional swings in that game was mind numbing. I think I gave one of my friends a concussion with a bear hug in the closing moments. (Roger Goodell would’ve surely fined me.) As the goalposts came down, I stood in the stands soaking it all in. Again, at that moment I knew I’d be a K-Stater for life.

Maybe Saturday one of the “I was there” moments happened for someone. Seeing Arthur Brown race 37 yards for a score, the crowd roaring, maybe, just maybe someone else realized that they’ll be a K-Stater for life.

 

About The Author

Seth is a 2000 graduate of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism at Kansas State. While in Manhattan he wrote for the Kansas State Collegian, reported for the Wildcat 91.9 and interned at KSNT-TV in Topeka. He teaches now, but still play with his journalism degree. Living in the middle of Missouri makes it harder to follow the Cats, but he wears enough purple to draw stares at the grocery store. Follow him on Twitter at @catbacker77

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