Wildcat First Down: Give Thanks (because last week is over) Derek Larson November 25, 2013 Features, Snyder Week, Wildcat First Down We don’t have to talk about last week, do we? K-State football showed no ability to stop a running play in dropping a very winnable game against Oklahoma and the Wildcat hoopers apparently left all offense, defense and commonsense beach-side in a pair of tournament losses in Puerto Rico. It was the sort of week that makes a person long for baseball season. On the bright side, it was also the sort of week that helps a person (even an irrational sports fan) gain perspective. All is not lost, and with Thanksgiving just days away, it’s probably time that we as Wildcat fans take a quick glance back at what we can be thankful for. First things first, be thankful for 3MAW. Yes, it’s an incredibly confusing numeracronym for those who don’t have half their closets filled with purple, but for those who do, the last year was incredible. Winning one conference title is great. Winning three is the sort of thing that dreams are made of (well, that, and getting speeding tickets from McGruff the Crime Dog… don’t ask…). Be thankful for the Wildcat football seniors who played in their final home game on Saturday. The group helped pile up 35 wins (so far) over the past four seasons and played an enormous role in program’s second Big 12 Championship. Give thanks for the Wildcat basketball seniors, because… well, they’ll get better… Hopefully. No, the elder statesmen of the Bruceketball roster haven’t exactly set nets ablaze with senior leadership and moxie, but – ideally – they’ll adjust to their new roles. And, if they don’t, it’s truly the year of the freshmen. Speaking of which… Be thankful for Marcus Foster. The kid is the real deal. Be thankful that the Lockett tradition continues at K-State. Kevin and Aaron Lockett were two of the greatest receivers in Wildcat history. Now Tyler – Kevin’s son – is posting numbers that look like typos in a box score. The junior set two K-State records on Saturday, with 278 receiving yards (breaking a record he had set against Texas earlier this year) and 440 all-purpose yards. Be thankful that every football game does not take place in the winter wonderland that was Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. While I wore two pairs of gloves and three pairs of socks (yes, I wore pants, too…) I could not feel my fingers nor my toes for extended minutes during the contest. I don’t always Wabash, but when I do, it’s apparently due to spasms brought forth by frigid temperatures. Last, but not least, give thanks for Bill Snyder, the architect of the greatest turnaround in college football history. This week marks the 25th anniversary of Snyder’s introductory press conference, a day that changed the course of K-State football history. You know the story: Prior to Snyder, “K-State football” was essentially an oxymoron. The Wildcats weren’t just cupcakes, they were the team cupcakes wanted to see on the opposing sideline. After taking over, Snyder pushed the Wildcats to a winning record in his third season as head coach, a bowl game in his fifth and a top-10 national ranking in his seventh. Listing his accolades and accomplishments doesn’t even do the man justice, as his impact off the field is just as important. A few years back, the university tried to push “We are… K-State!” as a battle cry. But Snyder was not at the helm. The 74-year-old is humble, hardworking, and dedicated to all things purple. He’s the first thing that comes to mind when K-State football is mentioned. He is… K-State.