Open Mike: The Faithful Are Rewarded Mike Tufano December 6, 2012 Open Mike I bought a shirt. I know, you bought a shirt, too. We all have a new shirt after last week. Some have a bunch of new shirts1. I went out Sunday morning to get one. I was even that guy who swapped shirts as soon as I left the store. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to go out to breakfast wearing my brand new Big 12 Champions t-shirt. I picked out my shirt because it listed both 2003 and 2012. Both represented incredibly special years. One was a few good wins that came together in a magical night in Kansas City where we accomplished the impossible. The other was an entire magical season, with one hiccup, that culminated in a special night that stood for 10 other wins throughout the season. But the kicker on this shirt? The top line reads, “The faithful are rewarded.” It’s true. In 2 decades of being a football power K-State has only 2 conference titles to show for it… and whole lot of heartache. ’98 A&M. ’11 Oklahoma State. ’03 Marshall. ’00 Oklahoma. ’12 Baylor. 3 years under he who shall not be named. 93 years of pre-Snyder futility. Some fans have come and gone2. But not you. Not me. We’ve been faithful. We’ve waded through the hurt. We’ve experienced the pain. But we’ve experienced the joy. The faithful have been rewarded. The past two years we’ve been rewarded by getting to watch one of the most dynamic and intelligent quarterbacks Manhattan has ever seen. We’ve gotten to watch the next generation take the field and electrify us with big receptions and bigger kick returns. We’ve gotten to see the perfect combination of speed and power dominate in the middle of the defense. We’ve seen questions answered in the secondary, only to see them raised again by injury… and answered once more. We dreamt, were shaken awake, and dreamed again. It wasn’t perfect. But it was special. And while we’ll never quite let go of what might have been, we’ll always have what was. The faithful, my friends, are rewarded. And faithful to our colors, we shall ever be. Notes: I only have one Big XII Championship shirt so far, but I need to get my hands on one of the official locker rooms one too [↩] If you’re one of those… no judgment. Maybe this is your first time with K-State. Maybe you’ve left and come back. Either way, welcome. Stick around. It may be rocky at times, but trust me… it’s worth it. [↩] K-State fans, we salute you!