Orient Express Seth March 3, 2015 Catbacker Commentary, Features Tuesdays on The Salute Younger readers are going to have to bear with me. I have some old-school Worlds of Fun references for you today. More specifically roller coaster references. Year one of Bruce Weber’s tenure at Kansas State was fantastic. A 25-6 regular season followed by a run to the Big 12 Tournament Championship game is a pretty smooth ride. The next year was a roller coaster. The Wildcats were up and down all season on their way to a 20-13 finish. Numerous times last year Salute writers and fans called it a roller coaster of a season. If last year was a roller coaster it was the Zambezi Zinger. This year is the Orient Express. Both are extinct roller coasters at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. The Zambezi Zinger was one of the park’s original roller coasters. It was the most kid-friendly coaster at the park. The minimum height requirement didn’t really exclude anyone. There were no loops or anything scary at all. I rode it a lot when I was little. The Orient Express was vastly different. It had a “chicken out” exit that you could use if you were too scared to get on it. The Express had loops and a height requirement that echoed it’s frightening nature. The Wildcats season last year was like the Zambezi Zinger. There were ups and downs. A troublesome opening game loss to Northern Colorado, like that nerve-racking opening climb. Until the post-season, the longest losing streak was 2 games. There weren’t any moments that were really scary just like the Zinger. This year has been the Orient Express. There have been a pair of 2 game losing streaks, one 3 game slide and the 5 game mess that recently occurred. There was a disastrous home loss to Texas Southern, a Maui blowout against Pitt and a miserable performance at TCU. It’s been scary. Many K-State fans took the “chicken out” exit on this season, while many more of us were eyeballing it and pondering whether or not to use it. Currently, the Cats are on an exhilarating stretch of the roller coaster. A 2 game winning streak is fun. The Cats longest streak has been 4 games all year. Two more wins would be great but 4 more would equal a Big 12 Tournament Championship and would feel like coasting to the finish of a wild, scary ride. Go Cats! Beat Texas!