If you’ve been to Bill Snyder Family Stadium during pregame in the past nearly three decades, you’ve heard it (minus the Ron Prince years, of course) …
“Right now! Hey! It’s your tomorrow!”
More than at any other time, this Kansas State Wildcats football season feels that way.
An experienced, talented quarterback, a stout defense, overall depth, good special teams, and a stack of skill position players with speed coming out of their wherever. All of that was rewarded with a preseason Top 20 ranking (which has proven to be a terrific place to start for teams willing to play their way into the national picture by season’s end).
And Bill Snyder is leading it all after waging a war on his cancer during the offseason.
I see this, and I’m inspired and appreciative.
On Saturday, I caught myself watching a game* that doesn’t matter in any other year with a different sense of enjoyment. Big plays and a high score helped, I’m sure, but I noticed me appreciating how much of a treat it is to watch a Kansas State team coached by Bill Snyder.
*ESPN3 … what an overwhelming failure. It wasn’t first time I’ve watched a game via the platform, and it won’t be the last because sometimes it is the only option. But, as I tweeted Saturday, massive issues like these did nothing to ease my distrust in streamable broadcasting. I love the long-term upside, but while there also are broadcast issues at times with traditional channels, that route is far more reliable at this point.
But, while watching the Wildcats roll, I also saw K-State’s transcendent, windbreaker-wearing icon, a legend built out of limestone, looking as if a stiff Kansas wind gust could knock him over.
I saw him, and I worry. I don’t want to worry, but I do. I say this as the person who wondered why the national media couldn’t just let Bill Snyder be Bill back in April. I worry because we’re now nearing five months since that column, and Snyder looks almost exactly like he did at that point. And, I don’t know why. And, I don’t know if anyone else knows why. And, it’s unsettling even if I don’t want it to be. And, the season is now underway. And, and, and …
His postgame analysis was sharp. So, too, was his resolve to correct his team’s mistakes before next week. All of it felt like football Saturdays in Manhattan are supposed to feel.
That normalcy is a credit to Snyder (and everyone on his staff stepping up where needed) in keeping focus on the field. That effort is why they deserve for us to do the same for now. (Yes, I know how that sounds considering I’ve just written a column about it.)
Regardless, I will. I will keep my mind on the team. I’ll keep watching as it battles for wins, for a Big 12 championship, and for its coach.
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