So we all know that J-dubs loves sports. He could watch football all day everyday (if I let him). I like sports, but find them much more thrilling in person. Sports on TV are pretty blah for me. I'll watch a game, but it's mostly for the pizza and/or nachos that go along with a Saturday afternoon on the couch. That being said... K-State sports hold a very special place in my heart.
Yes, K-State is my alma mater. I spent four wonderful years of my life there. It is where I got my education and where I became an adult. I will always love Manhattan, KS and a piece of my heart will always be there. I found the artist in me there. I made lifelong friends who stood by me during some very tough times, and my spirituality grew. It is also where I met J-dubs.
We are the classic college romance. We met in the dorms through mutual friends and pretty quickly fell into a regular routine of attending KSU sporting events as part of our courtship. We didn't discriminate. We went to men's and women's volleyball games, baseball games, but most importantly there was FOOTBALL. We both had season tickets all four years and spent a lot of sunny afternoons cheering on the Cats at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (it wasn't always called that, but we were there when they renamed it). We would show up 6 hours before game time just to rush down the bleachers and get in the front of the student section. Of course, I would always bring a bag full of granola bars and playing cards. I had to make sure no one got hungry or bored while we were waiting. J-dubs sunburned the letters K-S-U into his forehead more than once after painting them onto his forehead and not wearing sunscreen. Imagine a bright red face with a big white K-S-U across the forehead. A-dorable (or A-nnoying... take your pick). We drove all the way to Arizona to watch them play in the Fiesta Bowl. My sister Birdy met J-dubs for the first time at a K-State football game. He, of course, was wearing a purple and white wig, football jersey, and screaming at the top of his lungs. That's what a sister looks for in her baby sister's boyfriend, right?
Since it was so much a part of our romance, K-State football is a big deal to me. It's not just a team or a school, it's classic J-dubs and I. It takes me back to those carefree college days standing in the stadium and holding hands. Feeling those new relationship butterflies on top of game day butterflies. High fiving and hugging when they score, secretly being thankful for the excuse to be close to him. Decking ourselves out head to toe in purple and then walking together to the stadium. Listening to J-dubs sing the fight song and alma mater off key. Trying to Wabash with J-dubs, who can't keep a beat. Later in college J-dubs was up in the press box and I was in the student section. Even then he would find an excuse to leave his spot and come find me during the game.
This year K-State football is on the national radar. We have an amazing team. J-dubs and I have gotten to watch a few games together and have celebrated in our living room by singing the fight song and Wabashing. We've squeezed each other's hands during big plays and hugged during touchdowns. Tonight, I got the amazing joy of being able to wake up my sleeping husband to tell him that our team was number one in the nation. The look of joy on his sleepy, confused face is one I won't soon forget. We giggled like little kids and squeezed each other tight. All of our history with football came back to me and I remembered falling in love with a man and a team at the same time.
Kansas State University Football is undefeated. We are number one. Our team has a chance to go to a national championship. We could win it all... and I'll get the privilege of watching it happen with the guy who I fell in love with during my first KSU football season.