The day began and ended with a mad dash of a huddled mass of students, and somewhere in-between, the K-State men’s basketball team defeated KU for the first time in Manhattan in 25 years – the first-time ever in Bramlage Coliseum.
Many fans’ days started several hours before 6 a.m. The cluster of students outside Peters Recreation Complex grew larger as the time grew closer to race across the parking lot for a spot in line. About ten minutes before 6 a.m., the anxiety became too much and the pack of students poured into the parking lot and raced towards the student entrance at Bramlage.
Hearing the mass of students stampeding across the parking lot, the students waiting in the Jardine apartment complex made a dash toward the line as well. One student, who hid curled up in a car, and another, who had spent the entire night hidden in the bushes near Bramlage, abandoned their hiding spots and darted toward the front of the line.
After the last of the students piled into the two lines near the bottom of the walkway, the tightly packed wait began. Students employed many tactics to stay warm throughout the day. Some brought tents, others sat in lawn chairs huddled around space heaters and dozens of students spent time thawing out in the heated bathrooms outside of Snyder Family Stadium.
Around 2 p.m., when the line almost reached Kimball Avenue, students started packing in tighter and tighter. No one could move until just before 5:30 p.m., when the doors were finally opened.
The mad rush of students after the game was similar. Students poured onto the court from seemingly everywhere, creating a giant mass of purple; this time without the tents and space heaters.
The only disappointing part of the day, which started and ended with such excitement, was realizing there probably would not be this much enthusiasm for any other basketball game this season. I understand KU is a hated rival, and the game had extra meaning for K-State fans, but the same fans should show excitement like that for every game the rest of the season.
Will there be several hundred students lined-up just to get in line at 6 a.m. every game this season? Probably not. But there is no reason there should be empty rows of bleachers at the top of the student section, or students coming late and leaving early for other games.
I also understand students will always want to camp out before the K-State-KU game, but it shouldn’t end there. With the basketball team ranked second in the Big 12, there is no reason that fans shouldn’t be excited for every game.
So tomorrow, when K-State faces Nebraska, I hope the fans can prove the annual K-State-KU game is not the only time K-State has a great atmosphere for basketball.
Joel Aschbrenner is a sophomore in pre-journalism mass communications. Please send comments to email@example.com.