It is the afternoon of April 9, and it just so happens to be D. Scott Fritchen’s birthday. He is drinking coffee at a booth by the window at Bluestem Bistro when I approach him. The first thing he does is smile, shake my hand and offer to buy my coffee. Fritchen is a writer at Powercat Illustrated Magazine. He bleeds purple. He also has over 13,000 Twitter followers. Fritchen jumped on the Twitter bandwagon quite early, and has been garnering followers since 2009.
“It was just about me wanting to connect with people,” Fritchen said. “And then more and more as time went on it turned out that I was able to provide a service that went hand-and-hand with my passion for writing about Kansas State athletics. A lot of people share that passion. It continued to grow through the years. Twitter is a valuable tool, to connect with people, to get information, and to get information out.”
Fritchen said he is “not too sure” why his account is so popular, but he attributes it in part to “sports and Aggieville and food picks. Who doesn’t like good food? Who doesn’t like Aggieville?”
Hayden Wolf, sophomore in finance, said he follows Fritchen “for a insight on K-State athletics as well as his educated opinion on important sports matters in the NCAA.”
Fritchen predominantly tweets about sports. Whether it be play-by-plays during a game, or other updates. This year the basketball team has incited some hot debates amongst fans. Fritchen takes his time before speaking, but doesn’t shy away from talking about the team.
“This is the most frustrating team on any level, in any sport, that I’ve ever followed,” Fritchen said. “It seems like the coaching staff is trying to get a grasp on a program that faced some trouble and spent a majority of last season in disarray for various reasons, and its just crazy to think that in a span of a year, that the brand of K-State basketball, as we’ve been used to it for the last eight years, can become a disappointment and so unrecognizable. And I feel that changes were in order and I believe that the coaching staff is doing everything they can to ensure that the program won’t face another season like that again.”
The basketball fans came under fire as well, after the court-storming incident that made national news for weeks following. Though Fritchen said he understands the excitement behind court storming, especially for students who may not have witnessed a live K-State victory over Kansas, he also acknowledges the risk involved.
“I don’t foresee a court storming happening again, with the measures, and I think that’s positive; with this day and age with liability issues, you’re waiting for court battles,” Fritchen said.
With basketball season behind, football is closing in on the horizon. Fritchen is looking forward to the spring game in Sporting Park. The game is sold out and Fritchen is glad about that.
“I know the players really appreciate it, and the coaches as well,” Fritchen said. “I think its important because it exposes some of the younger players, who haven’t played in front of more than two or three thousand in high school, it exposes them to kind of under-the-lights type of environment.”
As someone who has written about K-State sports for over a decade, Fritchen and coach Bill Snyder are far from strangers. In fact, Fritchen said he has known Snyder for over half of his life and considers Snyder as the second-most-influential male in his life. Fritchen said he sees how much Snyder touches the lives of his players after just a handful of years with them, and reflects on how lucky he is to have been influenced by Snyder and his 16 goals of success.
“My 16-year-old daughter put each goal on a yellow post it note and posted each of those goals inside her closet,” Fritchen said. “Coach has impacted our entire family.”
Fritchen’s writing is not only passionate, but thoughtful and honest, which has earned him respect from K-State students and fans alike.
“I like seeing what he has to say about sports, and he’s one of my main resources for what’s going on in the K-State sports world,” Jamie Florack, senior in elementary education, said about following Fritchen on Twitter. “And I take that seriously. I like how he’s honest and real, but also seems really nice. He also tweets a lot of pictures of food that I could probably never eat without feeling insanely guilty, but man is it nice to look at.”
Another topic that Fritchen tweets about frequently is food. He is also known for this that people actually tweet him random pictures of their ridiculously-delicious looking entrees. Fritchen said he thinks this trend started after one Thanksgiving when he asked people to tweet them their Thanksgiving feasts and it simply expanded and never stopped after that. Fritchen said he embraces the definition of “foodie.”
“I love being able to try new things,” Fritchen said. “One of the most fun things about being on the road, on away trips, is finding these new places, these hidden gems. No chain restaurants; I want that local grub.”
Even when he is in Manhattan he eats local often, particularly places in Aggieville. He was unable to choose just one favorite restaurant located in the Aggieville district, but he did say his favorite thing to eat is So Long Saloon’s raspberry bean dip. Any long time followers of Fritchen would be able to tell you what his favorite movie is.
“I love great movies,” Fritchen said. “I tweeted about Good Will Hunting last night. But Shawshank Redemption is the number one movie of all time. IMDB.com got that right. What struck me most was the writing of it, from the first time I watched it, it was so compelling. And you know, who can’t love Morgan Freeman in a movie, with that smooth narration.”
The Internet loves cats, and so does Fritchen. Every so often he will tweet about his cat, aptly named Willie. He said he considers himself a cat person, and he always had them around growing up. Before he had Willie, he had a cat shipped from Guam, where he lived, to his new home in Washington D.C. He said he laughs when recalling the cat adapting from the 100 percent humidity in Guam to the snow in D.C.
Fritchen once tweeted “Think positive and drink good coffee.” He said he stands by that, and said it’s a great life motto. Further advice he has to give to those students graduating next month is to maintain perseverance.
He said he suggests graduates “find what you enjoy and go after that. Because, just speaking for myself, I enjoy what I do so much that I never feel like it’s a job. I wrote 2,300 words on Joe Huebner last night and that was fun, you know? That doesn’t feel like work to me.”