The football team had its first home game last Saturday in which they won 34-0 over FCS opponent, South Dakota. For some of you, I just stated two facts that you might not have heard too much about before reading this. More dedicated football fans already knew the opponent and the final score; however, there was a much bigger story that overshadowed the actual football game itself.
First, our band was seemingly distracted by poking fun at University of Kansas. And following that, we all were distracted by how the band chose to express that.
Obviously, by now, you have seen the band’s now infamous halftime formation from the football game. Both what it was meant to be and what it was perceived as by some others. The lighthearted joke depicting an attack of our biggest rival’s mascot, the Jayhawk, turned into a self-imposed $5,000 sportsmanship fine for the university and a one-game suspension of the band director, Frank Tracz, according to CBS Sports.
To me, the halftime show was a harmless attack on an “evil space creature” by the Starship Enterprise set to Star Trek music. Others saw it as a disrespectful act against our rival’s beloved bird. What I’m wondering is why even attack the Jayhawk at the first home game of the season? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sports rivalries and a little trash talking. But at the first football game of the season shouldn’t we be more focused on K-State football and less on a choreographed intergalactic battle between a bird and a spaceship?
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the halftime performance or that I don’t like what the band did, but I do think the Star Trek themed attack on Kansas could’ve waited until later in the season. We just need to leave Kansas alone until we play them. The less we acknowledge their school during the season, the more we can focus on important things happening with an actually good football team that we enjoy here at K-State.
Besides that, there were some pretty major things that happened on Saturday that need more attention. In a game where the Wildcats won handily, there were some positive and negative things that could affect K-State football for the rest of the year.
First off, for those who don’t know, we started a sophomore quarterback for the first time since 2004, when Dylan Meier earned the starting job, detailed by Fox Sports’ Sept. 1 article “K-State picks sophomore Jesse Ertz to start at quarterback.”
Ertz, who won the starting job in a four-person battle in camp, was the starter on Saturday. From what I’d heard about him, I was expecting big things from both him and K-State football this year. After an awkward tackle on the first play of the game, however, he is “out for quite some time” head coach Bill Snyder said in an article published by the Kansas City Star on Sept. 7.
Despite from the terrible injury to our starting quarterback, there are some positive things that we can look forward to this season. Wide receiver Morgan Burns, who is replacing First Team All-Big 12 player Tyler Lockett, took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. It’s impossible to replace a player like Lockett, but that kick return helped turn the page now that he is in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.
Another positive takeaway was the defense; they didn’t allow a single point on Saturday during their blowout victory. Although South Dakota isn’t the same type of team as TCU or Baylor, it’s always nice to go out there and shutout an opponent. If the defense can keep this up, they should be fun to watch this year.
So, why are we talking about the halftime performance? On social media, all I’ve seen is K-State fans defending the band or Kansas fans calling us “disrespectful.” There are way more important things that the public needs to see on social media other than the way a band in Kansas lines up during a halftime performance. Social media has taken this “viral” thing too far. Far more important things, such as crime, poverty, politics, etc. are getting far less attention than the halftime controversy did and that shouldn’t be the case.
Whether you saw it as the Starship Enterprise or as something else, it really doesn’t matter. The halftime show is done and obviously will not be performed again, so now we can all move on from this and focus on what’s really important in Manhattan right now: K-State football.