It is that time of year when hope springs eternal. I know what swells up in your heart when you read that, and you're exactly right. Football season is here! Or is that just me?
My beloved K-State Wildcats open their season Saturday against the University of North Texas. I don't know what our prospects are this season. We pounded the University of Texas last season but we were awful down the stretch, including a loss to ku. And in my economy, the Cats can win every other game but if they lose to ku the season was a failure. So I am entering this season with my usual odd mix of quiet hope mixed with a fair amount of pessimism which I hope will protect me if the season is a failure. It never works. Pessimism is a poor servant, and I always quickly point that out to my counseling clients.
When it comes to K-State football I have many years of experience (just as my clients do with their areas where they battle with hope). I started faithfully listening to K-State football when I was about 12 years old. I'd be following my Dad and older brother Bob around, watching them work, and listening to the game on my little transistor radio. If you know the history of Kansas State football you know that it was never good, except for a brief period during the late 60s and early 70s when Vince Gibson was there. Things got progressively worse after that. There were occasional bright spots like Steve Grogan and Gary Spani, but my usual Saturday consisted of listening to the Wildcats get soundly defeated by their opponent, and telling myself, "just wait 'til next week." At the end of the season it was always, "just wait until next year." In those days Wildcat basketball was great, so I always had that to console myself. Still, I always hoped for a great football team. There was one good season in the early 80s--we went to our first bowl game ever--but I was in Chicago those days at the Moody Bible Institute. Al Gore was still trying to figure out how to get the Internet to the masses, and the Tribune didn't write anything about K-State, so I missed out on a lot about that season.
After that, things were just bad again. I remember going to a game against Colorado in November of '87, and there were probably 3000 people in the stands. The smart people were out hunting pheasants.
After another dismal season in 1988 K-State went looking for another head coach. If I remember correctly, the University of Iowa had beaten us pretty badly that season, and when K-State hired Bill Snyder, the offensive coordinator at Iowa, it wasn't much to cheer about. It was just another example of how we could only attract assistant coaches who were desparate for a head coaching job, not proven head coaches. Well, we did hire a proven head coach once, Stan Parrish, and turned him into an assistant coach for the rest of his career. Turns out I don't know much about coaches, 'cause Bill Snyder is now a legend in Kansas. His first win came against the University of North Texas (North Texas State in those days) and I went absolutely nuts. Fortunately, I was all alone, so there was no one around to witness this and have me committed.
Saturday night I expect I will be grilling some pork chops for us and Susanne's parents who are coming down for a visit. I'll log onto the Internet site where I listen to the games (thanks, Al). It's the start of a new season, and hope springs eternal.