Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game Day

It's Game Day at K-State once again. We've had an unusual schedule this year. First game was here in Manhattan and the next two on the road. It's not a good situation to have to send a youg, inexperienced team on the road two weeks in a row. They don't like it, and neither do the hometown fans. But, it's a done deal, and from those three games, we have only one win. Hoping to beat Tennessee Tech today, but time will tell.

Meanwhile, there is more going on than the game itself. Today is Band Day and Ft. Riley Day. This morning, there's a parade downtown of the many high school bands that have been invited to participate along with the K-State Marching Band and the Ft. Riley Band.

After the parade, the kids will practice on the football field for the halftime show. Every year, the K-State band director sends the music to the various high schools, and the kids work on the music. Then, when they arrive here, they have to all be on the same page, playing the same notes, following a director they've never seen before. Halftime is pretty impressive as the band members spread across the entire field from goal post to goal post. And they play together like they've been doing it forever. The final piece is always The 1812 Overture, including real cannons (borrowed from Ft. Riley) as part of it. Besides being a good show, it's a terrific way to get these high school kids to see K-State and maybe get them to choose KSU as their college of choice.

Ft. Riley Day is more often a separate Saturday, but this year it's combined with Band Day. There will be 1400 Ft. Riley soldiers and families attending the game, and the pre-game and half-time activities will pay tribute to them and their fellow soldiers who serve in various overseas outposts. The army post is only a few miles away from Manhattan, and the people who are stationed there are a big part of our community. We see them all year long, but today we especially salute them and thank them for their service.

Willie the Wildcat, our mascot pictured above, will be part of the game festivities, too. Willie does push-ups every time K-State scores. They're cumulative, so I'm hoping Willie ends up doing a whole lot of push-ups today. That would be the perfect way to end a great day.

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