I remember:  OUR Yearly  Football Game at Manhattan 

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By Doris Schroeder

Sitting outside in a Wild Cat football stadium and honing  in on my natural listening devices, namely the ears, I can hear a sound that defies description. It starts out as a dull hum and grows into a gigantic bellow of reverberation as Wild Cats all over the 50,000 seat stadium let out their sentimental growl for the game. It is reminiscent of a flock of birds getting ready to attack.

A gigantic wave of energy vibrates all over the K-State stadium as football players clad in purple, come marching in, like the soldiers they are honoring this evening.  Their spirits are revved up to fight to the finish the Montana State football team. If by some remote chance, I do not stand with the crowd in this momentous show of emotion, I am apt to feel like a castaway, a non-survivor. Soon I am caught up in the whirl of emotion that surrounds me in the stands like a giant Kansas tornado and I succumb to the others cheering in the stands.

This was our story as we visited the K-State game in Manhattan on Saturday, September 6,  2008, with our daughter Judy and son-in-law Stan.  This was our yearly treat to a big football game, graciously offered by them.

This is a far cry from years ago. That is, before Bill Snyder came on the scene as K-State’s formidable football coach.  It has been written that before Snyder came on the scene, the football team was really at the bottom of the totem pole.  He has done wonders for the team. After his retirement, Ron Prince had taken over. At times it appeared great on the horizon but then somehow it faded into the aftermath of a hurricane.

Many of the fans, however, are out to win, and, according to the noise through the stands, will support any winning play.  I was even more interested in watching the emotions of the supporters as the game went on and they did not let me down. Some of the men were chanting some growl to egg them on.  Occasionally a woman fan raised her hands in an effort to give them support.  Then, and this was hard to believe, a woman fan sat on the bench in back of us, totally sleeping.

As we again sat in the stadium seats in the huge football field, the game started with much aplomb and through something I really didn’t understand, we made the first touch down. We were off to a great  start, even though it was told that Montana had won their first game by a huge score.  They made a touchdown after that but then it was K-State’s game almost completely to the end of the game when they won 60 something to 10.

Almost all through the evening,  the rain came down in short wet sheets. We put on the K-State parkas that Judy shared. It was amazing how they kept us dry. I know, I still couldn’t believe I was doing something I always thought so weird…sitting outside in the rain to watch a football game, even though it was a Wild Cat game.

On the other hand, to my feminine mind, much as I enjoy the camaraderie ofa winning football team, I wonder where life’s priorities really are? Does it ever seem a little frivolous that so much energy is placed on a small piece of leather in an oblong shape that by itself, can do nothing?

If one was trying to make sense of life, would it not seem more “reasonable” to make more ado about inspirational  matters, intellectual pursuits, wiser endeavors or simpler feats to perform than kicking that little oblong piece of leather or knocking someone down who is carrying it?

Of course you could pursue the trend of thought that perhaps there is an intellectual pursuit in figuring out the right plays and remembering them.  Perhaps it is good to be able to outline  some of the complicated components of the other team.  A good coach can teach his players good sportsmanship, team play and the ability to hang in when the going gets rough. These are all things that will be faced in Life. At this time, K-State is really fortunate to have Bill Snyder back as a coach once again.

If we have a Life coach who is all-knowing, we can indubitably make a touch down if we follow his directions.  Certainly God answers that description and can coach us all along the way.

Life is like a football game in many ways, but it is important HOW you play the game as well as your reason for playing.  We can study the Bible’s directions and listen to our coach by following his directions. We can become part of His team by first accepting Jesus  into our heart and life and going by his advice. It is then we will truly be victorious!

Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]

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