Our Story

I was never one to believe the hype. Save that for the black and white.
I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style.

                                                           -- fun. "Some Nights" (2012)

There's a reason I live in Manhattan, Kansas. And part of me hopes the rest of the world never finds out.

Look through the lens of those in positions to influence public thought. This is what you see: Middle of the country. Little Apple. Small town. Heartland.

How quaint.

The fact that it's true doesn't make it any less of a story.

When it became clear that national public opinion was trending away from Collin Klein (Jackie got here much sooner than me, btw) I thought maybe the story alone would be enough. That Heisman voters would come to believe Collin's 'boyish good looks-aw shucks-I didn't kiss my wife until our wedding night' story would carry the day.

That Collin's story happened to be true and not contrived was just gravy.

Look at it this way.

The mere fact that Manhattan, Kansas even has a national identity is due wholly to the success of Bill Snyder and Frank Martin. Bottom line: If we do not win ballgames, there's no reason for anyone outside the K-State family (read: national opinion molders) to care.

Are they having this conversation in Ames, Iowa?

Look closely at Snyder's 16 goals for success. Not one of them faces outward. None of them rely on the vagaries of someone else's validation.

If you're grounded in your own sense of worth and well-being, you need not rely on what others may think. Our identity will not be defined in Bristol, Connecticut.

I'm as big a K-State sports fan as the next man (provided the next man's not Eric Stonestreet.) But college athletics is just a small part of why I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I love traveling and the best thing about it is coming home.

So I make a conscious choice not to get hung up on whether a young athlete is selected for a prestigious award.

I appreciate his accomplishments and admire his humility. I've never met the young man, but from all outward appearances, I get a strong sense that Collin Klein knows he's on the planet for things far more important than college football.

There's a reason Manhattan has low unemployment, that hotels and restaurants are springing up, that a freeway is being built adjacent to an airport with twice-daily flights to Chicago and Dallas and that we're seemingly untouched by the recession (knock on wood.)

We know what we have here.

We know what we have in Collin Klein and Bill Snyder and Rodney McGruder and Brittany Chambers and Mark Simoneau and Cartier Martin and Darren Sproles and Terence Newman and Shalee Lehning and Lynn Dickey and Bob Boozer.

We know what we have that lies deep within the hearts and souls of every one of us who feels an emotional connection to Manhattan, Kansas.

That's our story and we're sticking to it.