Kansas Cats Tamer Than Their Tucson Counterparts


As Wildcat fans go, these Cats weren't so hard for a Sun Devil alum to deal with.

But these Cats were from Manhattan, Kan., not Tucson.

About 10,000 supporters of Kansas State joined Arizona State faithful in San Diego to cheer football teams from both schools in the 25th Annual Holiday Bowl.

For most of last weekend, the Wildcats and Sun Devils lived, shopped, dined and partied along side one another without much fuss.

That would never happen in Arizona where the Devils' and Cats' best hope is for mutual co-existence.

At the bowl game played Friday evening on national television in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, 58,717 fans watched and cheered without the hijinks that are associated with the ASU vs. UA rivalry.

Prior to the game, alumni tailgate parties for both schools were held only yards apart in the Qualcomm parking lots.

There were no fights, no name calling, no bragging --ust old-fashioned football fun.

Earlier in the day, supporters of both schools stood side by side watching the Holiday Day Bowl parade pass in front of Tuna Harbor.

After the parade, fans gathered to cheer both schools in a battle of the bands that featured almost as much enthusiasm as the game itself.

Kansas State fans breathed their first sigh of relief when ASU quarterback Andrew Walter's Hail Mary pass fell incomplete with no time remaining on the game clock.

Earlier in the game, the highly favored Wildcats had fallen behind the Sun Devils 10-0 and 20-7.

Kansas State escaped with a 34-27 victory that provided as much excitement as most of past Holiday thrillers.

After the game, players met in the middle of the field to shake hands and congratulate one another.

There's was no impromptu dancing on the other team's logo as another Wildcat team did two years ago after a victory in Sun Devil stadium.

K-State coach Bill Snyder went so far as to make a postgame visit to the Arizona State locker room where he congratulated the players and coaches for a job well done.

During the weekend that followed the bowl game, most of the ASU and KSU fans stayed on in San Diego to enjoy sights and sounds of the city.

From my vantage point, K-State faithful and ASU supporters were polite, courteous and humble to one another.

Most of the Cat backers this ASU alumni spoke to said, "nice game" or "ASU put up a heck of a fight."

Which has me thinking, maybe Wildcats aren't so bad after all.

The Manhattan Cats, that is.

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