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Cats Keeping Attitude in Check

By Mark Janssen
 
 
To the Wildcats, all is working out for the good.
 
According to senior center Wade Weibert, even the bad is for the good.
 
"That last game was a big slap in the face to us. It was something that we needed. We're supposed to be a blue collar team, but we weren't on that day. It's not that we took Central Florida for granted, but we took our record for granted.
 
"We were 3-0, and we took for granted that 4-0 was going to come just by showing up," said Weibert. "That was false thinking. It was a slap in the face that couldn't have come at a better time."
 
Coach Bill Snyder was talking the same on Tuesday at the Wildcats' weekly press conference. He understands that an arrogant attitude could develop with a 4-0 record, but the Wildcat coach says any such feeling has been held in check because of how K-State has played in the first four games.
 
"There's always that chance to feel like you're better than you are, but maybe the fact that we haven't played as well as I think we're capable of playing has tempered some of the misperception that a 4-0 record can bring," said Snyder.
 
Snyder said he does think this team feels good about itself having come from behind in three of the four wins, but he questions why the Cats have fallen behind.
 
"We're not giving in, which was an area where we did have some dialogue about last year," said Snyder. "It was something that they wanted to overcome and demonstrate that they could finish some games. We've been in three of those games where we've had to come back, so the important thing now is to figure out why we're getting behind and get that problem solved."
 
OFF WEEK: Bye weeks have been good to K-State during the Snyder era as the Wildcats are 11-4 in games after a week of rest. The most recent came in 2005 when the Cats defeated North Texas, 54-7. But, in each of the three years prior to that, K-State lost after bye weeks to Texas A&M (42-30), Texas (24-20) and Colorado (35-31).
 
Instead of having two full weeks to prepare for Nebraska, this year's off week will be followed by a Thursday game, instead of waiting to play on Saturday, which is just fine with Snyder.
 
"Sometimes two weeks is too much time and it's easy to get out of a routine. I think the players would tell you exactly the same thing," said Snyder. "Hopefully a briefer period will fit the bill. The bottom line is how we play, but given my preference, doing as we're doing it is better than having two weeks."
 
K-State had a light practice on Monday and worked out Tuesday, but today will be an off day, as will Sunday.
 
Snyder said that another plus to having an off day on Saturday was the ability to send his coaches out to watch Friday night high school games in person, which he does not do during the normal course of the season.
 
"I'm more geared to keeping the entirety of the team together on the night before each game," said Snyder. "I want our focus to be on the players we have here, and we want players who are about to join our program know that the staff will be around them prior to games."
 
THURSDAY BALL: The Wildcat coach isn't a great fan of weekday football games for college football, but he understands, "so many people are watching them or they wouldn't be doing it. It's all about dollars and cents. I'm a traditionalist, so my preference would be playing on Saturday when your largest fan base can get to the stadium. To me, it is more important to have 50,000 watching us here, as opposed to 100,000 watching us on TV."
 
Plus, Snyder is aware that a weekend home game can have a greater economic impact on the Manhattan community than one played during the week.
 
'PURPLE, GET READY TO ROLL': That locker room pregame chant has returned to the Wildcats with the return of Snyder to the coaching helm.
 
A fixture in the mid- to late-1990s, the tradition was lost in the three years of Ron Prince, but through some in-house coaxing, it returned last year.
 
Prior to the spring game of 2009, Snyder said, "We were getting ready to go out on the field and there was dead silence. They didn't know what to do because they didn't know me, so we had to help create the spirit of something players before them had always done."
 
Now, the Wildcats huddle-up in the locker room and let out a, "Purple, Get Ready To Roll' chant just prior to taking the field.
 
TOWEL GUY: Have you ever wondered who that semi-crazed looking guy is running up and down the sideline waving a white towel during K-State game?
 
That's Wildcat Director of Recruiting Operations Joe Gordon, who played as a defensive back for the Wildcats from 1993-1996.
 
Snyder calls him "our spirit coach."
 
"He's a young guy who players can relate to because he is close to their age, plus he's just a spirited young guy," said Snyder. "That's what he was like when he played in the program."
 
Asked if he was ever afraid he would be hit by the twirling white towel, Snyder quipped that he wasn't afraid, but, "Joe's afraid he will hit me with that towel."
 
 
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com.