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Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 28

Greetings from the Valley of the Sun!

The K-State Nation has now hit the Tempe/Phoenix area in full Purple force as we gear up for tonight's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game with the Michigan Wolverines. Our student-athletes and coaches and support staff have enjoyed a terrific week in the desert as the hospitality provided by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl/Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl organization has been first-class once again.

Yesterday I decided to walk the short distance from the hotel over to the site of our traditional pep rally, and it was a great feeling when I came around the bend and glimpsed the hundreds of cars, RV's and buses streaming into the parking lots. We estimate that as many as 5,000 Wildcat fans crammed into Rawhide's Frontier Hall for a great K-State bowl tradition -- the size and intensity of which is virtually unmatched across college athletics. The Pride of Wildcatland band, Classy Cats and cheerleaders were terrific, as always, and K-State's most famous television alum, ABC's Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, did a great job of welcoming the crowd. Current KSU Foundation Board President and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers delighted the crowd by removing his grey trousers to reveal his favorite bright purple pants! President Schulz, Amy Button Renz, BWW Bowl Executive Director Robert Shelton all spoke prior to the Voice of the Cats Wyatt Thompson introducing Coach Snyder and the team. The inspirational remarks of captains B.J. Finney, Ty Zimmerman, Blake Slaughter, Tyler Lockett and capped off by Olathe senior Tre Walker's rousing exhortations underscored the focus and determination our team has for tonight's matchup.

Our fans continue to amaze me with their loyalty and I know Sun Devil Stadium will be electric later tonight as we look for our first bowl win since 2002.

I'm also proud that 20 members of our football team will take the field tonight as K-State alums as the following players have already completed their undergraduate degrees at K-State: William Cooper, Kip Daily, Laton Dowling, Ethan Hammes, John Hubert, Andre Jackson, Stephen Johnson, Cornelius Lucas, Andre McDonald, Carl Miles, Torell Miller, Dorrian Roberts, TJ Roberts, Tavon Rooks, Robert Rose, Curry Sexton, Blake Slaughter, Keenan Taylor, Tre Walker and Ty Zimmerman. The 20 graduates participating tonight are the second-most of any bowl-bound teams across the country this season, trailing only Alabama.
Important Basketball Action Today Too!
Prior to tonight's 9:15 p.m. CT bowl matchup on ESPN, across the country in Brooklyn, NY, our 8-3 men's basketball team, fresh off a big win over No. 15 Gonzaga, will square off against Tulane at 4 p.m. at the world-renown Barclays Center. That game can be seen across the country on FOX Sports 2 (click here for full channel listings).

K-State fans can also listen to our women's game at 6:30 p.m. as Coach Patterson and company face North Carolina State in San Diego. Tonight's women's game, as well as Monday's matchup with UC Riverside/San Diego State can be heard across the K-State Sports Network or for free at www.kstatesports.com.

Big Week in Bramlage to Come
As an exciting and memorable 2013 comes to a close, we have a lot to look forward to in 2014. Be sure and ring in the New Year with some home basketball action as the men's team hosts a very talented George Washington team on New Year's Eve that is 10-1 and on the verge of cracking the Top 25 after victories over Creighton, Rutgers and Maryland. Tip-off at Bramlage on Tuesday is at 2 p.m., and the game can be seen on FOX Sports Midwest/Kansas City.

The Wildcat women then return home to face nationally-ranked Baylor on January 2 in the Big 12 Conference opener at 7 p.m.

Finally next Saturday January 4, Big 12 men's conference play launches as the seventh-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys and national player of the year candidate Marcus Smart come to town to square off against Coach Weber's Cats, tipping off at 3 p.m. on ESPNU. We need a packed Octagon of Doom for all three of these critical games next week!

It's time to get ready for a Golden Cats function, the K-State Alumni Association's pregame event at Old Main and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Tablegate, all before kickoff tonight. Thanks for your loyal support throughout 2013 for K-State student-athletes and our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.

And one last note. The Ahearn Fund offices will be open in Bramlage Monday and Tuesday of next week for those Ahearn Fund members looking to tie up any loose ends before the end of the year.