Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hail, Hail, Hail, Alma Mater!

Some of the best of Brent's college education took place in this press box.

On Saturday, it came tumbling down. The Dev Nelson press box at Kansas State University's Bill Snyder Family Stadium was imploded to make way for the new west addition. (My Facebook friend, Jeff Sutton, posted this video of the implosion. Thanks, Jeff!)

As a student intern with K-State Sports Information during his undergraduate years, Brent probably spent nearly as much time at the football stadium and in Bramlage Coliseum as he did in the classroom. In truth, the K-State Sports Information job was the biggest classroom of all. He got to be on the front lines when ESPN's College Game Day came to town (a thrill for a guy who lives and breaths college sports.)
He had a birds'-eye view from the press box during K-State football games for two years, where he got to see his childhood hero, Bill Snyder, return to the stadium that bears his name.
The west side stadium construction at a game this fall.
It was there Brent discovered that he wanted to make collegiate sports his career. Last May, he earned his master's degree in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina. And, since September, he's been sitting in a press box at Morehead State University's Jayne Stadium during football games and running the video board at their Johnson Arena during basketball games. He'll be the main media contact at Allen Field during MSU's baseball season. He's been developing graphics and marketing materials for the Morehead State Eagles.
It's all practical knowledge that he first discovered while spending Saturdays in that K-State press box and every day working with the people at K-State Sports Information.

As I read news reports about the implosion and saw the photos from my nephew, Brian, who was one of some 1,500 people watching in person, I was struck by this one sentence in a press release:
It was also fitting that following the initial blast, the 600-plus fans watching from the east side of the stadium could read only three words on the collapsed press box: "Bill Snyder" and "Family."
Family: Yes, that's what it means - whether it's the Dev Nelson press box or the new version that will rise up from the dust of the old one.

My parents, my brother's family and one sister sit on that side of the stadium, too. I'll have to use a different landmark to find them with my binoculars next fall. I've always started at the "K" in Kansas and worked my way downward to find their row. 

I know a spot that I love full well ... No matter what it looks like now or in the future.

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