Bucky Scribner is not in the business of firing up Kansas University's football players. The former KU punter, who later played in the NFL, works in sales for Holiday Sand and Gravel in Kansas City.
Yet, if KU's players will let an accomplished former Jayhawk give them some advice entering Thursday's KU-K-State showdown at Memorial Stadium, Scribner would be happy to oblige ...
"The game is important. You might not realize how important at the time, but you will remember the game the rest of your life," said Scribner, who played in the first night game between the two schools -- a 36-7 KSU victory in 1982 at KSU Stadium.
"This is KU-K-State. The in-state guys have a good feel for it, but some kids from out of state may not fully understand. There are big bragging rights involved," added Scribner, who played his prep ball at Lawrence High.
It's such a big game, KU coaches usually save their best pre-game ammunition for the in-state clash, plus the Jayhawks' annual battle against Missouri.
Scribner fondly recalls some of coach Don Fambrough's talks.
"His Missouri stories were priceless," Scribner said. "He'd go back and talk about Quantrill and the Raiders. He said, 'Guys on the Missouri side came in and stole our women. What are you gonna do about it?''' Scribner said.
Former QB Frank Seurer also cherished Fambrough's motivational talks.
"He gave the all-time best speeches to get you motivated, to the point he made you want to hate these people," Seurer said. "It was almost comical the way he portrayed them. They were demons from hell coming to earth. He believed every word of it. He truly believed it."
If KU coach Glen Mason needs any help in the motivational department this week, Fambrough would be happy to deliver.
"I believe I could go in the locker room tonight and get 'em ready to play if it's Kansas against K-State or Missouri," Fambrough said recently. "It gets in the blood. You want to beat those people.
"I remember in 1946, I came back from service and the only Manhattan I heard of was in New York. (Former KU coach) George (Sauer) asked me if I knew where it was. I said I never heard of that place before. He told me that afternoon. He didn't have to tell me again."
It's safe to say all former Jayhawks want to win Thursday, not so much to avenge the loss in '82, just because the foe is KSU.
"You always want to beat K-State," said Scribner, KU's lone bright spot in '82, punting eight times for a 46.7-yard average. "KU, MU...in my lifetime I've never seen us beat Nebraska. but you want to beat K-State and Missouri more than anybody else."