A sea of Purple Pride will mix with Crimson and Blue hues for Saturday's KU-KSU football game. In addition, a not-so-thin blue line of police will be patrolling to make sure nothing gets out of hand.
The Kansas State football team on Saturday will bring scores of wildly enthusiastic fans to Lawrence, all of them anticipating the Wildcats' eighth win this season.
Also in tow will be a handful of KSU police, hoping to help keep events peaceful on a day charged with in-state rivalries and Halloween oddities.
The Kansas University Office of Public Safety doesn't typically rely on help from other universities to patrol the games at Memorial Stadium.
"I think this year in particularly, with (KSU's) outstanding record in football, there is going to be a large number of fans. They graciously offered to send a handful of officers, and we accepted," KU's Sgt. Troy Mailen said.
Most of the 29 commissioned officers at KU will be working Saturday to help before, during and after the 11:30 a.m. game. Mailen said their duties will include traffic and crowd control, patrolling the fans on Campanile Hill, looking for alcohol consumption, which is illegal on campus, and protecting the Memorial Stadium goal posts, if needed.
Both Mailen and Sgt. George Wheeler of the Lawrence Police Department are glad the game starts in the early afternoon instead of after dark.
"The game in and of itself doesn't really pose any difficulties, but there are hardships if you have a night game, because you'll have festivities before and after the game, with tailgating and what not," Mailen said.
The Lawrence Police Department has asked night shift officers to come in at 2 p.m. Saturday, an hour earlier than normal. Officers will be on foot and bike patrols downtown, and helping with increased traffic around game time.
There could be up to 40 officers on duty at one time instead of the usual 20 that work on Saturday nights, Wheeler said.
"We would normally have them come in for the game, but Halloween is just icing on the cake," Wheeler said.
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.