Archive for Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wildcat sees the light, renounces all things purple, starts waving wheat

January 3, 2012


Despite graduating from Kansas State University in 1985, Terry Dahl of Overland Park has become a huge Kansas University fan over the years.

Despite graduating from Kansas State University in 1985, Terry Dahl of Overland Park has become a huge Kansas University fan over the years.

Making the switch?

Here’s some advice from Terry Dahl for any other Wildcats looking to join Jayhawk Nation:

  1. Be open and up-front about it. Dahl sent an email to family and friends, and he encourages others not to be shy coming out of the purple closet. “It feels better when you get it off your chest,” he says.
  2. Fair-weather fandom? Forget it. “I’m totally against that type of behavior. You have to be on board: All KU, or all K-State. One way or the other. It’s weak, in my own mind, to root for KU in basketball and K-State in football.”
  3. Shed the purple fashion — the T-shirts, the ’Cat paws and everything else. “I got rid of it. There isn’t anything purple in my house. If somebody’s truly a KU fan or a K-State fan, you shouldn’t have clothing from the other school.”

Having grown up bleeding purple, following Jack Hartman and standing and screaming and covering his ears in Ahearn Field House — all on the way to earning his bachelor’s degree in finance from Kansas State University — Terry Dahl should by all rights subscribe to the familiar EMAW slogan reverberating out of Manhattan these days.

Every Man a Wildcat?

Not anymore.

Dahl is a converted Jayhawk.

“It’s nothing bad about K-State,” says Dahl, who works as controller and payroll administrator for a hotel company in Lawrence. “It’s just that KU is better overall.”

After seeing the light, the KSU alumnus admits to living an odd existence as a full-fledged citizen of Jayhawk Nation, complete with Rock Chalk Jayhawk shirts, a “ksugrad4KU” online moniker and a steadfast allegiance to all things Crimson and Blue.

He’s even a card-carrying member of the Kansas University Alumni Association, despite never having attended a class on Mount Oread, at the Edwards Campus near his Overland Park home nor anywhere else where Jayhawks are educated.

“KU is just a better school,” he says. “And it’s not just sports.”

Dahl’s self-described “conversion” came back in 2004, less than a year after he’d worn purple and cheered for the Wildcats while attending Kansas State’s Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma in Kansas City, Mo.

Attending games at Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse will do that to you, he said. The fan commitment. The waving wheat. The Rock Chalk Chant.

Factor in what he considers superiority in athletics — KU leads the all-time series in both football and men’s basketball — to go along with stronger academics, a livelier social life, a more pleasing campus and better surroundings and, well, he couldn’t help changing teams from an allegiance perspective.

That his wife, Beth, also happens to be a KU graduate, fan and descendant of Jayhawks might have helped, although he suspects other forces might have helped fuel an intervention.

“She thinks it was just a midlife crisis,” says Dahl, who received his K-State degree in 1985, married his Jayhawk a decade later and then, in 2002, contracted colon cancer. “Now I really, honestly, don’t think it has anything to do with it, but maybe it was all that chemo and radiation that made me change.”

Dahl — now cancer free — certainly hadn’t expected to convert.

His entire family had attended K-State. His folks met at Kite’s, a popular bar in Aggieville. His dad even had coached soon-to-be-KSU legend Lon Kruger as a high school basketball player at Silver Lake High School.

These days, though, all the purple paraphernalia is gone, donated through his church to others less fortunate. Even his KSU degree is packed away somewhere, far less accessible than his more than 27 KU T-shirts and dozens of KU jackets, hats, shorts, socks and other accoutrements that support his newfound fate.

“A lot of people think it’s really weird,” Dahl admits. “I can totally understand that.”

But it’s reality, as the Jayhawks and Wildcats prepare to tip off yet another edition of their Sunflower Showdown this coming Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Of course, he’s counting on his adopted team to topple his higher-ranked alma mater.

“This isn’t one of KU’s better teams, and K-State is scaring me. I’ve been real impressed with what they did in Hawaii,” said Dahl, of the Wildcats’ recent championship at the Diamond Head Classic. “It’s going to be a very tight game but I’ll say KU wins, because it’s in Allen.”

Spoken like a true Jayhawk.


blindrabbit 6 years, 5 months ago

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, I thought I saw a wooden horse somewhere! While I agree that KU is a superior school in many ways, KSU is an major institution as well; each school has a role to play in the State's education menu, and each has it's strengths and weaknesses. Kansas is lucky to have both schools to support research, educate our citizens, and to provide some sports fun to what might be otherwise a rather dull academic existence. What I wonder is really what led to Dahl's comnversion, other that what is stated, was there some bodily threat, some blackmail, some job connection, a nagging spouse, whatever! Welcome on the Jayhawk bus, still hoping K-State puts the kybash on Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, and I'm to a traitor to KU!

Freestater456 6 years, 5 months ago

Really bummed that we lost out on this gem heavy on the sarcasm font. If you can switch allegiances that fast I wouldn't want you as a K-State fan so good riddance! Memorial stadium and fan support should never be used in the same article unless of course you are discussing the lack of fans in the stands. Also going 13-1 against KU in all sports last year was fun. What a joke! Glad you're in red and blue now and not disgracing K-State.

Freestater456 6 years, 5 months ago

Me mad? No. I'm on my way to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl and get to go to a watch party tonight with a bunch of loyal K-Staters. What would I have to be mad about? By the way how did your bowl game turn out.....?

TheStonesSuck 6 years, 5 months ago

Did everyone remember their power towels???!!!

Freestater456 6 years, 5 months ago

That's all you got? Might want to get some updated material bud.

Cade Butler 6 years, 5 months ago

Nice troller piece, Mark. You all can have him.

Scott Gardner 6 years, 5 months ago

Interesting that gonig to games at Memorial Stadium helped "convert" him. Maybe it's because he can stretch out and relax on 3 or 4 seats since the place is usually 3/4 empty after the first quarter. EMAW

TheStonesSuck 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget your power towels tonight fellas! ROCK CHALK.

squawkhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Or maybe it was the recliners that did it.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 5 months ago

Having no problem with the KSU football fan and KU basketball and football fan,living in Topeka. ugh! Oh, well, having degrees form both schools I think, gives me that right. ROCK CHALK tonight!!! EMAW Friday.

ilovelucy 6 years, 5 months ago

Really LJW? You took up space with this drivel? Really?

Dan Thalmann 6 years, 5 months ago

While I do enjoy rooting for specific sports teams, I'm personally starting to have a problem with getting my identity tied to a specific school and fandom of their sports. When I die, I don't want people to remember me by my purple or crimson (and I have both in my closet). I want to amount to a little more than that. I know it is unpopular, but I will continue to support the improvement of both major universities in this state. At the core, improvement of both schools is majorly important to the future welfare of Kansas. I've attended both schools and graduated from KU. Allen field house is historic and awesome. What Bill Snyder has done at K-State is historic and awesome. I'm just glad we live in a state where we can brag about both schools... not every state has that opportunity. Sports is entertainment and should stay in that realm. It should not consume our lives. I'll love the day when people can get excited about a little more stories like this.

squawkhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

By the look of the photo, I'd say he's "giddy".

question4u 6 years, 5 months ago

This is just weird. Is there so little news today that there's nothing to do but dredge up a story from seven years ago?

This guy "converted" back in 2004, and there was an article on him in the Kansan back in 2005.

He surely wasn't the only one to quit being a KSU fan when they declined into the Ron Prince era and KU football seemed to be on the rise. It wasn't news then, so what is it today? A lot of people think that their identities are tied to sports teams, so there's not much novelty there. Now, if he goes to KSU to poison the oak trees like that Alabama fan did at Toomer's Corner....

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like he has what it takes to be a Mitt Romney supporter, too.

Sorry. Just kidding. Go KU!

KsUfan001 6 years, 5 months ago

This article is completely worthless. There are people that transfer from KU to K-state and vis versa all the time and we don't write articles about them. Who cares. People are entitled to their own opinion and their own school. There is no way you can honestly say one school is "better" than the other because both schools are very different. (EMAW)

danmoore 6 years, 5 months ago

Agreed KsUfan001! KU is an institution of higher learning and KSU is a farm with indoor plumbing. (YEHAW)

I'm kidding :-)

jonas_opines 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow, that's pretty sad, Blue.

You've become, over the years, somewhat elitist in your anti-elitism. Do you recognize that?

warthog 6 years, 5 months ago

Still wondering why this was worthy of mention. Slow news day? It's like articles about what a success someone is after overcoming drugs, alcohol, or sex addictions while ignoring people who have walked the path and still struggle. If only I'd have been an alchoholic like my daddy...

George Bures 6 years, 5 months ago

Wouldn't have been better to run this story on April 1st. Sounds a little like Sid Finch from Sports Illustrated many years ago.

jonas_opines 6 years, 5 months ago


Obvious troll article is obvious.

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