WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A purple wave of Kansas State University (K-State) Wildcat fans will be rolling into the Lone Star State Friday to see their Wildcats play Texas Christian University (TCU) in the Big 12 Championship Game.
KSN’s Jason Lamb met a Wichita couple who hasn’t missed a K-State game all season. They have attended all 12 contests, including the five away games, and they’re planning to travel to a big bowl game too.
Purple runs deep in the Bloom family.
“You know, it’s super passionate,” says Rick Bloom.
“Anyone you talk to would say the same thing. They see our passion for K-State. For K-State football. For K-State sports,” says Melissa Bloom.
“My brother started off going there (K-State) back in the early 80s. And so, we’ve been in love with K-State since then,” adds Rick.
Rick and Melissa have been football season ticket holders since they graduated from K-State over 30 years ago. Their daughter recently graduated from K-State too. She works in the athletic department as a graphic artist. The Blooms never miss a home game, and they’ve traveled to all but two of the Wildcats’ bowl games through the years.
They have hosted tailgate parties at Bill Snyder Family Stadium for years. What started out as a gathering of eight to a dozen people for a pregame tailgate has grown into a huge party with normal crowds of 80 to a hundred guests.
Last Saturday, the Blooms hosted a massive tailgate party for over 200 fans before the University of Kansas (KU) Jayhawks vs. K-State game.
“It was so crazy. I had to hand out wristbands for people to eat, or I wouldn’t have had enough food,” says Melissa.
This fall, the Blooms decided to go to every single K-State game, whether it was at home or away. They made it to all 12 of them, including five road trips to Oklahoma, Iowa State, TCU, Baylor and West Virginia.
“And I’ll tell you what. Our bodies are hurting, and it’s been a tiring 14 weeks. But it’s been well worth it so far,” says Rick.
“It’s not easy, and it would probably be like a normal thing if our kid played football for K-State, or if I had a son that was on the team. Or maybe a kid that worked for the team. It probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” says Melissa.
Ryan and Melissa were at K-State’s last Big 12 Championship when the Wildcats whipped OU 35-7 at Arrowhead Stadium. And yes, they’ll be in Arlington on Saturday. They’re driving a 15-passenger van to the Dallas metroplex for a rematch against the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2022 Big 12 Championship Game. TCU rallied to beat the Wildcats 38-28 in Fort Worth on Oct. 22.
“It’s been a long time. Too long, actually. We were hoping to go a couple of times in the last 10 or 11 years, and we haven’t been there,” says Rick.
For Melissa, traveling to another big K-State game means much more than football.
“No matter where you go, K-State’s a family, and it’s a blast. We love it. We love everything about it,” she says.
And no matter what the final score is in Arlington on Saturday, the Blooms have already made plans for one last K-State road trip. Rick has booked a hotel room in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
“I know a lot of people are thinking they could be in the Sugar Bowl, but I think you’d be the one to hear it from me first. It is the Sugar Bowl because there’s no chance that we’re going to go anywhere else.”
K-State’s bowl destination will be announced on Sunday following Saturday’s conference championship games.