Behind Enemy Lines: A Jayhawk Fan's View Inside Bramlage Coliseum

A Through the Phog contributor attended the Sunflower Showdown last night dressed in Jayhawk gear.
Kansas v Kansas State
Kansas v Kansas State / Peter Aiken/GettyImages

Having been to many home games at Allen Fieldhouse, the bar was already set as to what the mecca of college hoops is. Last year, I went to Rupp Arena to experience KU at the Kentucky game. Rupp had some good character, some solid and respectful fans, and an avid fan base. The noise level and crowd impact weren’t quite there.

Monday night was my first KU game at K-State. Going to the game with my son, we expected to receive some hate proudly rocking our Jayhawk gear ready to cheer loudly. The K-State fan base did not disappoint. Starting out walking up to the gates a little over an hour before tip, we were greeted by loud boos from their student section ready to get in the game. We all know it was little brothers Super Bowl, so we appreciated the acknowledgment that the Jayhawks live rent-free in their heads all year long.

We sat 10 rows up at an angle behind the basket on the K-State side. Sitting by mostly K-State season ticket holders, I was told. We came in loud cheering for our Jayhawks and not backing down from the mostly purple-packed crowd. There were many rock chalk’s and let’s go Jayhawks reigned down from our seats.

We would let them have it on free throws with Rock Chalk chants that led to 4-for-9 shooting on yells. Had to be all us, I am sure! The number of Wildcat fans in the 50-70 age range flipping us off, yelling f*** you, and even a consistent “burn in hell” was comical. Could two Jayhawk fans come in cheering for their team without being disrespectful, only yelling rock chalk really rile up their fan base? Apparently so.

The classy cats continued their gestures and comments throughout the game. It was great. It showed the rivalry. KU fans would not act that way toward Wildcat fans in Allen Fieldhouse, but the difference is that we expect to win and act accordingly. Now, I will say not all fans acted that way, as we had some great friendly banter back and forth during the game with a guy seated right below us a row. He had said that KSU fans are not used to many opponent fans in the building and don’t know how to act.

The student section gave some good life to the Wildcats throughout the game and the crowd was mostly solid backing their team. I will say that they try to pump in more noise through the loudspeakers to get their crowd going. They don’t have the same feel that Jayhawk fans have in Allen Fieldhouse which provides the best home-court advantage in America.

They did, at times, definitely have the place rocking when things were going well for them. There was a solid atmosphere in a rivalry game. From watching previous games on TV against other opponents and having multiple KSU friends, the atmosphere and crowd vary from game to game and opponent to opponent, whereas Allen Fieldhouse is rocking every game.

Overall, it was a solid road rivalry experience, and it made me realize I need to go to a KU at Mizzou game to feel the full hatred of a more intense rivalry.

Monday represented a Super Bowl victory for KSU Wildcat fans. The joy and excitement after the game for a regular season home win was comical, for sure. You just have to love having the target on your back like the Jayhawks do, being a blue-blood and premium program in America.

Outside of the crowd was a cool little building, although a smaller venue with just over 11,000 seats. The Wildcats showed off their vast success with four final four banners, with the most recent being in 1964.

While there were no national championship banners hanging, they did have participation banners hanging for years after they went to the NCAA Tournament. Can’t wait for the rematch in Allen Fieldhouse on March 5th.

As Always Rock Chalk, and Let’s Go!