Fanning The Flames: Dating A Fanatical K-Stater


Editor’s Note: JOS welcomes our newest contributor, Heath Fanning. Fanning has become “internet famous” as a member of, a beloved bastion for discussion of all things K-State. In this, his first installment of Fanning The Flames, he offers some dating advice for those who might be interested in dating a fanatical fan of Kansas State. Enjoy!

For those who follow me on Twitter and goEMAW, you know I’m transparent and rather more of an open book when it comes to my life. I can’t help it—I really can’t. I may be 27, but I feel I have the life experiences of an 80 year old. Where is this going you may be asking? Good question!

The movie Fever Pitch stars Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, detailing how the couple fell in love the year the Red Sox won the World Series. What I like about the movie is Jimmy Fallon’s character, Ben Wrightman. Ben is a school teacher, obsessed with the Red Sox, who has had season tickets to the Red Sox ever since he was a young pup. He’s also had multiple failed relationships. Why? Because his obsession with the Red Sox is such that he schedules his life around the team.

Guess what? I’m totally that guy, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

I’ve had one “serious” relationship in my life and that was before I stepped foot on the campus at K-State. This comes as no surprise to me. I fell in love with that beauty of my school and dedicated my time to Kedzie Hall, Sports Radio, and Aggieville.

Here’s the truth: I care far more about the game at the end of the week, than I do going to your sister’s wedding. It’s true—I pick the game every time. Why wouldn’t you? Is there more of an endorphin-laden experience than a K-State gameday? For me, no.

There is a solution to keeping me (and other, similarly rabid K-State fans) around though, and here it is.

I’ve dated girls of all collegiate persuasions. Squawks, Shocks, Tigers, Bearcats, Golden Grizzlies (Oakland University), Cowgirls, Razorbacks, ect. You’re all cute, but damn you can be annoying! (I mean that lovingly, of course.) You just don’t get me. In that spirit, if you’re an “outsider”, and you want to date a Wildcat, here are some things you need to know.

The do’s and don’ts of dating a K-Stater:

1. No hanky panky during the game.

I don’t care if it’s an away game. More than likely you had your shot earlier in the day. I’m going to need a full glass of Bacardi and room to jump around frantically in the case of a Collin Klein Touchdown.

2. Don’t make plans for Valentine’s day.

Why, you may ask? K-State might be playing KU in the OOD (Octagon of Doom). What better way of showing my affection than screaming my lungs out in front of 12, 528 of my dearest friends? Suck it up and pretend to like it.

3. Don’t make me meet your Dad at a K-State football game.

What a horrible idea. Guess what? It’s the last game of the year vs. Iowa State. It’s not my job to entertain your dad, in an attempt to force him to fancy me. I’ve got a date with my red solo cup, Jim Beam, and the Chamber (Collin Klein) here in 3 hours. I need to stay focused.

4. Do compliment the dude wearing the natty light cowboy hat at the tailgate.

Listen, we both know he’s an idiot, he can’t help it. Give the guy a break.

5. Don’t walk in front of the washer boards.

My boys Dereck and Dave will cut you for less. This is a major party foul. Save yourself one of your nine lives.

6. Don’t be better than the Wabash.

You know you think it’s cool and you want to join. Start rocking or start walking. You make the call. I’ll scream “next!” faster than, well, someone who screams “next!” a lot.

7. Do compliment me on how pretty I look in Purple.

I don’t care if I’m a dude, I like to hear how nice I look, and how badass my Willie shirt is. In fact, while you’re at it, compliment my friends too.

8. Do enjoy Aggieville.

I don’t care what school you went to. There’s nothing like this at your school, unless you’re Texas. I mean we’re in a small town in Kansas, yet sometimes I feel like I’m walking down Bourbon Street. Be impressed, DAMMIT!

9. Do ignore it if a bunch of girls say “hi” to me at the game.

I was at K-State for 5 years, so… yeah. If you do the math, the chances are fairly high. Let your mind run wild—I’m Fanning, after all.

10. Do tell me how adorable our Basketball team is.

I mean they’re freaking precious. That Shane Southwell smile gets me every time. Oh, and does your team have moves like Martavious or Will? I didn’t think so!

11. Do be my designated driver.

Remember when I picked you and your girlfriends up the other night when you were having a “Sex in the City” Marathon? Yeah, payback is a bitch.

12. Don’t mention the sheep bins by the stadium.

Yes, we all see them. Ignore them, I don’t need to be reminded how hickish we are.

13. Don’t complain about me being gone every weekend.

Get use to it, and enjoy your freedom from me. (I can only imagine how tiring it would be to date me.) Last year alone, I was in Miami, Dallas, and Pittsburgh for games. This might be a good time to prospect for other suitors in case things get rocky.

14. Don’t ever make a negative comment about Bill Snyder.

I don’t know how you could, but unless you want to be heckled, just shut your mouth. I will not back you up if this happens.

15. Finally, don’t ever tell me “they tried really hard, maybe next time” after a loss.

Seriously, I have dropped a girl for this. I need time to grieve, and you’re just pouring fuel on the flames of my grief. Give me some time–I’ll get my sh** together eventually.

Listen people, I know I might be a bit of a special case when it comes to dating a K-Stater. Truth is, The Football season starts September 1. That’s the day before my birthday, so I just thought I’d give the next girl up a scouting report on me—and for dating like-minded K-State fans as well.

As for me, and K-Staters like me, there are just a few choices: stay single, marry a K-Stater, or marry someone out of the family that can follow the rules. I’m the last one to carry the Fanning name, I’ve gotta make this count.