Profiles In K-State Fandom – Lora Watson

Profiles In K-State Fandom – Lora Watson

The sixth installment of “Profiles In K-State Fandom” features Lora Watson. I “met” Lora on Twitter/X and we follow each other on there. When I asked for nominations to be featured in this series, Lora was nominated and plenty of people seconded the motion. So I reached out to Lora and she eagerly accepted. Lora’s story of becoming a K-State fan because of her son’s love of K-State is similar to the story of my Mom and Dad becoming massive and loyal K-State fans. Their son fell in love with the place, so they did by proxy. Then three of their Grandchildren went to K-State as well, and over time the majority of their wardrobe turned purple. But that’s a story for another day. Today, it’s about Lora….

JM: Tell me a little bit about your background. Where were you born/where did you grow up and how did you become such a huge K-State fan?

LW: I was born and raised in a small town about 30 miles east of Kansas City, in the heart of Mizzou Tiger country. I had been a Tiger fan my entire life. Even as a Mizzou girl, I always admired Coach Snyder, and Frank Martin. Our entire family loves sports, so I gently cheered for K-State whenever they played anyone but Mizzou! Especially when they played the other Kansas school.

I became a huge fan of KSU because my son had found his Home away from Home.💜 As a parent, that’s all you can ask for!

JM: Are you married? Kids?

LW: My husband and I have been together 27 years. We have one son, a Senior at KSU, who is the reason I bleed Purple now.

JM: Tell me a little bit about how your son came to the decision to attend K-State.

LW: Our son had been doing college visits to different Engineering programs during his junior year of high school. Gibson knew he didn’t want to be extremely far from home for college, so we were touring close facilities. We always assumed he would attend Mizzou, as he was also a lifelong fan… but he never felt a connection to the campus. He had determined he would attend Missouri S&T, as they had one of the most prestigious engineering programs within a close distance. The program and school had everything he wanted…. besides music.

Music has always been his first love. He was involved in Jazz, Symphonic Band, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, as well as Marching and Pep Bands. Although S&T has a marching band, it was about half the size of his high school band. That didn’t really appeal to him, and he decided he was going to give up marching in college. When he told me that decision, we were listening to music in the kitchen while cooking dinner. I told him NOT to give up his outlet and to keep looking at programs, as someone would have everything he is looking for in the college experience. Gibson turned to walk out of the room, and at that moment, the most incredible low brass hit boomed across the Bluetooth speakers. It stopped him dead in his tracks. He turned around and said, “who is that”?. I grabbed my phone and said, “It’s K-State!” (It was the opener to Les Miserables). He asked to see my phone. While listening to the field show, he asked if K-State had his intended major. I wasn’t sure, so he immediately opened our laptop and began his search. Before the field show had ended, he turned around and said, “this is where I’m going to school!”. He applied immediately, and the rest is history!

JM: What do you do for a living?

LW: I am the Vice President of Operations for a Research and Development lab, as well as a lead Research Writer.

JM: Do you live in or around Manhattan? What’s your favorite restaurant or hangout when you’re in town?

LW: We still live in the small town I was raised in, but my go-to spots in MHK are Manhattan Brewing Company and Taco Lucha!

JM: Do you have a favorite sport? Favorite K-State team?

LW: I love all sports. With Gibson’s involvement with Marching and Pep Bands, I have loved being part of Volleyball, Basketball, and of course, Caturdays!

JM: Do you have season tickets?

LW: We are Football season ticket holders.

JM: Do you travel to K-State away games?

LW: We have traveled to basketball games in KC and have attended the Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence, as well as the last three Bowl Games, the season opener in Dallas against Stanford, and the Big 12 Championship!

JM: Do you have a favorite away game place or story to tell?

LW: The end of the Sunflower Showdown this last season, when the team celebrated with the band, is one of my favorite memories! Although, NOLA was a heck of a good time!

JM: Any negative experiences?

LW: Not at all! In fact, quite the opposite. Myself and my family have been embraced by the KSU community, and I have gained many wonderful friendships because of it! Here’s looking at you, Mom Group! 💜

JM: What is your favorite K-State sports memory?

LW: Winning the Big 12 Championship in football. Myself, my husband and my Mizzou in-laws all got teary eyed! It was a special moment to see how much they had grown to care for K-State as well.

JM: Who is your favorite K-State player(s), past or present?

LW: Old school – Jacob Pullen and Jordy Nelson. All the current athletes, I love them all!

JM: Who is your favorite K-State coach(es), past or present?

LW: What Gene Taylor has done for athletics at KSU, and their coaching, is spectacular. I’ll always respect Snyder and Martin… but ALL of the current coaching staffs are special.

JM: If you had to guess, what percentage of your wardrobe is purple?

LW: 75%. On another note, there is not one Black and Gold anything on either side of our closet. My husband and I donated it all to make room for Purple and Lavender!

JM: What does the “K-State Family” mean to you?

LW: It means exactly that.. Family. We were Missouri people and fans, with no tie to this University, other than our son attending. The love and support the fan base gave my son and the band, is something I will never forget. Home is where my heart is, and my heart is in Manhattan.

JM: You are a member of the K-State Mom’s group? I was unaware of such a group. Can you tell us a little more about it?

LW: There are a group or moms/fans (player mom, alums, fans, and obviously a band mom) that dm (direct message) during games, cheer together, talk about sports, our families, and just life in general! It’s a great “Girl Squad” that cheers each other, our teams, and our families on! Basically, women supporting women! (As it should be!)

JM: Many thanks to Lora for doing this. She is going through a rough time right now and I really appreciate that she took time out of her day to get this done.

Follow Lora here:
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If you would like to nominate someone to be featured in “Profiles in K-State fandom,” please message me and I’ll reach out to them. Thanks!

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