Profiles In K-State Fandom – Tyler Gilbert

Profiles In K-State Fandom – Tyler Gilbert

Well, heck. The more of these that I do, the more I realize that I pale in comparison to some of the great K-State fans out there. The 13th installment of “Profiles in K-State fandom” features Tyler Gilbert. Tyler was nominated by someone that I have previously profiled. Tyler and I follow each other on X, but have yet to meet in person. Tyler represents the exact type of person I’m looking for when doing these profiles. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one. And if you have more K-State caps than Tyler does, I’d like to know it!

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?

TG: I was born in Wichita, Kansas, raised in Mulvane. It was in my blood and in my family. I grew up an only child, but thru my high school we had a “Big Brother” Program and all but one of them attended Kansas State. The other attended Pittsburg State so we don’t hold it against him too much, haha. My cousin had attended Kansas State.

JM: Did you attend K-State? Did you graduate? What years did you attend?

TG: I attended Kansas State From 2011 to December of 2014. I graduated on 12-13-14, which was pretty cool. I received my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

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

TG: Kansas State for me was a no-brainer. I always knew it was where I wanted to end up after attending Cowley County Community College. That degree was in Graphic Design. It was just where I knew God wanted me transfer to and be at and when I switched my Major to Hotel and Restaurant Management. I knew they had a really good program from a family friend who went thru the program.

JM: Are you married?  Kids?

TG: Not married and no kids at this time. However, I am on the market, but she’s gotta be able to put up with my crazy fan antics, haha.

JM: What do you do for a living?

TG: Currently I own a catering business and a woodworking business. Wildcat Country Catering and Wildcat Country Woodwork. Although the paychecks aren’t always guaranteed, it allows me the freedom and ability to attend K State events and cheer on the Cats

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

TG: I live in Manhattan approx 12 minutes (if I take the backroads) from the stadium parking lots. Hands down my favorite spot in town is So Long Saloon and Taco Lucha (shoutout to my favorite Lucha bartender Ryan Gilbert, and before you ask no we aren’t related, haha). Another spot I like to go is Bourbon and Baker down on Poyntz. They have amazing food, great drinks and a chill atmosphere.

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

TG: Hands down Baseball is my favorite sport. I live and breathe for baseball. Ask anyone who knows me I have in my calendar a countdown for the approximate day of K State Opening day at home, and when they start on the road, and when the schedule comes out, that’s the first thing in my calendar and I make sure to not schedule anything around that time.

I played baseball when I was little and just always been in love with the game, the atmosphere, the ball park hot dogs , the smell of popcorn , the crunch of the peanuts , the random fan who yells something funny and out of nowhere, and the athleticism of the players. It is one of few sports where, regardless of size, there is always a position you could play. Favorite MLB teams, the Royals and the Rockies.

Favorite K State team overall – Gotta be my BatCats, but I love all the teams! My office at my house is full of baseball memorabilia, from signed homerun balls from some guys who are in the big show, to some who are working their way up to the big show. I have one from the current Home Run King, Dylan Phillips, and from Jordan Wicks, who is a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. I also have team signed baseball for several years in a row. Since I came to Manhattan in 2011,I have attended every home game except a few when I was sick, like hugging the toilet type sick… I know gross but that’s how deep that fandom for the BatCats run. I even have “my spot “ at the stadium and some of the players and Coaches shout out to me when they see me. Head Coach Pete Hughes even knows that as “my spot,“ and we give each other the “head bob,” a finger point , or a fist bump before games and that just gets you hyped and ready to cheer on your team.

JM: Do you have season tickets? If so, which sports?

TG: I have season tickets for baseball, and for the last two seasons I’ve had Men’s and Women’s basketball tickets. I even got soccer season tickets this past season and plan to get them again when they are released.

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

TG: I have traveled to Stillwater for OSU football and baseball, and OU for both as well, and then of course, I have been to Lawrence for KU baseball. I eventually wanna make it out to all of the other Big XII schools for a game. Just to experience the atmosphere and see what they have/offer that K State does not.

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

TG: As far as places, definitely going to Eskimo Joe’s down in Stillwater is always the go-to place. Stories just making memories with friends.

JM: Any negative experiences?

TG: Just mostly the people online on X/Twitter, who are “fair weather” fans who only support when winning and bash when losing. Those who immediately bash a player or coach after a bad loss and don’t realize the players and coaches see these things. It can affect them and it hurts to see them say things. However, recently I’ve begun to ignore those people and not engage them because all they are looking for a reaction. With all the other negativity in the world, it’s not worth “fighting” them when they will fail to see what you are presenting to them. Win or lose, I will always bleed purple and support the Cats.

I want to introduce positivity and be encouraging to fans, players, coaches, no matter who sees the Tweets, FB post, IG post, no matter the social media post. I’ve recently started posting a lot more on social media and have actually met some pretty amazing people from it and realize how words truly effect different things and aspects of posts. Something that my grandpa always told me that I’ve recently started to understand what it meant and embrace is: “You have 3 choices in life: Smart, Fast, and Wrong.” With social media, I think we often react emotionally first (fast choice ) and don’t think before we speak (smart choice ). I’ve recently really worked at making that smart choice and disengage from those negative posts and turn it around and say things like “they battled hard, just came up a little short today” and it’s amazing how much better I feel.

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

TG: My first favorite memory is getting to throw out the first pitch at a K State Baseball Game last season and getting to be on the radio show with K State’s own Brian Smoller.

K State winning the Big 12 Championship in 2013 in not one, not two, but three sports. Being at each of them and that huge adrenaline rush that just overpowers your body when a historic moment like that happens. Football and basketball I don’t remember where I was standing. But baseball I was standing in my “spot.” I remember the smell of popcorn in the air, I remember my hair on my arms standing up, I remember the ping of the bat, I remember seeing Gatorade flying and the BatCats running on the field. It was electric. It was those moments you replay over and over as a memory and still cant help but get all jacked up and hyped and in that “LET’S GO” mode.

Ross Kivett hitting for the cycle (single, double, triple , home run all in one game) was also amazing to witness.

Getting to travel and go to the Fiesta Bowl was awesome. The experience overall of that was something that I will remember for a lifetime.

There are many many more memories, but those are those “highlight reel“ type moments you always think about.

Another memory I have is getting Dean Wade’s autograph on a baseball ticket when I saw him at a K-State game last year. By the way, he is very tall.

I also have Jordy Nelson’s autograph on a baseball when he was at a baseball game a few years ago.

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

TG: Favorite K-State players; too many to name, but Dylan Phillips (baseball), Zach Kokoska (baseball) , Will Brennan (baseball, currently playing for the Guardians), Dalton Risner (football), Markquis Nowell (Men’s Basketball), Gabby Gregory and Ayoka Lee (Women’s Basketball ), just to name a few.

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

TG: The Man, the myth, the legend Bill Snyder. Coach Pete Hughes, Coach Jerome Tang, and Coach Jareem Dowling. These men and coaches are pillars of what being a man, a husband, father, a coach and representative of what it means to be a part of the Kansas State Family. These are people who I feel teach not only the athletes, but the fans to be better people and that’s amazing.

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

TG: I’d probably say 85%. However, I might have a hat problem. I have over 30 Kansas State hats, which means I could wear a different K-State hat every day for a month. Every time I go to Rally House, I check to see if there’s a new one I can’t live without, so that collection grows rapidly every so often! lol.

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

TG: K State Family to me means everything. It’s the people you wanna be around for seven hours on a weekend, its those people you wanna laugh with, cry with, celebrate a win with, or deal with a loss with, road trip to an away game with, all those things. More than anything, this is what K State Family means to me: they mean everything that’s as simple as I can put it. The people I have met through Kansas State have become life long friends and those people I look forward to seeing, or talking to, or hanging out with on a game day and not just on game day .

During baseball season is where K State Family hits hard for me each season, especially now with the portal and everything because players leave and go to the draft and things.This is where it really comes into effect and means so much to me. With it being “smaller and more tight knit,“ you get to know people easier because you actually see them more often and easier in Tointon vs. The Octagon vs. The Bill . I’ve gotten to know some of the baseball families over the years, because you see them every weekend Friday through Sunday for a month straight, usually, and you get to really talk and spend time with them and get to know them on a more personal level. In recent years, I’ve been known as “The homerun Guy,” and I usually try and go at least get one of the BatCats first homeruns they hit as a Wildcat, or the first one in their career in some cases, and either give it to the player directly or introduce myself and give it to their family member. Doing that makes those priceless memories that you remember for a lifetime, and that, for me, is a “family moment.“ I could keep that ball for myself and add it to the collection, but I would rather have that moment for that family and for them to be able to add that to their memories because just getting it for them is enough for me. For me, that’s my “Welcome to the K State Family” thing I’m able to do for them. I always joke with them and say the next one’s for me though, haha.

There are baseball families that I still keep in contact with, and they keep in contact with me, that have been gone for years and I have become a part of their families. I talk to them more than some of my own family.

K State Family for me is something that I feel like you can’t put into words, you just feel it and it’s that raw emotion that’s not created from a moment, like someone making a game winning play.It’s those moments where you feel so much so fast it’s indescribable. The joy and the warmth it brings that’s almost overwhelming. When I go to a baseball game, especially, I feel like the world just stops and stands still for those few hours I’m at the ballpark, and I can just be in those moments with the friends I’ve made and still remember them for a lifetime. K-State Family just isn’t a fan base or anything like that. It’s truly a family that you’re not related to.

Another thing that makes it “family” to me is at a baseball game, if I have a foul ball or a batting practice ball, giving it to a little kid and their face just lighting up like it’s the best thing in the world. Just this year I’ve given a few out to little kids and gotten hugs and it just warms your heart.

JM: Anything else youd like to add?

TG: To whoever nominated me for this, thank you. It means more than you will ever know and realize. To Joe, thank you for this opportunity. I truly enjoyed sharing my K-State experiences and a look into the life of a crazy K-State fan . There are so many people that are more deserving of this than me. So, I thank you and whoever nominated me for this. I’m just a normal guy who loves his school and loves supporting the Cats anyway I can. If you see me at a baseball game come say Hi. I’ll be on the 3rd baseline or pacing back and forth somewhere, but you’ll know me when you see me in a camo hat. Basketball games, I’ll be in a camo hard hat.


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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!

One thought on “Profiles In K-State Fandom – Tyler Gilbert

  1. Loved reading about this young man. I’ve seen him on multiple occasions. He exemplifies all that a great fan should be.

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