Caught in the Radar: Jacob Pullen and Kansas State Say "Fear The Beard"

Paul SeaverCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2010

By now, you have probably seen the excitement in Manhattan, KS as the college basketball season gets into conference play.

After shutting down Damion James and limiting the nation’s top team to only one double-digit scorer (Avery Bradley, 11), the Wildcats of Kansas State celebrated their biggest win of the season, but in doing so, sent out a message to the rest of the nation:

Kansas State can play.

The Wildcats' ranking has been earned, and anyone who wants to play them should “Fear the Beard.”

Jacob Pullen finished with 12 points in Monday’s upset win over Texas, but shot just 2-of-15 from the field. Although he did not have a great night on the court, the excitement within Bramlage Coliseum fed off of his most distinct facial feature, his beard.

It has become a campaign for the Kansas State men’s basketball team, and the drive behind head coach Frank Martin and the rest of the Wildcat fan base has become evident.

Pullen, a 6’0” junior guard, is averaging 19.3 points per game for Kansas State, and to be quite honest, shows no signs of shaving anytime soon.

The beard has inspired the Kansas State fan base, and with the convincing win over Texas, has helped the fans prove they are not to be taken lightly.

For a team quickly on the rise, the beard—and Pullen’s success this season—has been a great motivational tool for its fans. In Monday’s game, which was broadcasted on ESPN, fake beards were passed out amongst the students and many were shown supporting the new “Fear the Beard” look.

It has gotten to a point at which even Kansas State head coach Frank Martin, whose fiery attitude helped will the Wildcats to the victory over Texas, is getting in on the excitement. Martin was seen in a postgame interview wearing a headset, but also a fake beard, while talking about the game.

I’m sure Texas fans are not too thrilled over the beard campaign, but why should they be, for Kansas State, they now send the message...“Fear the Beard.”

The Wildcats and Frank Martin know there is still a long way to go in the season and tough tests loom each game. For Kansas State I am sure the beards will be out again when Kansas pays a visit next Saturday.

Hopefully the Jayhawks learned a lot, not only about what to do on the court, but also about how to prepare for the environment. Right now, the “Fear the Beard” campaign is all the rage in Manhattan.


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