A lot is out there on the new name for Bramlage Coliseum. This is your source for the real history of The Octagon of Doom.
As an introduction, one of our elite posters, pissclams, summed up the history well...
I love the fact that no one outside of ESPN actually gets it. Awesome.
We weren't winning games, there was no doom. Our home court was more sterile than an operating room. Huggins was screaming at us to develop attitude, and to create an atmosphere that was worthy of how hard our team played on the court. We took it to heart and went as far with it as we could, the Octagon of Doom was born- long before the ferocity and atmosphere was what it is today. A true "build it and they will come" success story.
In many ways the name represents what college traditions are all about. This was not someone's marketing campaign, nor was it an institution trying to reinvent or rebrand one of its arenas. This was a fan-based, grassroots effort, born from hardcore fans that had endured over a decade of bad basketball from a once proud basketball program. For many of us, years of watching bad basketball among crowds of 4 to 5 thousand fans is what Bramlage Coliseum had become. Sure, it might have had a nice first couple of years, but as poor play became the norm, full crowds only showed for the Kansas game, with 1/3 or more of those being Jayhawk fans, or fleeting successful stretches that were soon crushed with another dismal loss.
Then came the hiring of Bob Huggins and a spark was lit among the fan-base, but Wildcat fans were still searching for an identity. It began with a successful, but not great season in Huggins’ only year at K-State, and during that year a group of fans began discussing a new identity for Bramlage, a place that was enjoying regular full crowds for the first time in years.
It was in This post
that I first brought up the name. It had a campiness to it from the start. Then on January 18th, 2007 I put together this Photoshop to represent the initial idea; at least in part seriously hoping that a new identity of winning and atmosphere was coming.
Soon, the basketball board
was renamed “The Octagon of Doom”. The next season, as the Frank Martin era begin, K-State fans experienced talent they hadn’t seen in years with Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, students who knew of the name from the board started bringing signs. Posters like chuckhasawillie, doom, and Dcwildcat were a few of these select few. And while the Cats enjoyed a solid season leading to their first NCAA win in years, nobody really noticed the new name for Bramlage coming from a select group of diehard K-State fans. Another solid season leading to an NIT appearance passed and still few knew what The Octagon of Doom was all about. The identity was only magnified by the tough, physical teams that Coach Martin was putting on the floor. During this season several elite fans were able to purchase the first OOD t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts that I designed and sold on cafepress.com. The movement was growing, but it was a slow growth.
Original OOD shirts:
Then the current season started. Wildcat basketball soon reached new heights, enjoying one of the best nonconference starts in the history of the program. With that came excitement and appearances in the rankings that surpassed even the success from a few seasons earlier with the talented Beasley and Walker. But it was a meeting on January 12th that led to the Octagon of Doom going from the identity being known to a diehard group of K-State fans, to a name that would become a national identity in a matter of weeks. Another elite poster, ChiCat, happened to see ESPN radio personality and color commentator Doug Gottlieb at a local restaurant before the ESPN 2 broadcast of the Texas A&M game. As Gottlieb was leaving the name was mentioned and after asking if that was really what fans were calling it, Gottlieb left. He later mentioned it during the broadcast and the rest is history.
As pissclams said above, ESPN gets it. K-State has a new identity and this is part of it. Fans who had endured over a decade of poor basketball have gravitated to this identity, and now it has gone national. It has come so far that ESPN used it extensively to promote its Gameday appearance in Manhattan for K-State’s nationally televised game against Kansas.
Nationally known writer Dan Wetzel went so far as to say this, “Kansas State rebranding Bramlage Coliseum the ‘Octagon of Doom’ was genius. Best since Michigan Stadium became ‘The Big House’.” Bramlage has a nationally know identity that K-State fans have embraced. Despite the loss to Kansas, fans experienced one of the best atmospheres imaginable on January 30th. Kansas guard Sherron Collins said about the crowd, “This is the toughest atmosphere I've played in, the loudest, in my four years.''
Now its up to K-State and its fans to keep the new tradition going. If we want the Octagon of Doom to continue to be what it has become, the fans must continue to show the support that has sold out the rest of the home games for the season. The team must live up to the billing they have earned from Jay Bilas as “the hardest playing team” in college basketball. And Coach Martin must be allowed to continue building the type of team that he has created this year, part of that being rewarded with a new contract that pays him what he is worth.
Welcome to the Octagon of Doom.