This is the story of how the internet helped shape a college football coaching search.
Not dictate its outcome, mind you, but how in 24 hours it turned a potential firestorm into the perfect storm for Kansas State.
It's the story of how the Dec. 10 decision to hire Chris Klieman, of North Dakota State, as the Wildcats' 35th head coach was met with derision, or at the very least skepticism, by much of the K-State fan base, only to magically transform overnight.
"I don't shut it out completely, (but ) I certainly don't let it sway my decision," K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said of the social media and message board chatter regarding Klieman, who despite huge success as an FCS head coach had practically no FBS experience. "In this particular instance, there was quite a bit out there, so certainly you have to talk about it, at least a little bit, and discuss the potential ramifications if you eventually take a candidate that's not the most popular.
"You've got to have a game plan in place, and that's really what our staff did."
Did they ever. By the time Klieman was introduced at a news conference last Wednesday, less than two days after accepting the job, he already was a Twitter sensation.
Just try to find a K-State fan who hasn't seen the hashtag #WinTheDangDay. There's even a T-shirt.
Naturally, in its initial news release, K-State touted Klieman's accomplishments at North Dakota State, where in his five seasons the Bison had gone 67-6 overall, won three FCS national championships and advanced to this year's semifinals with a chance at a fourth. Since then, they beat South Dakota State last Friday night to reach the Jan. 5 championship game in Frisco, Texas.
But what immediately struck a chord with fans was the social media campaign that began in Taylor's office, where he was filmed offering the job to Klieman over the phone. Klieman's reaction was one of genuine excitement.
"I'd be so jacked to be the next head football coach at Kansas State," Klieman responded.
Next there was Klieman's first meeting with players on Tuesday night. He spoke with passion and emotion about his hopes and plans for the Wildcats, and repeated the daily challenge to the team to "win that dang day."
"We were aware that there was a little bit of noise out there," said Kenny Lannou, senior associate athletic director for communications and public relations, and also a member of the search committee. "At the same time, it shows how good, engaging content that we were able to create and distribute, especially on social media, showed Coach Klieman's personality in the access that we had.
"In less than 24 hours, our fans were just as jacked as we were when we selected him as our head coach. I use the word 'jacked,' and that's how (Klieman) described it when he took the job. The fans latched onto that really quickly and saw what we saw in the process, which was a guy that has a lot of the same principles and culture that this program was built on."
Needless to say, Taylor has been pleased with the results. He was the one, after all, charged with finding the successor to a legend when hall-of-fame coach Bill Snyder retired on Dec. 2 after 27 years.
It's his reputation on the line with the most visible hire an AD can make.
"I think it was equally important, whether it was the most popular candidate or not, just because you want to get it out there," Taylor said of telling the coach's story. "You want your fans to have as much information as they can.
"But if it's a candidate that maybe they don't know as much about or maybe came with a little negative stuff, you want to overcome that on your side. Not only was it successful, but I would say it was really, really successful at the end of the day."
Taylor already knew Klieman well and was confident he would win people over in due time, with or without the social media push. As North Dakota State's athletic director in 2013, it was Taylor who promoted Klieman from defensive coordinator to head coach.
"But we needed to go find a way to help that before (the news conference)," Taylor said. "Kenny and his crew did a great job. The phone call I did came out of Kenny's shop and his staff, and going out (to Fargo) on the plane. Before we even introduced him to the media, we got to see a side of him that maybe they didn't know about, and that was critically important, as well."
It helped that they have a coach who understands the benefits of social media and is a willing participant.
"That's part of where we're at in 2018," Klieman said. "You need to have social media out there and you need to be out there continuing to see the brand, continuing to talk about the brand.
"It brings viewership, it brings more young kids involved to say, 'Boy, I want to take a look at Kansas State.' Absolutely you have to have that."
Lannou and his athletics communications office oversee the K-State Football (@KStateFB) Twitter account and other content posted on the official k-statesports.com website, but there are a number of other entities involved.
"As a department, we have put in a lot of resources in the last several years to bulk up our social media and creative team," Lannou said. "Chris Kutz is our director of creative services and he, along with Jay Moline and Kevin McCarty, handle our social and digital content strategies.
"We all work very closely with all the (sports information directors) and our video department, our K-State HD.TV office and our marketing and fan experience and sales offices. So all our external groups that touch each other, we've come together and worked really closely."
For one hectic week, at least, it all came together.
"The keys to social media are really two things, and that's access to create that content, and two, when you create that content, you want it to be really emotional so that fans want to engage in it and make it feel like they're a part of the action," Lannou said. "And that's what we've been able to accomplish so far and especially the last week or so with Coach Klieman.
"He's given us the access to do it, and everything we do, number one, has a recruiting component to it. So every piece of content that we create, we want our teams and our coaches and our prospective student-athletes to really find that content attractive."