Mike Gundy and his team participated in fan appreciation day on Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. This is always a fun time for folks (especially kids) to chat with and get autographs from their heroes. Gundy spoke about the importance of connecting with those who essentially pay the bills on the athletic department he’s helped build.“It’s a lot of fun,” said Gundy on Saturday. “You know it is long, it’s two hours or a little over two hours of signing. But once you get to it and you see the people so many families that come back each year and their kids are growing on up and they’ll show you pictures that you took with them when I had to hold them on my leg and now they’re as tall as I am that makes it a neat day.“Oklahoma State has always been special that way with our group that has been loyal to us. It makes me proud when the parents and the other families of people that have little ones here come and say how terrific our team is talking to them and engaging with them, not sitting there like a bump on a wall. They need to learn to work with other people and look people in the eye and shake hands and so forth and so we all need to do that and extend ourselves to people that come and watch us play. You know they’re the ones that show up and they’re at these games ten degrees or a hundred and ten degrees out here they’re yelling for us and that’s why it’s important.”That’s good stuff, and it’s why Gundy’s approval rating according to OKC Dave’s survey is nearly 100 percent.Oklahoma State football generated nearly $44 million in revenue in 2014-15 (the last year we have numbers for), and over $25 million of that was directly tied to the people coming out and shaking hands with Mason Rudolph and Jalen McCleskey. Fan appreciation days are a big deal.Gundy also noted his program has never run more smoothly.“We all know that there’s a lot of things that we do that are good, but if we don’t win, I’m not standing up here for 12 years, so it doesn’t make a difference,” added Gundy.“One thing that I think could be done that has changed that is enjoyable for me is when I’m at practice I can stand and watch. I think I could go out the gate and go north and go over there and hide behind that big pile of dirt where the construction is and practice would run itself. What that has done is that’s developing core values and a system we have in place here, and that’s what keeps us at the level we are. Because coaches come and go, players come and go, guys go out early and nowadays guys transfer but the core value in our system has not changed.“That’s the one thing that we’ve accomplished here, and that should allow Oklahoma State to perform at the high level for a long time, and that was not the easiest thing to accomplish.”Best CEO in the Big 12? He’s right there with Bob Stoops, Gary Patterson and Bill Snyder as a program-builder. And it’s hard to believe we’re about to be 12 years deep into the Gundy Era. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.