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January 17, 2011

A Sports Sidetrack

I'm a big KU fan.  I graduated from KU in 1996.  I grew up in a town about 20 miles west of Lawrence, KS.  I was in 8th grade the year KU won the National Title over Oklahoma in Kansas City.  I had big posters of Danny Manning and Stacey King going up for shots in the big game. 

I got to thinking yesterday as I had a twitter discussion with Rebecca after WVU beat Purdue and the students stormed the court.  I made a comment along the lines that I would think that a team that's been as good as WVU lately, would be past all that storming the court stuff.

A little background:  I don't really understand the whole storming the court business.  I get it, I suppose, that kids are excited for their team's win, and want to show that.  However, as a KU fan, it befuddles me.  We've won lots of big games, but never have I seen Naismith Court, in Allen Fieldhouse, rushed by fans or students.  I went to lots of games when I was a student.  Probably one of the best games I witnessed was in 1995, UCLA came to AFH for the first time, KU was down 15 at the half, but they came back and ended up winning by 15.  If there were ever enough energy for a stormin' of the court...it was that game, but it didn't happen.  

Over the years, I have come to realize that KU probably just wins too much for that sort of thing.  We KU fans are majorly spoiled.  I mean, we WIN at KU.  That's the name of the game at KU in basketball.  The program is under the microscope.  A "bad year" at KU is a great year most other places.  For years, under Roy Williams, KU was always ranked in the top 10, getting top seeds in the tournament, challenging for the conference title.  When Bill Self came in for the 2003-04 season...well, let's just say, he hit the ground running and (barring a couple of early years bad NCAA tournament losses) really hasn't looked back.  I saw a statistic the other day that under Bill Self, KU has the highest winning percentage of all programs.  KU won the national title in 2008.  Bill Self will ever be loved at KU mainly because he did what Roy Williams never did.  He had a top program during the season AND post-season...he brought it home.

But, I digress.  I remember reading an article in the University Daily Kansan while I was a student there that basically reviewed for the student body what is expected of them at KU Basketball games.  And storming the court?  Absolutely a no-no!  Why?  Because, we were Kansas...no opponent we'd ever beat would be worth that sort of celebration.  It would be sort of saying, "We weren't supposed to beat you, but we did" and at KU, that's unheard of.  KU wins.  Period.

As I began writing tonight, I started a thread on KU message board asking when the last time the students stormed the court.  One person, being funny, said, 
"I know it probably doesn't fit your definition of storming the court, but April 7, 2008."  
Well, No, that doesn't fit because that's when KU won the National Title, and it wasn't at AFH and well...damn straight they stormed the court, we were #1!  :)  
But another response made me chuckle and went along with what I thought about KU basketball and what's expected:  
There were a few dumbsh*ts that stormed the court after the Texas game a few years ago, can't remember exactly which year.

But I don't think i've ever seen a full on court storming in allen
And there was this response to that comment:
And those few knuckleheads got booed off the court and had to endure the walk of shame.
Exactly...what perennial top 10 team has fans that storm the court after a win over anyone?  Isn't that just admitting that you weren't supposed to win the game?

I am always a little interested when I see students of universities where their programs seem to be trying to take their performance to that next level...where they are expected to win.  And when they rush the court after a win, I wonder that it seems they want respect like they "belong" but then they go and do that? It doesn't make sense to me.

Take WVU for instance...John Beilein had that program working well the years he was there.  It really wasn't all that much for Bob Huggins to come in and take over...besides the fact that Bob Huggins has ways of getting his players in there pretty quickly.  WVU has been in the discussion every year in the Big East for the last 5-10 years.  Last year WVU went to the Final Four.  And, I was a little bit surprised when they rushed the floor after their team beat Purdue, ranked #8.  Purdue may be #8...but they are still in the Big 10 and typically only a couple of Big 10 teams are legitimately good each year...sometimes it's Purdue in the mix and sometimes it's not.  A win over #8...means you storm the court?  Does that mean you don't think you should have beaten a #8 team?  There are lots of universities where kids are just itchin' to storm the floor.  I know it, because it happens and gets ESPN coverage...because it's usually KU, Duke, UNC, UCLA, Kentucky or some other big power-team that got beat.  I was just surprised to see it happen when it was *just* Purdue.

I had a suspicion that Rebecca would post about this topic today...but of course, I've written my thoughts without seeing hers yet.  I wanted this to mainly be my own meanderings on the subject and not really an attack or reaction to whatever she might write on it.  

Just so you get a feeling of what it's like to be part of the KU Basketball Tradition...I leave you with this video ... it runs on the scoreboard right before the Jayhawks' Starting Lineup is announced.  It's from 2008-09 best copy I could find on You Tube.  So, just add a couple more conference championships in there (are we at 53 or 54???  I know we've won a share of the last 6, and the last two outright).  And add a slew of wins to total all-time wins (we're close to 2000...if we haven't passed it yet.  We had 1970 at beginning of 2009-10 season).


And it wouldn't be a KU Basketball post without:  

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!  GO KU!!!

3 comments:

  1. I love this Michelle!

    And yea, I guess you could say that a part of us didn't think we could have beaten the #8 team. While I'd say we all thought it was possible (especially after winning AT Georgetown), there was that little piece that doubted. The piece that's been told this team won't make it far this year.

    Do I think if this game had come later in the season we should've rushed the court? No. But for this game on this day, it seemed appropriate. In a few years, when we've won a National Championship I'm sure I'll think differently, but not for now :).

    Thanks for sharing 'the other side' and I am torn as to whether or not I hope our teams meet on the court someday!

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  2. Don't worry Rebecca, should our teams meet on the court someday, and WVU win, I would absolutely understand WVU kids stormin the court. LOL

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  3. I'm not sure that's a compliment, Michelle ;).

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Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)