Ok, I have two mini-rants because I’m mad about a couple things. 1) I’m mad at KU fans who are taking “the sky is falling attitude”, and 2) I’m mad about KU losing (I’m not mad at our team or mad at Bill Self – I am frustrated with some things our team does, but they’re college kids – not pros.)
I’m normally a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and I consider myself an optimist. I can find the positives in most situations – if I step in dog poop in my backyard my thought is, “Well, at least my dog isn’t constipated.” And at the end of this post I think you’ll see I still have high hope for our team and don’t feel that the sky is falling for KU. This year especially college basketball is WIDE open and I still believe we can win the Big 12 title and make a deep run in the tournament.
Let me set the stage and give a little context for those who might be reading this who are not KU fans.
Legacy of Greatness
A snapshot of our greatness –
- 5 National Championships
- #2 winningest program of all time
- 2,089 wins in 115 years
- 14 Final Fours
- 4 Final Fours in last 10 years
- #1 in NCAA in number of Conference Championships
- 55 Conference Championships
- 8 straight conference Championships
- 10 out of last 11 Conference Championships
- #1 in NCAA in consensus All-American Selections
- 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances – longest active streak in NCAA
- We’ve only 8 head coaches in 115 years of basketball
- The inventor of the game of basketball coached at KU
- 3 years in a row we’ve won 30+ games
- 7 years in a row we’ve won 25+ games
- 23 years in a row we’ve won 20+ games
We have had amazing coaches at KU. The inventor of the game, James Naismith, coached at KU and he’s the only coach at KU to have an overall losing record. Phog Allen is considered the grandfather of modern coaching. He coached Dean Smith who found greatness at the University of North Carolina. Phog Allen also coached Adolph Rupp who found greatness at Kentucky University. More recently with our coaches, we were spoiled under Roy Williams when he was our coach. He won several conference titles and went to four Final 4s in 15 years. But then Roy left for home (North Carolina) and Bill Self was hired. Everyone knows you never want to be the guy who immediately follows a legend because expectations and comparisons will be enormous. Absolutely nobody thought Self could do as well as Roy’s 81% winning percentage. Well, Self proved us all wrong! Self has an 84% winning percentage and he’s brought us eight consecutive conference titles, two Final 4s, and a national championship in just 9 years. And all signs are pointing towards that success to continue steamrolling like a powerful locomotive.
At KU we expect greatness! And we produce our own greatness.
As KU fans we are flat-out spoiled. And you know what? That’s ok! We should demand greatness. Yes, I know that sounds cocky; deal with it. I don’t want to be like the SEC teams who chant “S-E-C! S-E-C!” when teams other than the one they support win national titles. It’s their prerogative if they want to have pride in their conference while their own teams wallow in mediocrity and they get their jollies of other teams successes; I care about KU’s success – KU alone. I don’t want to be happy because Texas, Oklahoma, or god forbid KSU wave championship banners. Conference championship banners* and National Championship banners should be waved by us. We should strive to hang even more championship banners in Allen Fieldhouse.
* as a sidenote, at KU we’ve won so many conference titles (55) that we don’t hang individual banners – we just add the year we win the conference title on to an already existing banner listing other years. We only hang individual Final 4 and National Championship banners
Again, as KU fans we are spoiled. UNBELIEVABLY SPOILED! And that’s ok! It’s not our fault we enjoy so much success. We expect greatness from our basketball and they produce greatness. But in this losing streak I’ve seen and heard some ridiculous comments from KU fans. Stop it now! Holy freaking crap, stop it now! Bill Self didn’t become an imbecile and forget how to coach in a 7 day span. Admittedly, this team has peed down its legs in recent games, but this is still the team that won at Ohio State, it’s still the team that looked absolutely unbeatable in December. We are 19-4. Our talent ceiling, as we’ve seen many times this year, is very high. So it’s time to stop your bitching and support this team.
Along with being mad about KU fans acting like the world is coming to an end because of our 3 consecutive losses I’m mad about another thing. I’m sick of us losing. 14 days ago we were ranked #1 in the country in the coaches poll and then on Wednesday we lost at home to Oklahoma State. Honestly that loss felt like it was a long time coming because we had been flirting with losing a couple other games. But hey, no problem, shake it off and regroup. Well, then we lost at TCU…T-C-U! A bunch of frogs who are a VERY bad team. Losing consecutive games was foreign territory for KU fans. We hadn’t lost consecutive games in 7 years…7 years! Think about that, that’s incredible! Ok, we’ve got that out of our system, let’s get back to winning. But then we followed that up by losing at Oklahoma this past Saturday. We hadn’t lost three games in a row in 8 years. By the reaction of some KU fans you would think it’s the apocalypse. We went from being #1 in the country to now being #14 (as of today). Losing three games in a row is not good – but you know what? It happens to everybody. So we sit here today in the thick of a conference title race and we HAVE to get back to winning.
It Ends Tonight by Beginning Again
Enter KSU. The Farmers. The Aggies. Land grant university. Soil judging and livestock judging national champions. What better way to get back to our winning ways than playing and beating our rival. (I use the term “rival” lightly because in order for a team to be a rival they should win occasionally.)
So tonight for the game I’m wearing this shirt in support of my Jayhawks. As a fanbase we need to be rabid in support of our Jayhawks, just like the Fighting Jayhawk. If you’re going to be at home watching the game cheer so loud that they hear you in Lawrence. If you’re going to be privileged enough to be in hallowed Allen Fieldhouse get your butt there early and cheer your ass off the whole game! The losing ends tonight. The winning begins again.
As Jayhawk fans we need to believe in our team – fly your flags at home and on your car. And when you look at your flag you can know and understand that the sky is not falling. We’ll be fine and I’m sensing we’re going to have a good March and hopefully April too.
Living in Arkansas I’m surround by Razorbacks. And I get asked all the time, “What does Rock Chalk mean?” My response, which is also espoused on a KU t-shirt, “Another Jayhawk victory!”
It’s time to start winning. It’s time to once again start hearing the haunting chant of…Rock Chalk Jayhawk!