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Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

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Tomorrow morning.

The morning after.

It sucks. It’s hard.

You wake up and your brain is in a fog, and then all the broken pieces start to come together, and you remember…we lost yesterday.

Damn.

I’m always all-in with my Jayhawks, and losses have always been hard, but in 1998 KU had a team that was so dominant they only lost 1 game in overtime all season long. I lived and died with that KU team. Coming in to the NCAA tournament they were the overwhelming favorite to win the national championship. And then along came Mike Bibby and Arizona in the Sweet 16. We lost. We finished 34-2. Ever since that loss that crushed me, I’ve learned, like so many coaches tell us fans, “to enjoy the ride”.

College basketball is a crazy, unpredictable game. Especially in today’s game with so many “one-and-done” players. Why does everyone enjoy the ncaa tournament? Well, that’s an easy answer(s) – the bracket pools (which I would never take part in because they’re illegal 😉 and the upsets that happen during the tournament. We love to cheer for the underdogs.

We love it when David beats Goliath.

That’s why it’s hard to be a Kansas basketball fan.

I’m thankful to be born into a family who are crimson and blue through and through.

We are college basketball royalty. With our history and traditionKU is and never will be the underdog.

Kansan by birth, Jayhawk by the grace of God. 

KU is a blue-blood program.

The inventor of the game James Naismith was our first coach.

University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina’s basketball arenas are named after Kansans and alumni of KU.

Adolph Rupp (University of Kentucky) and Dean Smith (University of North Carolina) both attended and played at KU under Phog Allen.

With the lofty status comes yearly expectations (strong desires) of Final 4 and nothing less. I have those expectations myself, and while that might seem a bit cocky I’m glad my school is so successful that we expect nothing less. Thus, when KU loses in the tournament we not only are depressed we also have to endure pot-shots from people who love to see Goliath go down; from those who would rather cheer for us losing than see their own team succeed.*

The NCAA tournament turns college basketball into a crazy thrill ride with ups, downs, and loopty-loops that sometimes leave us wanting more, and sometimes make us sick to our stomachs. The morning after an NCAA loss feels like the morning after a night of binge drinking…and probably similar to morning sickness (although personally I’ve never experienced the latter so I can not give a specific account of the similarity between the two). You can’t do anything about it – you just have to endure it and get through it. Unfortunately, the earlier in the tournament your team loses the harder it is to endure because the tournament lasts for 3 weeks.

If you want to enjoy a couple team sports where the long season proves who is the best team you should follow European soccer or Major League Baseball. I love both sports/leagues.

But I love the NCAA tournament and my Jayhawks even more.

This is going to be a long next two weeks.

I’m appreciative of friends who are respectful to me after a loss. And I have many friends who know how I love my Jayhawks and they are genuinely kind to me after a loss. And then I have Mizzou friends…I don’t need to belabor this point any further. (see above *)

I try hard to refrain from replying to people who are on social media solely looking to provoke a reaction.

Provoking a reaction isn’t the same thing as saying something significant. 

– Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

KU has given me so many thrilling memories and amazing history to be part of…

  • 5 national titles
  • 14 Final 4s
  • 10 straight conference titles
  • #2 school in all-time wins
  • deep tournament runs
  • countless All-Americans
  • all of my Allen Fieldhouse memories
  • consistently a #1 or #2 seed in the NCAA tournament
  • etc

…that I’m glad I won’t have to stoop to enjoying another’s school loss moreso than what my own school, or conference, can accomplish.

Being a KU fan is funny at times. We do not have to endure the similar drama of bubble teams and whether or not we will make the NCAA tournament – we haven’t missed the tournament since 1989. KU-drama is worrying about what uniforms we are going to wear in the tournament.

Tangential Sidenote – CBS should be ashamed and needs to stop showing the pictures of crying children. It happened two years ago with Hoiberg’s young son and today with a young KU fan and also a young Wichita State fan. Yes, it shows the passion of the fan-base…kindof…they’re children who believe their lives are over if they lose. But more importantly in today’s world of social media those scenes are made into tweets and posts that are like wildfire all across social media.

I have an annual tradition. After KU loses in the tournament I focus on what I have to look forward to in the future. It helps relieve the sting of the loss and bring my (in)sanity back to a level of “normal”.

It’s cathartic.

I’ve got so many great things going on and things to look forward to:

  • a great job I genuinely enjoy.
  • Springtime! Everything is blooming, things are green, and more people are enjoying the outdoors.
  • the Kansas City Royals – hope springs eternal in spring, although with David Glass as owner the hope only lasts for a couple weeks
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • the Masters on tv
  • working on lowering my handicap
  • grilling steaks, pork chops, steaks, steaks and some more steaks
  • perfecting the art of smoking meats – brisket, ribs, and pulled pork
  • enjoying cigars while outside
  • vacation to Mexico
  • vacation to Florida

…and most importantly

…my awesome Wife and my awesome Son.

I listed all the fun and important things I have to look forward to, but it also doesn’t hurt that I have a full bottle of bourbon in the pantry for tonight.

It’s also cathartic.

You might say it’s a necessary medication.

You might say I’m only kidding.

Or you might not. 😉

Maybe writing this whole post is just cathartic for me.

The sun will rise tomorrow and I’ll remember my list of things…

…starting tomorrow.

Like I mentioned, this is going to be a long next two weeks.

But tonight it stings…and you know what? That’s ok.

Pour me another glass.

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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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A Real Decade of Dominance at KU and Bracket Musings

Here are some random musings as our minds turn to brackets in just a few short hours this evening.

A Baker’s Dozen Years of Dominance at KU:

– Most students graduate from college in 4 years…except this guy. I got one year smarter than all of you who were so eager to leave college. I stuck around increased my knowledge and graduated in 5 years.

– KU has won the Big 12 title 12 out of the past 13 years.

– Consider this: 4 years = 1 cycle: working our way backwards and including this year, there have been 3 1/4 cycles of students (13 years), at a total of 14 college institutions, that have tried to win the Big 12 regular season title.

– Only 2 schools in the past 13 years have succeeded.

– KU and Oklahoma State.

– KU won the title in 2002 and 2003.

– Oklahoma State interrupted KU’s 2-year win streak and won the Big 12 title in 2004.

– KU finished 2nd in 2004.

– 2004 was Bill Self’s first year at KU.

– In 11 seasons at KU, Bill Self has never finished worse than 2nd place in the regular season of the Big 12.

– Bill Self finished tied for 2nd in his first year (2004), and then every year after that he won the conference title.

– For those of you lacking in sufficient math skills that’s 10 years in a row Bill Self at KU.

– We give him grace for what he did in 2004.

– KU has won the title back to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back.

– All those back to backs impress these two guys.

Greer says, All We Do Is Win. Everybody’s hands go up!

Greer says, All We Do Is Win. Everybody’s hands go up!

Bracket musings:

– Depending on how the rest of the brackets and match-ups turn out, right now I’d prefer to be a 2 seed in the MidWest with Wichita State as the #1 seed in our region. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

– I want to avoid Michigan State and Louisville.

– Florida and Arizona State are weaker than they seem.

– No team is without some major flaws this year.

– I want to have Joel Embiid back asap.

– I think we can survive the first two rounds (technically the 2nd and 3rd rounds – oh how I wish the NCAA would wise-up and change it back – so dumb).

– Nadiir Tharpe needs to play well.

– Everybody needs to play well!

– Teams don’t advance without solid guard play. Not necessarily dominant guard play but solid guard play.

– We might have to “boat race” a few teams considering that our defense is not as dominant this year.

– This should be a March full of tons of exciting games.

– I don’t know if there will be any major upsets in the tournament this year because this year, teams outside of the top 2 seeds are all fairly similar.

– Even the teams in the 1 and 2 seeds (the top 8 teams) aren’t exactly dominant.

– Enjoy March Madness!

– Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

Relax and enjoy the ride!

Relax and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in sports

 

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a superficial feeling of loss

Today I experienced a feeling that I haven’t experienced in almost two years.  A KU tournament loss.  No, this is not something of great importance in the grand scheme of things.   But it reminded me of the feeling I had experienced year after year after year after year…it’s the feeling of KU losing in the NCAA tournament which ends their season and then having to watch the loss replayed over and over again on espn’s sportscenter the next morning.  Last year I didn’t have to experience the dreadful feeling because we won both the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA tournament (national champs baby) .  I was in a state of euphoria last year!  I woke up to espn’s images of Mario Chalmers draining ‘Mario’s Miracle’ which pushed the game to overtime and us taking control of overtime and winning the national championship!

So the loss today in the Big 12 conference tournament against Baylor allowed me to appreciate not having to experience that dreary feeling last year…but I will regretfully have to experience it tomorrow morning when I wake up and face the music on espn.  But it also made me a little greedy in hoping we win the national championship again this year…do it for my healthy well-being KU!!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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