Monday, March 28, 2011


I’m a diehard New York Met fan. I hate the Yankees and over the last few years I’ve grown to hate the Phillies as much as I hate the Braves. I don’t want to see any of them win games, championships or even have more fans on Facebook. I don’t, however, take any pride in seeing them fail. I cheer for my Mets. Just as I cheer for my Jayhawks. I’ve never celebrating a rival’s failure as if it were my team’s success. That kind of thinking just does not compute for me.

Yesterday our Jayhawks lost a tough game to VCU, a real stomach punch loss. A game we should have won, ending a season that seemed to be laid out perfectly for Kansas to win the National Championship. But Kansas fans aren’t able to morn properly, because before the buzzer even sounded, we were under siege from haters. I’ve always hated the term “hater,” but sometimes it’s just accurate.

Kansas State, University of Missouri and even Wichita State fans took our loss as an opportunity to pile on. They had to remind us of Bucknell, Bradley and Northern Iowa, as if we forgot. It’s different than just rooting against us; they actually celebrate it as a victory for their side. It isn’t.

I understand that they may view Kansas fans as arrogant, winning teams get that a lot. It’s probably even true, and totally acceptable that they wouldn’t want to see Kansas win, it’s just sad that they don’t understand the difference in being fans and being haters. Would they express so much joy if their teams had won? I honestly don’t know. They can’t say either, because the truth is, that scenario is such a long shot that it can’t even be seriously considered.

Kansas has the longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with 22. Kansas State has made two in a row and Missouri has made three in a row. They’ve combined for 17 trips to the Elite 8, while Kansas has made the Final Four 13 times. We have three titles, and they’ve combined to make the Final Four just twice, and the last one came 47 years ago.

I root against teams I don’t like, but when they fail, it’s not my success. It’s a relief, sure, but the only fans that should celebrate are of those of the winning team. These fans just reek of jealousy, and their actions distract us from feeling sorry for ourselves and focus our attention on defending Kansas’ record of excellence against their track record rich in meritocracy. Butler and VCU have one less Final Four trip between them than KSU and MU have, yet we’re the punch line?

Losing sucks, and losing the way we just did hurts quite a lot. But all those piling on right now, remember, you’d trade spots with us every single year. Our loss isn’t your win, your win would come from being better, and only then. Until that day, your reaction to our loss says more about you than it does us. Rock Chalk, you can’t beat KU.

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