Last summer I gave up on the Cubs. The fun was gone— Wood and DeRosa kicked to the curb and the Bradley signing left a bad taste in my mouth. I’d spent too many summers hoping, spending and crying on a team that kept letting all of us in Cubs nation down, so I decided to take a healthy break and wait for Jay Cutler, the Bears and fall. That didn’t go so well either. And the Bulls…ugh.
Professional Chicago sports teams= big fail.
So, what’s a girl to do?
Cheer for the White Sox?
No offense, but it’s just not happening and I don’t think they’d want me as a fan anyways.
Cheer for another city’s team?
I tried cheering for the Tigers, but even with two of my favorite players on the roster, I just didn’t have it in me. And I was glad the Saints won the Super Bowl, but let’s face it, I’m a fan of Kim Kardashian (I know, I know) and that’s not a good reason to cheer on any team.
Cheer for a college sports team?
Hmmm. As a proud alumnus of a small, Division III liberal arts college in upstate New York, I spent most of my college years watching my friend’s field hockey, lacrosse games and horse riding competitions. Not exactly the kind of thing one tailgates for…but, it’s kind of nice how players don’t get traded and it doesn’t seem to be so blatantly all about the money, and most importantly, if I cheer for a college team then I can hang out with my boyfriend Jason and my friends when they go watch their games at their team bars. So while I missed out on college sports in college, I could at least start rooting for a team every weekend as a newly anointed fan. This could work!
Who to choose?
It needed to be a team that wins often and had some history, like my Cubs. (Full disclosure, Jason went to Kansas and Kincades (a KU bar in Chicago) has great veggies burgers, so picking didn’t involve much thought), I decided to become a loyal Jayhawks fan! And for the most part, I think I’ve been a good fan— I visited Kansas and looked at Allen Fieldhouse with just the right amount of reverence, I bought some cute KU apparel, I’ve cheered loudly and frequently— sometimes I even forget that I didn’t actually go to school there.
But then on Sunday I got accused of being a fake, fair-weather fan. Ouch! I made the mistake of not loudly whining about how unfair it was that Kansas has the most difficult route to the championship this year. (Kansas potentially has to play the two teams they lost to this year, while Duke, which lost nine games, has arguably the easiest route to the finals.) Instead, I might have innocently suggested that it seemed kind of fair, “We won the championship just two years ago, let’s not be greedy. We’re a great team and a tough road to the finale will just showcase how deserving and talented we really are.”
Jason hid my Kansas t-shirt and I’ve been disinvited from watching the games. So to prove my undying love and support for Jayhawks basketball, here are my top ten reasons to be a Jayhawks fan, even if you didn’t go to Kansas:
1. They invented basketball…sort of. James Naismith is credited with inventing the sport of basketball in 1891 and he was the first coach for the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team.
2. They win a lot. One of only three teams to ever win more than 2,000 games. 52 conference championships. 5 national championships— 3 in the NCAA tournament.
3. They’re not part of the Big Ten. Bill Self left Illinois for Kansas.
4. This amazing shot of Mario Chalmers tying the 2008 NCAA championship game and forcing the game into overtime.
5. Alumni Kirk Hinrich is a Bull (at least for now.)
6. Sherron Collins is from Chicago.
7. Some of the greatest NBA players went to Kansas: Danny Manning, Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Pierce.
8. I won my first March Madness bracket in 2008 because I picked Kansas to go all the way!
9. Singing the rock chalk Jayhawk chant inside the packed beyond capacity Allen Fieldhouse.
10. They’re probably going to win the National Championship again this year! What more can you ask for— a winning team!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!