Are Kansas fans ready to talk about 2003?

One of my coworkers found this lying around and gave it to me because, well, I’m me. 20130311-014645.jpg

He even joked “Don’t say I never gave you anything,” as if the 2002-2003 Kansas basketball media guide wasn’t a legitimate gift. He could have wrapped it up with a birthday card last month and I would have gushed over the thoughtful gift he pulled from a desk somewhere. It’s the greatest work swag I’ve ever received. (So thanks, Richard Croome.)

The 15-year-old Sarah Kelly loved Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison. I have a soft spot for goofy-looking white players from places like Iowa (or Minnesota, in the case of Cole Aldrich). So it caught the 25-year-old self off guard yesterday when I noticed Kirk was in the bracket for Grantland’s most hated college players of the last 30 years. I’ve never met anyone who even disliked Kirk, so how exactly did he end up in this (otherwise totally brilliant) assembly alongside Joakim Noah and Tyler Hansbrough?

It’s probably a case of Jayhawk blinders. Kansas fans who are generally surrounded by like-minded people are stunningly unaware of national perceptions, which is both beautiful and problematic. When I tweeted a piece in the Des Moines Register called Kansas fans are insufferable from cost to coast, many of my friends and followers felt former Iowa State player Paul Shirley was off base. I don’t think I would agree with Shirley myself if I hadn’t moved to Texas, where I was the only insane, annoying, incredibly defensive Kansas fan around.

But why hate Captain Kirk? He was perfect. They were perfect.

Speaking of Kirk and Nick, are we ready to talk about 2003 yet?

For me, the angst surrounding Roy Williams’ departure ended when Bill Self and Kansas beat North Carolina in the 2008 Final Four and Roy showed up to the national championship game looking like this.


Only a Kansas fan could fault Roy for leaving and taking his dream job. (Seriously, though, how is Kansas not your dream job?).

Only a Kansas fan would hold a 10-year grudge against Carmelo Anthony, and that’s where I am. My general dislike for Melo and any team he plays for has been with me my entire adult life. I guess a part of me blames him for taking Roy away from us. (I realize that’s a childish way to look at it, but I was a child at the time.)

They say you shouldn’t hold on to stuff like that, but I think I’m handling it OK. It’s not like I want to be a Knicks fan and my anti-Melo stance is holding me back.

Grantland didn’t consult me when selecting its most hated players, which is why Carmelo isn’t in the tournament.

By the way, Caramello is a terrible candy bar and I haven’t eaten one since 2003. Gross gross gross. (Today marks the first time in my life I’ve been aware of the “a” in “Caramello,” presumably because Kansans can’t see the “a” in “caramel” and also because these candy bars are banned from my life.)

Oh yeah, and Bonnie Bernstein. She’s on my shit list for life.

Sorry for saying “shit.” I learned it from Roy.

Further reading:
Kansas State had a little party to celebrate winning the Big 12 regular-season title, which the share with Kansas (a team that beat them twice this season), and THEY CUT DOWN THE NETS. Read Jayhawks: ‘There’s nothing to celebrate’ from the good folks at

Oh, and here’s Bill Self doing his version of the Ben McLemore dance in this trailer for Pay Heed. Jesse Newell posted this, along with the original McLemore dance and a bunch of quality KU morsels on his blog, Seen It?

One Comment

  1. Carmelo Anthony is evil incarnate, I doubt anything will ever change my mind. In my heart Syracuse is Mizzou in orange clothing, except they consistently play really good basketball and are a constant legitimate threat to KU’s national standing. As for K-State: HA. They also crowned themselves “Texas State Champions” since they beat every team from Texas they played. While it is bigger than a lot of countries, it’s funny that they made a T-shirt about sweeping the state. Silly Wildcats. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s