Kansas basketball is keeping me sane

I don’t have a lot going on these days. Since losing my job and moving into my in-laws’ house, my days are filled with sitcom reruns and job applications with little to look forward to. (Did you know FX shows “Mad About You” on weekday mornings? Next time you’re home sick from work, hit me up and I’ll tell you where to find the good stuff on TV.) While I’m thankful for a lot of things — namely my husband’s great job and my in-laws’ remarkable generosity — life isn’t awesome right now.

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Me and Meghan in Austin

Some people use unemployment as a chance to get their homes in order or catch up on their reading or tackle a project they’ve neglected. I’ve devoted my newfound free time to Kansas basketball.

In a previous life, I traveled to Austin and New Orleans to see my Jayhawks. I paid way too much to watch KU play in College Station (in basketball and football). I drove to Houston to watch the national championship with other Kansas alumni. I even made it to the 2013 Sweet Sixteen in Dallas, but I never blogged about it because it was the first time I’d ever seen Kansas lose in person and I was just too sad.*

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How it feels to be a Jayhawk

My mom taught me the Rock Chalk Chant when I was 3. She had decided to start school at KU and only recently learned the chant herself. My parents were never sports fans, but we lived in Lawrence. All of my earliest sports memories centered on Kansas basketball. The Jayhawks were the first team I ever loved and the first to break my heart.

I still can’t talk about the 2003 national championship game without getting upset. I was 15. It was the first time I’d ever watched the NCAA tournament (I told you, my parents weren’t sports fans). Days later, Roy Williams left and I felt like it was my fault, the way children sometimes blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. This was my introduction to March Madness.

Self respect. Self confidence. Self assured. Self love. The next year was a wild blur of puns. Anyone remember “To Galindo, to the wall”? I could give a shit about North Carolina, too, Mr. Benedict Williams.

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