Friday, March 26, 2010

College Basketball: or How I Learned to not get Upset By KU Getting Their Asses Kicked and Love the Loss

I attended the University of Kansas for five years. It ended up being a colossal waste of money that I will be paying back for the next 30 or so years. I never really was one for school spirit or ever giving a shit about college athletics. From what I saw, the school spent more money on their football and basketball teams than they spent on putting decent teachers in the classrooms, and when you're paying a constantly rising tuition, that sucks.

Earlier this year, the KU Basketball team got in trouble. Of course, if you payed attention to their record, you know I'm not talking about anything that happened during the season other than Brady Morningstar's drunk driving incident which got whitewashed after the new year instead of him getting kicked off the team (honestly, this is Lawrence, do you think the authorities have the...authority to banish one of the team's great white hopes?). No, I'm talking about the basketball team getting into a fight with the football team in front of Wescoe Hall, which is easily the dumbest building to get in a fight in front of on campus. I mean, yeah, the football and basketball teams who represent the SAME FUCKING SCHOOL getting into a fight is beyond just plain goddamn idiotic, but in front of Wescoe? Seriously, this building was designed to be a PARKING GARAGE. I should know, I was an English major, and most of my classes were held in that sorry excuse for a "learning facility." But anyway, despite KU's basketball team possessing a whole hell of a lot of class and grace (thanks mostly, I think, to Bill Self whipping these guys into shape), they were mostly a bunch of dumbasses.

I mean, seriously, who picks gets in a fight WITH YOUR OWN SCHOOL? If you do shit like that, there are consequences. And I'm not talking about my famed "KU College Basketball Curse of 2005." Yes, it's true. I once cursed the KU basketball team due to traffic. I was going to see Sideways at Liberty Hall with my girlfriend at the time and it took us 40 minutes to get from Hashinger Hall to Liberty Hall. Thus, I cursed KU basketball and their unholy traffic and KU ended up choking in the second round. I don't like to take the blame, but I will. I'll also take the blame for a tornado demolishing Greensburg, Kansas in 2005, which I cursed after getting pulled over in that town during a 24 hour run from Phoenix to KC in the Summer of '05. I am sorry I cannot control my stupid whims, I really am. I thought the curse was broken after KU succeeded in capturing the whatever championship of whatever in 2008, which made 5 hipsters in a Lawrence upstairs apartment rejoice, hug eachother, and participate in loads of debauchary in the downtown area of our fair city of Lawrence that fateful evening.

So, basically, the whole season was a bad omen to begin with due to the players being a bunch of babies. I don't even know why the teams were fighting, I just know that they did, and that they did it on campus which completely undermines all of the grace and class they play with. So, maybe this is someone saying, "Hey, KU, yeah you had a great season and yeah, this is really the best team you've had in shit knows how many years, but they don't know how to behave like adults so they will be punished."

"And how will they be punished?" one might ask.
"By losing to Northern Iowa in the second round of the NCAA tournament."

There you go. And the thing is, if you watched that game, without any bias, you would have been rooting for Northern Iowa. Most people probably were, other than people who take brackets seriously. I mean, they were this nobody team from fuckneckville and they fucking trounced the #1 seed! I mean, how cool is that? And watching Ali Farokhmanesh hit that three with ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOBODY AROUND was really, really kind of beautiful. And you know why it was beautiful? Because it summed up everything KU was bad at, which was guarding the fucking perimiter. That whole game, dudes were taking shots from the outside and nailing 3s and the Jayhawks never, ever seemed to notice this. Well, not until the end, and even then, fucking Farokhmanesh got the ball, showed up at the three point line and stopped. Just fucking stopped! And then he had a thought process. The average player might have just gone for the easy lay-up, but given this game he most definitely thought "Shit, these guys suck at guarding 3's, and NO ONE IS AROUND and this is just like practice so why the hell not" and shot. A brilliant play, and they won the game and Lawrence got really, really angry. And people are still mad but I can't understand why.

And the thing to say is "it's just a game" but for most people it's not. I don't know why, but it's not. I'm sad, but only on a really cosmetic level. Really, I'm indifferent because whatever, it's sports and, to parapharse Spoon, if you have no fear of the underdog, you will most definitely not survive. KU played like absolute shit and got their asses handed to them and really, if you play a game that bad, no matter who you're playing, and you lose, you really can't be too bummed. You've just got to accept it and move on. I saw people CRYING that night, and tweets about Lawrence being on suicide watch and yeah, I'm sure that's just a joke but really? Even in the absolute of hyperbole would college basketball really matter to anyone that much? It's really fun to watch, but honestly, KU's basketball team had an off night and it was embarassing. Ok, move on. Boo hoo, Sherron Collins' last game was a really bad loss, ok, he moves on and probably makes millions of dollars and no one remembers it.

So, basically: everyone is going to be sad for a few weeks and then going to forget about it and eventually remember how awesome it was when KU won in 2008 and everyone got the day off school and got to flood downtown. Now some other town gets to have that! And really, is KU even worth having spirit for giving how little effort they put into their actual school? Like I said, one of their primary buildings is a would-be parking garage and only in my final semester did they make any improvements to it, and even then, those improvements were for staff offices and new desks (granted, the desks were AWESOME). But yeah, none of it matters, everyone will get over it, and no one will kill themselves because KU lost and blah blah blah blah blah.

I actually met Sherron Collins twice when I was working at Chase Court, a rather blah apartment complex near campus. Once he called up to pay his rent asking and upon my greeting simply said "Ya'll take cash?", to which I said no and instructed him in the ways of money orders. Then he brought one by and after that, I noticed that the manager had removed all of the KU basketball players' files which was kind of funny. The next time I met Sherron (as the announcers refer to him, which I think is a bit rude since I think it's more respectful to refer to an athelete by his surname, but whatever) was when he locked himself out of the weight room. And as I was walking down to the weight room with him I thought "Fuck, this guy is like, fucking famous in this town. People really respect this guy and this is like an US Weekly moment where it's like 'They're just like us! They lock themselves out of the weight room at their apartment complex.'" And you know what, I tried to remain cool about it but I still got excited because I knew this guy was hot shit and througout the season, he was and I always thought about that. And when he missed almost all of his shots against Northern Iowa, I thought about that same guy. Just like any of us, someone who is really good at one thing, and he's really good at basketball but like all of us, sometimes we fuck up. And it's usually at the worst possible moment, but we get over it and you know, life as we know it doesn't end. And think about how awesome it must have felt for those guys on the Northern Iowa team! Even that unfortunate looking neanderthal. I was secretly happy for them because really, how often do you get to beat the top dog? Not very often, that's how often.

Still, I still got pretty bummed when I saw those dudes crying on the court.

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