Vernon: This is what being a fan is all about
- Mar. 31, 2013
- 2 Comments
ARLINGTON, Texas — As a journalist, it’s a cardinal sin to to write with any bias toward a team. As a journalist, it’s also a cardinal sin to lie.
As a student of the University of Kansas, I must break that first rule.
I won’t lie to you. Sitting in front of my computer in Cowboys Stadium watching the Jayhawks collapse hurt me. It hurt because it didn’t seem like the right way for this team to lose. It hurt because it just wasn’t supposed to be this way.
It hurt because Kansas was the team to always come back. To always be trailing at halftime, and then to take the other team by storm.
And on top of that, I was fortunate enough to write about Michigan’s miracle comeback and Trey Burke’s heroic 3-pointer that would put Tony Romo to shame. As a journalist, this was a great story to write. As a Jayhawk, it stung.
So I scrambled to write my story, threw my laptop in my backpack, and hustled into the bowels of the titanic stadium. From there, I waited outside the Michigan locker room.
From there, my anguish changed.
Behind the closed doors I could hear the Michigan players screaming in pure joy. When the doors were open, I saw college kids, just like you, me and our very own Jayhawk basketball team celebrating the greatest achievements of their lives.
These Michigan players aren’t to be hated. They just wear different colored clothes to play the game we all love. These are kids aged 18-22 that have worked their whole lives to get to this moment, just like Kansas’ kids.
They aren’t the enemy. Don’t hate the players, and don’t hate the game, either.
After all, this is part of March. This is why we love March. You sometimes end up on the wrong side of it.
Yes, this was a great regular season for Kansas that didn’t get justice in the NCAA Tournament. It happens.
I had never been on the other side, in the visitors locker room after the big come-from-behind win.
Trey Burke was still shaking almost 20 minutes after he had made the shot that crushed every Jayhawk’s hopes and dreams for another trip to the Elite Eight.
I know what you’re feeling in the pit of your stomach right now. I know what it’s like to stare blankly at your friends wondering how it can ever get better. Wondering how you’ll ever recover.
But you’ll respond the same way you do every year. You’ll chat in the summer about the new recruits, the new team, the new starting lineup. Come October you’ll go to Late Night and overanalyze every meaningless minute. Then November hits and the fun returns.
You’ll smile again, and it will be because of Kansas basketball. You’ll make Allen Fieldhouse shake and you’ll count down the days in a week until game day.
This is the life of a fan. You just have to take the good and the bad that comes with it.
Otherwise, this wouldn’t be any fun, would it?