@FakeJeffWithey reveals his identity as Real Jeff Withey’s season ends

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to appreciate how ridiculous this all truly is: how ridiculous it is that I am writing a farewell column for a fake Twitter account, how ridiculous it is that the Kansan agreed to let me do this, and most of all, how ridiculous it is that you are still reading.  There is something very abnormal about it all.  But that is what this experience has taught me.  The rules that apply everywhere else are different here at the University.

Ty Gardner and Jeff Withey

Ty Gardner and Jeff Withey

I decided to reveal myself in the paper today not because I think this is going to make me some kind of celebrity and not because I think it will impress girls or get me in free at the bars. I’m revealing myself because I wanted to thank you all, and I believe that thank yous carry a little more weight when you know who is giving them.

My name is Ty Gardner. I graduated from the University last spring with a degree in political science. And I bleed crimson and blue.

I created @FakeJeffWithey with the idea that it would be a fun way to make jokes and brag about the school I love at the same time. Maybe if I was lucky, I thought, it might catch on and there would be a few hundred people that enjoyed it. Needless to say, things exceeded my original expectations pretty quickly.

This all became so much bigger than I could have ever imagined, and there was a reason for that. It was because of you. Before I started this account, I always bragged about how Kansas fans are unlike any others in the country. I knew this to be true despite the fact that I had only experienced the culture from a fan’s perspective.

Then I created the account, and you started laughing at my jokes. I found out that you hated Kansas State as much as I did. And you even sent in pictures of you and your friends #Witheying (I still can’t believe that caught on). Before long, I started to feel like I had a small role to play in the Kansas basketball community.

Knowing that I was a part of the game day experience for so many of you humbled me. As silly as it is given the context, it made me want to be better. I wanted to give you more polished punchlines, wittier catchphrases and new ways to make fun of the entire state of Missouri. Why did I want to do this? Because I learned that the only thing better than being a Kansas fan is being cheered on by Kansas fans.

This doesn’t happen at other places in the country. Fans of other schools don’t camp for days just to be in the building for tip-off. They don’t pack the stands each and every night regardless of the opponent. They don’t know what it’s like to live and die by the result of the game like Kansas fans do.

And at other schools, they don’t do this. A regular student with no connections to the athletic department doesn’t get to feel like he had a role in something as big as Kansas basketball just because a few people laugh at his jokes. He doesn’t have a chance to experience the support of the greatest fans in the country. He certainly doesn’t get the opportunity to use the school newspaper as an outlet to thank those fans.

But this is Kansas. We do things differently.

Just as we all reach a point where we must move on from the University, the time has come for me to step away from the             @FakeJeffWithey Twitter account. As much as I’d love to tweet from the account next year, holding a Withey Block Party without the Withey just doesn’t seem right.

Now, I move my Jayhawk jokes to my personal account, @TyGardner. In doing so, I’ll be leaving behind the halftime locker room updates and postgame catchphrases. Luckily, I’ve talked Tyler Self into putting his NBA dreams on hold for one more year so that I still have some familiar material to work with.

So this is the final farewell for @FakeJeffWithey. It may have just been a fake Twitter account, but I’d be completely lying if I said that it hasn’t provided me with a ton of good times. This experience has brought so many great memories that I will enjoy for the rest of my life, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the love. And thank you for making this university unlike any other in the country.

  • Updated Apr. 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm
  • Edited by Megan Hinman
  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.carlson23 Ashley Carlson

    we will miss you Fake Jeff Withey… you were yet another highlight to watching KU games!

  • http://twitter.com/AmbassadorSeips Matt Seipel

    Shouldn’t, “I Will Remember You,” by Sarah McLachlan be playing in the back ground as the best tweets slowly fade in and out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.vercetti.3766 Tommy Vercetti

    What a joke kansas is the only school to camp out and sell out try UK with 23000 plus every night and this is why ku fans are a big joke they think there the only ones doing thongs haha

    • daboys777

      Why are UK fans doing thongs??? Is that a Freudian slip Tommy or is that your thong slipping? UK being in the NIT and losing in the first round is the big joke. BHAHAHAHA Doing it with that many McDonald all Americans is the biggest joke of all. All that talent and no heart…nice locker rooms though.

    • Brandon Owen

      I assure you, UK fans are the only ones “Doing thongs”

    • maxfozzy

      That was all one sentence. *Kansas, *KU, *they’re, *things.

      And Kentucky did not sell out every home game this year. Check your facts.

      Rock Chalk

    • daboys777

      Your statement 23000 plus every night according to the official Kentucky website appears to be untrue. You guys were short of 23000 in 5 out of the first 6 home games.

    • PV23

      You’re commenting on an article written by a fake twitter account holder in the Kansas University paper. You need help.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Pello6 Matt Pello

      First off, why’re you on the UDK website reading about our school. Secondly, we’ve never lost first round of the NIT so there’s something you can hang over our heads. I don’t think they make a banner for that though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lanemc Lane Clark

      Yea Tommy your right maybe I should turn from a Ku fan to a Kentucky fan!! Unless that is I wanted to watch my team be successful in the REAL tournament….. I think watching my team lose first round of the NIT would be much more fun!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Andrewhadel Andrew Paul

      Tommy, a Kentucky fan, following a fake twitter account of a KU player. Elsewhere in America, KU fans struggle to remember any member of the highly touted starting lineup of the newly-crowned-NIT-qualifying Kentucky Wildcats. Have fun playing grabass with Mizzou in the SEC, and better luck in next year’s NIT tournament.

    • Odessa Belosic

      Hey Tommy don’t insult my team or you’ll see a side of a 13 yr old girl you don’t want too!!!! JERK!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sydney.dippel Sydney Dippel

    What an awesome tribute to such a fun outlet. Thank you, Ty Gardner, for your “polished” prose and for your understanding of our love of Kansas basketball.

  • Deyu

    Please don’t close the page, just leave it there. It will be interesting when one day we came back to see these jokes and laugh again!

  • Joann Weger

    You were why I got a twitter account, so I could find out why T. Self was benched for another game. Thanks for the chuckles. RCJH!

  • http://www.facebook.com/janine.gracy Janine Gracy

    Cannot tell you how many times I truly laughed out loud and immediately had to share your tweets with my family. I will certainly miss Fake Jeff Withey. Thank you for your labor of love and Rock Chalk

  • http://twitter.com/Singyt Singy

    Please consider publishing a list of top @FakeJeffWithey posts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayhawk522 Gary Poe

    I sent Tommy a friend request via Facebook. Let’s see if I can get him to finish his conversation.
    Great job Ty!

  • Odessa Belosic

    Well Ty thank you for the experience also I love your jokes they are great I enjoyed the fun time while it lasted I will remember you

  • Odessa Belosic

    GO KU!!