@FakeJeffWithey reveals his identity as Real Jeff Withey’s season ends
- Apr. 4, 2013
- 20 Comments
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.
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.