If you are as old as I, you may remember a Cheech&Chong skit called “Basketball Jones” – a song and monologue about an inner-city kid who LOVED basketball to the near-exclusion of all other activity or thought. (Go ahead and Google that phrase, and you will find the YouTube clip that will have that inane C&C song stuck firmly in your head for quite a while after. I just won’t be a party to that particular earwig.)
Fast forwarding from 1975 to today: I’m in Wichita KS this week on business. Today is the day after the University of Kansas was defeated in the national basketball championship game, and Jayhawk Pride is running just as hard today as it was before the loss – Kansas and Jayhawk flags, T-shirts, buttons, signs … if you name it, it’s out there to see, and much of it sported by folks who probably never went to the University of Kansas (or to any college) but who still proclaim their support.
So, starting right at the airport where I picked up my rental car, I engaged in a little experiment.
To the rental car guy, and to every other Jayhawk fan I saw, I started the conversation with a very simple and vague leading comment: “Yeah, good luck – I’m rooting for your guys, because they took MY team out in the second round”. At no time did I mention my alma mater. After the loss, I changed my script only slightly to “sorry – I was rooting for your guys, because they took MY team out in the second round”. That’s all I said. Seriously.
It didn’t matter. They all knew.
THEY ALL KNEW. Every one of them said, “Oh, that was Purdue. Yeah, that was a good game.” Almost every one of them followed that up with a nice comment about Robbie Hummel, the star outside-shooter for the Boilermakers, the shame about the two ACL blowouts he suffered last year, and most after that with some insight on shooting-forwards or matchups.
Holy crap. These people are ADDICTS.
They are Stone Cold College Hoops JUNKIES, and this state is Overflowing With Them.
Moral: if you’re waiting for the Mother Ship to come back and beam you up, make sure you’re in the right zipcode; they may just be parked somewhere else –