This weekend those brave boys in blue have another chance to redeem themselves, but after last weekend, they are finding the long road to redemption much harder than they had imagined. Not long ago, the oranges in Lawrence, Kansas never tasted so sweet. The Kansas University Jayhawks had blazed a Cinderella trail all the way to the Orange Bowl and Kansas fans got their first real taste of victory, a taste that turned sour over the years to come.
They followed up the next year with respectable trip to the Tempe, Arizona Insight Bowl and since then, they haven’t been to a bowl. Fans have been left heartbroken by the last two seasons with a 1-16 record against the other Big 12 teams. The memory of the Orange Bowl still fresh in their minds, Kansas fans demanded action and a new coaching staff was brought in with 7 NFL Superbowl rings between them. Fans have been licking their chops with anticipation of the start of a season.
Game day in Lawrence is everything good one can associate with the football, from red, white and blue clad families tail-gaiting around the stadium to house parties and scantily clad college girls swilling beer from a plastic cup before noon. Cotton candy, grilled hot dogs and box wine a plenty, fans have eagerly turned out in record numbers for the first two games of the season which the Jayhawks have respectively won and lost. Last weekend’s loss has brought forth painful memories and faith in the new regime is starting to waver. Players so full of enthusiasm and swagger are not walking as tall as they were at the start of the season.
This Saturday is the first conference game. Coolers are being packed, lawn chairs stacked up and grills are being cleaned in the hopes of a victory. Already, the big white party tents that adorn the Campanile are starting to be laid out on that big hill. The hot weather that has plagued us has finally broken and Saturday promises to be a great day for a game, 78 degrees and sunny. The fans will be there ready to give their all, let’s hope the team does the same.