Thursday, May 17, 2012

Big 12 Orientation: Kansas' other sports

One of the more confusing aspects for an outsider of the KU scene is that Jayhawks...are not real birds.  KU's athletic identity comes from the "Jayhawkers", who were guerrilla military bands in Kansas that fought with pro-slavery groups from Missouri during the Civil War.  If you're wondering, like I was, why they decided to turn that into what looks like a cartoon bird trying to sell me breakfast cereal- it's apparently a combination of a blue jay and a sparrow hawk.  I'll give them credit for not giving their bird logo teeth like Iowa State or Louisville.

While most TCU fans aren't shedding tears over the end of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry because its demise created a spot for the Frogs in the Big 12, we are probably equally (if not more) indifferent about the Kansas-Missouri rivalry coming to a close.  That being said, though, it was an important part of the KU fan experience.  Stemming from the same Civil War-era violence mentioned above,  there has never been any love lost between the Jayhawks and the Tigers in the Border War.  The rivalry was at its most intense during basketball season, but in recent years the football game had been moved to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, breathing new life (and hate) into the football side of things.  Like the Texas and A&M, these two schools have no plans to play each other- in anything- beyond the current school year.

The five national titles won by the men's basketball team at Kansas- the most recent coming in 2008- are obviously the biggest source of pride for their fans, which the part of my brain that controls sweeping generalizations refuses to believe consists of anything but skinny, pale and nerdy white kids.  But their men's track and cross country programs also have quite the trophy case- bring home national championships in outdoor track in 1959, 1960 and 1970, indoor track in 1966, 1969 and 1970 and in cross country in 1953.  Also, did you know that college bowling is apparently a thing?  Neither did I, but Kansas won a bowling national title in 2004. 

1 comment:

Frogger98 said...

Where does their Quidditch team stack up, though?