It's that time again, kids. My annual "my life is pointless because my team lost and I don't have anything to live for" post.
That's a tad dramatic, of course I have something to live for;
Nearly 20 years ago, when I picked a KU hat out of all the others in a gas station to wear at my tee-ball game later that day, I never could have imagined the unnerving love that would later develop for something as stupid as a college basketball team.
I don't think it's stupid, obviously; only a true fan of a sports team can relate with me on such feelings. But a lot of people find my love for this team to be ridiculous. Unnecessary, even.
I feel sad for them.
And I also envy them, on some level.
I will sum up the raw, unadulterated feeling it is to be a Kansas Basketball fan:
Win or lose, watching those boys literally tires me as if I've just run a marathon.
I put such a high level of emotion into cheering, I often finish a game feeling as though I need to just fall into bed.
This year was pure hell.
Good games and
There were injuries.
Zero consistent senior leadership.
No guard willing to step up and lead the team.
K-State was actually good.
Hoiberg cemented a new vendetta in our conference.
And we all still had to find time to hate Mizzou as if they were still an actual threat.
I haven't slept through the night in over two months.
You know what I blame it on?
Friday night, I was sure we had it won. We were actually showing up to play.
But, in typical Jayhawk fashion, we blew it.
They broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.
This one hurt more than any loss I can remember.
At least last year we were prepared to lose; we knew Davis was a force unlikely to be stopped.
We fought until the bitter end, scrapping our way toward a victory but just couldn't pull it off.
But this year, we had it. Not only did we open the door to the Elite 8, we already had our right foot through the threshold. And those Michigan assholes slammed that door right on our foot.
Don't get me wrong, they deserved that win. If we led the entire game and couldn't finish with a "W", we didn't deserve a damn thing.
And in typical bitter-Mallory fashion, I went off the grid for the entire weekend.
I went to work the next day to help at the store and people knew not to screw with me.
I didn't answer my phone all weekend.
I needed time to heal. Time to come to grips with the fact that it was over.
Because it's not just a GAME to me.
It's my team.
Every year we watch those boys and we form a personal bond with them.
I put amounts of trust in their hands I'm not even sure I allot to my husband.
The amount of pressure those guys take in is unbelievable. I can't imagine, nor would I want to.
But they can at least take solace in the fact that they are easily forgiven.
Every true fan will forgive.
Every true fan will lend them that same amount of trust next year.
And every true fan will support them down to that last basket, despite the heart break they did or didn't suffer the year before.
If the Kansas Basketball program were a boyfriend, they would be one super-shitty boyfriend.
But I'd let 'em come back.
So, here's to another season gone.
A hell of a season at that.
And the countdown begins to next year -
R O C K C H A L K J A Y H A W K