Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some KU fans go to extraordinary lengths to ensure a Jayhawks win

Sarah Breuer is a wee bit superstitious when it comes to Kansas University basketball. Trusty shirts have varying levels of luck and so, on occasion, she’ll change out of one shirt and into another if KU is in a slump.

Sarah Breuer is a wee bit superstitious when it comes to Kansas University basketball. Trusty shirts have varying levels of luck and so, on occasion, she’ll change out of one shirt and into another if KU is in a slump.


Sarah Breuer was exhausted Sunday after her Jayhawks rallied for a thrilling victory against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament.

After all, it was a four-shirt night for the Tonganoxie resident.

Breuer is a wee bit superstitious when it comes to Kansas University basketball. Trusty shirts have varying levels of luck and so, on occasion, she’ll change out of one shirt and into another if KU is in a slump.

But against Purdue, she wore four different shirts during the course of the game. Oh, and two different pairs of pants, including Jayhawk sweatpants.

“That was the most shirts I’ve gone through in one game,” Breuer said. “Usually I only switch it once and then I’m good. I didn’t get the right combination down.”

Breuer said she didn’t have superstitious tendencies until she started college at Mount Oread in 2000. She finished in 2006 with a pharmacy degree and the superstitious ways have stuck.

Her shirt repertoire grows each year with a new game day shirt, but those mainstays are still in the wardrobe if she needs to resort to some old-school luck.

She even has a KU shirt from 1989, that, upon further review, might have an uphill battle in the luck category. That, after all, was the year the NCAA placed KU on probation, banning the Jayhawks from the postseason tournament that year. KU hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament berth since.

“I didn’t realize what year it was until today,” Breuer said.

The superstitions aren’t limited to wardrobes. One of her sisters contends the Jayhawks tend to lose to orange-clad teams when CBS broadcasts those games, while a younger brother says KU loses NCAA Tournament games on cloudy days.

The lone orange team in the tournament is Syracuse. If the Jayhawks were to meet the Orange, it would be in the national semifinals in a game that would be broadcast on — gulp — CBS. predicts rain Friday, but if the Jayhawks can get through that storm and defeat North Carolina State, the forecast calls for a sunny Sunday for the regional final game.

For the Jayhawks’ first NCAA Tournament game against Detroit last week, Breuer gambled and wore the same shirt she donned during the Big 12 tournament loss to Baylor. An older sister has this rule: a shirt can regain some “luckiness” with a spin in the washer. It then must be worn during an easy game to build up its mojo.

When the Jayhawks were in need of a more comfortable lead against Detroit, Breuer went to the bench and subbed in her 2008 national championship shirt.

“I’m not crazy to think my shirts actually help, but it does kind of take the edge off,” she said. “And I’m doing something for my team. I’m not actually talented enough athletically to do something for my team.”

Breuer repeatedly stressed that she wasn’t crazy, but she plans to stick to her routines, which include a family gag order on smack talk when an archrival loses in advance of a KU game. Bad karma must be avoided.

Her children, Ruby, 2, and Evan, 1, also must be decked out in KU blue on game days, while her husband, Scott, abstains. He happens to be a K-State fan.

As the Jayhawks prepare for the Sweet 16, Breuer will be contemplating which shirt — or shirts — to wear.

She hopes the Jayhawks will keep on winning, but when asked for a prediction of how far KU will go, she declined to comment.

“I have hopes, but I don’t want to say them out loud,” she said.

You don’t want her to jinx the Jayhawks, do you?


ajhk 8 years, 4 months ago

Says the political avatar on a sports board.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 4 months ago

Follow up story on ahperse's game day underwear tomorrow!

Pitthawk34 8 years, 4 months ago

You think to highly of yourself...Willy.

Ray March 8 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Steven Mathew 8 years, 4 months ago

So people have what. You don't need to be a douche about it.

basehorjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

This story shows KU fans character. Your post shows some KU fans are dbags. Thanks.

gchawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Please enlighten us as to why your opinion matters. This was a fun human interest story that most of us, in some manner or another, can relate to.

Justin Millsap 8 years, 4 months ago

Total dbag comment.

The young lady who is the subject of the story is a Pharmacist...hardly a profession of idiots.

You should see if there's a company who makes a filter for idiotic comments. Clearly, you can't handle the pressure of policing yourself.

jhawkjunkie 8 years, 4 months ago

I have a red KU sweatshirt I wore for YEARS until I had to retire it a few years ago, (still have the sweatshirt though). During the 2007 football season, I had a beard going and decided not shave until they lost a game, which wasn't until the Missouri game, plus I bought a long sleeve shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, wore those plus KU shoes and a specific hat during the KU-KSU game which KU won and wore the same outfit every game day for the next season and a half, even the hot days in September. Now I can't sit down during a basketball game and have to get a stance just right. Now that I have said all this, I might have to change my superstitions.

eastTXjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

i've done so many stupid things to change the luck during games that i'd be listing them for days....

Cmill1221 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm exact opposite. I feel like I'm a jinks if I wear KU colors.

Tim Orel 8 years, 4 months ago

Same for me. Wearing KU colors a few years ago, KU lost a game they should have won (no I can't remember which game - it was a lot of years ago). I've risked it a couple of times, but I won't be wearing KU colors tomorrow. A sacrifice, but for a KU victory, it's worth it.

Ben Kane 8 years, 4 months ago

as a former baseball player i'm very superstitious. i changed shirts a few minutes into the game against purdue to put on my 2008 national championship even though i hadn't washed it. now i have to keep it dirty and keep wearing it.

i know it this isn't logical, but superstition is as valid as any religion. If you believe it helps then it does.

Ben Kane 8 years, 4 months ago

as a former baseball player i'm very superstitious. i changed shirts a few minutes into the game against purdue to put on my 2008 national championship even though i hadn't washed it. now i have to keep it dirty and keep wearing it.

i know it this isn't logical, but superstition is as valid as any religion. If you believe it helps then it does.

jhawkforeva 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh, you haters are pathetic. It's all in good fun. If you knew the person and family this article is about you'd be ashamed of yourself for being so mean. They are the nicest, kindest people ever, who just happen to love their boys in blue.

Relax. And Sarah, change your shirts if you want to.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

"Some Unsual, Superstitious Things Aliases Do to Try to Ensure Wins"

"I try to touch every John Stuart Curry mural in America with an old athletic supporter once worn by B.H. Born."--jaybate, location unknown, but probably very near the last Curry mural in preparation for the NC State game

"I flirt with explaining the complex and underlying psychological implications of my alias."--heterohilfiger, location unknown

"I rent a light plane, fly over Kilauea, and drop a Bob Knight figurine into the fiery magma spurting out as lava into the blue sea, as my topless co-pilot in a grass skirt sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," while covering her and I with cocoanut oil."--Alohahawk, somewhere in the trade winds of Hawaii avoiding the curse of Lono

"I drive through Tempe, eyeing co-eds, then ignite the hair of a Lute Olson voodoo doll using a magnifying glass and the afternoon sun of Arizona."--AsadZ, somewhere in the Sonoran desert

"I imagine challenging jaybate, slayr and REHawk to a contest of who can grow the largest male pattern baldness challenged Afro."--kkoenig

"I try to make a list of all my lists, while walking naked through the nearest John Lautner house without permission."--OakvilleJHawk, location unknown

"I analyze how to get out of a parking ticket using greater length and athleticism than the police officer."--ralster, location unknown

"I praise jaybate's most errant observations, while also defending Conner Teahan being the most gifted athlete ever to play at Kansas."--Kansas Comet, flaming across the Kansas sky

"I imagine cutting through jaybate's verbose bulls!@# using sentences with words of one syllable, or less, then phone Columbia PD and report a meth lab at the MU athletic dormitory."--Brock, location unknown

"I dream of hiring a contract killer and paying him to whack jaybate for foisting this avatar off on me."--REHawk, somewhere on the roster of former KU assistant coaches living on the third rock from the sun

"I take a few moments and secretly renege on jaybate's and my agreement to keep it civil for the good of jayhawk nation by printing out a number of jaybate's posts and setting them afire with lighter fluid and thermite."--HEM, location unknown

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

"I day dream of watching the group circumcision of Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder, Mike Anderson and Frank Haith without anesthetic, while listening to the KU fight song."--Yates33333

"I mash up old sling box feeds of KU wins during my time overseas with old video of Dick Vitale touting Quin Snyder as the next great coach."--dragonslayr

"While miraculously making sense of next year's scholarship situation, I also calculate a ratio that is the total number of times Digger Phelps tie and highlighter have matched divided by the total surface area of Coach Consonants' nose and take comfort that this is no less arcane that jaybate's Modified Disruption Statistic."-- icthawkfan316, location unknown

"I make copies of jaybates grossly unfair criticisms of the state of Texas and post them at various human hunt clubs around Texas with jaybate's real name, address, phone number and hours when he can be abducted and used for prey."--texrockchalk, location, somewhere between Gasoline Alley and Austin City Limits, Texas

"I make card board cutouts of Dick, Digger, Seth Davis, Clark Kellogg, and jaybate, mount them on pop-up standards, mount them in an abandon paint ball field, and take target practice walking through them and trying to make a head shot on every one but jaybate who I try to make a crotch shot on." mikendal, an abandoned paint ball field cleaning his Glock

"I throw salt over my left shoulder and a fresh pair of MU Antler testicles over my right."--newleafjhawk, Mellotonin Junction, USA

"I briefly stop being consistently logical, fair and civil and confess to a tantric fantasy about Monica Bellucci."--FLJHK, location unknown but tantrically on fire with Monica

"I sip an English breakfast tea with my little pinky held up, while mainlining old Notorious BIG to my brain case with buds developed by DARPA."--raprichard

"I mash up fevered imagery of Jesse Newell and Naomi Campbell and post them with 9000 point headlines on Newell Post Live."--dynamitejhawk

(Note: of course, all of the above is fiction. No malice. And my apologies to all of the wonderful aliases that I ran out of time to add to the above rogue's gallery of board rats.)

8 years, 4 months ago

JB ~ dern tootin'! Fer all that there slanderous pontificatin', we's a fixin' to fetch y'all up in two shakes of a lamb's tail and use ya fer javelina gittin' :^)

(All fiction. No malice.) ©

dynamitehawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Nice :^)

Picture Rosanne Barr with Jesse Newell's athleticism with his Emporia Gazzette goatee, a potato for a left ear, Jimmy Walker's face slippers, eating Dorito tacos from Taco Bell, while holding court on the Newell Post.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Seriously now, I would be remiss here if I did not recall my brother's ritual, which is IMHO the most masochistic of all superstitious rituals I have heard.

He stops watching KU games after the last conference game, until KU makes the Final Four.

He believes that if he watches any Madness games before the Final Four he will jinx them into losing.

When I remind him that KU has been exiting early quite a lot recently, he says only, "Not because of me."

REHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

HA! My wife exits the TV room when the Jayhawks drop miserably behind and appear doomed. She wears a wellworn pair of old fuzzy Jayhawk house slippers which, at one time, produced lights winking on the toes when she fled to the bedroom. Now the lights are defunct and her left big toe protrudes through the blue fuzz, but she is not about to cast aside their winning tradition. A dear friend decks out her sheltie with a Jayhawk kerchief on game days; and the dog sits beside her, watching gametime action, atune to her moods of euphoria or dejection. (Over the past two seasons she thinks the dog has become familiar with Tyshawn's jersey number!). Hell, half the Jayhawk Nation goes mad as Hatters on gamedays. Somewhere on the coaching/training staff there is bound to be at least one item of clothing dredged up faithfully as a winning charm when the Jayhawks take the court. How else could we maintain our 80% winning record in the 24 years of Roy and Bill Basketball?

dylans 8 years, 4 months ago

Good stuff Jaybate. Every time I took off my KU cap during the purdue game pu went on a run. I kept it on for the last five minutes. I only took it off because I was hanging sheetrock on the ceiling and the dang button was trying to penetrate my skull. I don't normally hang Sheetrock during the game, but I have enough frustration/anger in my life right now without watching a performance like that too closely. I couldn't help but watch the last five minutes though.

eastTXjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

one of my most common moves is to find the proper location for the tv remote. when we're playing poorly, it's all over the place (sometimes i even change the recall station, just in case that's the problem.) if we go on a run while i'm holding the remote, i'll hold it the rest of the game.

my folks have an old jayhawk patch that sits on the mantle at the start of the game, and moves to various locations throughout the house until things start going well.

whatever it takes.

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

True story. In 2008 I had worn the same sweatshirt/ t-shirt combo all the way through the tournament, but for the championship game I didn't put them on. They had been washed and I didn't want to leave the TV to go to the laundry room and put them on. With 2:12 or so to go, I believe we were down 8 and the game went to a time out. I finally decided I'd never forgive myself if I didn't at least put on the T-shirt / sweat shirt combo. The rest is history, the last 2 minutes were all KU, we go into overtime and win the game.

I watch most away games from my lucky recliner. Occasionally if it isn't getting the job done, I run down my schnauzer to sit in my lucky chair with me, and I rub her belly. Works every time. Of course, it helps that I root for the top college basketball program of all time. I suppose Bill Self's coaching and talent evaluation has as much to do with it as my lucky chair or my dog's belly, but why leave it to chance? When we lost to Baylor a couple of weeks ago I was at a sports bar. When we lost to Missery in Columbia, I was at a sports bar, and not in my lucky chair. Coincidence? Perhaps, but why take the chance?

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 4 months ago

I forgot to wear a jersey most of the Baylor game.. Sorry guys, that loss is on me :-p

When the Mizzou pulled ahead of Norfolk St, I turned off the TV and listened to the radio in my car.... later that day, I burned a small hole in my 60th anniversary throwback celebrating after Mizzou lost... I'll plea the 5th regarding the source of the burn... Nonetheless, I can now fondly look at the hole and remember the day Mizzou became the first team in a decade to lose to a 15 seed as a 2. I consider it extra lucky now.

Seriously though, superstitions are just that... Even though in my own reality everything occurring is somehow my fault. It's a common reaction to things out of our control.

brooksmd 8 years, 4 months ago

I try to join Glenn and MItchell for one of their gourmet swamp meals before a game.

FLJHK 8 years, 4 months ago

Well of course we do all these things. They define normalcy in Jayhawk Nation.

Andrew Holmes 8 years, 4 months ago

I always wear my gameday shirt from the texas a&m game a few years back when Mark Turgeon made his coaching debut in Allen Fieldhouse. I sit in the same spot and as long as KU is playing well I don't move an inch. If I do happen to get up once I come back I will sit in the same position that I just left. I will move to the other couch or the chair if things aren't going well and I also have to make sure the remote is in the correct location. During the Purdue game my fiance was in the kitchen doing dishes when KU started to rally in the second half. When she sat down next to me Purdue hit a couple shots to extend the lead and she, though unwillingly, went back into the kitchen and a couple minutes later EJ hit the three to give us the lead and the rest is history.

My fiance is a K-State alumnus and there have been a few games where I have asked her to leave the room while the KU game was on because she was jinxing the hawks by not caring about the game enough.

RJ King 8 years, 4 months ago

My game day wardrobe = no visible red or blue. Red and/or blue underwear + neutral T or sweatshirt usually does the trick.

I also need to wash the white couch slipcovers and switch to the BLUE denim ones. But I'm waiting until after this weekend for sure!

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 4 months ago

It never hurts to burn an effigy of Missouricat or Hammertoe. :-p

Kye Clark 8 years, 4 months ago

I have confessed this before, but the '03 championship loss is on me, two-fold. First of all, previously that day I bought a shirt. It wasn't one declaring KU champions or anything, it had a jayhawk logo on the front and the bracket on the back, but I had already planned out how if they won it I was going to sharpie in the tourney results. Prematurely planning any celebration is the ultimate jinx in my opinion. Secondly, I inexplicably agreed to watch the game with my brother & parents over at their house, and did not bring a second pair of shoes. All his career I had followed Keith Langford's superstition of changing shoes when needed (he did his only at halftime, whereas I would do mine regardless of game time. Still). My bad guys.

lincase 8 years, 4 months ago

The 1997 loss to Arizona in the Sweet 16 is my fault. On the way to watch the game, I broke the chain of my Jayhawk pendent! The Jayhawk fell off. I feel your pain!

8 years, 4 months ago

ict - thank you for solving the missed FT mystery of that game. Now we just need to figure out who broke tradition leading to title game losses in ’40, ’53, ’57, and ’91 ;)

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 4 months ago

My favorite KU shirts to wear on a game day are shirts I bought at the '08 Final Four. They aren't exclusively "KU" shirts, it isn't as arrogant as a KU Nat'l Champs shirt, but anybody who knows cbb knows it's a shirt from a Final Four that KU won. They also have all 64 teams from that year on the back either in a bracket or their symbols. Maybe the basketball gods prefer it, maybe they don't. If I'm actually going to be at the game though it's gotta be a full fledged KU shirt in the stands. My hawk hat on the other hand hasn't made an appearance since the 04-05 loss at Villanova where their student section tried to grab it from me to annihilate on national tv during their court storming.

kellerman411 8 years, 4 months ago

She can change her shirt any time she wants ;) Aren't I just the worst?

FoCoCoHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

More along the lines of a compulsion than a superstition: I tend to scream curses at the TV following turnovers, sloppy defense and missed free throws. After the loss to 'Cuse in 03, I started getting robo calls from Tourette's Syndrome treatment centers. I suspect my neighbors ratted me out. I've mellowed since then (the Dick Vitale pin cushion helps a lot) and I've come to accept losses with more grace...meaning I find a Mizzou fan to punk out on general principles.

R C J H!!

ajhk 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm not at all into the superstition thing but I do embrace the crazed fervor our fellow hawk fans have. It's part of what makes KU basketball and the town of Lawrence so special. It's something that bonds and unites across the political and socioeconomic chasms.

Keep it up!


Vernon Riggs 8 years, 4 months ago

I confess. I turn my sweat-shirt inside out when we were 17 points down against Methzoo. I wore the same shirt for Purdue and turned it inside out at 5 minutes left. Rally superstitions are the most special of all superstitions. I know that it is crazy but why mess with Karma?

jesusisajhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I wear the same exact outfit for each game down to my shoes. Also I have to watch all of the tournament games at the same bar that I started out with or I will junx us. There are bars in town that I have watched them lose at that I refuse to ever watch a game in again. Thank god we don't lose that often or I would have no where to go! I don't think it's crazy it's just being a good fan, and I'm a therapist so I would know:)

Tony Bandle 8 years, 4 months ago

I've posted earlier that I have a neon KANSAS bar light that I turn on for games. We have never lost with this light on and, actually, have won many games with it off.

But I sometimes forget about it or am out of town and, bang, I get caught.....the first Missouri game and the Baylor tourney game come to mind, as well as Duke in Hawaii.

Also, the New York Kentucky game, the Kansas City Davidson game and the Ames, ISU game.............OH CRAP!!!! I am totally responsible for all of our six losses.

The lamp will burn all weekend, I promise.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 4 months ago

PS. I wonder if she changes negligee if things aren't going great??!!

cmm889 8 years, 4 months ago

Reading this article and all of the comments is giving me OCD.

I already had game day tradition but...

two hours before going into tonights game now i'm starting to itch and the need to plan my pre game rituals...

Steve Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

I'll wear the 1988 Championship Kemper pullover this sunday and wish for more eligibility for Tyler Hansborough.

The pullover is lucky because it is non school specific and I bought it in '88 when 64 teams were still alive with Danny's chances still being remote. The only gold item in the closet, with the 50th seal on the front. It is worn only in crucial games where we are wearing road uniforms, lower seed, never failed me yet.

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