Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Opinion: Jayhawk fans can take over at Rice


The Coors Events Center on the Colorado campus became known as Allen Fieldhouse West once a year because when Kansas University came to town half the noise from the stands was made in support of the visiting team.

Saturday represents a rare opportunity for KU alumni to turn Rice Stadium into Memorial Stadium South.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all, especially with it being in Texas with half our team being from there,” senior running back James Sims said of the possibility of a strong showing from KU fans. “I know there are going to be a lot of people’s families that are going to be there.”

It takes more than players’ family members to make a Jayhawks presence felt in a significant way. Kevin Corbett, president and CEO of the KU Alumni Association, generally is quite good at smelling a big road turnout and he already can catch a strong whiff of KU sausages wafting through the humid Houston air. Forking over the dough to buy tickets for Big 12 road games can be a lot to swallow, but with so many unsold seats at 47,000-capacity Rice Stadium, that’s not an issue for this one.

“We have a Houston chapter that’s really, really strong,” Corbett said. “It’s one of our best chapters, really.”

Corbett said his department has sent three email blasts to all 15,000 KU graduates living in Texas, including 5,500 in the Dallas Metroplex, 3,500 in Houston, 2,000 in Austin, 1,000 in San Antonio.

Advance sales to the KUAA pregame tailgate, which starts at 3 p.m. for Saturday’s 6:30 kickoff, is one indicator Corbett uses to try to project a KU turnout for road games.

“We’ve 300 pregame-event tickets,” Corbett said. “That’s usually pretty good. Usually you can times that by 10 to figure out what the average crowd would be. I would guess somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 KU fans will be there. And it’s hard to tell how many people who live there just got their tickets from Rice.”

At his weekly Tuesday news conference, head coach Charlie Weis urged KU fans from Texas to turn out for the game, one in which their voices can be heard.

“From what I understand, and I’m not that familiar with the home crowds at Rice, personally, but supposedly the crowds are not that big,” Weis said. “And that’s actually good when you go on the road, especially with it being our first time. Going on the road and not have it be 80,000 people going absolutely bonkers, walking in the door in your first one out of the box is probably a good way to ease into it. Because we know several times this year that will be the case.”

The Owls are loaded with fifth-year seniors on both sides of the line of scrimmage, so hollering in support of KU will be needed to counter all the hooting.


sekjayhawkfan 8 years, 4 months ago

I will (hopefully) be watching the Jayhawks in Portland (Oregon) and Seattle the next two Saturdays. Any suggestions on downtown bars in either location where Jayhawk fans go to watch the games? Thanks.

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm flying down for the game. Don't let me down Jayhawks.

TheBoHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Sweet baby Jesus...please give us a win. You know Lawrence is God's country!

Cameron Cederlind 8 years, 4 months ago

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MartyrMangino 8 years, 4 months ago

You've got a lot of nerve posting that terrorist mantra the day after 9/11. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't call myself worldly. Just not ignorant. I really don't think GoHawkYourself meant any disrespect to the families and victims of 9/11. Arabic is not only the language of terrorists as apparently MartyrMangino believes.

I would expect that assumption out of a KState or Mizzou grad, however.

ClemsonDandy 8 years, 4 months ago

Listen, short stack. I didn't consider myself worldly either, until my tour of duty over there in the armed forces. I'm all for letting a man worship his God of choice, but not the "God" that wants me, MartyrMangino, and even GoHawkYourself and you, despite your non-ignorance, dead just because of who we are. Not just the terrorists, but women and children spit on us over there in the name of this "God". Some of the greatest men I ever knew lost their lives to the tune of this battle cry. I don't know what HawkYourself meant by it, but for what little it contributed to discussion, he could have not said it at all so close to a date that irreparably changed so many people's lives, if not yours and his, such that it can waft by unnoticed for you all, the lucky ones. I know you guys want to prove how open-minded you are and you get off by challenging the shadowy enemy of the ignorant on the internet. That's fine. The men I knew died because they believed you, and everybody should have that opportunity. Next time you do it, though, I'd ask you remember that there are men that fought, and are fighting real battles out there, not cyber battles, and that day changed their lives forever.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 4 months ago

Well, thank you for your service. No point in arguing. I still firmly believe that the Arabic language shouldn't incite such a negative response regardless of what day it is, but I respect your opinion.

hawksquawk 8 years, 4 months ago

"Kevin Corbett...can catch a strong whiff of KU sausages wafting through the humid Houston air."

Pulitzer material.

kellerman411 8 years, 4 months ago

Right? I thought that was a skill developed only at KU sororities.

DoubleDD 8 years, 4 months ago

I really like KU's chances in this one.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 4 months ago

Anyone curious on what uniforms we're gonna wear? Or does anyone have any insight on what uniforms they're gonna wear? I can't wait to see the light blue ones. And has anyone seen this youtube video of our new adidas uniforms ( ) ? The gray ones are slick! Curious if they are for this year or for next. Any insight anyone?

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

jmfitz85, I've been spending more time lately thinking about uniforms than I ever thought possible. Seriously. I'm probably in the minority, but I thought the uniforms (especially the helmets) we wore last week were fairly lame. Not hideous, but lame.

While I'm not a psychiatrist / psychologist ( shoot, I don't even know the difference ), I do think that a sports team's uniforms affect the team and the fans to some extent. How many of us tuned in to Oregon games last year, just to see what they had come up with that week?

Does anyone remember when K-State hired Bill Snyder? One of the first changes he made, besides bringing in Juco players, was to change that lame-axe Willie the Wildcat logo to the Powercat logo. It made a huge difference. I've personally felt that if they had changed those hideous purple uniforms to something like black, that they may have won a NC or two during Snyder's peak years. Sound stupid, I know, but it's food for thought.

David A. Smith 8 years, 4 months ago

In total agreement. Confidence and mindset are game changers, and having a tough cutting edge look can kick swagger into high gear. Frankly, the white helmet was one of the helmets I was hoping they'd nix. The black one would be a much better addition- and that with the angry bird instead of the usual logo.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 4 months ago

You've seen the Jayhawk on the red helmet right? I think we should change that to our logo. Has swag all over it. I feel like the current Jayhawk looks a little nice epecially for football and I agree we gotta change it up a bit. At least we're getting new uniforms though, and the more we win I'm sure our selection will only get better. Intimidation is the key and uniforms do just that, intimidate.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

No baby blues and no black helmets. The black helmets are the one I wanted to see the MOST! These aren’t really creative or inspiring. Addidas sucks at this.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

It looks like they took red white and blue paint and threw it at the wall. Anybody could mix and match three colors and come up with this. Where’s the actual design element?

At the very least, get rid of the red helmet, red pants combo.

At best switch to the cool Jayhawk helmet we’ve seen here so often.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 4 months ago

For those of us who can no way get to Houston, it would be really nice if KU could arrange for the TV broadcast to be available in Topeka either over Cox basic cable or over the air. Likewise for Lawrence and WOW basic or OTA.

TxJyHwk 8 years, 4 months ago

You don't get CBS Sports Network? That is the channel they are on this week. Next week it is on Fox Sports 1.

Rivethead 8 years, 4 months ago

For those interested, there is a Living Social deal for tickets to this game. Normally $20, you can get them for $12.

Not sure if they'll let me link but here goes:

If not, google living social rice football tickets.

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

3000-4000 fans sounds about right. We signed up for the tailgate party. There will still be many more Rice fans than KU fans.

Rice Stadium actually holds over 75,000 people, but they have downsized it in recent years by covering some of the seats so that it is not so cavernous. It is hard to believe the Super Bowl was played at the stadium and KU played Rice in the same stadium in the 1961 Bluebonnet bowl.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Rice Stadium may have 75,000 seats, all of the upper tier seating has been permanently closed due to a lack of upkeep on the upper tier seats. Rice officials must be expecting a healthy crowd because the KU seats, at least the ones I got from KU are in a section that's normally tarped off.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

They will put the tarp back on once the KU fans are seated......

741hawk 8 years, 4 months ago

About nine years ago I flew down to see Hawaii's Timmy Chang play against Rice. I tied-in a campus visit for my high school son. We got on the field after the game, and he got Timmy's autograph on his very-cool Timmy Chang Hawaii jersey. I'll always remember June Jones yelling, "Get to the locker room, Timmy."

Even though they hosted an early Super Bowl there, it was a a musty, old, almost empty stadium. Dreary. No home field advantage there.

Chris1955 8 years, 4 months ago

My wife and I will be attending the tailgate festivities as well as the game. We're dragging a business firend of mine, who while an Aggie, has promised me he'd root for KU.

I hope to see and meet some of you there.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

How on earth did you convince an Aggie to miss the A&M-Alabama game?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

Sorry to burst your bubble, fellas, but it wasn't exactly an intimidating crowd last year at Northern Illinois.

We have a long, proud history of choking on the road.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Why do you have two identities? Just use ahperse all the time.

CrystalJones 8 years, 4 months ago

I am really getting tired of the Negative-Nancy stuff. Look, as it stands today, we are undefeated. A perfect record. Isn't that exactly where we would want to be at this point in the season?

The Hawks will be just fine this week. My prediction is 38-17. We'll also beat La Tech, TTU, KSU, ISU, WVU...and Texas. Yes, we're finally going to beat Texas for the first time since the Big 12 started 17 years ago. (Our backs will kill their rushing defense.)

We're going bowling, folks.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

Sorry for the Negative Nancy stuff, but if you look at my posts a year ago at this time, I was as embarrassingly positive as a fan could be.

I love KU football more than any fan I know. I've waited for this season everyday, and complained to Tait when we weren't getting football articles daily.

...But just like anything else, this team needs to show us something before we should be expected to jump on board.

And when you look at it from a distance, we won this year's opener against a Dakota by 3 more points than last year's Dakota.

Take your homer goggles off for one second and realize the severity of our situation. We gave up 200 on the ground to SD, and allowed their QB to run all over us.

Rice's QB is much better, with a much better supporting cast. Also keep in mind that Rice knows they can beat us.

Call me negative all you want, but to think we're gonna go in there and streamroll these guys....?

...that's just downright naive.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

"...But just like anything else, this team needs to show us something before we should be expected to jump on board."

That's where I think you're wrong. We should be on board until they show us that they're not worthy of spending a Saturday afternoon or evening on.

If Charlie Weis and his staff, and Jake Heaps and the whole rest of the team go in there thinking they can't win, it's over before it starts. Get me Charlie's number, I can tell him a whole bunch of places to go and lots of things to do in Houston instead of sitting in a 75% empty stadium full of boo-birds and nay-sayers who don't believe that we can win.

We've got some very talented athletes on this team - one set of analysts claims we have the best running backs in the country. We have a better QB than we've had in a while, a much improved kicking game and special teams unit. When they gel, they have an opportunity to be pretty good.

If I said we have a great chance to win the BCS title - that would be fairly naive. To say we can't beat RICE - that is just plain lame.

BigAl 8 years, 4 months ago

It is more than a little irritating that this game will not be carried by WOW!. The largest cable provider in Lawrence and the game will not be available. Apparently I just don't understand how this all works but it sure sucks.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

My guess is that it has something to do with advertising DOLLAHS. And personally, I would hate to watch a football game without seeing the gecko 276 times in a 3 hour period and the Progressive commercial with the guy sitting around talking to 6 year old kids. They were funny the first few thousand times.

KU 8 years, 4 months ago

You must have zero understanding about marketing, advertising, programming rights and the millions of dollars generated thereby if you ask a silly question like that.

gorilla10 8 years, 4 months ago

hmmm....I will complain! We're in the Big12 for crying out loud. EVERYONE fills up stadiums but us. It's sad. Better job last week but come on

Micky Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah they do, and still lose to North Dakota State and Northern Iowa.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

23k announced attendance at that game.

Robert Brock 8 years, 4 months ago

If the Hawks can score 39 points, I think they will win this one.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

When was the last time we scored 39 points?

Brad Farha 8 years, 4 months ago

If the Hawks have more points than the Owls at the end of the game, I like our chances.

Okay, seriously, I think the problem people are having with the broadcast is that it's on CBS Sports. Unless you have an added sports package to your normal cable subscription, you probably don't have it.

I made the switch from AT&T U-Verse to Comcast Xfinity a month ago so I'd have Metro Sports and pickuip the Jayhawk Network in KC. My big concern now is that I no longer have the Longhorn Network (gasp!) and I think a KU game or two might be on it this year. Fingers crossed that those games are broadcast on LHN and Jayhawk Network at the same time.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

I think the Jayhawk Network is handling the production and broadcast of the Texas game within the state of Kansas and the KC area like they did 2 years ago.

ksjayhawker3791 8 years, 4 months ago

That is correct. If i remember correctly, I think I heard that that game 2 years ago was seen by more people on the Jayhawk network than the Longhorn network

BigAl 8 years, 4 months ago

I purchased the "extra" sports package from WOW thinking I would be covered. As is typical the case with cable providers, once again, I was wrong.

gorilla10 8 years, 4 months ago

I just can't make fun of the Rice crowd after seeing what ours has looked like after the past three years. Although the students did do a nice job last Saturday....

Micky Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

Nothing short of being sold out for every home game this year should be acceptable. I mean, the northern seats are cheap. The fans have to play a role if they want to build a winning tradition. You have to be part of building this.

Micky Baker 8 years, 4 months ago

Directtv as CBSSC as part of it's normal package. Don't have to buy any extra sports package for it. Charter Communications also has it here. You're going to have to give the cable providers some time to lose subscribers before they realize that, hey, this is Kansas and we gotta target KANSANS who are the customers.

It shouldn't be that hard for them, but ya know, this is the result of FCC regulations.

WOW and others in Kansas, get off your laurels and provide the channels your customers want, or they'll leave. (I hope they leave and go to the ones who do carry it).

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