Note: This is all speculation.
When I was in the third grade, I once told a fellow classmate that his fly was down. It really wasn’t and he didn’t appreciate my classic attempt at humor. In fact, he went and told on me to the teacher. Mrs. Lang must have found it at least somewhat humorous, because she never wrote my name on the board.
Aside from the fact that it wasn’t April Fool’s day, this event taught me a valuable lesson -- people generally do not like having pranks pulled on them.
Pranks piss people off and I can only hope that Bill Self and the Jayhawk nation are not about to be punked by blue-chip recruit, Lance Stephenson.
Call me paranoid, but the fact that Stephenson has moved his decision back to April 1st -and has already mentioned that his decision is going to be a surprise- concerns me. We have all seen the signing-day spectacles where Player X puts on one hat, casts it aside, and then puts on a different one.
Stephenson has already made it apparent that he wants his decision to be a spectacle. He moved the date to April 1st so it would align with the McDonald’s All-American game. He has already made it known that it’s going to be a surprise. He’s also made it no secret that his main intentions are to get to the NBA as quickly as possible.
Think about it.
Red Flag #1: Stephenson moves his decision back to April 1st – April Fool’s Day.
Red Flag #2: Stephenson mentions that he has already made his mind up. Why keep people waiting and speculating?
Red Flag #3: Stephenson mentions that his decision is going to be a surprise—but a surprise in what sense? Recent publications indicate that Stephenson is leaning towards Kansas. Will it be a surprise if Stephenson chooses KU when everyone is already expecting him to choose KU?
Red Flag #4: The term 'character issues' seems to surround Stephenson.
I have seen (or heard) about too many recruits punking various Universities. Is this another lame attempt to punk KU or St. Johns?
The punking sets up perfectly. Stephenson has everyone believing (including St. Johns fans) that he is going to choose Kansas. At his press conference, he indicates that he is picking Kansas. Maybe he puts on a hat, or a jersey, or maybe he just says it. Then, he says, “April Fools! I’m going to St. Johns!” And BAM—everyone is surprised!
Only I’m not.
Regardless of his decision, Norm Roberts and Bill Self deserve better than to be punked in such a cliché fashion. Why can’t blue-chip recruits just pick a school?
No hats. No jerseys. No fancy, televised press conferences.
There is, of course, the high probability that I am completely wrong.
I hope I am. I certainly have been before.
First, a few parameters:I am limiting my scope to the past decade (1998-2008), which disqualifies the '97 sweet-sixteen disaster against Arizona. That probably would have topped the list.While some of these moments may have been rather trivial in the grand scheme of things, at the time, they made me want to cry--and sometimes really did.Also, note the title. Some of these moments truly are gut-wrenching and heart-breaking, while others are simply hair-pulling moments. Enjoy and feel free to discuss/critique!
10. "The Streak" comes to an end at Allen Field House West. KU falls to KSU 84-75.Okay, it had to happen at sometime--right? But that doesn't mean it made it any easier to see the wave of purple & black storm the court after the kitties ended the 24-year-long streak. It would have been nice to make it an even quarter century, but to give credit where credit is due, Kstate played very well. Was there a more humiliating streak in college basketball?
9. The Davidson scare; 2008 Regional Finals - KU survives and advances to the final four.This one definitely qualifies as a hair-puller. I couldn't bare to watch much of the second half and actually missed the last play due to my head being stuffed in a pillow and the volume turned to 'mute.' Holy Jesus.
8. Aaron Miles "travels" and Texas-tech banks a last-second three-pointer to hand the '05 Jayhawks their second loss of the season 80-79.Definitely gut-wrenching. The traveling call made on Aaron Miles was one of the worst calls I can remember. As I recall, he had come down with the rebound and had shared possession. Instead of calling a jump ball and awarding KU the ball, ref called traveling and gave Tech the ball back underneath its own basket. To make things worse, a freshman banked in the game winning three-point basket. Please...
7. BU dooms KU once again. KU loses to Bradley and exits in the first round for the second year in a row.I'm probably going to catch some flak for not having this one higher, but we had already tasted the bitterness of first-round defeat the previous season. Also, the Hawks were coming off a Big 12 championship, which lessened the burn. Far less disappointing than the previous year.
6. Wayne Simien gets hurt...again...and again (2003-2005)It stunk to play in the tourney without Wayne Simien and he may have made a difference in the title game. BUT, has there been a single player in the past decade that KU has relied on more than Wayne Simien during his senior campaign? Incredibly (and credit Bill Self), I believe KU went undefeated over the stretch that Simien missed in 04/05.
5. Moody misses free throws. Kansas loses to Missouri in overtime in 2006.I completely lost it when this happened. Christian Moody had a fast break opportunity to end a tie game in Columbia. Moody was fouled on the layup attempt. No problem, right? Well, yes. Moody missed the next two free throws and the game went into over time. KU never had a chance at that point. I spent 2 hours after the game, in seclusion, stewing on my porch. It was probably 20 degrees outside. I didn't feel a thing.
4. The first BU. Bucknell (who?) knocks off Kansas in the first round of the '06 tournamentI'm not even going to explain.
3. Rhode "F---ing" Island. The Paul Pierce led 1998 team loses in the second round.For whatever reason, I don't remember much of this game. I do remember going outside after the game and punting my KU basketball down the street. I didn't go get it.
2. Roy "Goes Home." Roy Williams really does give a sh*t about North Carolina and leaves for his alma mater.In retrospect, this has been anything but heart-breaking. But at the time, it felt like the world was coming to an end. (maybe a little too dramatic?) Who was this Bill Self guy? And why didn't KU land Mark Few? I certainly have gotten over the disappointment, but I still hold a small degree of resentment (whether right or wrong) for Dean Smith.
1. "Twelve for Thirty". The number of free thows attempted/made against Syracuse in the '03 title game.I will never forget this statistic. All Kansas had to do to win the '03 title game was have an average game from the free throw line. Hell, even a slightly below average night would have won the game. What made this even worse was the fact that Syracuse freshman Jerry McNamara had the best first-half of his entire season--career--LIFE-- and lit KU up with SIX threes. Last year's title certainly eased the pain of 2003, but there will always be the "what ifs." Thanks for reading.
Honest to goodness: My roommate decided to have band practice at 12:00 am. I have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning...Will Kansas ever win another BCS bowl game?How long will Mangino coach at KU?How long will Snyder coach at KSU?Was that the dumbest decision ever?I mean, seriously?!What if Bill Snyder does return KSU to glory?How patient will KSU fans be if Snyder wins less than six games next season?Will the mens basketball team win more than 10 games in the conference season?Will it win more than 8?How important are the next six games for Kansas?Was Syracuse truly a good litmus test for Kansas?How long before the fans who are ripping Sherron Collins begin lauding him -again-?Did people forget who stole the ball and hit the pull-within-four shot in the National Championship game?Didn't Bill Self say he wanted Collins to shoot 20 times a game?Is Cole Aldrich NBA bound after this season?How good does next season sound without Cole Aldrich AND Sherron Collins?How good does next season sound WITH Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins?How far will this team advance in March?Do hairstyles have any correlation with field goal percentage?How would you have felt if Kansas were in Memphis's shoes after the title game?What about losing on a last-second 3/4 court Hail Mary (ala Cleveland State v. Syracuse)?Does Julian Wright regret leaving when he did?How much better would Kansas have been last year with Julian Wright?Would KU have been any better?Remember Micah Downs?What about Alex Galindo?Will Bill Self go down as the greatest coach in KU's history?Will he go down as its second greatest?Will the KU women ever return to the national stage?When will my roommate stop playing his guitar?!?!
Listed below are my top five Kansas football victories--of all time. However, I am limiting my scope to games that I personally watched either on television or in person. Because of my age, and the fact that KU has not played in several televised games, I understand that I am probably leaving out some rather impressive victories. So don't crucify me.#5- (2003) KU 34 MU 14: I believe Missouri was or had been ranked in the top 25. Fans stormed the field. Mass craziness.#4- (2007) KU 76 NU 39: A bit of payback for who knows how many years.#3- (2004) KU 31 KSU 28: Tons of big plays. I believe this was the flea-flicker game. The 'streak' comes to an end.#2- (2008) KU 40 MU 37: 'Nuff said.#1- (2008) KU 24 Va Tech 21: Hands down the biggest victory in the history of Kansas football.Honorable mention:(2005) KU 24 ISU 21: Scott Webb field goal in OT made KU bowl eligible. Light and slightly embarrassing field storming after the game.Honorable mention loss:(2004) KU 23 UT 27: Talk about gutsy performances. KU had no business being in that game and had it not been for a dollar-signs pass interference call, or a 4th and 18 scramble by Vince Young, this game immediately makes it in my top 5 KU wins. Thanks for reading. Feel free to discuss and critique.