Sunday, Monday night football intros of Jayhawk alums not necessarily a snub toward KU football


I didn't catch it, but more than a few people brought to my attention the fact that former Kansas University offensive lineman Anthony Collins, now a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals, introduced himself with his high school (Central High in Beaumont, Texas) instead of his college during the Bengals' loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday night.

This has become a bit of a trend for former KU players lately and one that has been met by disappointment from KU fans.

Understandably so.

In a world in which every other player on these introductions is from USC, Alabama or “The Ohio State University,” hearing Kansas represented surely would be not only a nice treat for Jayhawk fans but also a huge lift for KU's recruiting.

One of the biggest culprits is New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who, for years, has been saying “North Dallas, Texas,” in place of the school he became an All-American. But evidently Collins has joined in on the fun now, too.

It should be noted that, until recently, not many former Jayhawks were in the position of announcing anything during Sunday or Monday night football intros because very few had become starters, so it's not like the list of guys snubbing KU is all that long. In a sense, though, that may be why it stings the fan base in the first place.

Denver defensive back Chris Harris is one former Jayhawk who has been a fixture in these pre-game introductions during the past couple of years and he has continued to say “Kansas University” each time.

I caught up with Harris quickly the other night for a little insight into why the other guys might be choosing to leave out KU and his answer was nothing short of hilarious. “You never know with those cats,” he said of Talib and Collins, his former Orange Bowl teammates.

Short of asking Talib or Collins themselves, I can't really pick out a good answer. But there are a few options.

  1. They truly might just love their high schools. Many guys, especially athletes, are proud of where they come from and enjoy the opportunity to give the school that got them started a little shout-out. Nothing wrong with that.

  2. It's possible they're just trying to be funny. I can't remember who started it, but a few years ago, guys started repping their preschools or their kindergarten teachers. Nothing wrong with that either.

  3. The last thing I can think of may very well be the reason here and it's something that current KU coach Charlie Weis has talked a lot about since he arrived in town a couple of years ago. When reaching out to former KU football players, Weis found that many guys identified themselves with the coaches for whom they played. They were Glen Mason guys, Mark Mangino guys or Terry Allen guys instead of being Jayhawks. Weis has taken steps to eliminate the division and has hopes of getting all former Jayhawks to view themselves as exactly that. It'll take time, though. And maybe, since they don't know Weis or any of the coaches who came after Mark Mangino, those two are doing it as a way of showing their support for the man who was forced out after one of the most successful stints in KU football history. I know there were a lot of guys who played for Mangino who were upset about how his whole departure went down, so that could very easily be a factor, too.

Regardless of the reason, it's definitely nothing to get worked up about, but it is worth pointing out that them changing their tune certainly would not hurt KU in recruiting and would give KU football fans a reason to smile.


Dillon Davis 7 years, 11 months ago

Missed one reason Matt, and it hurts to say but maybe they don't mention us because we're terrible. If we were having another Orange Bowl type year you think they'd still be snubbing us? I don't. I think they just don't want to be associated with us right now because of all the losing. Just my opinion.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 11 months ago

I hate to say it, Dillon, but I think you're right. I was thinking the same thing as I was going through Matt's list of possible reasons. (Of course that would be a direct contradiction of the headline for the article.)

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 11 months ago

Man, you can spin it however you want. If KU sucks so bad, it would actually be a feather in these NFL players hats that they personally were good enough to make the NFL and be announcing their school on would make them standout even more. If you say "Texas", everybody is expected to be good (Priest Holmes, Jamaal Charles, Larry Johnson...)...why not surprise everybody and say "KU"?

I think Chris Harris was being polite to Aqib Talib by not saying anything negative, as Talib has had some off-field issues...almost to the point maybe we wanted Talib to not say he was from KU...

Ashtin Meerpohl 7 years, 11 months ago

I think maybe you meant Derrick Johnson, not Larry Johnson? Larry went to Penn State but Derrick went to Texas. Just FYI

Jordan Bass 7 years, 11 months ago

I'd rather have them say their high school than "Kansas University"

Doug Cramer 7 years, 11 months ago

I think Chris Harris is trying to tell you what it is. Look no further than reason #3. No doubt its a protest toward KU for firing Mangino.

Bryan Mohr 7 years, 11 months ago

The spin has always seemed to be that few of the players liked playing for Mangino. A big part of his "departure" was related to his alleged... well, we all know the ugly story. This paints a different picture, "I know there were a lot of guys who played for Mangino who were upset about how his whole departure went down".

Matt Tait 7 years, 11 months ago

Nothing wrong with this logic. Well said.

Arnie Bunkers 7 years, 11 months ago

That trend of announcing your HS or even grade school was kind of cute the first year or so it was done. Now its getting old. It seems to be a trend among ex-KU players. If those players are pizzed that we got rid of Mangino, well they need to realize its a business and get over it. I have lost respect for those guys.

Kyle Rohde 7 years, 11 months ago

One more reason it's time for KU to put some of the Mangino guys in the Ring of Honor. I've asked Matt this multiple times via Twitter, and he thinks it's them waiting for the renovations to Memorial Stadium, but I think it's been 5+ years and time for them to start. Enough Mangino guys are worthy to honor one at each home game in 2014. For example: - SE MO State: Kerry Meier - Central Michigan: Anthony Collins - Texas: Todd Reesing - Ok State: Dezmon Briscoe - Iowa State: Nick Reid - TCU: Aqib Talib

Personally, those guys are all worthy of being in the ring of honor considering their stats and that they were part of one of KU's most successful eras of football. You could also consider James McClinton and Jon Cornish, plus a couple others I may be forgetting.

It's a shame they didn't do a 5 year reunion for the Orange Bowl team this year either. Would have been a great way to get all those current NFL guys, plus others, together and move past the anger these guys obviously have towards KU.

W Keith Swinehart II 7 years, 11 months ago

Changing coaches and ADs every two years doesn't breed fondness to the school. A little stability will help, and we have some forward momentum in that direction. Patience and persistance.

Bryan Mohr 7 years, 11 months ago

Heard a rumor that Alan Mulally is introduced in business meetings as Alan "The Chesty Lion" Mulally. Should someone have a talk with him?

Eliott Reeder 7 years, 11 months ago

I know the topic has been beaten to death on here over and over and over again, but man, I have two degrees from KU and I work on campus to this day, and I could care less about the usage of Kansas University vs University of Kansas. I'll never understand why some of you get SO worked up over this issue...

Phil Leister 7 years, 11 months ago

And I'll never understand why people like you don't get worked up over the issue. What does it say on your degrees? Not 'Kansas University', that's for sure. The university, according to itself, is called the University of Kansas. If that's the official name of the school, coming from the school itself, who am I to change it?

"Not Kansas University". It's simple really.

Eliott Reeder 7 years, 11 months ago

I completely understand the argument for proper usage. But in the end, it's just semantics. Everyone in the world still knows exactly which university is being referred to. If a former football or basketball player wants to credit "Kansas University" prior to an NFL or NBA contest, then I'm all for it. So few of them do, as this piece by Tait articulates, that I certainly won't be calling them "dumb" for their minor (in the big scheme of things) error...

Phil Leister 7 years, 11 months ago

It's one thing for a guy like Chris Harris to say it incorrectly. As in, I don't care. But it's the people at the LJW who insist on doing it their own way that upset me. I could call them the Journal Lawrence World, everyone would know what I mean. But what gives me the right to make up my own name for the company when they tell me their name is the Lawrence Journal World? This website's refusal to do it correctly is where most of the criticism on this issue comes from.

Jack Jones 7 years, 11 months ago

A sure sign of the End Times ~ petty, petty, petty. Save the indignation for something really important. This "controversy" is beyond belief. Get a life.

Steve Bower 7 years, 11 months ago

Paul Fairchild (a former KU player and Pro) has a son that just signed with MU.

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