SPORTS: Sunflower Showdown

Journalism staff members compare experiences being college fans of big-time rivalry in Lawrence
SPORTS: Sunflower Showdown


University of Kansas

In head coach Bill Self’s introduction speech to the press in 2003, when speaking about other decorated basketball programs, said “those places are great, but there’s no place like Kansas.” Growing up in Lawrence, a deep sense of pride and community is present within our fanbase. There is no need to beat around the bush — when talking sports, the Kansas fan base hangs their hats on a program that is a cemented “blue blood”: the men’s basketball team. 

A storied program that no one will ever take away from us; the birthplace of basketball, six overall national championships, and the renowned Allen Fieldhouse, the revered cathedral of college basketball. The expectations never fade for the Jayhawks in March: hang a banner in the Fieldhouse. 

The fan base down the road in Manhattan never disappoints to contribute to what is an exciting and often bitter rivalry. My K-State supporting friends always remind me of the sorrows their football program has brought Kansas throughout the course of my lifetime, and the classic response is to remind them that basketball season is right around the corner. Although, now is a funny time, as Kansas football head coach Lance Leipold’s football squad is trending upwards and Kansas State Head coach Jerome Tang’s basketball team made it to the Elite 8 last year. The future is exciting as it offers a fresh, non-predictable perspective on the rivalry. There would be much surprise if one school shared all of the wealth in the next five-to-ten years. 

Kansas State ultimately adds an extra element to being a Kansas fan. There is no breathing room for either school, as the two fanbases certainly won’t allow for it. 

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