Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion items from writers who share our purpose of widening the dialog about how public insurance policies have an effect on the day-to-day lives of individuals all through our state. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Affiliation and teaches visible journalism and photojournalism on the College of Kansas.

Sunday night time, I sat on the sofa, a cocktail in hand, watching Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes trot onto the sphere. Trailing the Los Angeles Chargers by 4, Kansas Metropolis wanted to drive 75 yards within the last 1:46 to attain a landing. A area purpose wouldn’t be sufficient. 

And but, there I reclined on the couch.

I didn’t tempo the room. I didn’t test the Chiefs’ win likelihood. Like so many different followers of Kansas Metropolis-area groups by the previous decade, I waited for my staff’s preordained win.

Supporting the area’s groups the previous 10 years has been like that previous online game, Frogger — solely with out the splat. We’ve got scooted throughout the street, from the enjoyment of 1 staff to the championships of one other.

Because the Royals tanked, Sporting Kansas Metropolis topped their league. As Sporting pale, the Chiefs surged. When the Chiefs misplaced within the playoffs, the Jayhawks gained in March Insanity. If you’re keen to desert your ardent fandom of 1 descending staff for the rise of one other, the Kansas Metropolis space has been the place to be a fan.

My 13-year-old boy has actually by no means recognized the darkness of residing in a sports activities quagmire. Liberated by a day without work college in 2015, he boarded a bus for downtown Kansas Metropolis to get a glimpse of the Royals’ World Sequence parade.

4 years later, we watched the Chiefs board double-decker buses for their very own celebration. Sporting KC supplied us an opportunity to see two gamers who represented the US within the World Cup. Kansas Metropolis professional sports activities has supplied him a glimmering native staff always. 

This 12 months, he additionally traced the Jayhawks males’s basketball staff on his bracket to the championship. The College of Kansas’ streak of dominance in Huge 12 basketball bordered on absurdity throughout our final decade, and even earlier than. Huge 12 basketball groups can earn the common season title, the convention event title or each. The Jayhawks have gained or shared the common season title 20 instances. The opposite 11 groups? Solely 11 titles mixed. Within the convention event, a format that rather more simply bounces out superior groups by one dangerous consequence, the Jayhawks have nonetheless gained practically half.

(And who would have thought the 2022 soccer Jayhawks would execute this screeching U-turn of a season?)

It hasn’t all the time been this manner. The Royals and Chiefs have examined followers with lengthy stretches of distress. To name the futility that flanks the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 seasons merely “dropping seasons” understates the dismal nature of these groups. Since 2002, Royals followers endured six seasons with 100 or extra losses.

It hasn’t all the time been this manner. The Royals and Chiefs have examined followers with lengthy stretches of distress. To name the futility that flanks the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 seasons merely “dropping seasons” understates the dismal nature of these groups. Since 2002, Royals followers endured six seasons with 100 or extra losses.

Likewise, the Chiefs declare an period of bitter soccer — particularly when put next with the present golden age. The latest groups are unprecedentedly sizzling, successful a document six consecutive AFC West division titles. They’re poised to win one other. Over the previous seven seasons (not together with this present one), the Chiefs have gained 83 video games.

Right here is your trivia query: What number of seasons would it not have taken to earn 83 wins in the event you began counting in 1972? The reply: 14 — double the quantity in the course of the Andy Reid period. 

Contemplate the psychic drain of residing in a metropolis that misplaced so typically. And contemplate how invincible it makes us really feel to have a winner within the area always.

It definitely can lead us to conceitedness. Or, as I skilled Sunday whereas watching Mahomes rally the Chiefs, it breeds a chill confidence, a relaxed assurance that we followers don’t want to stress. It’s going to be OK. We imagine that we are going to win.

With lower than two minutes to handle, Mahomes flung one go after which one other to dissolve the Chargers’ protection. The landing to tight finish Travis Kelce felt much less like shocking fan euphoria and extra like deja vu. Like Lorenzo Cain making a circus catch within the outfield in 2015. Like opening a sports activities app on our telephones to seek out Sporting KC advancing in its event. Like Invoice Self smirking as he climbed the ladder to chop down the nets.

The hazard of a run like that is forgetting to savor it. Simply ask the followers in Detroit, with 4 main sports activities groups, most of them failing to submit successful data a lot much less advance meaningfully within the playoffs.

Cincinnati, regardless of three Tremendous Bowl appearances, doesn’t have a single trophy. Add this to Cincinnati’s struggling: the hapless Reds who haven’t gained their division previously 10 years.

I ask this of you as fellow followers. Deploy all your superstitions to maintain this streak going. Don’t wash the fortunate socks. Drive the identical method to the stadium each week. Eat the identical pregame meal of sauerkraut and bratwursts.

However no matter you do, don’t shut your eyes. That is too uncommon — and enjoyable — to overlook.

By its opinion part, the Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who find themselves affected by public insurance policies or excluded from public debate. Discover data, together with how one can submit your individual commentary, right here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *