by David Brox, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have many family and friends that are fans of KU basketball and anyone that knows me at all understands my dislike for the program. Many can’t fathom why as it is a little bit deeper than just being a KState grad. There are many fans that will watch KU basketball but at the same time root for their conference foes. I am just not wired that way. I will not cheer for any team, program or organization that is based on “privilege”. I would say that I have a similar disdain for Alabama football or any blue blood school that has an established brand that lends itself to easily acquiring top tier talent. The Yankees in the 90’s is another glaring example of this.
Does this mean that the players at these schools are not good? No, they are in many cases the cream of the crop and when you have this level of athlete you don’t have to push them hard to work. This conversation translates well to the endless discussions about private schools and the success that they enjoy in the state of Kansas. I think one of the most hypocritical situations is being against the advantages of a private school and at the same time be a fan of KU basketball. The very reason that makes private schools successful is what makes KU basketball thrive.
What does privilege mean in this context? The Blue Bloods get the best coaches and players. The question each year is not if they will get a top 50 recruit but how many. If you are in a position to take for granted the fact you are going to secure some of the very best talent then there you have privilege. This generation of athlete has really changed the landscape of sports. The day of free agency has moved into high school and now college. You are no longer cheering for a team or organization but for the player. Lebron James is the brand now that has a fan base.
I enjoy the banter but I wanted to start a conversation to explain myself a bit. As a man that grew up from little and worked hard to educate myself and earn a lot, I can’t jump on a bandwagon based on privilege. Literally this line of thinking takes the fun out of sports but this is what we have evolved sports into.
If you attended KU or are just a fan then god bless you. I sincerely enjoy the banter and discussion. I think all the players on the team are incredibly talented and I have a lot of respect for the coaches. I am however incredibly passionate about balance and opportunity. This is why I cheer for the little guy to disrupt the system. Just like the Kansas City Royals and hopefully at some point before I die the Chiefs.