Saturday was the day of the Final Four match-ups in March Madness. I was on my way to Boardwalk Bar and Grill with Nate, Matt, Erika, and Sara to watch the game. While not so unusual to find the games on in certain establishments around the San Diego area, it was odd to pull up to the Boardwalk and see a KU flag waving in the breeze a top the roof and a banner proudly proclaiming the Boardwalk as San Diego’s home of the Jayhawks.
Well, I found it odd. Matt said it was common in most cities. And seriously, it was the most fun I’ve ever had watching a college basketball game on TV. I felt like I was at the game in San Antonio! Not a North Carolina fan in sight (and if they were there, they knew better than to make themselves known), the entire restaurant was overflowing with Navy and Red colors; it was so packed, we ended up watching the game outside on the patio, sitting on the brick wall. But it didn’t even matter. The energy was high, the food was good, and the crowd was rowdy and cheered and booed and sang the KU chants every chance they got. You couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement!
Complete strangers came together under one common element – they all had graduated/gone to school at KU. That made everyone instant friends. They all knew the cheers, many remembered the day their former beloved coach announced he was returning to North Carolina (which only fueled “boos” when he was shown on TV), and they all wore the same colors.
It made me sad to think that this was something my alma mater would never have: 1) they wouldn’t have any bar that would be home for a conservative Christian college unless some graduate who finally felt the freedom of being able to drink thought it would be funny to open a bar and turn it into the “official home”…which, honestly, wouldn’t surprise me 2) the day my alma mater’s basketball team’s games are broadcast on national television will be a day that goes down in history (nothing against my team…but I don’t think anyone actually broadcasts the NCCAA championships) 3) Since my alma mater changed the team mascot right after I graduated, it would be difficult to determine which one would make its home in some establishment. Would it be “Official Home of the Crusaders” and offend a good portion of the population, or “Official Home of the Storm” and confuse many and cause great bitterness in the hearts of the alum (Like Trajan did for many KU alum)?
It would be nice to have common gathering places around the country for my former college classmates and I to commiserate and re-connect; as is, the only way to do so is to return to our place of education for Homecoming, which for many is now many, many miles away and too expensive.
But, oh well. Such is the lot of those who graduate from a small, private college instead of a large, state University. In the meantime, I shall live vicariously through Nate, Matt, and Erika, and go buy myself a KU shirt.