Head out to Memorial Stadium for Fan Appreciation Night at 5:30 this evening and you can:
¢ Watch the Kansas University football team, coming off last season's big victories over Kansas State and Missouri, work the final 30 minutes of practice.
¢ Snap photographs and get autographs from KU coaches and players.
¢ Grab schedule T-shirts, cups and cards, posters, yard signs and window clings, if you get there early enough.
The best part? You won't need your attorney to accompany you for any of that.
Now, if you'd like to stop by the Quarterback Club table to sign up, proceed at your own risk. Bring your lawyer to decipher what rights you'll be signing away. No big ones, really, unless you consider freedom of speech significant.
Before you make out your check payable to QB Club for $100 ($150 per couple), read one of the funniest paragraphs ever written:
"ATTENTION: Comments (verbal or written) made by Coach Mangino or his staff at club functions are intended for KU QB Club members only and are 'off the record.' By signing below the applicant agrees to adhere to this requirement and in signing warrants and promises that he/she will not divulge any comments to any person; applicant also agrees not to post or provide information to post on the Internet any information or insight gained from club functions without written consent from Coach Mangino and the KU Quarterback Club."
I haven't laughed that hard since reading Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" and Joseph Wambaugh's "The Secrets of Harry Bright."
Just imagine, you join the QB Club, tell your brother who lives in Chicago that Mark Mangino is really high on receiver Brian Murph. He posts it on the Net. Howard Schnellenberger reads it, has his Florida Atlantic defensive backs triple cover Murph and pull off an upset. The Jayhawks bounce back from the loss to go 5-5 the rest of the way and miss a bowl game, thanks to Murph getting shut out in Week 1.
Next thing you know, Kansas University is suing you for damages incurred by missing the bowl game. There goes the house, the college savings, the jewelry, the Jayhawk collection, and (ouch) the money you had set aside for basketball season tickets for years to come.
Or here's another option: Show up at Friday's first of nine meetings (5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Adams Alumni Center) with a signed check, refuse to sign the application and see if they let you join. Mangino is the featured guest, and if you can get in the door you'll be treated to interesting stories from a personable coach who is genuinely excited about his team.
If you sign the form, just to be on the safe side, have your vocal chords surgically removed. If you're tempted to share insights via e-mail, you might consider having your fingers taped together. You do both and you can keep your house, college savings, jewelry, Jayhawk collection, and stash of cash for basketball tickets.
Of course, there's another possible outcome: The QB Club could change its new addled policy and return to the previous way of doing business, one that could be summed up in one word: trust.