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Archive for Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tired taunt

December 27, 2006

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To the editor:

If there's a rating system that grades the character of basketball fans, KU's home crowd would rank at or near the top in the categories of excitement, volume, knowledge and wit.

Ostentatiously reading newspapers while opposing teams are introduced (demonstrating our total disinterest) - this pregame bit of fan participation is one of the funniest things anyone will ever see on TV.

Not so funny is our lust for endlessly hollering "air ball!" after no-rim-contact misses by opposing players. Regardless how brilliantly skilled, every player - including every Jayhawk - will eventually put up shots that miss everything; it's just one of basketball's realities.

It would be sporting and witty to yell "air ball!" just once immediately after the miss. But to keep yelling it each time that same player subsequently touches the ball, this is heckling. Kansas players on the court never heckle opponents, so what is being demonstrated is that KU fans are folks who relish inflicting emotional abuse on visiting players. Is the abuse necessary, or even wise?

Longtime KU fans remember the widespread cold hatred that coach Billy Tubbs' Oklahoma Sooner squads called down on their own school when they would run onto the court and dance mockingly, deliberately taunting the fans of teams they'd just whipped.

The relentless verbal taunting of opposing players by Allen Fieldhouse crowds could be making our Jayhawks a squad that TV viewers around the country love to see lose anywhere, anytime. Why make enemies?

Joe Hyde,

Lawrence

Comments

Confrontation 8 years ago

Why don't you just cheer for Mizzou, Joe? It's obvious that we have enemies (also known as opposing teams). The student section has been doing this for a very long time, and I don't think anyone cares that it bothers you.

Linda Endicott 8 years ago

Since I've seen pretty much fans from every college do this on TV, I don't think it's that big a deal.

Besides, from what I've read about the players, they have trained themselves to tune it out anyway. So chances are they don't even hear them when they do it.

mom_of_three 8 years ago

I have even heard tv announcers laugh at the "airball" chants, because they are so loud, and unrelenting. It's not like they are chanting airball during freethrows.

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