Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Commentary: Apparently, Jayhawks babble and suck

March 16, 2006


What the heck is a Jayhawk?

I investigated this silly nickname in my quest to present here a comprehensive analysis of Bradley's upcoming game against the University of Kansas.

Mind you, I won't trifle with breakdowns of athletes or game strategy. That's not necessary, as Bradley surely will win.

How do I know this? Bradley always beats Kansas.

Granted, they've played only once, way back in 1950. But that game also was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Bradley not only won but went on to the championship.

That's what you call a half-century's worth of momentum. BU's on a roll, baby!

With that all settled, let's get back to this Jayhawk nonsense.

The term arose from settlers from Illinois (ironical, ain't it?). Its origin isn't clear, but "jayhawk" came to refer to ruffians with the habit of robbing, looting, and general lawlessness.

Charming, eh? The perfect team logo would feature a whiskey-sodden cattle-rustler swinging from a noose. Then again, such imagery might not engender much in the way of alumni donations.

Instead, the school mascot is a goofy-grinned, color-streaked bird - one that could star in an animated movie, "Heckle and Jeckle Visit Brokeback Mountain."

The school's Web page says the jayhawk is a fearsome combo of two birds: "The blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob other nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter. The message here: Don't turn your back on this bird."

Scared to death, I checked out these species a little further. The blue jay, indeed, is known for attacking other birds' nests - to nibble eggs. Possible slogan: "Look out for us Jayhawks - we suck eggs!"

Then again, a Cornell University study showed that just one percent of blue jays eat eggs. Instead, they eat bugs. Wow. They can outmuscle a cricket.

As for sparrow hawks, they live in less-than-majestic perches: the tops of telephone poles. As for being "stealthy hunters," they boast the uncanny ability to outwit and snatch the likes of worms. As birds of prey, they're bug-eaters.

If you watch the game Friday, you'll hear the Jayhawk fight song, known as the Rock Chalk chant. I won't bore you with the history of this droning babble, which essentially pays homage to the most exciting thing on campus: a big chunk of limestone (hey, it's Kansas).

The school calls the tune "world famous," but I don't get it. The song sounds like monks either chanting in prayer or moaning from torture. If I had a hound dog that wailed so miserably, I'd shoot it.

Still, KU alumni are rabid about the school, especially its environs of Lawrence. I took a peek at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, to get a glimpse at the town's heritage.

Apparently, Lawrence's most famous son is Hugh Beaumont, aka Ward Cleaver from "Leave It to Beaver." Impressive, eh?

How much did Hugh Beaumont love Lawrence? As soon as he got out of high school, he blew right out of town and went to a far more cosmopolitan hamlet: Chattanooga, Tenn.

He couldn't be persuaded to go to KU, even with its mystique of the Jayhawk. That's what happens when your school mascot is an egg-

sucking bug-eater that sings like a dying monk.

That's pathetic. In a fight with Bradley's mascot, the Jayhawk would get creamed.

(Note to KU: Bradley has no mascot. That's the point).


badger 12 years, 1 month ago

This isn't all just tongue-in-cheek?

I didn't know I was supposed to take silly posturing and pregame mockery seriously.

I thought it was funny.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 1 month ago

He's getting exactly the response he wanted.

BTW, be aware that if you email him, he'll post your email on his paper's website, complete with your name and email address (so spammers can mine it.)

mom_of_three 12 years, 1 month ago


If you go to the Peoria Journal Star, and read the "journalists" comments regarding the emails he was sent - I don't think it was "tongue in cheek."
If he was just making fun of the Jayhawk, as you think he might have been, he should have at least paid respect to the University and basketball team, which he didn't.

mom_of_three 12 years, 1 month ago

Someone needs to sing the chant in his ear on Friday night, very LOUDLY!!

mom_of_three 12 years, 1 month ago

Another article in the Peoria Journal Star says the Rock Chalk chant doesn't occur in pregame anymore...HHHMMM.....what is he talking about...

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

mom -

Actually, the reason I thought it was tongue-in-cheek started with this bit here:

"How do I know this? Bradley always beats Kansas.

Granted, they've played only once, way back in 1950. But that game also was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Bradley not only won but went on to the championship.

That's what you call a half-century's worth of momentum. BU's on a roll, baby!"

He starts off with how obviously one win 56 years ago must be a 'streak' and guarantee a win. In further columns he points out that KU doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humour, and prints letters from some KU fans who actually seem to agree.

I think he was making fun of people who take basketball rivalries too seriously. And, unfortunately, in response to him, I'm afraid that KU fans seem to have somewhat made his point for him.

He wasn't making fun of the mascot. He was making fun of KU Basketball itself and by extension all of rabid fandom. The whole enchilada. Now, the timing was a tad insensitive, due to recent weather events, but it's not as if he said that the reason Lawrence got hit with a microburst because KU sucked enough to cause the downdraft.

It's a team, and a game, and the mascot for a game, and affronts offered should perhaps be considered with a touch less sturm und drang and a little more perspective. Try reading what some small-town Texas newspapers print about high school football season. That'll curl your hair.

mom_of_three 12 years, 1 month ago

You and I have read it differently, and I have never read anything like his column, except in a college newspaper.
I also read his comments to the emails which were sent to him, and those were on line with his commentary.

Yeah, I don't think tongue in cheek quite covers it.

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