Archive for Friday, November 30, 2007

Spoiled?

When Kansas basketball fans have been so vocal for so long, why is one less-than-full house cause for criticism?

November 30, 2007

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The past weekend raised the question of whether the Kansas University basketball program suffers from a sort of embarrassment of riches where fan support is concerned.

The unbeaten Jayhawks were playing a strong Arizona team on a Sunday night and the anticipation of most was that Allen Fieldhouse would be packed to the rafters for the contest, which turned out to be a true thriller.

Coach Bill Self noted that one section of the fieldhouse in particular, where loud and supportive students are known to dwell, had not been nearly as full as expected and that "lack of fan support" could have been a factor had KU lost, which it didn't.

But bear in mind that this was a Sunday night game, which is not routine for many KU followers. Further, it was at the tag end of the Thanksgiving holiday period when a number of students perhaps were still en route back to campus.

Add that the preceding night, Kansas and Missouri had played a football game that drew some 80,000 in Kansas City. Burned out after a long week of promotion, let down by the fact Missouri won, a bit hung over from the Thanksgiving festivities? All these and other factors, including homework and a new ticket policy for students, doubtless figured in the lower total of students at the game.

Yet the fact that the old basketball hall wasn't jammed for one game drew immediate comment about a "lack of support." Isn't that a bit much?

How many times over the years have KU fans turned out and yelled their lungs out to support the Jayhawks? It may have slipped some memories, but that hasn't always produced victory. How could a thousand or more KU students in the stands Sunday night have spurred the Jayhawks to perform visibly better? The fieldhouse hardly could have been any louder during critical points in the game.

Now and then can't the fans be allowed a sub-par showing? Sunday night happened to be an inopportune time for many KU followers and it seems the coach and other critics are out of line, spoiled perhaps. KU Athletic Department officials reportedly are looking at providing tickets for selected groups to ensure full houses for KU games.

Empty seats in Allen Fieldhouse aren't a common occurrence, and the coach, KU officials and even any of the players consider a one-time situation like this to be cause for criticism is a symbol of an embarrassment of riches. But the only embarrassment should be for those who complained about fans who do so much for them.

And bear in mind that the budget-masters at KU probably didn't lose a cent because all the tickets that produce revenue had long ago been bought and paid for.

Comments

cowboy 8 years, 9 months ago

Its due to the difficulty in transferring tickets , another Lew program ! Plus all the corporate folks with big money that didn't show , lots of empty chairback seats.

JayhawkAlum03 8 years, 9 months ago

I have to kindly disagree with this editorial. It's really not about the revenue at all...it's about KU's tradition and pride at having one of the best venues in the country. Having been at most of the games this season, I've been noticing a shift in the crowd behavior from past years. Maybe it's just because we've had such an easy time so far (with the exception of Arizona), but the Fieldhouse just hasn't been the same.

It seems we've got more and more people showing up 5, 10, or 15 minutes late and many more people than I remember wearing dresses, skirts, button up shirts and dress pants, etc...basically anything but a KU shirt. And on the flip side, by the end of the game the crowd has thinned out substantially. The exodus began around the 12:00 timeout in Wednesday's game to the point that it was kind of sad by the end how few remained. I'd say that only one game this season has been a true full house, so this really hasn't been an isolated occurrence.

I'm not sure anyone is really complaining. I suspect that it is more surprise than anything else. I'm not judging anyone's behavior, but just saying that you didn't see this in the past as much as I have this season.

bugmenot 8 years, 9 months ago

People leaving early has nothing to do with Lew's kiabosh on ticket transferring (though I agree that's another problem unto itself). Selling tickets to the highest bidder results in a lot of non-fans (corporate seats, etc.) who don't care enough to stay 'til the end.

thanksforcoming 8 years, 9 months ago

I think it was because of the night in Arrowhead. Bill Self needs to realize that KU is now at least a two sport school. The fans will be there. No doubt. It was a good win. I saw it on TV.. I could have gone, but I had some laundry to do so I wouldn't have to wear the same underwear I did the day before. I traveled all break and went to the game Saturday. Sunday would have been too much.

okjhok 8 years, 9 months ago

Then you're a joke of a fan. Laundry??? Laughable...buy some more clothes. A fan of the 'Hawks would never miss a game against our biggest non-con rival. Give your tickets to someone who wants them.

janeyb 8 years, 9 months ago

There was one game last year when the corporate seats had many Purple clad butts in them. That's not a student problem. That's a Lew problem.

With tuition up again, I have to work more. No time for games except for tele. I've enjoyed the games, but have found myself bored at times. I don't know if it is due to the competition being so bad, or if the JHawks are a little lackluster themselves. I usually can't tear myself away, but I did some chores during the Arizona game, and would just check out the score occasionally. I fell asleep during the Florida whoever game.--didn't even wake up for the new Project Runway.

Tuition up, rent up, utilities up, gas up--I have less time for basketball. I've got to graduate and get out of this place.

OnlyTheOne 8 years, 9 months ago

The editorial is correct. You shouldn't take shots at those who DO support you (so some were missing one night!). You should take shots at the "suits" that decided $$$$$ is much more important than loyalty in college sports - You catching this Lew and Hemmenway (sp?)?

trvlronda 8 years, 9 months ago

The whole thing about the students not showing up is certainly an anomaly. However, I think the real concern is the empty "high roller" seats. Allen Fieldhouse is well-known as a top college basketball venue. Yet, if viewing the game on television, it appears the place is only 2/3 full. What is happening? I remember a certain KU vs Kentucky blow out that EVERYONE was standing until the final tick of the clock. Are those days gone? Can't remember the last time the chair backers stood to cheer on the Jayhawks. Put the students back down on the floor, and the casual (man, I got to get out of here to beat traffic) fans back up out of view of television cameras--Problem solved.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 9 months ago

KU has stepped into the entertainment business which is different than varsity college athletics. The entertainment business is very fickle. I also suspect the customer Lew has catered to had thier seen and be seen moment on Saturday night, the game is secondary to these fans.

Mackadoo 8 years, 9 months ago

I was more than disappointed to see (and hear the announcers talk about) the lack of students at the game while I had to sit at home wishing GA tickets would have even gone on sale to the general public.

Bill Self was right to call everyone out, just like Roy was right on when he spoke of the "wine and cheese crowd" a few years ago.

Brad Watson 8 years, 9 months ago

LETS FACE IT......THE BILL SELF ERA HAS ITS DRAW BACKS...BUT I LOVE THIS TEAM....BOTTOM LINE IS...PEOPLE COME IN AND CHANGE THINGS WHEN ITS NOT NECESSARY...I THINK THEY DO IT OUT OF BOREDOM...THAT VIDEO SCREEN IS TERRIBLE...YOU DONT NEED IT..IT TAKES AWAY FROM THE ENVIORNMENT...ALSO ALLOWING THE CORPORATE PEOPLE TOO BIG A FOOT HOLD IS A PROBLEM...ITS IMPORTANT THAT WE GET BACK TO WHAT THE BUILDING WAS ABOUT...I LOVE LEW PERKINS..BUT SOME OF THESE CHANGES BAFFLE ME..WE DONT NEED TO BE UP TO DATE ON EVERYTHING...ITS LIKE PAINTING AN ANTIQUE...YOU JUST DONT DO IT..YOU RESTORE IT WITH REFINISHING...LEW IF YOU ARE LISTENING...PUT IN A COMMENT...THANK YOU..I LOOK FORWARD TO SOME COMMON SENSE IDEAS

PeteJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

More KU and Lew-bashing from the Simons. Surprise, surprise. Quit whining, Dolph.

thanksforcoming 8 years, 9 months ago

I did give my tickets to someone, money bags. I don't have more clothes because I spend my money on tickets to go to games, jerk.

nobody1793 8 years, 9 months ago

Fire Bill Self. Fire Lew Perkins. Fire Mangino. Fire Hemminway. Fire Lariviere. Fire the entire F&O staff. Fire that nice old guy who works at the union bookstore. Fire me.

That'll show 'em.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 9 months ago

I have been less excited about KU basketball the last few years. I think Bill Self is a great coach and nice guy, but the style of basketball we now play is not as stimulating as during Larry Brown and Roy Williams eras.

MattressMan 8 years, 9 months ago

thanksforcoming (Anonymous) says: "I could have gone, but I had some laundry to do so I wouldn't have to wear the same underwear I did the day before."

Oh come on now, a true Jayhawk fan would have gone commando, lol.

Noweigh 8 years, 9 months ago

Dirty Linen is right on..........start having coaches tape up a notice in the Union about "basketball tryouts for the young men" and see what happens to attendance. Go ahead and whine about big time athletics, big money, etc. Take it away and most fans will go away with it. Face it, we love winning(and the price it takes to win) as much as any other group of fans. We are not above the fray at all.........and that's ok! The first time we go 8-20 in hoops, getting tickets will not be a problem.

del888 8 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of 'high roller' seats. Can we somehow get rid of that ditsy blond lady who always sits behind the TV announcers? She's been sitting there for years, and still acts like a 10 year old who is trying to be seen on TV. Maybe she could be moved up about 10 rows!

Leprechaunking13 8 years, 9 months ago

Well when you have to swipe your student I.D. instead of handing a paper ticket at the door, it makes less students able to go because they can't just hand their tickets to their buddys on nights when they can't make it, seems like this could be a Lew problem. Also, I think the time change they made of starting the games at 7 instead of 7:15 or 7:30 like in years past has people showing up 5, 10, 15 minutes late.

Meatwad 8 years, 9 months ago

Rich people own those seats and many of them don't care that much if they go or not, or if their seat goes empty. It's not a lot of money to them, and too much hassle for them to try to get rid of their tickets last minute. I've stood outiside trying to buy a ticket a few times and had some nice, rich people GIVE me a ticket that was in their pocket, going to waste had they not seen me.

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