Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Jayhawk fans storm downtown to bask in afterglow of Final Four victory

Fans storm Mass. Street on Saturday following KU's 64-62 victory over Ohio State.

Fans storm Mass. Street on Saturday following KU's 64-62 victory over Ohio State.

April 1, 2012


We’re going to the ’ship.

So was the chant as hundreds of Kansas University men’s basketball fans flooded into Massachusetts Street Saturday night after the team beat Ohio State in a nail-biting 64-62 victory in the NCAA Tournament’s national semifinal. Fans hugged, high-fived and jumped for joy, celebrating in style with a mass mobbing of the closed-off street, collective excitement running wild.

Lawrence resident Von Edman watched the Jayhawks beat the Buckeyes in the law offices near Eighth and Massachusetts streets and then joined in the procession of happy Jayhawks.

“It’s tradition here,” he said. “We watch the game, then we watch the mayhem.”

Recent graduate Mariel Baki remembers the last time Kansas fans chanted about the championship in 2008. This flood of people reminded her of that night when Kansas beat John Calipari-led Memphis to win it all.

“This was too close for comfort,” she said of Saturday’s game. “But I’m excited and proud of them. And this is an awesome community to do this.”

Just a few minutes after the win, with thousands of fans high-fiving their way down the street, a second chant broke out, short and sweet: “KU! KU!” The Jayhawk pride was palpable. Kyle Johnson took it all in, proud, too, in what a supposedly not-so-great team had already accomplished.

“If this is a rebuilding year, I want to rebuild every year,” he said.

Theron Howley walked from Louise’s, 1009 Mass., and into the fray with an 8-foot-plus-tall flag pole, Jayhawk colors flying high.

He too was reminded of 2008, when he carried the flag. That flag is lucky, he said, and so he had to carry it again.

“You don’t mess with lucky,” he said.

Lucky flag or not, the “tradition” posed a problem for law enforcement, who were out in force with nearly 200 officers on patrol downtown. Overall, the high-spirited crowd remained genial, with no major crime incidents or bookings as of early this morning. But officers did deal with many calls and worked to keep peace — along with people off light poles and roofs.

And as the basketball players get ready for 8:23 p.m. Monday, when they’ll play No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in the “’ship”, the jubilant fans have one last chant, one that continued to float on and around Mass. Street and beyond:

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, go KU.


gsxr600 6 years ago

Pro tip: don't park your car within 1 mile of Mass.

deec 6 years ago

So west of Iowa or east of Haskell,then?

somebodynew 6 years ago

If you want it to be safe, yeah those would be good spots.

Janis Pool 6 years ago

I learned the hard way. LOL No damage but we had to wait an extra hour to go home.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

weird, I had no problem getting in or out. I even found a parking spot right on Vermont.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

A few vehicle roof tops did not look the same as before they arrived.

Overall the crowd was friendly.....

bornon7 6 years ago

I have never high fived so many people in my life! Great for Lawrence!

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

A little vandalism never hurt anybody, right?

bballmom23 6 years ago

Are you kidding me. I have thousands of dollars of damage to my car. Idiots broke windshield, damaged roof, hood, trunk and mirror. Who has to pay for this? I DO

jayhawk1125 6 years ago

I think it would be obvious not to have your car on Mass St. That damage was 100% preventable if you used a little common sense.

asixbury 6 years ago

+1 This newspaper had been running annoucements all week before, warning people not to park on Mass when the game starts. I guess common sense isn't that common any more. Also, your insurance will pay for the car; you only have to pay the deductible. If you don't have insurance, than you're an idiot.

bballmom23 6 years ago

First of all, I don't live in Lawrence and I wasn't driving my car nor did I park it on Mass Street. Believe me my son hasn't wanted to come home all weekend but that doesn't excuse the people that think doing over $10,000 damage to a vehicle just because it was parked legally somewhere. So jayhawk1125 are you one of those on a red honda that night because I am not going to stop until I get the footage of the people on my car and I will sue their a** off.

asixbury 6 years ago

Your son parked it on Mass then? The street was blocked off; there is absolutely no reason the car should have been parked there, knowing full well what was to occur that night. Not that that excuses the vandals, but your son should use a little more common sense. Like I said before, report it to your insurance (if you have any) and you only have to pay the deductible. Remember for future reference, do not park on Mass after a major bball game!

asixbury 6 years ago

Sorry to hear about the damage. But nothing can be done about it now. Have your son work off the deductible and pay you back for it. Good luck catching the vandals. The crowd was absolutely huge, so it's probably not reasonable that they will be found.

jayhawk1125 6 years ago

You caught me.............. Uh but I'm just saying it was 100% preventable, excuse me for stating the obvious. Good luck on your hunt though, that's pretty ambitious!!

mokshunter 6 years ago

After hearing of everything that happened in Kentucky, I was ready to give KU fans a bit of praise. ( hard for me to do ) . Then I read a few comments like this one and , nope, no praise due. To say it's her fault for parking her car on a public street, that she had no common sense in doing so? KU fans have no class either . I will never understand how celebrating a school victory is grounds for destroying other peoples property. If you are that "happy" , why not go trash your own stuff and leave others alone?

JackMcKee 6 years ago

If it's a tradition, it's a new one because the Mass Street celebrations just started getting big in 2008. And what kind of a name is Von Edmond?

JackMcKee 6 years ago

and I can't think of a group of people I would less want to watch a game with than a bunch of prepaid legal lawyers in a cheesy wood paneled office with furniture that came straight out of 1974. No thanks.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

and I can't think of a group of people I would less want to watch a game with than a bunch of prepaid legal lawyers in a cheesy wood paneled office with furniture that came straight out of 1974. No thanks.

Kat Christian 6 years ago

You're right - it feels like the college students had taken over this town now. To them its one big par-tay, but to the adult residents it makes us somewhat of a prisoner in our own town unless (those who think they haven't aged) go and party with the kids. Me I prefer not to. However, if it were a celebration where I'd want to have a nice dinner out - I would have had to go to Kansas City in order to get away from the college riff-raff. It was like dodging bullets yesterday when I went to the store abour 4ish. You'd think the older these kids get they'd have enough sense not to just walk out in the street without looking for cars. Idiots. I feel like a minority in this town. However, at the same time I have to say it could have been worse - look how Kentucky students behaved. But if these keeps up we are bound to get there.

Bursting 6 years ago

haha get outta here sunshine, you are free to leave anytime

Joda Totten 6 years ago

don't know where you were, but as I was driving down Mass from 7th to 11th after 4pm while performing work duties, I saw a calm, happy crowd of college-agers, teens, older adults, & families having a civilized good time.

asixbury 6 years ago

News flash, sunshine, you live in a college town. I am an adult and I went down to Mass with my father, and we both enjoyed the hell out of it. It was a great spectacle to be a part of. The warmth and friendliness of the crowd and police officers was amazing! Stuff like this does not happen elsewhere in Kansas. I know, I have lived in most parts of Kansas.

persevering_gal 6 years ago

It's not like this is an everyday occurrence. If you were here in 2008, you should have known what it would be like. Lawrence is a college town. There tends to be college students, and yes, not all are the most sophisticated, but neither are all adults.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

So Kentucky fans rioted last night, setting fire to things, breaking windows, getting pepper sprayed.

KU fans whooped it up too, don't get me wrong- there was at least one car who's owner is NOT going to be happy, but I was comfortable taking my 15 yr old daughter downtown to see it all, there were tons of families there, and even the cops were high fiving, laughing and smiling.

Hey UK- celebrating. Ur doin' it rong.

I was downtown this morning too- saw no vomit, saw no destruction, even the car was already gone. Families were out having brunch and enjoying the day. If this is what you call being a "prisoner in our town" then lock me up.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years ago

So you're not much fun to be around? If it's any consolation, this is only KU's 14th trip to the Final Four in 114 years of basketball, so most years, you'll be fine.

treeforest 6 years ago

You are a minority in this town. If you don't like college kids, then don't live in a college town - they're all similar to this. Almost 1/4th of the population of Lawrence is college students and that is not going to change. Perhaps the reason the students didn't behave worse and riot is because we AREN'T idiots. Life is not so serious that you can't set aside one evening to shut off the streets and party! And I'm not even a sports fan! The police had no problem with it, the Chancellor had no problem with it, tens of thousands of people (not just students) had an evening of fun and joy. Looks like you're the only one missing out.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

I bet that law firm still has one of those old Brady Bunch style tube TVs in the wooden cabinet.

Mel Wedermyer 6 years ago

What a hater, guess you will change your tune when you need a lawyer that doesn't have over priced offices and employees

JackMcKee 6 years ago

how about one where the average age of attorneys is under 75?

pizzapete 6 years ago

You're right, I went to KU in the 90's and we always went up to campus after a big victory to celebrate.

Kevin Kohls 6 years ago

I just didn't quite get the magnitude of doing alll this for the semi-finals. I mean, fireworks already? It is like most forgot there is still one game to go.

Kat Christian 6 years ago

Exactly, now what are they going to do this every year at the beginning of the final 4? This is getting out of control now.

Bursting 6 years ago

346 teams in 32 conferences plus 4 independent schools.

I would say making it to the Final Four, and winning a game in that Final Four is worthy of celebration.

Outta control? I would be willing to bet that you won't find a more Under Control celebration of that magnitude anywhere. And yes, everyone will celebrate every time it happens.

asixbury 6 years ago

You obviously weren't there, so you do not know what you are talking about. It was completely controlled, friendly, and a gooda** time!

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Good grief, teacherboy. You must not follow the Hawks. They are a young developing team. They weren't suppose to make it this far. That's why everyone is celebrating. It wasn't suppose to happen.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years ago

Teacherboy does not, does not I repeat, represents only one teacher. Most teachers I know are just as ecstatic as if they were back in school!!!!!!! May we have this "problem" every year!!

Terry Sexton 6 years ago

Pepper spray, riot police, burning cars. Just a typical evening in Lexington. Stay classy, wildcat fans.

kernal 6 years ago

Don't you mean Jayhawk fans? Or, was your subconscious wishing K-State had been in N'Awlins last night?

Nikki May 6 years ago

Kentucky Wildcats. They burned cars and things. That's what he's talking about.

whats_going_on 6 years ago

or maybe you have absolutely no clue about anything.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Yes the crowd was friendly no question about it.

I question the expense of the Overland Park Bomb squad and command unit with the mammoth communication tower in the LPD parking lot. 200 officers?? For what? What was the cost for all of this terrorist protection?

Was this crowd any different than past crowds?

"In 1988, the masses went to Jayhawk Blvd" which seems more appropriate. Why not parade around on campus in front of Allen Fieldhouse?

kernal 6 years ago

Merrill, LJW stated in one of the pre-game stories the out of town LE are not charging us for coming to assist LPD. It's a reciprocity thing among LE personnel.

I'm surprised you don't think it was better for LPD to be prepared than not. Look at what happened in Lexington! And, at K-State a while back.

Kat Christian 6 years ago

My point exactly, This is getting out of control. They are taking over the whole darn town. For what? A stupid basketball game? OMG. Its just a game people not a change in our culture, government, environment or our daily lives. Grow up!!

workinghard 6 years ago

As long as the city gives the impression it is condoning the partying, they will feel they are entitled to act this way. Did any of these people show up to help clean up the mess? No, because the city says "Hey, no problem. We'll clean it up at taxpayers expense."

Bursting 6 years ago

Trust me, the city made way more money on sales tax last night than they spent on a 3 hour clean-up. I mean, an extra 50,000 people spending tons of money in our town never hurt. haha, good old economics

You two are an absolute joke.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Those 2 are stick in the muds. Why do they live in a college town. I'm 60 years old and love the crowds. Lawrence is always drawing crowds. Look at all the parades we have. And many of them have nothing to do with KU. The Earth Day parade is next, unless we win tomorrow, then there will be a parade for the team.

workinghard 6 years ago

Just wondering what part of town you live in.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years ago

It was a peaceful crowd. I haven't seen that many happy people in one place since 2008. It was fun, and I think that the city being encouraging and giving a place for people to come together to celebrate helps the crowd appreciate that and be peaceful. It was an experience and I'm glad I went to observe the melee. There was no violence, no fires (which was surprising considering the fireworks), and everyone got along. that doesn't happen everywhere. I'm proud of our fans.

Cartemus 6 years ago

You should move to Columbia, Missouri. I hear they never celebrate Final Four appearances or National Championships there.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years ago

Man, are your responses pitiful. I'm 52, and I LOVE the crowds. Sports, whether you are smart enough to recognize it or not, is part of human culture. The only civilization that I can think of offhand that did not celebrate sports was the Puritans, and you sound like Cotton Mather! Get a grip on your own life and realize that not everything is about you.

Basketball is culture, and there is much more to it than you are able to realize. Of course, as your pedantic avatar indicates, your head is too far in the clouds to be able to acknowledge it.

Here's some advice: get out of your moldy, Miss Havisham house and join the rest of the real world. Basketball? It's exciting, it's cultural, and it's memorable.

The one who needs to grow up is you.

worden747 6 years ago

Sunshine_noise you knew what was going to happen so why didn't you do you business before the game or during the game!! You could go visit someone out of town or just hunker in for the nite and get over yourself!! I watched the game but stayed home afterword, enjoyed the fireworks and bell ringing, but my dog didn't like all the noise even she got over it!! So next year why don't you make plans to be elsewhere and we will all be happy?? I am 65 year old woman and had to put the dog out because she could not stand the excitement!!

treeforest 6 years ago

Move away from Lawrence. Seriously.

MannyDantyla 6 years ago

Allen Fieldhouse is not on Jayhawk Blvd....

simplykristib 6 years ago

I am glad to hear that things were pretty sane in Lawrence last night! It is a BIG DEAL this year! It was suppose to be a rebuilding year... We simply reloaded. :)

simplykristib 6 years ago

Better to be safe than sorry! Look at what happened in Lexington, KY, last night... Fires and cars turned over. Yes, we have classy fans but you never know when things can get ugly in a large crowd. Kudos to KU fans for being classy!

simplykristib 6 years ago

I was not in Lawrence last night. Some of us had to unfortunately work. I;ve heard of very little damage.

asixbury 6 years ago

Who was the dumba** that parked their car on Mass after the game? You have to be an idiot to think it would be ok there.

bballmom23 6 years ago

It was my car......... I have been a KU fan all my life and was there celebrating in 1988 but I will never be there again! I now have to pay for the thousands of dollars of damage to my car.

asixbury 6 years ago

Report it to insurance and you only have to pay the deductible, which is usually $500. That's still alot to pay, but no where near as much as the damage will cost. Also, why did you park on Mass knowing they were closing the streets and there was bound to be a HUGE crowd? Should have parked somewhere else, like the police asked people to do all week long.

bballmom23 6 years ago

as I have already stated here I wasn't driving my car, my son was and he hasn't wanted to come home since. Pretty sad that people think this is ok eventhough this was a crime. Oh, only $500, do you want to pay this for me? Since most of you think that it is my fault that people committed a felony by causing over $10,000 damage to my car (according to the insurance adjuster) and it is totaled. This is the nicest car I have ever owned and now I'm back to square one. But it's ok, HUH?

asixbury 6 years ago

Not saying it's ok, but things happen when people (like your son) act stupidly. It sucks big time, but not much can be done of it.

workinghard 6 years ago

Yeah, real classy, right. That windshield could have been broken with one of the bricks dug out of the middle of my sidewalk. Way to show concern for a pedestrian that could have tripped in that hole in the dark.

equalaccessprivacy 6 years ago

"Storm" is the correct word. Thought I was deeply familiar with the anti-intellectual rabble at second-tier state schools, but KU people can outdo anywhere on this score.

Terry Sexton 6 years ago

You are not deeply familiar with anything remotely civil. You are an annoyance.

asixbury 6 years ago

Second-tier? KU has many programs in the top 10 of colleges nationwide. That does not sound like second-tier to me?

You are a miserable-sounding person and probably should just move on out of this area. All you do is complain about people who sound as if they were only trying to help. Should we ignore people in need? Would that make you happier? I don't know if anything can make you happy. You are a victim, if only in your eyes. Try being the solution for once.

akt2 6 years ago

I heard from a younger person this morning that goes to Mass for these events, that there was vomit everywhere, enough to make the place stink. And people were still puking. Maybe disinfect your shoes today before you tramp through the house.

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

Yes. The streets were flooded with vomit and then the entire crowd went over to workinghard's neighborhood too pull a brick out of the sidewalk. Then everybody raised the price of gas before ending the night by refusing to deliver the paper.

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

UPDATE: The crowd of solely KU students also snuck onto the board and added an extra "o" to the word "to". They must be stopped!

foppa 6 years ago

To all of you who criticize what happen yesterday on here. Here are a few tips: 1. Relax a little 2. Don't go to mass. St 3. If you live in old west Lawrence close all windows and doors AND realize that you live in a college town that really cares about basketball (in case you didn't already know that) 4. Seriously, calm down. If you care enough to be angry about it and post your opinion here after a clearly joyous night for ku students you should truly re-evaluate your priorities.

Perhaps the city works with the crowd because they realize that it is easier than arresting thousands. Also, they know that the people out there are (or are studying to be) architects, politicians, lawyers, teachers, etc. and they are just having fun because their team won. I don't like that people vandalize cars on mass. Either but I understand that in a big crown there will be dumb people. We all known that it is probably a bad idea to park your car on mass. In the first place. I also think that the reason why so many people are out there this season is because we were not expecting to get this far. I am not sure that that amount of people will show up in other circumstances. My point is that if this is truly you something that ruins your day you need to calm down a bit. This is a college town that likes basketball and you probably knew this before moving here. So enjoy whatever makes you happy and stop being bothered by something this silly and , though I 100% support your right to say whatever you want, I really wish we all didn't have to hear about it (this message does not apply to the people whose cars were damaged, you should probably be bothered by that fact).

whats_going_on 6 years ago

while I agree with you 100%, you really need to work on putting sentences together. That was rather hard to read.

workinghard 6 years ago

"though I 100% support your right to say whatever you want, I really wish we all didn't have to hear about it " I find this funny since you do not mind making everyone else hear about your political views.

guess_again 6 years ago

Wilbur is always just so full of joy.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

Von Edman sounds like a villain from a James Bond movie.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

I see no reason for tons of law enforcement because this crowd seems so friendly. KU crowds over the years have been friendly. Over kill on law enforcement I say.

Even with overkill some vehicles were damaged. What should the city do begin clearing cars out of downtown about noon?

Probably some landscape will need revived in the planters. At least one merchant is not impressed with the destruction to the planters. I suggest Pyracantha a beautiful thorny evergreen shrub which produces red, yellow or orange berries in the fall. Barberry would be nice as well.

Annuals and other beautiful flowers simply cannot endure Final Four celebrations = tax dollars down the drain. Pyracantha and Barberry can send out some "tough love".

I do love those downtown planters.

Fortunately no cars were set fire as in Lexington..... two were arrested for arson. A total of 27 arrested in Lexington mostly for intoxicated behavioral patterns.

DillonBarnes 6 years ago

I would argue that the presence of so many police officers played a role in keeping the crowd friendly. They were intervening very little, no need to start a riot because they confront someone who has an aluminum can.

They handled the situation very well.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

Tonight, myself and Basil Exposition will be hosting a watch party with our vintage 1988 55" big screnn projection TV right across from the law firm. Jean shorts and mullets are encouraged. We will be serving complimentary Zima and Keystone Lighf.

BobEllis 6 years ago

I thought law enforcement really did a great job. They were friendly, subdued and part of the celebration rather than treating this like something other than a celebration (like Lexington). Folks were mostly doing a good job staying safe and not being stupid, but police and deputies from region were obviously doing a lot of things right.

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years ago

@ Sunshine ~ your quote "For what? A stupid basketball game? OMG. Its just a game people not a change in our culture, government, environment or our daily lives." ~ As a 50 year resident of the great town of Lawrence, I must inform you ... in Lawrence.. Basketball IS our culture! I'm sorry your car got bashed.. that was uncalled for.. Normally the people who live here look out for each other and prevent a lot of those kinds of things from happening, cuz that's how we roll in Lawrence. But, there will always be a few out-of-control revelers in the midst, and if you knew anything about Lawrence and it's basketball culture you would have taken steps to keep your car off Mass. St.!! Sorry, just sayin!!!

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years ago

especially a RED car with no jayhawk displays on it!

Armen Kurdian 6 years ago

Unfortunate about the car damage. Overall, this is nothing like what happens in NBA towns when they win or lose.

So students please just remember if someone does forget and parks their car on Mass street, don't climb on it, please just leave it alone, be respectful of other people's property, and if you have to vomit, try to do it in the gutter. We should probably encourage some, "Designated Vomit Directors," to patrol the sidewalks. ;-)

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