"Bitter: Party of One"

KU fans are insufferable. From Coast to Coast. This according to an Iowa State fan named Paul Shirley. Who was also an Iowa State basketball player. Who was also a self-acknowledged KU fan, having grown up within an hour of Lawrence, before not being offered a scholarship by KU and becoming an Iowa St player. He has a point. However, as my mother used to say, if he puts on a hat, no one will notice.

Seriously, he ctually does have a point. There are insufferable KU fans from Coast to Coast.

So what else is new? There are insufferable fans of every team from Coast to Coast. Including Iowa St. It’s just that fans of teams that win a lot get noticed more, because they have more opportunities to say things that are viewed by fans of less successful teams as arrogant, gloating, or condescending—even when they are not.

The converse is also true. There are good fans of every team, Coast to Coast. Even Iowa St. Even—dare I say it on the PhogBlog—Mizzou.

So what is it that set this particular Iowa St fan off this time?

A KU fan in Los Angeles did not react the way Paul Shirley wanted him to react when Paul Shirley broached the topic of last Monday’s KU victory over Iowa St in Ames.

Paul Shirley wanted the KU fan to agree with him that the Jayhawks’ win was illegitimate, that Iowa St REALly deserved the victory, and it was wrongfully taken from them by the officials. And he would charitably (his word) allow this KU fan to “save face” for laying claim to the Jayhawks’ undeserved victory by muttering something about ”how when you watch basketball, you’ve implicitly agreed to terms — that human error might determine the outcome of the game.”

In other words, he was beneficently giving the KU fan an opportunity to stop enjoying his team’s hard fought victory and, instead, beg forgiveness for his team for accepting credit for a game stolen from the game’s rightful winner.

And the Jayhawk fan’s sin?

He acknowledged that bad calls were made throughout the game and was disappointed that the only one anyone wanted to talk about was the last one.

This was such an insufferable statement that Paul Shirley rolled his eyes, it being inconceivable that a bad call that kept Jeff Withey out of the game for five minutes or so in the second half might have aided Iowa St’s cause, allowing the Cyclones to be in position in the final seconds of regulation where the refs making a no call in a charge/block situation might affect the outcome.

In Paul Shirley’s defense, this KU fan’s buddy did follow with a statement that could more reasonably be interpreted as insufferable (assuming that Paul Shirley quotes him acccuratelt): “I’m just glad we could win when we weren’t playing well. We played our worst game and they played their best and we still came out on top.”

Obviously, KU did not play its worst game. That was against the Topeka YMCA. In fact, the Jayhawks were forced to play an incredible game—at least offensively—to even hang around in the face of ISU’s unprecedented three point barrage and amazing free throw shooting prior to the “last one”—the one no one apparently wants to talk about.

Still, Paul Shirley takes this anecdote and concludes: “No matter where you go, no matter where you live, a Kansas fan is a Kansas fan: implacable, insufferable and perfectly happy to stay that way.”

Seems to me like that conclusion says more about Paul Shirley than it does about any KU fan.

Paul Shirley’s screed is at: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130301/SPORTS020604/303010092/Paul-Shirley-Kansas-fans-insufferable-from-coast-coast?nclick_check=1

--Mark .