I remember seeing a speech from Late Night at the Phog several years ago that was delivered by an old University of Kansas basketball player. I can’t remember his year, or what position he played, but I remember his words.
“In 2005, they told us we were rebuilding and we won the Big 12 Championship,” he said. “In 2006, they said the same thing and we got another Big 12 Championship ring. The same in 2007. And in 2008, they told us we couldn’t keep doing it, and we all know how that went.”
He proudly boasted how KU doesn’t rebuild — they reload.
The speech was greeted with cheers. And for several years, it held true. No matter how many starters were lost, no matter how many seniors graduated, the KU team remained a dominant force.
But not this year.
This year, so far, has been spotty. Our team is filled with freshmen and sophomores. Our wins have been filled with turnovers and our losses have been frustrating and self-inflicted.
And the first 15 games have proved to me that we have finally met our rebuilding year.
Now that doesn’t mean we’ll have a losing season, or that we won’t get into the NCAA Tourney. We won’t have the type of downfall that the University of Kentucky experienced last year.
But this season is a time for Jayhawks fans to learn some humility. It’s a year for us to learn that it’s okay not to win every game. That wearing a crimson and blue uniform doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the Final Four. That a team’s reign has to be built and developed over time.
It might be a difficult season to watch, and I might get frustrated and throw a remote at the TV. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t stick it out and remain a loyal fan. I know that even if we have a rough season, it’s just another step towards another national title.