Archive for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Shouts and Murmurs: Better hold onto those socks

April 3, 2002

With tears in my eyes, I watched Roy Williams at a post-game press conference Saturday night with tears in his eyes. Who couldn't sympathize with Roy, a genuinely nice guy, who year after year puts his heart into trying to make his team win a national championship. Who wouldn't want to give him a pat on the back, and a few words of encouragement.

When a game like Saturday's comes around, one quickly realizes that Jayhawk fans are everywhere true blue fans who do all they can, albeit from a distance to help Roy's team win.

Four-year-old Caitlin Breuer, the daughter of Todd and Sarah Breuer, wore her KU cheerleading dress from dawn to dusk Saturday. She wore it to an Easter egg hunt Saturday morning and she wore it through the night as she cheered "Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU" and waved her crimson and blue pompoms in the air.

"She had all her lucky charms on that's what she calls her outfit," said her grandmother, Paula Pape. "It didn't help, but she tried."

East of town, Bill and Alberta Irwin settled down Saturday night to watch the big game. As usual, Alberta clung to her superstitions by wearing her Jayhawk socks.

For 10 years, at least, ever since her Indiana cousins gave her the socks, Irwin has worn them only during KU basketball games.

"I put them on just before the game starts and take them off immediately after it's over," Alberta said. "If they win I don't wash them, but if they lose, then I wash them I wash the loss out."

Here's what Alberta said she'd like to say about Roy:

"I would say he does a wonderful job and he has nothing to regret because they all did the best they could and we still love Roy and the boys. They have given Bill and me so much pleasure over the years Roy and his teams and this year we have enjoyed it to the fullest and my goodness only four losses to mourn."

Or where laundry is concerned, only four sock washings.

Until recently, I had thought my father, Phil Stevens, was the only one who couldn't stand the suspense of a Jayhawk game and so tapes the game to watch later.

But there are others, many others, I'm finding.

Barbara Bennett, a longtime Jayhawk basketball fan, has no specific basketball superstitions.

But, she casually added: "I don't watch them lose I tape all of the games and if they're losing or are behind, I don't watch."

If the Hawks win, she watches the tape later. If they lose, "I tape over them."

But even when she's not watching, she's listening she keeps the television on with the volume up.

To Roy, Barbara said she'd like to say this: "I've enjoyed the heck out of this season. They were a lot of fun to watch. Better luck next year and I'm real proud of them."

And then there's Bill and Debby Kay Altman.

Bill said he'd pass these words on to the Jayhawk coach: "Hang in there Roy golf season's here and life is good. It was just a game and there's more games coming."

But like several others in the area, the Altmans do all they can to make their favorite basketball team win.

"We have all sorts of superstitions," Bill said. "Wearing the same clothes, sitting in the same place on the couch are our two biggest superstitions."

Does it pay off?

"They've only lost four games all year," Bill said. "So yeah, I'd say it does."

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