You get pulled over for speeding on your way to the DMV to get your tags renewed. You call the cops to report a suspicious ne’er-do-well and they find they find the kilo of cocaine sewn into the ass of your son’s Spongebob doll. A hooker demands more than her pittance and you call the cops in anger, only to be reminded that it is illegal to negotiate her services.
Or if you’re the Kansas State Wildcat football team, you travel to an unranked, middling school, recently absolved of its greatest historical threat, and you get your ass handed to you.
Such is the way of local athletics.
And it’s a shame, really. Not because I’m a K-State fan—that would make me biased and therefore, a terrible sports reporter—but I am a fan of the area from whence I came. And since KU football is abysmal, and Mizzou hasn’t justified anything this year, I’m compelled as a fan of my region to root for the last hope we have, the Tommy Morrison of college football, the opposite of whoever Todd Akin is running against.
In this case, my hopes and dreams rest squarely upon the shoulders of the K-State Wildcats.
Plus, they’re a likeable team.
But they shit the bed big time tonight, on a SUPER-national stage. Ranked #1 for the first time in their history, they drove home the notion that, as Missourians or Kansans, we just can’t have nice things.
People joke about Cleveland, and God’s displeasure with that city, but Goddamn, Kansas City can’t be far behind, can it?
We can point to the pressure that stems from a number one ranking. We can pretend that the Sports Illustrated Curse is a real, pulsating thing. We can blame a million different disappointments, but the bottom line is, K-State lost. They lost hard.
They turned the ball over and they failed to capitalize on a thousand opportunities, and in the end, the Baylor Bears just played with a lot more determination and heart. Period.
And now the Cats are out of national title contention, and now the old folks can sit back and say “I told you so,” and all of us across the landscape can pretend that we were never all that excited anyway, that we knew from the get-go that nothing good happens here.
We’re a city of futility and exaggeration and false hope and ridiculous, delusional expectations. We’re stuck with what we are, and by now, it shouldn’t really be a surprise.
Regardless, I salute their season.
They’ll end up with a really fantastic bowl-game and they’ll probably win it, and though Klein won’t win the Heisman, he’ll finish in the top three and it’ll all make for some nice plaques and fond memories.
It would be nice to have a champion just once. Just once, God.
To commiserate and whine, join me on Twitter, @StanfordWhistle