Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

The Fly Route

February 9, 2006

It's a classic dilemma, one of those brainteasers that might allow psychologists a gander into your mind based on your answer.

Would you rather your team lose to your rival while enjoying a solid season and moderate postseason success, or would you rather beat the rival at the expense of every other game?

Although KU fans obviously saturate the area, those of you that aren't understand exactly what I'm talking about. Kansas State and Missouri fans have been asking themselves such hypothetical questions for years, only to allow KU to all too often make the decisions for us.

But this year both the Wildcats and the Tigers got the deal with the devil that they've always craved. They beat KU and their seasons have long since spiraled down the toilet.

At least from a K-State standpoint, I'd say it's worth it.

What else did I really expect to come from this season? Jim Wooldridge lost my support as a fan midway through last season. It was then that I decided K-State needed a new coach and after watching the 2005-2006 Wildcats choke away close road games early in the season I knew exactly what path the team was careening down.

If you've nothing else to look forward to except the guarantee a terrible record brings a new coach and a sliver of hope, why not add a couple victories over Kansas into the small pile of triumphs?

Let me make it clear: if K-State ended the season 2-14 in the conference with two wins over KU and a new coach en route, I'd be a happy purple person.

Now I'm pretty sure Missouri fans are feeling the same way. The Tigers victory over KU earlier this season was a classic as far as rivalry wins go. A great game by Missouri won it, but no description is complete without the obligatory "KU choked" reference.

The only thing more pleasing than watching your team win and your rival lose is watching the rival choke.

As the Cats and the Tigers further explore the depth of embarrassment -- K-State's recent two-point loss to Baylor was terribly humiliating until the Tigers outdid them by losing by 24 more -- fans should be thankful and the teams should find a focus.

New coaches and theoretically better times are on the way, and both Quin Snyder and Jim Wooldridge should relax. Snyder may not last the week and Wooldridge's medical problems may not allow him to return before it's over, but if either are still around, they'd find no better way to salute the fans that have cursed them for so long than by knocking off the Jayhawks one more time.

KU is playing better now. The Jayhawks have matured nicely and will probably slip into second place in the conference. They'll make the NCAA tournament, land a descent four, five or six seed and maybe even turn a few heads with a win or two.

That's why I hope K-State and Missouri forget the rest of the games and game plan, design and plot against KU.

Sure a run in the Big 12 tournament would be nice. Knocking off Oklahoma or Texas would be cool, too. But at this point, with what has already transpired and what surely will when the season finally ends, there's no reason not to lay back, enjoy the implosion and hope for one more glorious rivalry win.

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