I’ll admit, since April 7, I’ve been wearing a lot of KU gear. I would say 80% of the times I’ve left the house since then, I’ve had some kind of KU shirt on. Generic, Final Four, or National Champions gear. Doesn’t matter as long as it’s KU attire. I figure there’s a limited window in which you can take advantage of your team winning a championship, I might was well milk it for all it’s worth.
Although I just want to spread the brand, as it were, when I go to the grocery store I have ulterior motives. The store we frequent, like many others, hires a lot of people that would have trouble getting jobs elsewhere. My favorite bagger is a guy around my age who is autistic. He’s pretty high functioning, although he’s not the best bagger in the world. Part of the reason for his slowness is that he loves to talk about sports. Each person that comes through his line gets the same set of questions, depending on the season. “Do you like football/baseball/basketball?” An affirmative answer leads to the obligatory local question. “Do you like the Colts/Hoosiers/Boilermakers?” I’ve always enjoyed telling him I’m from Kansas City, which lets him show off that he knows all the teams KC. And he loves asking if your team won their last game, when they play next, and who they play next. Then he shows off by telling you the mascot of the your team’s next opponent. “Oklahoma State? Oklahoma State Cowboys, right!?”
He gets fired up about his teams, too. He’s told me that the Cubs are going all the way this year. Two years ago he told me Purdue football was going all the way. Etc. It’s nice and funny at the same time.
Anyway, I’ve been really fired up about talking to him about the national title game. Each time I go, I wear one of my shirts and look forward to seeing him when I complete my shopping. The only problem is he either has not been working, or has worked another line every time since April. It’s like he knows and is avoiding me. It’s really frustrating. I think Rod would really like to talk about Sherron’s steal and three to cut the lead to four, Memphis’ missed free throws, and of course Mario’s shot.
A couple weeks ago, the entire family was out running errands and I had a KU shirt on. At Old Navy, a woman working asked if I was from Kansas. She said she was from Nebraska and was a big fan of all the Big 8 schools now that she lived in Indiana. I told her I was kind of the same. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of the other schools, but when I’m running around town and I see someone with a Mizzou or K-State shirt, I debate whether I should say hello and give them the secret Big 8 handshake. I never do, but I think nice thoughts, which is a lot for me.
From there we went to another store. As we were trying to find decorations for M.’s bike parade at school, an employee walked by and whispered, “Go Kansas!” to me. The woman at Old Navy was probably in her early-mid 40s. This woman was in her early 50s, I would guess. S. gave me a look accused me of just wearing my KU shirts so that older women would hit on me. Now that she’s on to my little game, I guess I’ll have to break out the rest of the summer gear…