KU student newspaper crosses the line

5 Oct

ImageBefore most rivalry games, you do not see one school’s newspaper print on its front page a giant image of a very meek, terrified version of its mascot trying to escape the mascot of that week’s opponent.

To my knowledge, that is unheard of.

And yet, that is what the University of Kansas newspaper, the University Daily Kansan, did on Thursday, two days before the Jayhawks (1-3) will travel to Manhattan, Kan., to confront the No. 7 Kansas State Wildcats (4-0).

On the front page of the University Daily Kansan, the image of a muscular Willie the Wildcat stalking a field goal post where a jayhawk cowered in fear is accompanied by a big, bold headline that reads: “Road Kill Ahead.”

When a paper runs a cartoon like that, what the story says no longer even matters. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

***

Let’s get this out of the way right now: I’m not saying that a school paper should constantly effuse positive drivel about its sports teams. That’s not professional, of course.

However, I’m not sure I’d say it’s professional to predict the outcome of a game with a disparaging cartoon, either.

I’ve seen such quippy headlines after massive defeats in non-university newspapers, but I don’t recall seeing such mockery before a game was even played.

Also, one cannot just ignore the fact that this is the paper of the University of Kansas.

I understand the notions of impartiality and objectivity, but the University Daily Kansan is irrevocably associated with the school. Accordingly, it is a representation of that institution. By being so derogatory about its own football team before even a snap is played, the paper definitely gives the impression that the Kansas fan base has no support or respect for its team whatsoever.

I will say this: for what I’ve seen, the representation is accurate.

Every time I talk football, no Kansas fan wants to have a conversation. “I don’t care about football,” or “Just wait until basketball season,” are the common refrains. I’m sure there must be some Kansas fans that actually support the team on the gridiron, but it seems that the vast majority distance themselves as often as possible.

***

For many Kansas fans, the football team may well not exist at all, as far as they are concerned. They are too busy counting down the days until basketball season begins.

To such family snobbery, I have this to say:

Good grief, people. Have some compassion! Have some loyalty! Maybe the players would be more inspired on the field if people acted like the team mattered instead of consistently ignoring and belittling it!

I’m not saying Kansas is a good football team. Currently, is most certainly not.

Still, I would hope that a newspaper run by students of a school would have a little more optimism or, at the very least, not bash their own team in anticipation of a loss rather than save the negative impressions for an actual report on the game.

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3 Responses to “KU student newspaper crosses the line”

  1. joe October 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    The same can be said about ksu fans 6+ years ago when they had no basketball program to speak of. No one supported them. There was no loyalty towards men’s basketball at ksu. So don’t even try to call on the fact that ku’s own fans talked bad about its football team when ksu did the same about basketball not very long ago, and will be doing again once Bruce tears down everything Frank built

  2. Bob Houck October 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Well said, Babe! The cartoon is in very poor taste, to say the least. Your article is definitely not!

    • Ashley Dunkak October 6, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Thanks Bob! I appreciate it! 🙂

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