Fifty-one days until the opening tip at Allen Fieldhouse and the pressure of having to play the Flying Dutchmen as the no. 1 team in the country is getting to the Kansas Jayhawks. Twice in the last 48 hours, members of the Jayhawks’ basketball team have fought members of the football team on campus.
One of the brawls left Tyshawn Taylor, a starter on the basketball team, with a broken finger that could sideline him until after the start of practice. Taylor didn’t exactly cover himself in glory before the incident, either, with a Facebook posting in which he used a racial term and promised to “mug back” anyone who mugged him.
With the Jayhawks football program beginning to experience the type of success enjoyed annually by the men’s basketball team, I imagine this is a more violent version of the Alpha Male ding-a-ling swinging that goes on at places like UConn, where Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma went years without talking because each feels threatened by the other’s success.
In other words, it’s something inconceivable here, where the baseball and football teams usually fill in the student section at basketball games to make it look like people are actually showing up. The closest thing we’ve had to a skirmish between programs is Joe Gardi hilariously telling Jay Wright that he might be the man on campus after a winning season but that Joe was still “The Show.” Ahh Joe.
Anyway, add the fighting nature of the Jayhawks’ basketball team to the chemistry-busting potential of the Henry brothers and I’m really beginning to like the Dutchmen’s chances of knocking off the distracted Jayhawks come Nov. 13.
Of course, let’s give Kansas some credit. There are worse ways for the members of its student body to get into trouble and end up in the national spotlight. And I guess we’ll just leave it at that, won’t we?
Some other bits and bytes:
—Your good friend and mine Mike Litos decided it was a good idea to taunt me—and by extension, all of Dutch Nation, snort—by not only debuting his Hofstra preview at the same time as his Mason preview but also by picking Mason ahead of the Dutchmen. (Click the link to see how little Litos thinks of the Dutchmen!) Clearly Mike has missed the “Do Not Taunt” signs strung up all around this here blog.
Amazingly, Litos is not the only one underrating the Dutchmen. The annual previews from Lindy’s and Athlon also have Hofstra ranked below first (I’ll debut my now-annual running tally on the preseason predictions soon…amazingly, I didn’t begin doing that last year until late October). That’s OK. Those of us in Dutch Nation (where there is always plenty of room on the bandwagon!) are used to the damn liberal media being against us.
In all seriousness, if you haven’t checked out Litos’ previews, do so. His obvious hatred for Hofstra aside, nobody is better-informed, more plugged in or, quite frankly, more excited about the upcoming CAA season than Litos. Even if he doesn’t like us.
—I’ve spent the last couple days pondering and fine-tuning a football post that has required a good bit of massaging. Hopefully you’ll see why tomorrow. But in the meantime, I’ll say, no matter how bad things may seem for the Dutchmen, they’re still in better shape than Indiana State. Hmm. Is it too late to schedule Larry Bird U. for Homecoming?