When did Jayhawk basketball become so important to me? I wish I could answer that question. Maybe it was when I first attended a KU basketball camp in 1979 as a 3rd grader. Maybe it was when I attended my first game at the historic Allen Fieldhouse in 1980. Maybe it was when in 1986 as a 9th grader, almost all of the boys in my class got flat-tops, because the 1986 KU team that made it to the Final 4 were all sporting flat-tops; they got the flat-tops because the 1952 KU team that won the NCAA championship all had flat-tops as well. Maybe it was when in my 20s as a young Presbyterian minister, I learned that James Naismith (the inventor of the game and first coach at KU) was also a Presbyterian minister. Maybe it's always been important to me and that some people are born what they are? I don't know.
Recently my philosopher friend Steve Odmark (teaches philosophy at a college in the twin cities), along with his family, came to stay with us for a few days. We watched one of the games and then we talked about "inordinate desires." Steve commented that he thought my desires for KU basketball were inordinate, i.e. excessive, too much, etc. This was after we watched the NC State game and I was up pacing, wringing my hands, beside myself in moments, etc. I responded to Steve, "I agree that they (my desires) probably are (inordinate), but it's complicated too!"
I will say this- I prayed about it and told God He could do whatever it was He wanted to do with my desires, as I'm unable to change them nor am I fully convinced that such a deep love for an institution like the University of Kansas is a bad thing necessarily. Perhaps the grace and mercy of God is such that every March I grapple with the "inordinate desire" question [believe you me, it's not always easy being a Jayhawk fan- despite often being the favored team to cut down the nets at the end of the tournament, we've only won the whole thing 2xs in my 40 years you know? (1988, 2008)], but that the first weekend in April always comes to a close and regardless of the results (a loss of course to Kentucky last Monday night), life returns back to normal, and I get on with things. . . .
Oh, but wait . . . there's still the recruiting to follow. Let's go get Tony Parker and who knows? Maybe a long-shot at this point but Shabazz Muhammad as well!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk!