Most people won’t believe it but my first Kansas Jayhawk game, of any kind, was the 2007 Border War. I can still remember my friend calling to ask me if I wanted to go with him, his dad, and girlfriend. To this day, I still remember the phone call but not really understanding the significance of that game at the time. I remember during that year, and the year prior, Kansas football starting to come to the forefront of college football but myself, like many, really only paid attention to Kansas basketball. I had never been to a Kansas football game before, actually I had never been to any Kansas sporting event in my life, so when I got the phone call I thought, “sure. Why not? That sounds fun!”
The day finally came. The date was November 24, 2007, #2 Kansas vs #4 Missouri. It was a night game so I know that I had to work that day and even though this part is a little fuzzy, I know that I didn’t do a damn thing that day. Man, I was excited. I can remember standing there at work waiting for my time to leave. Which looking back, was way too late for us to leave. Finally, I got to leave work. I sped home, got in my warm clothes, jumped into the car with my buddy and his girlfriend, and took off to Arrowhead. It was still daylight when we left, hell it was still daylight when we got stopped up in traffic, I can’t remember how long we waited on I-435 but I know that the sun was out when we stopped and it was dark and cold by the time we were able to park. Here’s where the experience really got wild for me. I had never been part of this atmosphere in my entire life, not KU vs MU, Raiders vs Chiefs, nothing! We had to park all the way up by the entrance in the turning lane where you come into Arrowhead because the parking lot was completely full and sold out. Well “lucky” for us since we had to park on that side of the stadium, which was the Missouri side, we had to walk through all of their fans wearing our Kansas gear. Let me tell you, walking through those fans is where my true hatred for the Missouri Tigers came from but also the most scared I had ever been in my life to that point. I was just a small 20 year old kid walking through all of those nut jobs, cussing and screaming at me. I can’t imagine what my poor little terrified face looked like at that point. We finally made it to the other side of the stadium with “our people.” The chills I got while walking up to the entire line to get into the stadium chanting “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” is something I will remember for the rest of my life!
After waiting in line FOREVER, we finally got into the game well into the first quarter. My first time seeing Kansas in person and my first time ever being in Arrowhead (clearly I was a sheltered child). To be completely honest, I don’t remember all of the game. I think mainly due to me being so in shock of the atmosphere and experience but it was also super cold. We had seats in the Kansas end zone and in the bottom section so it was loud to say the least. Throughout the entire game, there is only one play that even stands out to me. Chase Daniel threw a post route and the receiver got absolutely demolished by Darrell Stuckey.
I know that we lost that game but not even that will take away from the experience that I had that evening. Oh yeah, it makes Missouri fans really mad when you brag about winning the Orange Bowl that year so maybe that helps with the loss a little bit. I may not remember much of the actual game itself but that was the day that I learned that being more than just a Kansas basketball fan could be a lot of fun, how much I love the “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant, and how absolutely annoying the MIZ-ZOU chant is. That was my first official Kansas Jayhawk sporting event and the day that I knew that I wanted to rep crimson and blue for the rest of life!