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Why I’m a fan of the Kansas Jayhawks: The pain lets you know it’s real.

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Kirk Hinrich drives past Travis Diener

Welcome to the refreshed Rock Chalk Talk! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports community, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here. and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

Rules for the Fanpost contest:

1. Readers (aka people who are not on the masthead) should go to the FanPosts section and write a post with the headline 'Why I'm a fan of the Kansas Jayhawks'.

2. The post should be under 800 words.

3. SB Nation will collect these posts into a section and they will be automatically entered into a random drawing.

4. That's it!

5. As Mike said yesterday, don’t let this distract you from the fact that Kansas beat Texas in football.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Reader Sweepstakes starts on 8:00am ET on May 25, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to eligible legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.

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Mike gave you a touching story about how he fell in love with Kansas Football despite not attending the University. Today, I tell you about a young nerd who was just looking for a place to belong.

I’ve always been a huge sports fan. Despite my lack of accomplishment in the athletic arena, I’ve always enjoyed participating and viewing sports in any form. When I moved to Kansas City at the age of 10, I basically knew 3 things: I wanted to find some local teams to root for, I liked basketball the best of any sport, and I absolutely hated Duke. Naturally, those things led me to the Kansas Jayhawks.

My first few years I was your typical bandwagon fan, thoroughly enjoying the good seasons put forward by Kansas State Football and Kansas Basketball. But as I started looking around at colleges to attend, I pretty much knew that I would wholeheartedly root for the teams at the school that I chose. Of course this means that I knew my academic decision would be influenced by my sports fandom.

In high school, I dreamed of being a lawyer, and I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship that was essentially a full ride for any in-state school. Everything seemed to be pointing me to Kansas, but I was still hesitant to buy in completely. But what finally sold me was probably the frontcourt-backcourt duo that will always be near and dear to my heart, that of Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison. Watching those two during my high school years was exactly what I needed to buy in fully to Roy Williams and his program.

And then of course they tore it all down. The pain that I felt when Kansas fell to Syracuse in the Final Four, only to have my heart ripped out when Williams bolted to North Carolina, was enough to convince me that I was hooked.

Being on campus and getting to immerse myself in the various sports teams gave me a greater appreciation for the school that I will always call home, and I can’t imagine having it any other way.