The 2007 football season was the arguably the greatest in Kansas history, when the team went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl. 10 years later, the football program is again hoping to make an unlikely run to relevance in the college football landscape. Before we turn toward the upcoming season, we take a look back at the season where most of our football dreams came true. The entire SB Nation network is looking back at that season, and we are buying in fully, with lots of content coming to you the rest of this week to commemorate that wild season.
Being a fan of any team is all about the experience. We live and die with our teams. Their victories become ours. Their shortcomings can be a personal affront. Our fandom is defined not just by the games we witness, but also by the thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that surround those games.
To help in remembering the insanity that was 2007, I asked our contributors (both current and former) a series of questions meant to explore their memories and impressions from that time frame. This is the sixth in a series of 7 articles, with each exploring a different question.
Check out our answers, and then share your answer below in the comments.
What was your craziest/most memorable experience as a fan that season?
dnoll5: My memorable “experience” started on the first game of the season against Central Michigan and culminated the night before the game at Arrowhead against Missouri. Let me backtrack to set this story up a bit. I live in the Waldo area of Kansas City and we have a pretty mixed bag of fandom in the neighborhood. I’ve seen KU, MU, K-State, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota flags flying with pride on houses in my area. I like to fly my KU flag with pride as you might suspect.
I also have a neighbor (a great friend if we’re being honest here) that I have talked about a little bit in the comments section in the last few years, especially when it comes to being a bad fan. Anyway, this friend of mine is a combination K-State fan (graduated from there as did his father) and Mizzou fan (his siblings and mother went there), so it can be a little rough in football season for me at times.
He lived directly across the street at the time, and I took great satisfaction in the fact that when he sat on his porch, he had to stare directly at my KU flag anytime I was flying it. It felt good. Anyway, the morning before the first football game of the 2007 season, I hung up my KU flag. We won. I forgot to take it down. The next weekend, we won again. Again, I didn’t take it down.
After the third straight win, I decided that I wasn’t taking this thing down until KU lost a football game. At this point, it was the lucky charm of the season as far as I’m concerned. Over beers one night, I mentioned that I wasn’t taking it down until the team lost, and my K-State/MU friend just laughed. You’ll take it down soon enough seemed to be his thinking. But I didn’t. That flag stayed up through all weather from September 1 until either the night of November 23 or the wee morning hours of November 24, the day of the Kansas/Missouri game at Arrowhead.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, my flag was gone. I searched the surrounding yards to no avail before trudging over to my friend’s house. He pleaded innocence. Swore up and down that he didn’t take it. The excuse of “Well, Waldo was pretty busy last night. I bet someone that was angry and drunk just took it” seemed to be the go-to excuse for that interaction and others in the years after. So my KU flag was gone, and shortly thereafter, KU’s eleven game winning streak was over as well.
And yes, I contemplated rushing to a store to get an exact replica of my beloved flag before the game started, but I never did. We lost, and my friend still won’t admit that he took it. I suspect that on his dying days, I’ll receive a phone call with an admission that he took the flag with an extended diatribe on how “he’d do it again” and “it was all worth it.”
But the joke is on him. I got a new flag for Christmas, flew it with pride for the Orange Bowl and watched my team win a BCS Bowl game. Oh, and he still has to be an MU fan who is a K-State grad. Rough.
Winmore: Watching KU win the Orange Bowl with my dad. My dad is a kool-aid drinking KU football superfan on an absolutely obsessed level. It’s honestly perplexing to me. A long time season ticket holder, he’s subjected himself to a shitload of bad football at Memorial Stadium. No matter how God awful this team gets, he always convinces himself that they are juuuuuust about to turn the corner. To watch him experience the team finally putting it all together was so satisfying. Then when they hung on to beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, he won’t ever admit it, but I saw the man’s eyes well up. Ridiculous. But fantastic to witness nonetheless.
Mike.Plank: The only conference game I got to attend that year was the MU game at Arrowhead. (If that game was played in Lawrence as scheduled, hello national title game. Thanks, Lew.) My $25 ticket I purchased in August was now worth $200 or more. A group of 8 of us went, and my Lord that was literally the coldest damn game that I have ever been to. Despite that, it was a great tailgate with great friends, and if only the game was two minutes longer, it would have been one helluva celebration and post-game tailgate for all of the Crimson and Blue faithful.
KU Grad 08: I went to every home game that year and each was about the same honestly… I got drunk, watched us beat the living shit out of someone, then went and ate Pyramid Pizza. God I miss college. So most memorable would be the Orange Bowl. On a personal level, it was the first trip my wife and I ever went on, so that was really cool.
Andy Mitts: Mine came during the Orange Bowl game. I was sitting at home trying to watch the game on my couch when my young son needed something. I helped him out and came back into the room just in time to see Aqib Talib celebrating as he was running into the end zone. I tried to celebrate by jumping over the couch so I could get back into the living room quickly, but my foot caught on the back of the couch and I twisted my ankle and knee pretty bad. That and my wife started yelling at me for waking up the baby. So I got watch basically the entire Orange Bowl with one screaming kid in the background and another that wouldn’t go to bed, all while dealing with a leg that wouldn’t let me ignore it. And yet it was all worth it.