Thursday, March 16, 2006

From the Other Side

Just to show I'm a good sport, both about sports and about the mocking of revered figures, I offer to you this piece from the Peoria Journal Star (Peoria, IL being where Bradley is located):

Are the Jayhawks molting?
Phil Luciano

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What the heck is a Jayhawk?
I investigated this silly nickname in my quest to present here a comprehensive analysis of Bradley's upcoming game against the University of Kansas.

Mind you, I won't trifle with breakdowns of athletes or game strategy. That's not necessary, as Bradley will surely win.

How do I know this? Bradley always beats Kansas.

Granted, they've played only once, way back in 1950. But that game was also in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Bradley not only won but went on to the championship.

That's what you call a half-century's worth of momentum. BU's on a roll, baby!

With that all settled, let's get back to this Jayhawk nonsense.

The term arose from settlers from Illinois (ironical, ain't it?). Its origin isn't clear, but "jayhawk" came to refer to ruffians with the habit of robbing, looting, and general lawlessness.

Charming, eh? The perfect team logo would feature a whiskey-sodden cattle-rustler swinging from a noose. Then again, such imagery might not engender much in the way of alumni donations.

Instead, the school mascot is a goofy-grinned, color-streaked bird - one that could star in an animated movie, "Heckle and Jeckle Visit Brokeback Mountain."

The school's Web page says the jayhawk is a fearsome combo of two birds: "The blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob other nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter. The message here: Don't turn your back on this bird."

Scared to death, I checked out these species a little further. The blue jay, indeed, is known for attacking other birds' nests - to nibble eggs. Possible slogan: "Look out for us Jayhawks - we suck eggs!"

Then again, a Cornell University study showed that just 1 percent of blue jays eat eggs. Instead, they eat bugs. Wow. They can outmuscle a cricket.

As for sparrow hawks, they live in less than majestic perches: the tops of telephone poles. As for being "stealthy hunters," they boast the uncanny ability to outwit and snatch the likes of worms. As birds of prey, they're bug-eaters.

If you watch the game Friday, you'll hear the Jayhawk fight song, known as the Rock Chalk chant. I won't bore you with the history of this droning babble, which essentially pays homage to the most exciting thing on campus: a big chunk of limestone (hey, it's Kansas).

The school calls the tune "world famous," but I don't get it. The song sounds like monks either chanting in prayer or moaning from torture. If I had a hound dog that wailed so miserably, I'd shoot it.

Still, KU alumni are rabid about the school, especially its environs of Lawrence, Kan. I took a peek at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, to get a glimpse at the town's heritage.

Apparently, Lawrence's most famous son is Hugh Beaumont, aka Ward Cleaver from "Leave It to Beaver." Impressive, eh?

How much did Hugh Beaumont love Lawrence? As soon as he got out of high school, he blew right out of town and went to a far more cosmopolitan hamlet: Chattanooga, Tenn.

He couldn't be persuaded to go to KU, even with its mystique of the Jayhawk. That's what happens when your school mascot is an egg-sucking bug-eater that sings like a dying monk.

That's pathetic. In a fight with Bradley's mascot, the Jayhawk would get creamed.

(Note to KU: Bradley has no mascot. That's the point).

Thanks to for bringing this to my attention. For more fun, you can read Mr Luciano making fun of those KU fans unable to take a joke: click here.


  1. ps, in case you hadn't heard, you can watch games online for free, though the lines are rather long: click here.

  2. Is it just me or is this columnist a jerk? Good writer, very funny, but a jerk nonetheless.

    I suggest we demand an apology from the Gov. of IL, foment riot in the streets of Lawrence and burn down the Peorian consulate...

  3. Nice w/the consulate line

    Yes, I agree he seems like a jerk, but, you know, have you ever been to Peoria? But I think it's a credit to him that he ran all the emails he received about the column . . .

  4. The fact that he published those emails offended me most. He selected a few particularly stupid, knee-jerk ones along with one that was complimentary of him, all to show off his own superiority.


  5. I must take part of the blame: I didn't mention it, but on the website, he also ran all of the emails he received--click here.