Genteel Fans

Texas was not just outplayed yesterday in the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament final. It was out-fanned. Looked to me like burnt orange outnumbered by about two-to-one the grape or periwinkle or whatever color Kansas claims, but the KU fans absolutely shook the American Airlines Center with their ardor. Texas fans, on the other hand, seemed content to flash the occasional hand gesture between trips to the Jack Daniels club.

I'm a proud Mizzou alum, so hatred of Kansas runs in my blood, but even so there's something wrong when I am the loudest Longhorn supporter in my entire section. I know Texas is a football school, but presumably those who showed up weren't waiting for a Vince Young touchdown to make their allegiance known.

An Austin-educated colleague agrees that it isn't the sport that's the problem. He says that Texas fans in general subscribe to a mellower strain of loyalty. At the Red River shootout, for example, Oklahoma fans are frothing at the mouth before sunrise while Texas fans are still trickling in well after kickoff.

Such was the case on Sunday. As I approached the AAC a few minutes before the game, Kansas partisans were nowhere to be seen among the throng. That's because they were all inside, already howling for Longhorn blood--which they duly received. --Rick Kennedy