For a team to make it to the Final Four of this tournament, it has to have some degree of luck along the way. Whether that luck is in the form of an injury to the opposing team’s most important player, or a last second three-pointer to tie clanking off the back of the rim, you have to appease the basketball gods to make it this far.
Even extraordinarily talented teams like Kentucky have been blessed with a relatively injury-free season (and a temporary reprieve from NCAA investigators who will no doubt vacate this season in the future).
This degree of luck is what makes fans do odd things in the name of superstition. By this time of the season, everyone has a game day ritual or custom.
For instance, my fiancée wanted nothing to do with going out to watch the game yesterday because our new television is “lucky.” I know people that change shoes, play musical chairs, and wear a specific ensemble because to do otherwise would obviously curse the team.
I can’t really judge. I’ll never watch a KU tournament game inside four Lawrence-area bars ever again (I won’t name them, just in case they’re your lucky places).
This superstitious behavior has spilled over to the KU twitterverse in a way that I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined.
It all started with a single tweet from @MommyLovesWine, a Kansas City based KU alum and fan. The day of the KU vs. MU game in Lawrence, she posted a “twitpic” of herself (from the neck down) in a KU shirt with a message that KU needed a little boob for luck.
That day KU came back from a 19-point deficit to win.
Kansas fans always talk about the “PHOG” inside Allen Fieldhouse that cosmically dooms opposing teams before the ball is even tipped. Of course, the PHOG doesn’t always travel to neutral courts and games played in domes.
But #kuboobs apparently does.
During the Purdue game last Sunday, Kansas needed every bit of luck, voodoo, and sorcery it could come up with to stop the Boilermakers from making every shot they took. Once again, #kuboobs made an appearance.
Except this time, the twitter hashtag began to take a life of its own. More KU women (and even some men) began tweeting their own pictures from the neck down. After the Jayhawks narrowly escaped in Omaha, many on Twitter began asking themselves if the #kuboobs tweets gave KU the extra “lift” it needed on the court?
The KU twitterverse is enormous. I have previously opined that it is the most social media savvy college fan base there is right now. The evening of the North Carolina State game only reemphasized that point.
Because #kuboobs went viral.
At one time, it was trending worldwide on twitter, just below #operationBIEBERBLAST, Kevin Love, and #ThingsIDoWhenIGetBored. There were many more photos going up and with each one, a big response from those tracking (read: stalking) it.
Twitter user, @djsoap, a local DJ and avid Jayhawk fan, used his 14,000+ twitter follower clout to get the message out. He and others have championed each new picture with a retweet and comment. It even prompted a twitter handle devoted entirely to the phenomenon, @kuboobs.
And you know what? KU found a way to beat the Wolfpack.
By now you know the rest of the story. Kansas topped North Carolina with great defense, great coaching, and, of course, the overwhelming support of #kuboobs.
Most hash tags eventually flame out pretty quickly. Especially those that arise from a particular event. There’s a chance this one might too, what with the Final Four being on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and all.
Then again, maybe it is here to stay.
@MommyLovesWine (her real name is Tiffany) told me today she has gained over 250 followers today and over 500 since the Purdue game. And while the #kuboobs response has been predominately positive – some are even using it to promote breast cancer research and awareness – there have been a few people who have called it a little racy at best and pornographic at worst.
Personally, I’m all for it. Not for the obvious reason, either. Just like I refuse to slam your game day superstitions, I won’t slam #kuboobs either.
I’m not sure that came out right.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if twitpics of you in KU attire helps you feel like you’re doing your part to keep the Jayhawks alive in the tournament, then by all means, keep doing it.
And who knows, maybe #kuboobs will be the reason the Jayhawks bring home the cup.
#kubball, #kuboobs, Basketball, Final Four, Kansas, March Madness, NCAA, superstition