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2009: Who needs Don Johnson now?

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 1:42 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at 2:04 p.m.

Editor's note: The column was originally published Sunday, June 7, 2009 as part of our weekly Run 'n' Gun feature

Say what you will about Wichita State's trying baseball season, which just concluded; the future appears bright for the Shockers.

Forget those horrible midweek losses, the previously unheard of losing streaks and the first Shocker game without hits in 25 years.

If the last-second run to the NCAA Tournament weren't reason enough to be excited for next season, allow me to give another hopeful sign for 2010.

Twenty years after the school's lone national championship, the Shockers have arrived - they have a celebrity fan.

Cal-State Fullerton may have Kevin Costner and Ashley Judd is a regular sight at Kentucky basketball games, but WSU's fan trumps them all:

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Yeah, that's right.

The three-time Academy Award nominee is down with the Wheatshockers.

The man who helped turn a crummy movie about a boat, an iceberg and the cheesiest piece of jewelry ever into the highest-grossing film of all time is a closet Joe Carter fan.

The kid who honed his acting chops opposite Kirk Cameron and Alan Thicke on "Growing Pains" has a shrine to Darren Dreifort.

Well, maybe not.

Certainly this line of thinking had to have gone through some Shocker fans' minds Thursday night.

Right after 9 p.m. that night - 30 minutes after the Lakers had opened up an insurmountable lead on the Magic - ABC went through the roll call of the ubiquitous celebrities courtside at the NBA Finals.

There was Leo, sporting a hat with the unmistakable flying "W" of Wichita State.

So, should we expect to see DiCaprio, and possibly his homeboy Toby Maguire, behind home plate at Eck Stadium? Or giving high-fives to Gregg Marshall at Koch Arena?

Don't hold your breath.

As regular viewers of Lakers games may have already noticed, DiCaprio wears a variety of college hats to games at the Staples Center.

Some of WSU's predecessors included Virginia Commonwealth, Rhode Island and Florida Atlantic.

Toronto's National Post reported Leo doesn't ever wear the same hat twice.

So Thursday's 5-second national advertisement during the Finals was probably it for the Shockers.

There may be hope, though. On the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Florida Atlantic sports blog, there is visual evidence of DiCaprio wearing an FAU hat on three occasions - but only once to a Lakers game.

Oh well, we'll always have Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in the upcoming movie "Knight and Day."

And really, isn't that something to be excited about?

Eagle news editor Joshua Wood will be scanning tonight's crowd for people wearing Wingnuts or Wild hats. Reach him at 316-268-6413 or jwood@wichitaeagle.com

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