Bonnie Bing: Don’t tell me Shocker fans have no spirit

11/25/2012 7:07 AM

11/25/2012 7:08 AM

We all have that little saying or thought we say or think when we’re sure we didn’t hear something correctly.

Some might just say, “Huh?” or “What?” Mine happens to be, “Wait. Now what?” I say this when I don’t understand something, but also when I am incredulous of something that is said to me.

I have two perfect examples.

Not long ago, a man told me there was absolutely no way a university could have school spirit unless it has a football team. At first, I thought he was kidding. Once I realized Mr. Burly Arms was serious, I launched into how Wichita State University fans have plenty of spirit and they fill Koch Arena for basketball games.

I’m writing this while I’m in Cancun at the Cancun Challenge. We’re here to see both the men’s and women’s basketball teams compete. I wish the football maniac was here to see the bleachers full of Shocker fans clad in black and gold showing their school spirit. One couple is here on their honeymoon to see the Shocker games, one man came to celebrate his birthday, and several fans came from across the country to see the Shocks play. We met a couple from Denver who go wherever the Shockers play every Thanksgiving. Also, a couple who moved from Wichita four years ago and now lives in Indianapolis is here.

When I asked men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall what he thought about the large group of fans who came either on the charter plane or on their own, he said, “Shocker fans are loud, they’re proud, and they are colorful.”

Women’s coach Jody Adams said, “Our fans are unmatched. There’s a real interest there, and it’s on a personal level. Other teams take notice of our spirit. I talk a lot about our environment and how great it is.”

Assistant coach Bridgette Gordon said, “Our fans are unique and very special. They don’t just watch the games, they know the kids, and the kids know them.”

So after experiencing hundreds of Shocker games in my life, it’s no wonder when someone said something so ridiculous I said, “Wait. Now what?”

My other example was just as upsetting.

I was in a store trying to borrow a shirt that I wanted a handsome model to wear in a charity fashion show. I told the store manager who I was and what I was needing. He said he would have to call his boss. OK, that was understandable. It was the first time I’d borrowed anything from an unfamiliar store since I retired, and it felt weird not to hand him my Eagle business card. The young man and his boss wouldn’t loan me the shirt because neither one had ever met or heard of me before. Well, OK, that’s understandable. I explained I had worked as the fashion writer for The Wichita Eagle for 32 years.

“Do you read the newspaper?” I asked.

His answer? Get ready.

“No, I guess I’m too young.”

Wait! Now what?

I couldn’t help myself. I had to say, “You’re never too young to know what is going on in your community or to know about the place where you work and live.”

I handed him the shirt and left.

Too young to read the paper? If he thinks it’s archaic to hold newsprint in his hands, perhaps he could read it online?

I’m sure from time to time I say (or write) something that has a person saying, “Bing, are you nuts?” or “Huh?” or “Wait. Now what?”

And that’s good. There’s nothing like opposing views to open up dialogue. As author John Powell said, “Communication works for those who work at it.”

That said, don’t tell me Shocker fans don’t have spirit or you’re too young to read the newspaper.

End of discussion.

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service