Rain dampens KU Kickoff Rally (but not KU spirit!)

So. The weather didn’t exactly cooperate.

But hopefully whoever is in charge of such things will look more favorably on the Jayhawks’ football season that he or she did on the fifth annual KU Kickoff Rally. Thousands of KU fans came to Corinth Square Friday evening for the popular event, but new head football coach Turner Gill was only able to address the crowd for a few minutes before torrential rains sent most attendees scrambling for shelter.

Though the rest of the scheduled speakers didn’t get a chance to go onstage, turnout for the event was high — showing an interest that makes Prairie Village an attractive destination to the KU athletic department.

“This is the heart of Jayhawk country,” said Jim Marchiony, KU’s Associate Athletics Director for External Relations. “We had great turnout here the first year, and it’s been building ever since. We have a lot of great fans around here who come in from all over Johnson County.”

Lots of pics, including NFL Hall of Famer and former Jayhawk standout Gale Sayers — and Baby Jay — after the jump.

Before the weather turned bad, KU alum Gale Sayers got to enjoy a meal with his family at Johnny’s Prairie Village:

Baby Jay and the Jayhawk cheerleaders met young fans:

Coach Gill got plenty of attention from the press:

And motorists along Mission Road were unable to avoid the immensity of the inflatable Jayhawk:

And then the rains came. And they kept coming. For a couple of hours:

Which left many young attendees soggy. Though quite animated:

Until next year…