Brutal heat and a 3-9 2013 football record may have kept the crowd at Friday’s ninth annual KU Kickoff at Corinth Square smaller than in some previous years, but for devoted Jayhawks fans, the event provided a chance to mingle with other northeast Johnson County alums and get a fresh dose of Jayhawk spirit.
Charlie Weis on the crowds at Corinth Square
KU football coach Charlie Weis says he was blown away the first time he came to the KU Kickoff and saw the thousands of fans assembled at Corinth Square.
Women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson stole the show at the close of her remarks by channelling her basketball program counterpart. Noting the absence of Bill Self — who tends to be among the biggest draws to the pep rally — at this year’s event, Henrickson asked for 30 extra seconds behind the microphone to try to show the crowd what they were missing. “We’re not real good yet,” she said trying on Self’s unaffected delivery. “But, uh, uh, we could be good.” The imitation drew huge laughter and applause from the audience.
Third year football head coach Charlie Weis decided to forego standing on the event stage, choosing instead to stand a couple of feet below among the KU band and cheerleaders for his remarks. Weis mostly avoided talking about specific players (the Jayhawks have just lost their two top running backs to injuries), with the exception of Bishop Miege grad Montel Cozart, who had been tapped as this year’s starting quarterback. Weis acknowledged the struggles of the past two seasons, but said he felt he finally had enough of his own players in house to make the team competitive.
“I’m speaking on behalf of our team tonight, that we’re sick and tired of the national perspective of KU football, being that we’re not worth a crap,” Weis said. “We’re sick and tired of it. But let me tell you something. Until you do something about it, that’s what the perspective is going to be.”
The Jayhawks open their season at home against Southeast Missouri State Sept. 6.