Texas vs. Kansas • Memorial Stadium • Lawrence, KS • November 15, 2008
Overview: Something tells me Jayhawks fans didn't expect to be 6-4 at this point in the season when they circled the Texas game on the calendar last summer. Regardless, I don't think KU will have completely turned their attention to basketball season as it'll be Senior Day and I'm sure the memory of UT's last visit to Lawrence still sticks in their collective craw.
Travel tips after the jump...
Lodging: Lawrence is not exactly what you’d call a tourism hot spot, so I've no doubt the limited number of hotels in town are already booked. If so, you may want to consider hotels in Topeka or Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City.
Transportation: Renting a car will be a must considering the closest major airport is MCI, located on the north side of Kansas City, a 45-50 minute drive from Lawrence.
Restaurants/Bars: Two words, “Mass Street,” which is short for Massachusetts Street and located just a few blocks east of campus. Pretty much any restaurant, bar, or club you’d want to go to the night before or after the game will be in the vicinity.
The Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St., 785-843-4555
Jefferson’s, 743 Massachusetts St., 785-832-2000
Quinton’s Bar & Deli, 615 Massachusetts St. 785-842-6560
Red Lyon Tavern, 944 Massachusetts St., 785-832-8228
The Jayhawker, 701 Massachusetts St., 785-749-5011
The Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts St., 785-749-7676
Tailgating: While there’s usually good tailgating on the hill next the stadium, I'm guessing the weather and early start time will keep the pre-gaming limited. Afterwards, Texas fans may be interested in a post-game pub crawl at some of KU’s great college bars just east of campus: The Wheel (14th and Ohio Streets, 785-841-0488), The Hawk (13th and Ohio Streets, 785-843-9273), and The Crossing (12th St. and Oread Ave.) UPDATE: Apparently this bar has closed. But be prepared to hike, as you would not believe how hilly the KU campus is despite popular beliefs about Kansas being flat.
Tickets: Memorial Stadium only seats 50,000, so while there isn’t a bad seat in the house, tickets will be hard to come by. And even though scalping is legal in Kansas, the KU athletic department has implemented rules cracking down on the practice, issuing citations to both scalpers and buyers. So be advised if you’re unable to procure tickets from the KU Ticket Office (800-34-HAWKS, kuathletics.com) or via the Internet prior to game day.
Gameday Traditions: The Jayhawk mascot is a cross between a blue jay and a sparrow hawk. It was a name coined back in the 1850s to describe the more vocal and belligerent individuals involved in the decision on whether to make Kansas a free state or a slave state. Lawrence was a stronghold for the free state proponents.
“Rock-chalk-Jayhawk, KU” is a 100+ year-old battle cry invented by a Kansas University chemistry professor. The chant was officially adopted as the school-yell in 1887. “Rock chalk” is symbolic of the chalky limestone formations on Mount Oread on top of which the campus resides.
Also, during sporting events, KU fans like to raise their hands up and wave them back in forth to create a visual effect akin to a wheat field waiving in the wind.
Local Attractions: Named after “Phog” Allen, one of the all-time great basketball coaches, Allen Fieldhouse (1700 Naismith Dr.) is practically a monument to college basketball history and definitely worth the visit.
Special thanks to Jeremy Chrysler (phogblog.com)