The best times in sports are when a community to swells with support. You know it's happening when your great grandma (who hasn't seen a basketball since they threw them through peach baskets) is suddenly watching SportsCenter every night. Wichita State Basketball is making this happen in our city right now.
We share so few things here in Wichita. We're fickle. We keep to ourselves. We probably suffer from middle child syndrome (or medium city syndrome).
But there's a different vibe in town the past few months. It feels like a college town. It's strange, but very welcome.
To say Wichita State Basketball is having a good year, might be an understatement. But judging by the demeanor of this team the past few years, and the level headed nature of the coaching staff, I bet that's how they look at it. There's more work to do, they know it, they embrace it, and they remain focused on the next step. It's a very Wichita attitude to have. Grind. Improve. Repeat. That's what we do.
A lot of people around the country don't get that work eithic is a good thing. I don't know the exact origins of "Play Angry" but I suspect it has to do with comments like these:
It would feel really good to win this one. The NCAA really threw down the gauntlet with WSU's side of the bracket, but maybe that makes the whole thing that much sweeter. Do we need the odds if we have the desire?
Here's a fact. This Wichita State team won't be satisfied without a championship, neither will Wichita. As a city, we don't often get in the big games, let alone walk away with a win. This team is great because they've already proven despite what people think, despite the labels, that you alone define your worth.
If they win it all, it will be one of the most gratifying championships ever won by any team, in any sport, ever. If not, we all know this WSU team will have left it all on court, and Wichita will be proud. Then we get back to work. Grind. Improve. Repeat.