One thing they all have in common is that they are glad football season is back. After a long summer full of news of natural disasters, wars and bad economies, it’s nice to have something to divert our attention for a few hours a week.

This is my fourth football season as a Kansan, and I am still shocked at the diversity here. Whether it is college or professional football, you never know who people will support.


Being from Oklahoma, you knew most people around you were going to be Oklahoma Sooner fans. Some around us had college ties, were contrarians or were just lovers of the underdog and cheered for Oklahoma State. But there were only a handful of people who cheered for anyone else –– usually recent transfers who followed a job to the area and were not successfully assimilated into the culture.


When it came to the NFL, most people were Dallas fans. The NFL does a better job of creating storylines, so there was more diversity, but not a lot. I live in a small town in Kansas. You would think most people would be Kansas University or Kansas State fans. There are some of those. But there are so many more colleges with a fan base here.


You can drive up and down streets and see supporters of Penn State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and even some poor confused people who support Texas (sure they are the embodiment of evil, but even Darth Vader had some supporters).


I blame the failure to attract fans on the fact that KU and K-State aren’t typically championship-quality teams. If they ever had a good team, I bet the bandwagon would fill up pretty quickly.


The same effect can be seen on the professional level. NFL fans should lean toward Kansas City. But somehow the chiefs have failed to capture the imagination of many fans.


There are Denver Bronco fans, San Francisco 49er fans, Dallas Cowboy fans, Oakland Raider fans and more Pittsburgh Steeler fans than you can imagine.


I bet you don’t find many Kansas University fans in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or Happy Valley, Penn. I know you won’t find a Chiefs fan anywhere near Pittsburgh. One thing they all have in common is that they are glad football season is back.


After a long summer full of news of natural disasters, wars and bad economies, it’s nice to have something to divert our attention for a few hours a week.