Nationals Visits Kansas University
by Nick England
I arrived at DFW airport to depart for Lawrence. This was no ordinary Sunday, mind you. This particular Sunday was one which Brett Favre had scheduled a whooping on the Cowboys. Had I known this at the time, I probably would not have stood outside a restaurant at my terminal until the last possible second, watching America’s Team draw near to half time. Leaving me to get on a plane where I would be cut off entirely from the world and more importantly, the NFC playoff. It wouldn’t be until I was in Kansas that I would discover that the 2009 season would not be the year for Wade Phillips to hoist the Lombardi trophy whilst being showered by confetti.
I stepped outside the Kansas City airport to be met by a winter wonderland foreign to someone from Texas. The wind had a bite to it, men were wearing scarves and trench coats at no attempt of being fashionable but rather just plain functional. And to top it off, there was snow everywhere. President Todd Dorsey and Vice President Robert Vick rolled up to the curb to pick me up along with one of their chapter sponsors, Loren Hsiao. We drove to Lawrence, catching up about chapter business, KU basketball and Avatar. Really anything but the Cowboys game…Loren had recorded it to watch when he returned home even though the pilot on his flight was giving them updates periodically. A luxury which most likely evolved into a mosquito that just won’t leave your ear alone.
We were dropped off at the hotel to change for dinner and the initiation ceremony that night. Brian Moore, another KU chapter sponsor met us there and we all drove to Free State Brewery for dinner. On our last visit to Lawrence, we were told the chicken pesto pasta was the best meal to order at Free State, which would be true unless you talked to Jason Hoyt. Jason had a bout with the pasta that left him ralphing in the hotel room all day. That chicken pesto pasta was belligerent, like an old man sending back soup at a diner. However, the majority of us ordered the chicken pesto pasta once again because we had heard it was so good…and it was. Following dinner, the founding fathers took their pledge test and we initiated the men. It was an incredible night, especially because in addition to Loren and Brian, we were joined by two other KU chapter sponsors, Will Pryor and Paul Hendrix. It was quite a sight to behold these men care so much about BYX and give their time and their hearts to initiate the founding fathers of the KU chapter. Following their initiation, we went to Munchers for some late-night cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk, perhaps the beginnings of a KU chapter tradition.
When I awoke on Monday morning, I started my day the best way anyone can in Lawrence, Kansas. I ventured to Milton’s for some of their famous french toast, a delicacy to Jayhawks and a must for any visitor of their fair city. Todd, Chaplain Trevor Perry, Secretary Josh Charles, Treasurer Bryant Huether, founding father Ryan Black and I all ate breakfast that morning at Milton’s over some great conversation about the future of the KU chapter. Throughout the day, I was able to meet with each of the officers as well as their faculty adviser to discuss more of the same. Then I met all of the founding fathers and some potential pledges at Bigg’s BBQ that evening for some great discussion and incredible Kansas barbecue. I ordered the brisket, sweet potato fries and fried okra. Now, don’t let Robert Vick fool you. Even though he is from Dallas, he has not become the most well rounded eater from his youth. He questioned okra and it’s origin, believing it to be an ocean-dwelling species, perhaps a crustacean or mollusk. I assured him that it comes from a flowering plant and is hardly eaten without being fried. I forced him to try it which did not go as well as I had planned…he insisted it laid eggs in his mouth. Following Roberts okra abduction, we closed out the evening with an officer meeting to plan for the semester.
Tuesday morning I ate breakfast at First Watch with Todd and Bryant. We talked about where the chapter is headed and how the trip went. Afterwards, we said our goodbyes and Josh and Bryant drove me to the airport to return to Dallas. Upon my arrival at DFW, I stepped outside and it was a muggy 71 degrees.