OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Some people would do anything to help their team win, but would you knock on a stranger’s door? That’s what one Kansas basketball fan did in Overland Park during Sunday’s Elite Eight game just before overtime.
Andy Schwartz, who owns the home, moved back to the area last year with his 10-year-old dog Bentley. They do most things together, including watch KU games.
“It’s cool. It’s really awesome. I grew up watching them,” Schwartz said. “I know where I was for the 2008 championships. I know where I was watching in 2012.”
Jeff Shull remembers where he watched those games, too — at his grandmother’s house, which just happens to be Schwartz’s house now.
“Anything on a Sunday,” Shull said. “So Elite Eight — that’s why on a Sunday it was here. You’d have every big sporting event like that we would get together here. So it was one of the ones that yeah, you miss all those memories.”
So when he drove past his grandma’s house during that Elite Eight game, he had quite a surprise.
“I saw Andy out here in the full KU get up,” Shull said.
“Jersey, shorts and headband. All the flare,” Schwartz said.
“I kind of joked to my wife — at least he’s a KU fan,” Shull said.
Shull went to watch the game with his wife nearby. As the clock ticked down, with things looking bleak for KU, Shull knew where he needed to be: grandma’s house.
“I saw a car pull up in front of my house, and I thought, ‘That’s kinda weird,'” Schwartz said.
“I asked him, ‘Are you superstitious?’ He said, ‘No, not really.’ I said, ‘OK, here’s the deal,'” Shull said.
“The last two times KU won an Elite Eight game I was in the house, and I’m like, ‘Enough said. Come on in, dude. Let’s watch the game,'” Schwartz said.
So Schwartz and Shull sat on the couch in awe as KU won the game in the last few moments and made it to the Final Four.
“I’ve heard stories about this in the past,” Schwartz said. “Someone goes to their old childhood home and meets the people, and I never thought I’d be one of those stories. And then sure enough, it happened. It was really cool and really exciting, and made a new friend. So, that’s awesome.”
“To be able to come back and have one last game there or one game there, it really shows how nice of a guy Andy is,” Shull said.
Just remember, next March is only 11 months away.
“I think I’ll call him,” Shull said. “We exchanged numbers. I’ll call him ahead of time. We’ll set it up, but I think I’ll be back here.”
Shull said his grandmother, who passed away, was a huge KU fan. She would be happy to know he got to see one more game in her living room.