The Bar Band is one of our favorite traditions- members of the Marching Jayhawks & the KU Pep Bands form this group that takes to the streets of Lawrence the night before games to get the town excited.
They used to only come out during football season, but at some point decided it was so much fun, they might as well play during basketball season too. We're glad they do.
Not too long ago, Dave installed strands of white LED lights on the ceiling. They're not on all the time, but they make the bar a little brighter during the day. When the bar band stopped by in early March, he flipped on the lights so we could record a little better video.
Here's our last footage of the bar band from this season. It's kind of long, about five minutes, but it's worth it. Our bartender/doorguy Tyler is standing on the bar, on the far left of the video, playing his trumpet. Enjoy!
The end of January brought the first part of the Sunflower Showdown, the multiple-times-per-year sports clash between in-state rivals KU and K-State. KU won that game in Manhattan, but just barely, and in overtime.
The rematch is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. And this time, both teams are ranked in the top 5 in both major polls. Has that ever happened before? Sports trivia buffs?
Even though we're mostly die-hard KU fans at The Sandbar (Dave played for KU, after all!), it's great to see even more basketball attention turned towards our state.
We're not much of a sports bar, but we do have a couple of TV's. And very recently we even got some compliments on those TV's from someone who clearly expected a dive like ours to have a lesser-quality viewing experience.
All TV's will be tuned to the game tomorrow night, and Dave's working on hooking up a radio connection so we can listen to the senior speeches & ceremony afterward. Assuming it's broadcast on the radio, that is.
And, FREE TACOS! That's right. If you were around for our inaugural free taco bar night a week ago, you know how good they are. We'll have the taco bar set up again tomorrow night for the game, along with our usual $2 well drink special. The lovely Hayley will be behind the bar, and she's hoping for a great turnout of spirited fans!
Once upon a time, long before he mixed fruity concoctions or danced on bars or poured towering glasses of shots, Dave played basketball. His long, winding road through the land of college basketball eventually brought him to Lawrence and the Kansas Jayhawks.
(If you missed the fantastic story this fall about his path from backboards to surfboards, you can find it here.)
The KU-KSU Sunflower Showdown is always a heated rivalry, and Dave's playing years were no exception.
When his team traveled west to beat down the purple kitty-cats one year, Dave came home with more than a win. I've heard that Greg Gurley was talking about this on the radio yesterday, and it's been mentioned on the KUsports.com message boards, but I'm the only one with the exclusive story from Dave himself!
"I can't remember if it was '91 or '92, but I think it was my junior year ('91). We won the game, and afterwards the students started throwing crap at the court. I got hit on the forehead with something- to this day I don't know what it was. Maybe a quarter, a piece of ice…who knows.
Anyway, my forehead had a bleeding gash on it, and Coach Williams actually told the trainer not to fix it up right away. He wanted the media and everyone else to see the blood on my face so they wouldn't minimize the whole incident.
Of course the trainer fixed it before too long, but at least there were a few pictures of it, to prove I really did get hit. There's still a small scar on my forehead from it.
I think someone else, maybe Rex Walters, got hit with something the next year."
This picture was taken shortly after the game before Dave's head was fixed. Doesn't he look young? (And skinny?!?)
The adorable little girl? His cousin Mariya, who has since graduated from KSU, is working on her master's degree and teaching, and recently got married. That makes Dave (and me) feel really old.
The KSU fans are still throwing things from the stands. Recently, their projectile of choice has been rubber chickens, which is particularly amusing to us at the Sandbar. If you've seen our hurricane videos, you know that rubber chickens play a prominent part.
Let's hope that everyone can stay classy today and that no one gets hurt.
If you're looking for a place to watch the game, we're giving away free chili dogs at both Sandbar Lawrence & Ottawa locations during the game. We may not have big-screen TV's, but our chili dogs can't be beat!
Our great state turns 149 years young today! Kansas became a state on this day way back in 1861. (And the coolest university in the country was created four years later, to borrow a line from KU Info.)
One of our Twitter followers wondered aloud if we would have any drinks in honor of Kansas Day. To be honest, this had not yet occurred to us, but we love any reason to celebrate- so yes, we will!
All day today, you can enjoy a Sunflower Shandy for $3.50. It's Boulevard Wheat and lemonade. And yes, we realize that Boulevard is actually made in the state that sits directly east of Kansas, but pretend it's made somewhere else for today. Focus instead on the fact that Kansas usually leads the nation in wheat production.
And looking ahead…
Is it ironic that the big in-state rivalry basketball game is the day after Kansas' birthday?
I know we aren't really a sports bar and don't have huge, fill-the-whole-wall sized TV's, but if you're looking for a place to watch the game tomorrow, stop by our Lawrence or Ottawa location. Both places will have free chili dogs during the game!
Big thanks to the writer Brenna, who is also in her second term as editor of the Kansan. She's a Sandbar fan, but up until this summer, she only knew Dave in his Sandbar persona- and didn't realize he had a previous life as a KU basketball player.
She interviewed Dave a few weeks ago and asked all kinds of questions about basketball and the bar. Apparently he mentioned that we met at The Sandbar, and upon hearing that, she wanted to interview me too!
I had a great time meeting Brenna over lunch and answering all kinds of questions about the bar and Dave. I even provided a few "vintage" pictures I dug up of Dave from his playing days. Secretly, I think he was thrilled that everyone could see him wearing tight-rolled jeans, showing off his dance moves at Late Night nearly twenty years ago.
We've heard so many compliments about this article. One of my favorites was "if I didn't already know you two, I would after reading this article."