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Crowson: Thanks for the happy diversion, Shockers.

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This time of year the political news during Kansas’ legislative sessions always gets grimmer and grimmer, and grimmer and grimmer. For the sake of our mental health some of us must seek diversion.

And every recent year, much of that happy diversion has come in the form of Shocker basketball. Coach Marshall probably doesn’t suspect that in addition to shouldering responsibility for getting his team into the playoffs, he’s in charge of keeping progressives like me from utter, devastating despondency.

This year was no exception. We were all able to cheer through a great season, watching Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Evan Wessel. And for a while, I was able to overlook the fouls being committed by Kansas politicians. Our region was united, liberals and conservatives, in support of this great team with its mighty heart.

Thanks to all the players and to Coach Marshall. Wichita is proud of how smart and tough this team is. Their uniting team spirit is especially inspirational.

It’s a very rare quality in Kansas these days - that united team spirit thing. Many of legislators are busy demonizing everyone: the President, the poor, the scientific community, our educators, the LGBT community, the immigrant community. They pass the ball to no one and they flagrantly foul with impunity.

A uniting spirit? Coach Marshall’s Shockers are the only ones I’ve seen with it for some time.

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.