Almost two years ago, David Brandenburg and his friends walked into an unforeseen situation.
While out in Lawrence on the night before Kansas’ home game against Kentucky on Jan. 30, 2016, the group spotted Kentucky coach John Calipari roaming around The Wheel.
They quickly decided to approach him, and it was in that moment Brandenburg — who was a student at the University at the time — pulled out his phone to capture the moment.
In a 10-second video that was later posted to Twitter, Brandenburg seemed to already have an idea of how the game was going to play out the next day.
“Are you ready to take that L [loss] tomorrow?” Brandenburg abruptly asked Calipari.
As many Kentucky fans would likely agree, Calipari’s response was surprising.
“Yeah, we probably will [lose],” Calipari said.
Looking back on the encounter, Brandenburg said he’s more surprised with himself asking the question rather than Calipari’s response.
When I said "you ready to take an L tomorrow?"— david brandenburg (@dbrandy22) January 30, 2016
John Calapari said... pic.twitter.com/NccivXKnn9
“I don’t know what I was doing. It was honestly pretty dumb,” Brandenburg said with a laugh. “I asked that question in a pretty cocky manner. And I think he was just messing with me really. I think he was more like ‘OK, get away from me.’ But it was kind of funny.”
In Kentucky's visit to Lawrence, Calipari was returning to the site that gave him his first basketball job. He was hired as a volunteer coach by former Kansas coach Ted Owens for the 1982-83 season. Calipari stayed at Kansas until 1985, when he left the school to become an assistant coach at Pittsburgh the next season.
“He was talking to us, he was pretty personable,” Brandenburg said of interacting with Calipari the night before the game. “He was in a good mood. I think he was just kind of reminiscing because he was back in Lawrence. So, I think he was in a pretty good mood and he was just talking to all of us.”
Hours before tipoff, Brandenburg’s video circulated all over Twitter. The extra attention was a surprise to him.
“It was pretty crazy, actually,” Brandenburg said. “The next day my phone was just going crazy with notifications and stuff.”
When Brandenburg entered Allen Fieldhouse for the game and made his way to his seat, his game day experience was unlike any other he had before.
“It was weird going to the game the next day and people, like, recognizing me from the video,” Brandenburg said with a chuckle. “It was definitely a little weird, but it was fun. It was funny.”
The game turned out like Brandenburg predicted—in a Kansas win. Although it took overtime, the Jayhawks defeated the Wildcats 90-84 behind a career-high 33 points from former Jayhawk Wayne Selden Jr.
Earlier this season, Kansas once again matched up with Kentucky—this time in the Champions Classic in Chicago on Nov. 14. Before that game, Brandenburg’s video once again resurfaced on Twitter. And after a gutsy performance, Kansas defeated Kentucky once again, 65-61.
“I got a notification from a few of my friends who sent it to me because I didn’t see it at first,” Brandenburg said. “It looks like it’s going to be something that’s probably going to resurface again and again.”
Even if the video does continue to reappear on Twitter before every future Kansas-Kentucky matchup, Brandenburg doesn’t see it as much of a big deal.
“It’s really just me being an idiot,” Brandenburg said with a laugh. “But I think it’s funny.”
However, he does think it could still continually draw the ire of Kentucky fans.
“I think it’s good for the rivalry, I guess, he said. “It’s good to mess with Kentucky fans. There’s nothing more fun to do than mess with Kentucky basketball fans.”
Brandenburg, a Spring, Texas, native, transferred from the University last year to join the Southwestern football team, a Division III program. He serves as a running back for the Pirates.
“It was a great fit,” Brandenburg said. “I’m a lot closer to home. I’m from the northeastern area [of Texas], and Southwestern is in the Austin area, so I’m about three hours away from home now.”
In 10 games, Brandenburg rushed for 317 yards and a rushing touchdown on 36 carries this past season.
“[The adjustment back to my home state] has been good. I had a great season this year,” Brandenburg said. “First season back [to football]. I’m really enjoying it.”
Although he’s now left the University, Brandenburg can also enjoy the fact that Jayhawk fans will always remember him from his timeless video with Kentucky’s Hall-of-Fame coach.