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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bird’s-eye view

Fans get an up-close look at new facility

Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

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Visitors pass by the giant Jayhawk on the carpet of the locker room Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

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A visitor leans in to grab a photo of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's office overlooking Kivisto Field on Wednesday during an open house tour of the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Anderson Family Football Complex tours

As the line of people waiting to enter Kansas University's new Anderson Family Football Complex grew Wednesday, and as it began to stretch well past the ticket office and down toward 11th St., Rob Crane offered an insight that, in its simplicity, was quite appropriate.

"This is like a movie premiere," said the 35-year-old Olathe resident.

If this was the case, then the program's newest entity enjoyed a whopper of an opening night.

One by one Wednesday, hundreds of local (and not-so-local) residents filed into the complex during an open house tour of the $31 million facility. And one by one, they filed out in apparent awe.

Joyce Halderman, a Lawrence resident, gushed about the weight room. Mark Begert was enamored with the underwater treadmills. Nearly everyone, it seemed, was amazed by the massive office occupied by Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, which stares out onto Kivisto Field and provides one of the best game-day views in Lawrence.

Mostly, though, they were struck by the magnitude of it all.

"You get a lot of big bodies in there, (and) they've certainly got enough space to accommodate them," said Dwight Nichols, 50, who made the drive from Topeka to tour the complex. "The boys will probably be getting lost in there for a few days early on."

University officials opened the facility to the public for two hours to show off the recently completed new home of Kansas football. Many of the team's coaches were on hand for the occasion, including Mangino, who greeted guests as they made their way from one section of the massive building to the next.

And the public, for its part, was receptive.

"They're doing everything they can to attract the upper-echelon of athletes," said Asheiki Preston, who played quarterback for the Jayhawks in the early 90s. "When you're trying to compete against the Texases, the Florida States, the Ohio States, you have to have something attractive, and a facility like this definitely is."

Of course, with greater power comes greater responsibility (read: expectations). And on Wednesday night, a month shy of the Jayhawks' season-opener against Florida International, that responsibility already appeared evident.

"I asked one of the coaches if (the new facility) was good for two to three more wins a season," said Jarrod Nichols, 35, of Olathe. "And he kind of looked at me like, 'Dude, we only lost one game last year.'"

Comments

GoBadgers 6 years, 1 month ago

Ahhhh, the "wink" symbol. I often overlook such symbols. My bad...

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

rockchalk_dpu,ah, cool ... never seen that!I'll have to look for it.

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Jonathan Allison 6 years, 1 month ago

"I asked one of the coaches if (the new facility) was good for two to three more wins a season," said Jarrod Nichols, 35, of Olathe. "And he kind of looked at me like, 'Dude, we only lost one game last year.'"We may have only lost one game. But we could have won 14 rather than 12 had we beaten Mizzou and won the Big 12 Championship. Then of course we'd be national champions. Lofty expectations? Yes.I wish I could have toured the facilities.

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DSommersby 6 years, 1 month ago

Very impressive. First class facility with a big time mission. Go Jayhawks!

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

I think the basketball program could use something like that wall of plaques for the NBA ...

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Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Plastic - besides mizzoo and OU in the BigXII championship, we also would have needed to beat the #2 team in the nation (LSU?) to be NC. Let's be careful we don't start pulling a mizzoo or OU and presume victories in advance.It is good to hear that the facility is impressive, though my recollection is that it only begins to catch up with the big programs - UT, OU, NU, OSU, FSU, LSU, USC, ...Regardless, the goal should be more 10+ win seasons and championships. Rock Chalk.

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GoBadgers 6 years, 1 month ago

WisconsinJayhawk,Where exactly is Mr. Arnett's pro-Missouri, anti-chickenhawk slant unmistakable? I can't find it...

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WisconsinJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Doogie, your pro-Missouri, anti-KU slant is unmistakable! Watch it mister! ;)...

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Jim Pendleton 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow what a great new facility. Got a chance to take the tour and I was extremely impressed. Recruits will have a hard time saying no after seeing all this.The rest of the Big 12 better take notice, and get your licks in now. KU football is going to be a growing power for many years to come.

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sevenyearhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

The facility was just incredible ... it was very cool that so many of the coaches were there to greet the fans!One of the more interesting things was a wall with plaques for all of the NFL teams which showed which Jayhawks had played where and when.

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LAJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Wish I could see the facilities.... wish I could see a live game! I guess that's why God invented cable sports packages and plasma TVs. Thankfully most games will be televised this year.Can't wait 'till next month......

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KU 6 years, 1 month ago

I've seen what they have in Lincoln. As far as the locker room, it's about the same as KU. Training room.....comparable. Weight room.....the only difference is NU has windows and KU's is underground under the hill. The only drawback is the indoor practice facility is now on the opposite side of the hill. Fortunately, they don't need to practice indoors that much, and the two brand new field turf practice fields are adjacent to Memorial and state-of-the-art.The gap between KU's football facilities and the Big 12 powers just shrank a great deal with the opening of this building.

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bmcmich1 6 years, 1 month ago

judging by the 'wink' symbol at the end of wisco's post, one would think he wrote that out of sarcasm, mocking those who actually post that comment and mean it. just a hunch...

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KU 6 years, 1 month ago

Incredible facility. I can't imagine that it takes a back seat to anything in the Big 12. If KU has a successful year, watch out! You can feel the tide turning and the momentum building!Got your season tickets?Rock Chalk!

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John Percival 6 years, 1 month ago

Is the guy with the camera Coach Self?!

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bluvnku2002 6 years, 1 month ago

When is the first day of practice for the Hawks?

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rockchalk_dpu 6 years, 1 month ago

sevenyear,In the hallway to the locker room, they have the jerseys of every current NBA player which I feel is more impressive and telling of the program's current success.RCJ

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actorman 6 years, 1 month ago

That's an utterly ridiculous comment, Wisconsin Jayhawk. There was NOTHING in this article that was pro-Missouri, anti-Jayhawk. And in fact if you didn't know that the writer was a Misuse graduate, you would never have suspected a thing.

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LAJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

actorman,I think it's been established that WisconsinJayhawk was being sarcastic. That's why the wink ;) is at the end of the phrase. I think he's making the point that the guy is a professional and isn't writing biased articles.

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