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Friday, August 28, 2009

List needs history lesson

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To kick off the college football season, USA Today has compiled a list of what it considers “golden years” for all 120 programs in the NCAA’s Bowl Subdivision. Kansas, of course, is nowhere near the Valhalla level of Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska but it gets short-changed by the USA-T choice of the KU high point.

The listing for KU is “2007-present: Mark Mangino has led the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowls (including the Orange Bowl) for the first time in school history.” A tongue-in-cheek Mangino once joshed about KU’s erratic program: “Anybody can have a bad century.” Thorough rascal that he is, Mark knows like a lot of us that there were substantial moments of glory long before began his seven-year tenure. His record entering the ’09 season is a rather pedestrian 45-42 despite the 20-6 showing since ’07.

KU floundered through the final year of the Glen Mason tenure (4-7) and the 20-33 stretch under Terry Allen. Inheriting a bare talent cupboard, Mangino couldn’t post a winning record until that 7-5 mark in 2005, which included an uplifting season-ender over Houston in the Fort Worth Bowl.

Though 2006 brought a modest 6-6 record, the pump was primed for that delightful 12-1 in 2007, capped off by an Orange Bowl upset of Virginia Tech. Last year’s 8-5 featured a 42-21 romp past Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. But USA-T does KU an injustice by insinuating “2007-present” represents any peak for “golden years.”

Those yuppie picayunes whose concept of history goes no deeper than five years will grimace, predictably, but my notion of glory years for Kansas football in the modern era were from 1946 through 1952. Some of the best teams the Jayhawks ever put on the field ran up a 48-20-3 record in that seven-year span and for the first time got KU a bowl game — then the prestigious Orange.

The 1946 and 1947 Kansans tied mighty Oklahoma with Jack Mitchell, Darrell Royal and similar superstars for the Big Six title, and without a bad call on a goal-line ball theft by Georgia Tech, would have won at Miami. Between ’46 and ’52, Kansas had teams with records as good as 7-2-1, 8-1-2, 7-3, 8-2 and 7-3. Mangino has had one year to top any of those.

As for bowls, during the 1948-53 tenure of J.V. Sikes, four KU teams would have gone to bowl games in the current format for postseason berths. But the Big Seven then allowed only one team to lengthen its season and that inevitably was Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson.

For my money, the greatest coaching plaudits in our locale belong to Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne at Nebraska, Bill Snyder (first 17 years) at Kansas State and Wilkinson at Oklahoma. Bud gets my No. 1 vote. He scored 145 victories, 12 straight league titles, three national championships and his Sooners once had a 47-game victory streak.

Now Kansas, with soaring hopes for a Big 12 North championship, has the players, the attitude and the leadership to add to those “golden years” that USA-T says began only in ’07. Can these Jayhawks squeeze out 10 victories and play OU or Texas for the league title?

The Mangino record would still fall short of KU’s 1946-52 run. Just don’t want anyone to get so zizzed about ’09 that they overlook my older heroes.

Comments

trich424 10 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, my parents weren't even born during that time. It's their list, make your own with the 120 schools and let some young/really old person criticize it. Just let us enjoy it.

kugrad2009 10 years, 4 months ago

I went back and looked at the article on USA Today. It said "there's room for debate, of course" when deciding when a team had its "golden years." That said, this is Mayer's argument. Others may argue the '60s with Bobby Douglass, Gale Sayers and John Riggins all playing in that decade and an Orange Bowl appearance was impressive too. Also, during the '46-'52 period, Mike McCormack was a Jayhawk as well. That said, USA Today listed KU's golden years from 2007-current. Hopefully, Mangino will settle any debate that there may be.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

And in walks the Encyclopedia to give it.

There's always room for debate, so we can all accept that there is no REAL answer here.

There is one underlying fact, though. We never, NEVER won an Orange Bowl before 2007.

We cannot compare leather and hard plastic helmets. We cannot compare the wishbone and the spread offenses. We cannot compare 4.2 forties, to running backs who literally would carry defenders in their wake, like ice and dust particles behind a comet.

This debate is about as functional as comparing Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, who is the better running back.

The only fact is until 2007 we never won an Orange Bowl. If winning means something, so be it.

Ryan Wood 10 years, 4 months ago

I'll trust Mayer here. The man has forgotten more KU athletics than any of us have seen.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

Surprise! I agree with HowMuchRice who defers to Mayer. If a kid is born today and becomes a Jayhawk fan, and if that kid sees a great run of Kansas basketball in 2034, how will he have the wherewithal to compare that team to what Sasha, Russell, Darnell, Darrell, Brandon, Cole and Sherron accomplished in '08? How can you really compare unless youve seen both? You cant. Deciding which years are the best in Kansas basketball is a question that would yield a vigorous debate simply because there were so many great teams. (Yes, Im comparing apples to oranges with a basketball reference on a football article, so let me set the Sunkist fruit down and pick up some Jonathans.) The "glory moments" in KU football history are easier to pick out because they are precious fewer so perhaps Mayer knows what he's talking about.

This is what it comes down to. The people who made that list for the USA Today relied on their research department to arrive at an opinion of Kansas which seems dismissive and knee-jerk to me at best. Mayer by contrast was there in person. I get miffed by the insinuation that KU Football has never done anything significant in its history prior to 2007, and if that gets Mayers goat too then Im on board with that. Granted, I havent had much to cheer about for KU football in my life until recently, but my Mom dated Gayle Sayers once in Omaha so Im tied by sentiments to earlier years of KU pigskin. The point here is that I cant even offer an free-standing opinion of Sayers' early 60s team cause I wasnt born yet. Id have to do some research. Mayer saw it.

But I tell you what. When you look at the article, if you are a Jayhawk fan you will be insulted too. All the accolades of other schools are listed right around Kansas', and the suggestion seems to be that Kansas has never done much. Its unapologetically dismissive. It drew my ire too, Bill! Here is the article for those of you who are interested:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2009-08-25-bonus-golden-years_N.htm

On a more conciliatory note, I hope you guys are getting your grills fired up and ready to BBQ for football season. The news of KU football is generating a lot more debate as the program is on the rise. Im glad we finally have something to talk about. Itd sure be better to have this discussion around a smoky grill, though...

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

Well, if we're going to be open to the notion that history goes deeper than five years, then why stop at the limits of Mayer's memory? The '46-'52 era was very good, but it can't hold a candle to the 1895-1910 era, when KU was a collective 109-33-8. That's a .768 winning percentage, far better than the .706 winning percentage from '46 to '52, and featured KU's only two undefeated seasons, two outright conference championships and shares of two others, and coaches like Fielding Yost, John Outland and Bert Kennedy. The only reason KU didn't go bowling regularly in those years is because bowls didn't exist.

So who's really being the picayune here, Bill?

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

A quote from the article...

"...for Kansas and Boise State, Southern Mississippi and Oklahoma State and a handful of others--there's no looking back at the good old days. By at least one estimation (the good old days) are now."

Is this not insulting? Especially if youve seen Riggins and Sayers and some of the great teams. Mayer is right to be outraged. Period.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Jr...

Oklahoma State once had Thurman thomas and Barry Sanders in the backfield......

Southern Miss was Favre's school was it not ??

John Boyle 10 years, 4 months ago

jakzhumans, He stated in his article "my notion of glory years for Kansas football in the modern era were from 1946 through 1952". I don't think 1895-1910 qualifies as modern era.

I don't agree with Mayer very often and I don't totally agee this time either but at least he put some thought into this article. That's a nice change.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Of course, had they not added " there is room for debate....." then such rancor would be expected....

Of course as I listed above.... we get angry over different eras getting compared against each other...and some only look longingly to the past and ignore clear evidence of the now.....

We don't go consistnatly to bowl games, let alone back to back to back ( yes im going out on a limb here and guarantueeing us 7 wins here..... ) or to 5 bowls in 7 years.....

We have never won a BCS Bowl game ( only in existance since what 1995 ) and although we have had Orange Bowls ( we use to have divisional ties with that bowl.. ) in our past, we have never won one, Until this era as they suggest.

If winning is what matters, Bill's wrong Guys.

Bill was there, Great. He should appreciate what we are seeing more because we weren't getting it then. We are now, and i think that was there intention in the original article.

Knee-jerk reaction, maybe. Poorly written article, maybe but when it acknowledges OUTRIGHT there is no comparison that would be accurate.... it's hard to call that poor writing.

Again, not bashing history but when one only sees history without any regard for the present .... this article tends to be the result.

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

JayhawkJohn, Right, that's what Mayer did, but that's not what the USA Today article he referenced did. It looked at the totality of each program's history and decided on some "golden eras" that stretched well back in time (Eastern Michigan back to 1925, Illinois to 1923, Northwestern to 1929, Stanford to 1924, etc.). So why didn't Mayer do the same? I suspect it's because he's guilty of the same thing he accuses "yuppie picayunes" of doing, namely omitting all history that precedes his personal memory. Sort of hypocritical, in my view.

Steve Corder 10 years, 4 months ago

Glory years are different than glory teams.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

jakzhumans...

the problem with your failed reasoning is that Mayer isnt saying that some fans' personal memory is limited to five years; rather, he is saying they limit their concept of history to that amount of time. Translation: they have a "what have you done for me lately" philosophy and are generally concerned with only the most recent activities in KU sports. Ive kicked around this site for a while and believe me: that contigent is unquestionably present here. And while I dont challenge the legitimacy of their fanhood, it is nonetheless true that some fans dont look to the past to try to discover where Kansas fits NOW in relation to where its been. So again, Mayer is not saying that these peoples' memories are limited to five years, and as such your charge of hypocrisy is noted and dismissed.

Despite your misgivings Mayer is on point. The premise of his piece is that while the recent few years have been great, they neither stand alone in the tradition of KU football nor was KU given the greater consideration it deserves in the USA Today piece. Its interesting to me that instead of arguing in favor of that perspective, you choose instead to quibble over a time period. Yes, something is wrong with this article, but it's not found in the body of the text. Its here in the comments!

You could put this to rest by addressing one simple question. Do you or do you not agree that KU should have been given more credit in the article, which says explicitly that there's no such thing as "glory days" at Kansas besides recent years?

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

JR..... seriously, did you not ready anything other than What the USA today article said specifically about Kansas ????

My first knee jerk was not why not 2005- current adn then i thought...were we really that good ??? No we weren't until we put together that UNPRECEDENTED season of 2007. 12 wins first time, First Orange Bowl win.

We can dance around this anyway w like too but this is the same argument presented again. Bill Likes to look longingly into the past, and refuses to understand that the present matters ALSO.

Name your Kansas All time football team..... if you are leaving Reesing, Briscoe, Meier, Talib, Holt, Collins and McClinton off that all time team... YOU ARE CRAZY.... had we not both Gale Sayers and John Riggins, You could also argue MacAnderson at full back.

2 years previous to this era, we also had others that could be considered for tis list.... Charles Gordon, Jon Cornish....Marcus Henry had a really strong senior year.... but those are not kids from the USA today Era suggested....

We could be looking at the Running back to replace either riggins or sayers in Opurum as well as the Receivers who could eventually replace Briscoe and Meier in our talented freshman.

Jr, Bill's right we have some great teams in the past, but he's incredibly wrong in getting fired up by that article. The premise of that article is VERY sound by the record books, and those who witness things outside of a small window of time 40 years ago.

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

jross1972,

There are at least a pair of problems with your response. First, I'm not quibbling over the time period involved. I'm quibbling over the inherent hypocrisy of someone who chastises younger fans for viewing history too narrowly while simultaneously choosing to define history too narrowly himself, i.e. in alignment with his own personal history. Perhaps that wasn't Mayer's intent, but it certainly reads that way given his closing comment about overlooking his personal heroes.

Second, I understand perfectly that the supposed premise of his article is that USA Today shortchanged KU's football history, but Mayer loses that point fairly quickly. Rather than attack and label people who are younger than him, an all-too-frequent theme with Mayer, it would have been better to simply offer the reminder that KU has had several periods of excellent football that would have been worthy of mention, then actually mention them. Instead, it's Mayer who chooses to quibble about the time period by focusing solely on his preferred set of years rather than sticking to what you and I agree should have been his primary point...KU has had a very solid football history that USA Today overlooked with their flippant "there's no looking back on the good old days" comment.

All of which means that the problems with this article, in my view, are most certainly in the writing and not the comments.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

Really quick cause I dont have much time. Where the nature of the subject is opinion, I recognize that different people can come to an impasse. What I do NOT understand, and never will because there is no coherent logic to explain it satisfactorily, is how an author can argue for MORE respect for an institution and yet one still encounters fault-finders (who claim to be fans for that very school).

It seems Mayer can neither criticize nor advocate for KU without drawing ire from the usual suspects. My point is that if your criticisms were less regular Id give more credence to them, but as you seem to be adept at picking his articles apart Im much more hesitant to acknowledge even the good points you make (perhaps when I have more time Ill cite specific issues with which I agree). My objections dont detract from the validity of your points, but you certainly pay the price in terms of impact.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

...and that is the problem in the comments! ;)

Dirk Medema 10 years, 4 months ago

JRoss - Like your last comments in particular. It is all too easy to fall into society's trap of being critical of others. It happens a lot on national and regional (KCStar) boards where you have multiple fan bases. That shouldn't be the case here.

LJW should be a reasonably homogenous population, and as such we should be working towards encouraging the team/university. The more positive we can be towards each other, the more positive it will be for the team/university.

I think Bill was being a bit of an old crumudgeon in enlightening the young whipper snappers at USAToday (his readers too?). Personally, I really appreciate the historical perspective that Bill brings, and can even deal with the crustiness - it reminds me a lot of my grampa.

I also really appreciated jakzhumans' addition to the article, and am a bit surprised that Bill wouldn't have at least mentioned it (closing paragraph?). I certainly wouldn't have dug up those years.

As for waywardJay, you apparently define winning by total number of victories and bowl victories. If that is a valid basis for comparison, then you also need to qualify your perspective with limits. The vast majority of the teams that have ever played collegiate football have never played 12 game seasons, much less 13 or 14 games. There were some very good (undefeated) teams that didn't even have an opportunity to play in a bowl game, because they didn't exist (see Jackz original post).

The short response is let's realize the difference between discussing, arguing, criticizing, and attacking, and lean toward the former. Save the latter for the KCStar, USAToday, ESPN, etc. and our feline foe in particular.

Rock Chalk - 8 days!

bad_dog 10 years, 4 months ago

"We have never won a BCS Bowl game..."

Wasn't the 2007 Orange Bowl a BCS Bowl game?

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Dagger, point was known before you said it.... Back in the day there were some 9 gfames seasons .... you simply cannot win 12 games or go to bowl games if there are no bowl games in existance... or that you area allowed to go to.....

I understood that.... I'm still saying, If you want to have something accurate to compare against, the only thing you can is record..... despite who the teams are.... a win is always a win.... It's the Only valid consistancy from year to year.... I wishh they played 12 game seasons back then..... but they didn't...

we played the weaker south teams in 2007, we went 3-0..... two on the road where we had previously no success under mangino...

As for the "tail" end of your comment...... Discussing, attacking, arguing, criticizing...etc etc etc..... If that's the case then why do we stil have Mayer around, that seems to be his MO.... Some like JRoss claim it's hte history lessons that he gives us.... i did well in history classes without Mayer's help in high school.... Im pretty sure i can do the same now. All i see from him, is ..... Old school, good. New fangled contraptions, bad.

The thing that even got me commenting on these boards was an article that was at best a month late, written poorly, and completely FALSE.....

I share you passion for a united entity, such as the jayhawk nation not being factioned. However, I would expect that that entity would have the best journalism possible. Until we get there, we have at least jesse newell.

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

"My point is that if your criticisms were less regular Id give more credence to them, but as you seem to be adept at picking his articles apart Im much more hesitant to acknowledge even the good points you make"

During my time as a registered user here, I've commented on the grand total of FOUR articles, only two by Mayer and only one (this one) being critical of him, so I'll presume you're talking to someone else.

klineisanazi 10 years, 4 months ago

I know Mayer can't help acting like and old man, because he is an old man, but the way he attacks everything new and everyone younger than him ( and that's most people) makes me loathe him, even if I might agree with him. (Yuppie? Only Mayer could still use that term in a column.) I had the same thoughts that he did when I read the USA today blurb about KU, but when I read his column, I still wanted to roll him over in a corner and lock the wheels on his wheel chair.

actorman 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm not going to get into the debate about when KU's "golden era" was, but I do have a bone to pick with Mayer's choice of the greatest coach. Hands down it has to be Bill Snyder. What he did at KSUck has to be the greatest accomplishment in college football coaching history, if not in all sports. It's one thing to win a s**tload of games when you have a virtual lock on most of the top players. But to do what Snyder did with a team that had the worst record in the history of college football simply defies explanation.

kvskubball 10 years, 4 months ago

klineisanazi....

I think that when you say ..."makes me loathe him". Loathe is pretty strong, IMO. Disagree if you want, disapprove if you want, but loathe (to detest, or to disagree with intolerance) serial killers and Nazis, not sports-writers. That kinda shows a lack of proper social interaction perspective. Also, you're kinda making his point for him when you say..."I still wanted to roll him over in a corner and lock the wheels on his wheel chair.", showing a seeming lack of respect for things older than you. I know that's not what you said, but your tone and comments say it for you. I think Bill's disparaging of youth is aimed at those who don't care to see any perspective other than their own, or at least don't seem to give it a fair reading.

I'm not as old as Bill and I'm probably not nearly as young as you. I don't agree with the way he presented his argument, but he did explain why he thought his opinion of the 'best time' of KU football was valid.

I could see an argument for any of 4 different times as the 'best' of KU football:

The 1890's period with Fielding Yost, and company. Yost went on to become a big time coach and legend at Michigan U.

Bill's favorite time period of the 40-50s.

The 1960's, when KU had perhaps the most celebrated athletes of any time frame, at least that I know of. I admit I don't know anywhere near everything, but Sayers, Riggins, and Hadl, are all in Hall of Fames. I would think a lot of people who know nothing about KU football would be surprised that all three of those greats went to KU.

Then there is the 'current' time frame, with Reesing being a super leader, and very solid players, even if so far, none look like they are destined to be the type of super-stars that the 3 from the 60's were, especially at the professional level.

I say anyone could reasonably pick any of the four time frames (Hey there could be others, even though I can't think of any). I think most people will form an emotional attachment to a particular time. (I know I do). That is part of human nature that we often call being subjective, rather than objective. Thus rendering each of our picks as 'opinions'. I don't see how anyone could make a statement of fact, because as much as I love KU, we haven't ever been the cat's meow of college football.

Now, if I was talking about OU football, then I would think they would have a similar difficulty deciding whether the period under Switzer or Wilkinson is the best ever. I would pick the Wilkinson era because, while both coaches won 3 national titles, Switzer never had a win streak like Wilkinson did!

kvskubball 10 years, 4 months ago

and...

I picked OU for some perspective. Those two coaches combined for 6 national titles. OU has more than that. Our beloved KU has never won one. So, I would say we shouldn't get too carried away about talking about the greatest era of KU football, because it hasn't ever really been all that great, period. So why get worked up about our past? The future seems to hold the possibility of being much brighter than any previous period. So, I would suggest we pur our efforts into what can be built, rather than what 'relatively little' has transpired.

labbadabba 10 years, 4 months ago

Did he just call me a yuppie picayune? Dang it. I hate it when that happens.

Nonetheless, I have little perspective when it comes to Mayer so I defer (for now) to his judgment and respect my elders.

Wonder what Max Faulkenstein would think about this...

bad_dog 10 years, 4 months ago

Should have said 2008 Orange Bowl... And yes, (to answer my own question) it was/is a BCS Bowl game.

John Randall 10 years, 4 months ago

""Name your Kansas All time football team..... if you are leaving Reesing, Briscoe, Meier, Talib, Holt, Collins and McClinton off that all time team... you are crazy.... had we not both Gale Sayers and John Riggins, You could also argue MacAnderson at full back.""

Children, children! An all-time KU team would perhaps include two or three players from MM's teams, at most five -- nothing against MM or his players in that statement, just recognition that an All-American (when eleven, not 25, were named) is probably a little better than all-big-twelve-north.
Sikes, Mitchell and Rodgers put some great players on the field. John Hadl was our best QB (how many interception/punt return TDs, has Sparky? What's his longest punt? W-L % ?).
If you want to replace Sayers as ball-carrier/receiver/returner, if that were feasible, you have Ray Evans to consider and no one else.
The other McClinton you need to consider would be Curtis (first player to score a TD for an AFL team in a Super Bowl). In the trenches, McCormack and Haggemann were no slouches.

Unlike so many on here, I don't think it's an insult to our current teams and players to say that they match up reasonably well with other also-great Jayhawks of the past.

ROCK CHALK! GO 'HAWKS!

John Randall 10 years, 4 months ago

Along with Curtis McClinton's TD on a swing pass from Len Dawson in SB ❙ , here's some more Mt Oread trivia:

In what season did our Jayhawks face three different #1-ranked teams?

Which one was played at Memorial Stadium?

Of the two on the road, which did we win?

bayareajhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

You guys give Mayer an unbelievably hard time. It honestly makes me wish we didn't have a comments section on this website. I would much rather read Bill Mayer's opinions, informed by decades of watching the Jayhawks, than any of yours. People used to respect their elders, but now they don't because the internet makes them think they already know everything. If old people were so great they would have Twitter accounts, wouldn't they?

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

A) Don't read the comments if they agitate you so much. B) When Mayer stops labeling people who are younger than him "yuppie picayunes" and such, he'll get a lot more slack from his readers.

63Jayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

KU62, Right on!

As for Bill's aritcle, he must have done a fantastic job. Just look at the number of posts and the arguments initiated from this article. How could he ask for more?

Since I've lived through quilte a few of KU's years of history, I really appreciate that Bill has not forgotten our past. For my money, Gale Sayers is easily the best player to ever play at KU. He did it all; ran the ball, returned punts and kickoffs, and was a pretty fair receiver. He also did those same things when he was with the Bears.

There is no way that we can verify how Reesing et al would have faired against the competition of the past, but there is also no way to verify how the players of the past would fair in todays environment with today's technology and trianing. But I, for one, believe that many of the stars of yesteryear would be among the stars of today, if they were born 18 to 22 years ago.

Great article, Bill!

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Reesing's Statistically our best passing Quarterback to date.... he seems to be a pretty good field general too... i stick by him on my all kansas team....

Meier sure can kick a pretty ball... but only a yuppie picayune like me would suggest a receiver can kick a football..... Ocho Cinco WHO ?

Funny... i thought the one i would get gas about was Holt, because Holt was not an every down linebacker...and yet no one mentioned that..... Maybe that's because he was a late bloomer... but i would stick him out there in LB and the bring him down to the line in pass rush situations....

Stubblefield, Brown, McClinton and Holt makes a pretty formidable pass rushing line eh ????

I also regretfully left Stuckey out of this conversation..... Stuckey probably belongs as much as any....

Stuckey, Lassiter, Talib and Gordon in coverage..... pretty awesome little defensive backfield....

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

jakzhumans

In an earlier comment you spoke of hypocrisy. Yet now you offer advice to another poster to not read the comments if he is agitated by them. How about not reading the articles if they do the same to you?

Something to think about...

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

jross1972...

Not really, because it's a completely different scenario. The other poster gave me the impression that he's regularly annoyed when he reads the comments, so I suggested he avoid that. I'm NOT regularly annoyed by Mayer's columns, so I read them. As I said previously, this is the first one that's bothered me enough to be critical in the comments.

jakzhumans 10 years, 4 months ago

But, to be fair, in principle you're right. If Mayer's future work proves to be no better than this column, I'll gladly follow my own advice and eventually stop reading his stuff.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

jakzhumans...

Insightful! Both you and Mayer are bound to be happier in the wake of your decision!

bayareajhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

jakzhumans

These comments are like bad traffic accidents. I don't want to look but morbid curiosity prevents me from ignoring them. I actually enjoy a lot of the comments. Some people have interesting things to say, especially when they can supplement the article by providing additional information gained through personal knowledge of the subjects.

Unfortunately, most of the comments seem to be negative attacks on the writing abilities of the LJW journalists or the reasoning abilities of fellow commentators. It gets old (except for personal attacks on Doogie, our resident Tigger fan -- that never gets old). The worst attacks regularly target Bill Mayer, and that bothers me.

To me, it is a microcosm of the way the internet helps make people dumber by allowing them to think that they are experts on something because they read a Wikipedia article (which was, ironically, probably written by someone else who probably doesn't know what he's talking about). It makes me sad. In my opinion, people have never been dumber than they are now but have never thought they were smarter.

bayareajhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

And by the way, Mayer is not calling everyone younger than him a yuppie picayune. Here is the quote: "Those yuppie picayunes whose concept of history goes no deeper than five years will grimace, predictably, but my notion of glory years for Kansas football in the modern era were from 1946 through 1952."

What he says, which is obvious if have any grasp of formal logic, is that if you are a yuppie picayune whose idea of history goes back only five years, then you will predictably disagree with his choice of the golden era. He isn't saying that all people younger than him are yuppie picayunes. He isn't even saying that all yuppie picayunes have a sense of history going back only five years. He is simply asserting that a certain group of people (yuppie picayunes with a sense of history only going back five years) are going to disagree with his choice. Does that really insult or offend you?

For the record, I'm in my twenties and have never felt insulted by a Bill Mayer article. I have often felt humbled by his breadth of knowledge on KU sports but never felt insulted for being "born too late," as Bob Dylan might term it. Anyone who was offended by this article has extremely thin skin. Imagine what you would feel like if you wrote an article and then everybody ripped you to shreds and called for your firing below it in the comments section. I'm fairly certain you wouldn't take it nearly as well as do the LJW journalists.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

Finally...an eloquent voice of reason.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Offended by his calling me a yuppie picayune because i disagree.. no i find it humorous.... not thin-skinned.... On this computer thing, you cannot read inflection.

My offense is taken with the fact he writes the same article over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

JRoss and i go round about on this.... He thinks Mayer's an outstanding writer because of his breadth of knowledge....

I find him to be a weak writer because he only has a breadth of knowledge, he has no other tricks.... and he's failing with those tricks. His articles have dovetailed into oblivion on more than one occasion, and he frankly ignores the present. He just may not understand the present, or the significance of the present.

I have called for his job, and I was reemed for it. I did write an article about it. I was ripped to pieces by some and I was backed by others.

My only point in ALL of this, Bill Mayer's interpretation of the original article is predictable, lame and without a doubt unnecesssary. He's bring out the rolodex of Kansas Football players pre-1970 and throw down a list of great players from before the era of TIME itself.... and say that they are better than the current, and at best it's false logic. Strength, conditioning, and amount of games have been greatly Changed since the 1950's.... there is no way to accurately tell how those players woudl fare against our CURRENT system....

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

Case in point... in the 50's and 60's the option offense was prevelant, specifically the wishbone... It was pre-spread offense and the notion of the downfield pass was just starting to become more popular.....

IN 2007, the dawning of the golden Era according to USATODAY, we were top 10 in the nation against the run.

Reason would say these dynamic running teams would be running into our greatest strength.,.... can Aqib Talib tackle Gale Sayers off the corner ???? Could Stuckey have STUCK riggins on an inside draw ??? WHo knows..... Odds would favor the 2007 team because of the stout run defense, and it's ability to walk safeties up to stop the run... without threat of a down field pass.....

I take exception to people who have been around football for 50-60 years, who cannot understand this basic concept..... For someone who claims to have in depth knowledge, You would surmise he has seen the 46 defense the Bears employed in the 1986 Superbowl, or the Modified 46 the Raven's have used ( out of both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes ) against weaker passing teams ( chargers pre- Brees, Tiitans when Mason was injured, Pittsburgh before roethlisberger )... When all you can do is run the football, it makes running the football pretty easy to stop pretty easy to stop.

Then again, Im pretty sure Mayer checked out with the invention of the Forward pass, so he may not have caught that update. ;)

I also take exception with someone who rants and raves about the past, dovetails into the realm of obscurity in the middle of an article, and yet will say that ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL's Opinion is not very well thought out, specifically when noted IN THE ARTICLE thatis written there is room for debate on this issue. He never leaves that wiggle room in his article, and those the likes of Jross would call that Integrity. What it is..... is rampant Grumpiness.

If Bill Mayer wants to write and Op-editorial to the people of USA today proclaiming how wrong they were for its consideration that the Kansas Football team, indeed have a football team before 2007, FINE. Let him. When the writer of the article says, " You have 1 career BIg time Bowl win.... When was it ???" Bill Mayer will look like an idiot.

If he wants to write an editorial Blog on here, saying how much better the 50's and 60's teams are than those of today.... I would expect him to have reasonable proof to back it up.... Considering there is no way to PROVE that claim... he just ends up looking like a idiot.

We have enough of Doogie's writing making us look like idiots, already. We don't need the "dean" coming on board and making us look like idiots with tenure.

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

I prefer to think that our modern-era greatness began with Frank Seurer and his 6,410 yards from 1980-83. It was exciting to know that they would throw the bomb on every possession. What an arm. Also, Mayer, if you are going to quote periods of greatness in your memory then this needs to be clearly stated. Otherwise, for cripes sake, we had an awesome 1908 team, along with our '60s Orange Bowlers, and never forget them!

Also, KU fans above, you seem to be getting overheated again. Maybe game day is too close. When you think about it, this is all silly when compared to the black hole sucking in stars at the center of our galaxy like so many mouths eating brats off a grill come game day. Besides, we had a project: where are those lazy &(@#&$ architecture alums who are going to re-design memorial stadium to make it more comfortable for the KU basketo-feel hostile fan-base?

bayareajhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Cheers, jross. I always enjoy reading your comments. It's nice to see intelligence matched with perspective in these comments. Especially since those are two qualities too often lacking around here.

waywardJay, trying to have a discussion with you is like trying to have a discussion with a Backstreet Boys CD. Instead of listening and moving forward with new ideas you just keep blaring out the same old crap. And when it comes to Bill Mayer, you're more like a broken record. You have a pathetic agenda against Bill Mayer and it's a shame that the LJW gives you a forum to further it. I look forward to your next tangential ramblings punctuated solely by misused ellipses. Yes, that was sarcasm.

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