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Monday, September 7, 2009

Keegan

Rookie looking sharp

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The best-dressed football player in Lawrence had just finished soaking in his first college game and seemed to appreciate what a great time — better than at any time in the school’s history — it is to be a freshman for Kansas University.

Bradley McDougald, a man with a firm grasp on fashion right down to his shiny white gators, dressed like a young man who considers playing football at Kansas a privilege, not a right. He also sounded like a man who didn’t know he was walking into the middle of a big-time atmosphere.

“When I was being recruited, I made it to a basketball game, and then I made it to the spring game, so I never saw the stadium the way it was tonight,” said McDougald, a native of Dublin, Ohio. “I’m definitely happy I came here.”

The tailgating scene had a serious buzz to it, adding to the big-time feel. The students turned out in huge numbers, a must.

“We’re coming into the season with great expectations, but we have to come in and prove it every day,” he said. “I feel the fans really added to the atmosphere tonight.”

And then subtracted from it when far too many students didn’t stay through the final play. It’s the last hurdle that needs to be cleared for Kansas’ evolution to a big-time football school. With five Memorial Stadium games left in the careers of Todd Reesing and Kerry Meier — would have been six but for the Missouri game being moved off campus — look for the student body to realize soon that it makes no sense to miss a single play of their careers.

Reesing and Meier qualify as reasons McDougald feels fortunate to play football for Kansas. The great thing about senior stars is that it gives head starts to freshmen. In the early days of Reesing’s career, receivers had to learn as they went along that with him buying time play after play, they would be rewarded for never letting up, forever trying to get open. Now it’s so ingrained in the veterans it immediately is picked up by rookies as standard operating procedure. The same goes for the way receivers block. They did a terrific job of that in the season-opening 49-3 blowout of overmatched Northern Colorado, especially an extremely physical Kerry Meier.

“We have this thing called ‘scramble rule,’” said McDougald, who debuted with two catches for 49 yards. “As a play breaks down, you could tell we don’t ever stop. We keep going through the echo of the whistle. As long as Todd is up on his feet, you never know what to expect.”

The best thing about playing with Reesing?

“Just the way he never gives up,” McDougald said. “He’s definitely smart. ... Sometimes in the meeting rooms he knows more than the coaches. Just playing with a quarterback like him will do wonders with my future.”

He said the same about teaming with Meier.

“I had great blocking upfield from Kerry and Tertavian (Ingram), and that kind of symbolizes our wide-receiver corps,” McDougald said. “We’re always looking out for each other. Kerry’s just an animal. He really overemphasizes the little things to make his overall game better. He’s definitely more a player-coach on the field. That definitely is a bonus for me as a young player.”

Comments

MNHawk23 10 years, 4 months ago

Nice article, McDougald looked very good, and i loved those blocks by Meier, that will definitely improve his chances of being an NFL tightend.

kugrad2009 10 years, 4 months ago

MNHawk23... How about just a really tough, well-rounded wide receiver? There is no need for him to bulk up to try and be something else.

kansas22 10 years, 4 months ago

I hope the students learn this as well, Keegan. It's kind of embarrassing to see the student section half full after halftime. We have a top tier football team capable of competing for a Big XII championship this year. Also, maybe I'm wrong, but I think the students could be a little louder as well. The crowd seems to only get hyped on 3rd downs and even then they sometimes wait too long to start yelling enough to even affect the offense. And I'm tired of hearing about K-state having better tailgating than us. With the game being at 6 I expected to see truck loads of people starting around 10:00 or 11:00, but it didn't really pick up until closer to 2:00 or so. Oh well, these are just a couple concerns by me. Overall, very happy with the way the day went on Saturday. Good win, and I hope we pull out a big road (blowout) victory over UTEP next week. Rock Chalk

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

The student fans do not leave basketball games during a blowout, do they? Maybe some leave a little early... Maybe that is why Duke and Kansas are on the schedule. That must be a basketball game, right? It is until you repeat several times the words 'football game', otherwise it just doesn't register properly.

truefan 10 years, 4 months ago

Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a second. The students were NOT the only fans that left at halftime. About half of the stadium left after halftime. Sorry but the students don't fill the entire bowl and from were I was sitting in the student section (stayed entire game) the other side was pretty empty as well. You all need to do your part as well to keep those season ticket holders in the seats. KU fans just aren't quite there yet. We have a lot of good football fans, but we do not have passionate fans because the kids coming to KU did not grow up as KU football fans since Terry Allen ruined a decade of KU football for the Jayhawks. I grew up just waiting around for basketball season since KU football was so embarrassing for the better half of my childhood. If KU can keep this up, you will see students and alumni with as much passion for football as they have always had with basketball. Right now our fans only stick around for big time games (Nebraska and OU) but their lack of passion drives most of them back to the tailgates at halftime during blowouts. We will get there, but it is going to take a few more years I'm afraid.

Ryan Gerstner 10 years, 4 months ago

The difference between a football and basketball game is you only have 2000 students at most basketball games versus a football game like Saturday, there's around 10,000 students there. I sit on the east side so I couldn't see, but I'm guessing there's probably still close to a couple thousand left late in the game, but maybe not.

I think everything will pick up for the bigger games on the schedule. To me, it did seem like there was definitely more tailgating and it started earlier. Hopefully it'll keep up when the weather turns colder and the games start earlier.

Alan Halvorsen 10 years, 4 months ago

"And then subtracted from it when far too many students didn’t stay through the final play. It’s the last hurdle that needs to be cleared for Kansas’ evolution to a big-time football school."

WRONG!! You must've missed the end of the national anthem where the students sing out in glorious, "Home, of the, CHIEFS" You gotta be kidding me. Let's support Missouri more!

How about this one...."Rip his Fugging head off!!"

Real classy student section...after all these years, we haven't changed a bit.

Scott Bonnet 10 years, 4 months ago

East side definitely didn't clear out like the student sections. Embarassing. Team deserves better support.

Displayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

It sure was nice to see all the blue in the stadium! Having attended too many Oklahoma and Nebraska games in the past where the stadium was almost all red, I was really pleased to see all the blue! GO HAWKS!!!

tdub 10 years, 4 months ago

truefan, While you may hold true to your user name, 30-40% of the students did not. It may have been tough to see from your vantage just how bad the attrition was in the student section. There were far fewer empty seats in the bowl area.

jayhawkintx73 10 years, 4 months ago

Ya know, it might have upset some of the fans with the late announcement of the suspension of Desmond Briscoe, too. I didn't expect 4 players to miss the first game until Saturday morning. I seem to recall Briscoe with a great run after the catch breaking 4, 5 or 6 tackles, and the last one about the 5 yard line, and two steps and diving into the endzone. Briscoe is also a guy that people go to watch.

But other than that, I'm not disappointed. Opurum and Pick both looked very good. And Northern Colorado didn't respect our run game, and they did that because we would have lit their secondary up if they didn't drop 8 at times. This was a changeup from a year ago. We do have a pretty darn good running game, and the folks in the Big 12 are asking themselves, "How can we stop them if they can run for over 300 yards too?" And the defense, well, they look much improved too. Big 12 teams are shaking, Nebraska, OU, and maybe even Texas or saying "we had better not let our guard down, and that may not be good enough."

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 4 months ago

Honestly I think too much is being made of the whole students, and others leaving early. It was a blowout against Northern Colorado. While not a whole lot of students leave early during basketball games during non conference basketball games a lot of the older fans do. We should be happy with the attendance record and I'm really proud to say I was a part of the largest crowd ever. Cool feeling.

Jimmy_Dean I could not agree more with the home of the chiefs thing that is just embarrassing. I really want that to stop, but the rip his F***ing head off does not bother me as much. That has just become a tradition that is kind of immature. I am indifferent on that. I want the home of the chiefs thing to stop immediately. However I would be fine if the other one stopped because it is not needed but at the same time would not be too upset if it stayed.

Jayhawkintx73 I agreeded with most of your comment except for the part about our defense being improved. Our pass defense was not good at all. UNC had some dropped passes and we had to resort to pass interference a lot because they had gotten behind us. If we had that coverage against a good passing team they would shred us. I think that we will get better and am not too worried but we do need to improve our coverage.

avaholic 10 years, 4 months ago

I am a recent graduate of the university and I sat in the student section with some friends. While I was disappointed with all aspects of the crowd on Saturday. I don't think you can blame the crowd for the loudness they had during the game. It wasn't the most exciting game in the world. You can't just blame the students for the lack of cheering. The stadium emptied on both sides.

I think it was a combination of the 6pm start and the fact it was the first game of the year. People had been looking forward to this game and started tailgating pretty early. With the game over at halftime. They were ready to leave. I'm not saying I agree with it, because I don't. I can understand it.

We all need to do a better job of supporting our team. Everyone, stay for the entire game.

JBurtin 10 years, 4 months ago

Not worried about it. True tradition takes time and the fans around me have gotten better every year.

I expect that this will continue as time goes on.

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

Well we need ideas. My dad said that back in the day, KU had a adonis javelin thrower who would come out at half time and throw that thing one hundred meters. KU track and field was really popular then, and it must have been quite the sight.

Therefore, we could have Bill Self put the basketball team through its paces at halftime, with the marching band working around them somehow.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 4 months ago

Gardenjay, i don't know about putting on a basketball practice, but how bout we make it tougher for fans to leave and re-enter the stadium. I sat with several people who took off during halftime and came back midway through the 3rd or at the start of the 4th quarter. There will always be fans that decided to leave midway through the game or when it is a huge blowout, but if we can stop this from being a come as you please atmosphere, we might be able to keep the large crowds the entire game. How cool would it have been if we had still had 45-50 k at the end of the game for the Rock Chalk Chant? It's erie in the Fieldhouse and we could bring that over to Memorial if our fans stuck around all game. Just a few rambling thoughts, but stuff I have noticed in the comments and when i was at the game (all the way to the end by the way).

RCJ

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

rockchalk_dpu, how about tougher to leave as in an airport security gate? "Now your shoes, please...", and then after the game is truly over, all sorts of bypass gates open up and everyone can just leave. Now, that would work...

Maybe free basketballs if you stay to the end? A Bill Self bobble-head if you stay?

Come on AD, I know you're reading this, so fess up to the FACT that you have thought of these ideas already!

John Thomas 10 years, 4 months ago

Really hate to say this but, I sat on the student side and many of those leaving had tail gated way to much before the game and by halftime were to sick to stay. May not have been all over but this was the case where I sat. Very disappointing.

Firebirdguy31 10 years, 4 months ago

"You must've missed the end of the national anthem where the students sing out in glorious, "Home, of the, chiefs" You gotta be kidding me. Let's support Missouri more!"

I agree, Jimmy_Dean, being in Lawrence and yelling "Home, of the, Chiefs" is ridiculous. That statement was to be used at Arrowhead and the Superbowl "in 50 years," lol. If Jayhawk fans want to yell something, it should be "Home, of the Hawks" or "Home, of the, Jayhawks," anything else is simply blasphemous.

Those that yelled "Home of the Chiefs," should be ashamed of themselves. I have been a Chiefs Season Ticket holder for 25+ years and remember in the early 90's when we started yelling "Home of the Chiefs," which originated from the western end-zone. I wish I could prove this, so take it for what it's worth, but it was my father that started the saying "Home of the Chiefs." It was before one of the games, I wish I could remember which, right after the national anthem, my father said "It's not the home of the Braves," as in Atlanta Braves, "it's the home of the Chiefs!"

From that moment forward we said that we would all yell "Home of the Chiefs" at the end of the national anthem. We sat in Section 128 in Rows 17,18 on the isle. My parents personally owned 11 seats and we had friends surrounding us, so we had a large group say it all at once in the beginning. Those of you probably know 'Arrowman,' the guy with the opposing jersey that has all of the arrows going through it... he sits three rows in front of where I sit. We were a rowdy bunch, unfortunately we gave up our tickets due to increasing costs and lack of a product. We would still be out there if it were cheaper, we aren't fair weather fans.

Anyways, the moral of that story, is that it only takes a few people to start a tradition, but it also only takes a few people to ruin it. For everyone who reads this and goes to the games, let's start a new tradition at KU and start yelling "Home, of the, JAYHAWKS!" Trust me, it will sound cool when everyone starts doing it. "Home of the Hawks" could apply to too many other schools. Let's make this one our own. After all, "Home of the Chiefs" came from a Kansan, "Home of the Jayhawks" should too.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 4 months ago

Gardenjay, thanks for taking my comments way too far with regards to instituting airport-type security at games. What I meant by my comments was to institute a system of some sort to not allow fans (all types, not just students) to leave at halftime and get more loaded than they already were to begin with and decide to stay with a beer in their hand by their car or back at their house rather than going back in to the stadium to support the 'Hawks. This happens at a lot of stadiums across college football and is something KU should think about adopting. Again, I know that there will still be fans that leave early, just as they always have, but this sort of system could help to keep more of a fan presence in the stadium even in blowouts.

As for firebirdguy, I think we should just go back to nothing at the end of the national anthem because it is much classier to do nothing than to act like trashy Chiefs fans. I have never been impressed by the classless fans that populate Camaro-head and find their 'tradition' of yelling 'home of the Chiefs' to be extremely trashy. This is not meant to be me preaching about the sanctity of the national anthem or patriotism, but that we don't need to be adopting another team's trashy 'tradition' but that we should be creating our own

RCJ

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

My apologies - I see by these posts that there is a real problem to be addressed with over-drinking at games, and not just the fair-weather basketball-fan-at-a-football game issue.

So, if that is what these fans want to do, then their priorities need to be changed as suggested. I came up with [0] ideas for this one, so it needs more analysis.

Maybe there are a bunch of Facebook kids in the crowd? That could easily cause a lack of confidence being among other people. But like I said, I have no ideas right now, i.e. the AD could not take away their Facebook pages, and anyway I am not sure how that would work - they might go beserk.

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 4 months ago

This was my first experience at a KU football game, and let me tell you as one who has been dragged kicking and screaming to both an OSU and an OU game (all while wearing my jayhawk blue, thank you,) we have a ways to go, but we are not as far away as we think in regards to spirit.

1) It seem's every school's student section does something that embarrasses the rest of the fans, and the kickoff chant just happens to be ours. I didn't think it was very appropriate (especially after Mangino condemned it last year I believe) but is that any worse than the Muck Fizzou shirts that seem to be so present? For both reasons I would consider not bringing my children, and that's a sad thought.

2) There are a lot of Chiefs fans in Lawrence. How 'bout we come up with something better, like, "...and the home of the HAWKS!" Consider it all part of changing the culture.

3) I was dismayed that the student section filtered out so early because they were amazingly powerful at the beginning of the game. The "ROCK CHALK" yell after touchdowns sent chills down my spine (I was directly across from the students.) Their yells rivaled that of their South counterparts, and that's something I am going to brag about to my Okie friends when I go back to work in the morning. But I had a different take on them leaving early. I thought that complacency factored in more than anything else. Fact is we are used to winning now, and that, unfortunately, breeds complacency. All I knew was that I wasn't going to miss one second because who knows when I will be able to come back to such a magical place?

4) I thought the field and all the improvements look great!

KURocksChalk 10 years, 4 months ago

To keep people in the stands for the whole game all one would have to do is come up with some things to put on the big board, to hold drawings for big prizes, including season passes at the end of the game...must be present to win. some promoter could easily solve this problem while adding more excitement (not just commercialism) into the whole game experience. How about clips of Gayle Sayers interspersed into the game on the jumbotron? Cromwell, Hadl, Riggins, some b-ball stuff too. Showcase Kansas University and Lawrence, Kansas. Say, "We are special. We are proud of our tradition. This is a great place to be...to be a student, to teach, to live. If you can communicate that as well as incentivise staying at the game you might be recruiting students, faculty and athletes in the process. The last few KU games I went to had none of that. KSU games had much more big-time feel. Yet, as a University, KU impresses but there is this mentality that is a "dignified indiference."

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

How about we leave the National Anthem alone you pigskinheads. Show a little respect for those that have put their lives on the line so you can continue to be public morons.

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

Kanstucky - Please! I am on a campaign to reduce the use of the word moron when describing KU alums, regardless of what department they came from.

However, I realize there is a lot to be irked about, and it is ironic that huge efforts were made on campus to recognize the vets in the past, e.g. the campanile, which is right there staring down on the football field. Staring down on a partly disrespectful crowd that was just thinking football, as you point out.

They would change their ways though, if they had had certain experiences. Pretty frustrating, but c'est la vie.

barackchalkjhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I think we all need to settle down just a bit. A) it was a blowout by halftime and B) it was a DII team. Just a product of scheduling powder puffs, happens everywhere even at Nebraska. I suspect as the competition gets better (which it will going forward) more people will stick around for the entire game.

Agree, stadium, field and concessions - all vast improvements.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

Sorry GJay, I get irked at the Shrine Circus too.

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

McDougald looks sharp on the field and his routes were solid. I was impressed. If he keeps learning from Reesing and Meier, he will be huge in the next year or two. Like the b-ball team, they have a selfless attitude about winning games. They all do whatever it takes to win. They keep playing with heart, this team will be big this year.

Alan Halvorsen 10 years, 4 months ago

Barack, UNC wasn't a D-II team. They are division 1-AA. And yes even Almighty Nebraska does it. Good job.

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