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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keegan

Football buzz? …Crickets

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A year ago at this time, the days crawled. It seemed as if the opening kickoff for the final seasons of Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Dezmon Briscoe, Darrell Stuckey and Jake Sharp never would arrive.

The preseason hype was justified with the record-breaking passing game returning for a grand finale. Reesing, Meier and Briscoe weren’t just proven stars. They played exciting football. They made you watch their every move.

Now? Sure, mild curiosity stirs about what sort of quarterback Kale Pick, the likely starter, will make. Daymond Patterson’s return to offense hints at exciting moments. Jake Laptad can get to the quarterback.

Yet, overall, particularly at a time when paying customers of Kansas University sporting events reel from the ticket scandal and so many say they want to take a breather from buying tickets, KU football feels like as tough a sell as it’s been in many years.

Think about it: Is there any player on KU’s offense that would inspire the average fan to rush to the bookstore to buy his jersey? Toben Opurum wears No. 35 and he rushed for 554 yards last season. Opurum’s name doesn’t even appear on coach Turner Gill’s most recent depth chart, released at the end of spring football. Will it appear on the next one? Who knows? Gill doesn’t seem very high on sharing depth charts.

Johnathan Wilson? He wears No. 81. (You might want to start memorizing the numbers of the players because, remember, their names won’t appear on the backs of the jerseys anymore.) Wilson does run crisp routes, a quality that impresses football coaches but generally doesn’t trigger a stampede for the turnstiles.

Patterson, No. 15, flies and is built so low to the ground it’s going to be tough to bring him down. It’s nice to see him back on offense. Maybe this is the best rack at which to stop for a jersey purchase.

No. 24 Bradley McDougald, as with Patterson, is back as a full-time offensive player after flirting with defense. He’s worth keeping an eye on but remains a few big games away from stirring mass excitement.

Laptad, No. 91, and redshirt freshman Kevin Young, No. 90, have a chance to slam quarterbacks to the ground. Chris Harris, No. 16, is worthy of a jersey purchase for long and meritorious service. Plus, he’s a link to the flashy former KU superstar Aqib Talib. Harris was the other starting cornerback in Talib’s final season.

Kansas didn’t always match up physically with its opponents, but with the pre-groin injury, gun-slinging Reesing going on his catch-me-if-you-can improvisations all over the field, it always felt as if KU had a chance. When they lost, they often did so in exciting fashion.

The spread offense, especially when run by such a gifted quarterback and ultra-skilled receivers, not only served as an equalizer of sorts for a team not as powerful up front as its foes, it was a blast to watch. Defenses figured out how to slow down the spread, so it’s back to more conventional play-calling.

Curious about what the team will look like when it takes the field against upset-seeking North Dakota State, sure. Counting the days, not quite.

Tough sell this year.

Comments

actorman 3 years, 8 months ago

Bitch, bitch, bitch and bitch some more. Bitch about the new "questionable" coach -- who by the way hasn't coached a single, god-da**** game at KU yet. Bitch about Keegan, who for the most part writes decent columns. Bitch about this, bitch about that. Man, what would you pathetic losers have to complain about if you didn't have this site to feed all your negativity. I agree with those that question why they click on Keegan's columns. Because of Keegan? No. Because of all the pathetic whiners? A resounding YES!

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stravinsky 3 years, 8 months ago

KSU on the other hand has been so successful they have one winning season and no bowl wins in the last six years.

You guys are real world beaters.

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CatsEatBirds 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Greg Ledom 3 years, 8 months ago

CEB, enjoy the w Kansas gave you last year. Hanging out on the KU boards I see. You must be a closet Jayhawk. Do us all a favor and stay there. Snyder and the kitties will go down in Lawrence this year, basketball (a given) as well, and own the state once again (what's new). Meanwhile, get back to your sheep, there nervous......

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CatsEatBirds 3 years, 8 months ago

Ed- Put you brain where your head is!

Way to use your awesome education. Drank yourself to oblivion during last season's awesome success?

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edjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Put you money where your ass is!

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CatsEatBirds 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm excited about KU football this year, too. It will be awesome to see KU finish in last place again. It will be fun to listen to the announcers try to guess which player is who since they took the names off and most of KU's talent is gone.

What's the over-under for number of interceptions Pick will throw? I'm guessing 18. ISU, KSU, BU, CU will all beat KU. Other Big 12 teams will destroy the birds. Better play hard the first game, cause that's the only chance KU has all year.

When does basketball start? Those guys probably need some punching bags anyway.

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sonofdaxjones 3 years, 8 months ago

what a bunch of tards from Phogtard in tardville.

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whoisjohngalt 3 years, 8 months ago

God what an obnoxious sack of fat...

Keegan, you are pathetic.

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COjayrocks 3 years, 8 months ago

Keegan must be looking for KU football banter at Harpo's. Terrible assumptions in this article from top to bottom.

I'm 100% sure that I am as excited for Jayhawk football under Gill and Co as I've ever been...

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Fortesque Beagleton 3 years, 8 months ago

I hate Tom Keegan. He's a tool. 'Nuf said.

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Greg Ledom 3 years, 8 months ago

Wow Keegan, what a friggin downer of an article. Thank goodness your not in marketing and sales. At this point I'm not sure why your on staff at the LJW. Need something to get excited about? How about a new coach with his integrity completely intact. A new offense that won't abandon the pass or the shotgun. A more balanced attack will give the hawks a better chance to win. You remember the MU game last year. We've got receivers that can replace what we had. Omigie is the next Brisco. I hear from reliable sources that Bourbon is a tremendous player and will see the field. Go home Keegan and shut it.

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JBurtin 3 years, 8 months ago

Didn't bother to count, but I would wager that in terms of the general nature of the comments the tally is somewhere around 150 to 4 in favor of "excited about the season".

No reason to even be angry about it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the overwhelming reaction from the fans speaks for itself.

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newjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

It seems as if whoever this guy is , definitely got all of your attention! Crickets.... I don't know about. I am a Texas guy ,with a die hard love for the Jayhawk football team. What I say___ is that there are tons of Jayhawk fans that seem to blog non-stop! But as far as (professional) coverage about Jayhawk football goes, it seems the Jayhawk faithful are more enthusiatic than the Kansas media is!

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troutsee 3 years, 8 months ago

One would expect local writers would try to hype enthsiasm for the FB team and not degrade the team and the team's fan support. I am very disappointed in Keegan and in the pessimistic posters. I think we will be better than anticipated, and,, by golly we just might win 9 or 10 games. I'll be at every game, including Southern Miss

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trout984bum 3 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone like Keegan or think he deserves to be a part of Lawrence?...CRICKETS!!!

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rolo2383 3 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe I read the whole article.

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Bear86 3 years, 8 months ago

Like most of you I take Keegs articles with a grain of salt. It has been more fun to read my fellow alums rebuttals. It's great to see (& entertaining to read) how much angst this article has drawn. Hopefully the LJW takes notice. Although expectations for this season may not be as high as last season it's evident that the Jayhawk nation is excited about the upcoming Kansas Football season. After the strides that were made in the last few years with the fat man some of you forget about the millions of $$$$$$'s that were spent building the Anderson Football Complex. This facility is as good as any in the nation! Once recruits see the facility and campus, KU will be bringing in higher star recruits. HCG is in his first year. How could you not be excited as a fan for a coach in his first year? Rock Chalk & F-Texas !

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Randy Bombardier 3 years, 8 months ago

Keeg is just stirring us up, which is good. I am really looking forward to the season to see if what I think we will see is accurate. I am looking forward to a much improved running game. I am hoping to see Pick make some long td runs. I am believing we will have a better D. I am hoping that we have a much better special teams performance, taking the ball at the 30+ instead of the 20-. I am looking forward to games where we play tough and instead of just knowing whoever has the ball last wins, that our D can actually stop someone. An average performance will erase "The Skid".

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TexasJayhawk87 3 years, 8 months ago

Ok, I can't add to what's been said but I can't resist comment. It's one thing to have a negative opinion but he's just flat out wrong with this lazy article. It's one thing to play the antagonist when you have a point or some facts but this is just lame. LJW, I'm done with this guy. If you must have a 'critic' on the staff find an intelligent one.

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KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

Keegan bashing. What a bore.

I'm making my own jersey. And it will have the name on the back.

25 "Bourbon... rocks"

Hell, I might even make a sign.

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Ben Kane 3 years, 8 months ago

i'm actually super psyched for this season, just in a completely different way than last year. Last year everything was a known quantity and we thought we had a chance at a very good season which makes for a lot of hype and newspaper talk.

this year everything is up in the air. we don't know squat, and to me that is more exciting. Plus our players have a completely different air about them which i find refreshing and only interests me more.

net net is we could have an awful season, we could have a mediocore season, or we can defy the experts and win it all. Regardless, i'm ready for the season to start!

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number1jayhawker 3 years, 8 months ago

I for one am not "put off" by the ticket scandel. I'll be there at each game rooting for the Hawks to pound the visting teams.

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kranny 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Rivethead and although I disagree with Keegan's opinion he does have a point with casual Hawk fans. I'm very pumped about this season because even though I don't expect them to be world beaters, I think they will play hard and we will have some athleticism. A new coaching staff and a new system is good enough for me.

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Terran Woolley 3 years, 8 months ago

Keegan obviously is clueless again. Doesn't even know that tickets are selling at a BETTER pace this year than last.

I have an idea of how the LJW could stay afloat for awhile longer and do away with a certain person's salary.

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skwahjayog 3 years, 8 months ago

Personally, I have never been more hyped or ready for a KU football season. I live in Michigan and can't get enough of the solid (i.e., non-Keegan) articles about the recruiting, the different positions, the schedule, the family atmosphere, etc.

I can't believe how much of a positive impact Gill & Company already have made in just a few short months. We can again be proud of our football coach and know that the team is going to give its all week in and week out.

Yes, we may lose a few games this year... but I will take those losses in a true rebuilding mode for our program than the one great (albeit with lucky schedule) season and all the negative publicity generated by Mangino. Just think how incredible last year's team would have been with Gill and his assistants as coaches--no way we lose 7 in a row to end the season loaded with that talent and experience!

What a shame that the LJW can't find a better, more optimistic writer than Keegan to cover KU sports. There have to be sports writers out there who would jump at the opportunity. Maybe a different position will open up somewhere else for Keegan? (Are you looking, Keegan--the whole KU fanbase would be happy to check for openings in other states.) We definitely would give Keegan the best possible recommendations if it meant he would be writing for a different paper! :-)

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

There was one person who agreed, and everyone else disagreed. LJW, you think you got the right man writing editorial pieces here ????

Personally, I think a Blind Monkey and a Deaf Pig could do a better Job then this. Then again, when you form baseless opinions on wat you don't see and what you don't hear... you might as well be an animal.

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mdfraz 3 years, 8 months ago

Crickets, Tom? Really? First off, I think Matt Tait would disagree with you, as would a number of other writers on your staff that actually put in some work to provide the public with good info on the team and/or our opponents. But that would mean you'd have to read their articles, but I'm sure you wouldn't deign to read something from writers with much less experience than you, ESPECIALLY if they are writing objective, well thought out pieces that happen to see some positives for the team and program. I don't want a writer who ignores the negatives, but you do the exact opposite, and it's been pointed out numerous times here. You're a pathetic excuse for a sports writer because you foist YOUR reality onto your audience.

The "crickets" have been here (meaning, in the LJW) in the past, in large part due to the fact that the local newspaper didn't feel it necessary to hire someone with some passion to cover the football team for the students and loyal fans in the area (an MU grad covering KU football? Seriously?). I'm ecstatic about the effort the last few months, especially by Matt Tait, but it's drawn down by naysayers like you. If you bothered to ask KU fans if they were excited you might find that people are absolutely ready to get things going. Some like Gill, some don't; some see a bright season and future, some don't. But there is plenty of excitement among a lot of people to find out what happens. Guess we can't allow that to invade your little world, eh?

I generally give people the benefit of the doubt, but your work is trash, Tom.

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jc1306 3 years, 8 months ago

Speak for yourself Keegan, I'm as excited about this season as I have been for any other one. Why? Because now we're building a team with a foundation for success. Our high flying offense was very fun to watch and I loved those players, but, it was frosting with NO cake.

At least with Gill we're going to have a foundation to build our program on. That's something I can get behind.

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bearhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Keegan is a cancer to any community,its time to get rid of the cancer.If I had an employee,player or coach with that type of attitude he would'nt last long!The sad thing is he thinks he is cute with his article.(Nothing but pure cancer)

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Daniel Rojas 3 years, 8 months ago

I've been getting on this site for 7+ years and could never figure out why people hated this keegan guy...now I see the light!!! What nerve to write and think such crap let alone put it out in the public for people to see and read? I know just as much if not more about KU basketball then anyone else but the difference between me and most fair weathered fans is I LOVE KU football just as much as bball....not more, not less, but the same. I take great offense to this fool saying theres crickets when it comes to the buzz! Just because theres 6 comments on a FB thread in Aug. and 60 on a bball thread doesn't mean theres not fans just like me out in the Jayhawk nation! I live in W. KS and plan on making the 12 hr round trip atleast 3-4 times this season cuz there is no atmosphere like memorial stadium and the surronding neighborhoods on gameday! We can win 9-10 games easy this year and shut all the haters up real quick in this new era of KU FB....

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d_prowess 3 years, 8 months ago

And as far as which jersey you can buy, the answer right now is none. If you call KUstore.com or the KS Union, they will all tell you that they have no idea when the new jerseys will be coming in and made available.

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d_prowess 3 years, 8 months ago

Lots of comments for this article... well done, Keegan.

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OCJHAWK 3 years, 8 months ago

I am looking forward to the KU football season positively as I have for 25 years. Yes expectations are not as high some years as others, but you never really know when a team will have a "special" year. Talent as it is, heart and leadership will only be seen when the team is playing games.

Not sure whether it is that I like football in general better than basketball, or that I'm not a big fan of summer sports but I look for the start of KU fooball as my favorite.

Rock Chalk

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milehighhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Congrats, you got my click but lost my respect.

What a terrible, short-sighted article. I think fans in general are pumped about Turner Gill & Co.

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dukehester 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey guys.....this is just another one from Keegan. If you are expecting insight, go see virtually any other writer of any other subject. Why should he be in any way positive about the school that feeds him?!

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billhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Anyone over the age of 16 should not wear an athlete's jersey anyway.

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jhawkrulz 3 years, 8 months ago

This article is poorly written. It brings up things that don't even tie to the upcoming football season and presents a negative light.

You should have taken a waking dawn approach. With ticket scandal behind us, with a new coach, an inspiring crew, there is anticipation of great things to come for KU football. Tickets are being sold at a pace consistent with or better than last year. More articles have been written about KU football in the past 6 months than in the past 8 years.

Come on I got you started.

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mulaza 3 years, 8 months ago

agree agree agree! ku football is one it's way back to the 80's. we just forced out a coach that was national coach of the year and won a bcs game for us, replaced him with a guy from buffalo that numerous other d1 schools decided against the previous year. the athletic department took the biggest game in the state and moved it to a thursday night. making it impossiable for those that live out of state or far away to make it to the game. oh and those that have kids. how am i going to teach my kid to hate the cats if they play when it's bed time.

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Wickedson 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey ibrown3... Northern Iowa, Bradley, Bucknell. Need I go on?

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klineisanazi 3 years, 8 months ago

Well considering that last time we were sold a bill of goods by the AD with the "History Awaits" campaign, only to see the program return to laughingstock-status with a memorable losing streak bookended between fights with the basketball team and the slow death by a thousand cuts of Mangino------------I will take crickets. This year is a new beginning, with a coach that does not immediately draw snickers from fans and foes alike by merely appearing on screen. Now whether Gill can win games or not is yet to be seen. If he doesn't he is toast, because one thing KU fans won't tolerate is mediocrity in football.

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jakzhumans 3 years, 8 months ago

Remember those experiments with lab rats that were given the choice between two little levers to push? Both delivered food pellets, but one delivered a little electric shock each time it was pressed. Eventually the rats figured it out and stopped pushing that lever, turning only to the one that gave out food without a shock. But it took them a while, and there was a good deal of trial and error as the rats repeatedly shocked themselves to get the food before finally figuring out that it wasn't worth the effort. There was a better option.

Clicking on the link to this Keegan article represents my last time pressing the shock lever. I've finally figured out that it's not worth effort and that there are better options. Opinion columns are what they are, but they only serve a purpose when I care about the opinion of the person writing them. With Keegan, I just don't care what he thinks. It took me a while to figure that out, dumb lab rat that I am, but at least I finally did.

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Ben Kane 3 years, 8 months ago

i'd like to volunteer for keegs spot. i may not have the journalism experience (though it was a double major of mine), but i am very sick of waking up everyday to another article like this. it's bad enough, though understandable, that we get no national press, but this is ridiculous.

i wonder if they ever spend time looking at how major programs get reported on. my father gets in depth analysis with mulitple football articles a day from the publication that covers university of miami sports. they look like the freakin new york times compared to the high school rag that is kusports.

every now and then, once or twice a week, there is a really good article on here (never by keegs), other than that this site is useful only for finding news updates on our boys and the often enjoyable banter amongst it's readers.

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Clarence Haynes 3 years, 8 months ago

FIRE KEEGAN! He is not good for KU but more important, he is a disgrace to his employer-LJW.

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hawkfan20 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm pumped about the season. It can't get here fast enough. We have a lot of talent on offense and it's going to be fascinating to see what Gill can scrape together in year 1. I think there's going to be a resurgence in tailgating on the Hill this year with some of the investments KU has made there. KU has a great home schedule this year and we're going to be in some good games. This be like the good ol days when home fan support really matters and will help win or lose games. It's a big year.

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5DecadeHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

There's plenty of excitement about KU Football, but Keegan has his head so far up his own darkened regions that he can't see it for all the stench surrounding him.

As far as preseason hype, there is more hype about KU than most years, but you won't find any of it from Tommy Boy. He's too busy trying to play it down. It's hilarious because the media are the ones that do all the preseason hyping, and Keegan is complaining that he hasn't written any preseason hype. Not that anyone expects Tommy to write anything worthwhile, given his inability to think coherently.

It seems every time Keegan has attempted to hype a KU player it has blown up in his face anyway. Remember when Keegs used his clarvoyant powers of perception to declare that Jacques Crawford was such a special running back that Tommy Boy could just feel it whenever he watched Crawford practice?

If it wasn't for Keegan's articles, the Columbia outhouses wouldn't have paper for wiping tigger butts. One kind of stink trying to clean another.

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amatxjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

One hell of a lot more excited about the opening of KU football season than another dumb ass Keegan article.

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Ian Brown 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Keegan. I began losing interest when I started reading about KU football players getting beat up by members of the basketball team. It was shortly after this that they lost their last seven games. And then I read stories about players getting beat up by their grotesquely obese head coach.

The only people who seem to care about KU football these days are the die hard fans (whom I respect, for I'm a Kansas City Royals fan, and I know how it feels to get excited about a team that is all but guaranteed to have very little success, but still can't wait to watch every ballgame) and the obnoxious student "fan base." No, the student "fan base" does not care about the outcome of the game (they take immense pride in their t-shirts which exclaim "Win or Lose, We Still Booze!"); their only concern is that they have an excuse to treat every other Saturday morning... afternoon... and evening (how many stay past halftime? are they even aware that inside that stadium a game of football is being played?) like New Years Eve.

I'm sorry. I take back what I said about the students. They are interested in the outcome of the game. They hope and pray that KU win at least six games and potentially qualify for the Toilet Bowl, so they can ask mommy and daddy for money to continue their everlasting beer bong, shotgun, keg stand, or what have you, in some far off land like Phoenix, or Las Vegas, or Dallas. Yes. People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

I'm ready for...7:00p.m. November 2.

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

This was an imflammitory piece to get clicks. This is what Keegan does. Usually after someone calls him out for the joke writer he is. It also might be a direct response to the mention of him talking out of both sides of his mouth, as he did here... In sharp contrast to yesterdays just short of slash up of our Team.

Frankly, What bothers me is your editors let you get away with it, probably because of the clicks, again.....

So Keegan's got a new nickname, Two- Faced Tommy.

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John Myers 3 years, 8 months ago

I swear Keegan, I don't know why I continue to click on links to your articles. You continue to be such a tremendous waste of time. I understand trying to be objective, but I'd swear sometimes that you've got to be a plant from another Big 12 school with the negativity that oozes from your pen. I yearn for the day that you no longer write for this site.

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gardenjay 3 years, 8 months ago

I really hope we have a good season. It truly seems like coach Gill is working hard, and we should pack the stadium on opening day to welcome his good work ethic to KU. Keep up the good practices, boys - no more injuries. RC!

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Ferd Magellan 3 years, 8 months ago

Mild curiosity? We aren't Alabama or Texas fans, but ticket sales are going as well as they were last year.

It was two seasons ago that we were dancing to "Celebration" in Dolphin Stadium. The next winter we partied in the desert. Interested has not waned. We want to see this program continue to grow, so we'll be there on Saturdays (well, at least until halftime for our worst fans).

Also, you're assuming we're abandoning the spread why? That's Long's specialty. With plenty of good receivers, a thin OL and an unsettled RB situation, this team is going to throwing the ball plenty.

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truefan 3 years, 8 months ago

24 days, 16 hours until kickoff. Speak for yourself Keegan.

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 8 months ago

I thought I read that ticket sales were again going strong.

There may not be a player whose jersey I want, but I certainly am excited to get to see this team. Team. Even tho the expectations aren't as high this year as last, I think my anticipation is, though that may just be the contrast to the disappointment over last year's dysfunction.

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