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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It’s BEER-ee: KU tight end Tim Biere hopes to brew up big season

Kansas receiver Tim Biere catches a touchdown pass before Oklahoma State linebacker James Thomas during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver Tim Biere catches a touchdown pass before Oklahoma State linebacker James Thomas during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

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Kansas receiver Tim Biere catches a touchdown pass before Oklahoma State linebacker James Thomas during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

By now, Kansas University football fans are well aware of how to pronounce senior tight end Tim Biere’s last name.

It’s “BEER-ee,” of course, but for the first couple of years the Omaha, Neb., native was in Lawrence, he heard a handful of mispronounced versions. Beer, BEER-ray and be-YEAR-ee were tossed out as possible pronunciations until Biere’s play on the field inspired people to learn how to say it correctly.

The interesting thing about those mispronunciations, especially the first one, is that Biere’s name actually means beer in some languages.

“I’m not really sure of the history,” said Biere, who admits he’s no brewmaster. “I know it means ‘beer,’ and I’ve known people who’ve studied abroad and come back and said they’ve seen it everywhere. People say they’ve seen it in France, but I don’t think I have any French in my background.”

According to ancestry.com, the name Biere is a variant of the German surname Bier, meaning ale.

Back home in Omaha, Biere’s mom has a handful of beer posters hanging in the family’s basement, each of which has the word/surname on it to celebrate their heritage. While Biere was exposed to the meaning of his last name at an early age, he said recently that he’d still like to do some digging into the family tree to learn a little more about its history.

Learning more about Biere’s game is not necessary for those who have followed KU football for the past few years. Pegged as an athletic and reliable pass-catching tight end when he arrived in 2008, Biere has done nothing but back that claim up during his Kansas career. He arrived as the 19th-best tight end prospect in the nation, choosing KU over offers from Nebraska, Colorado State, Kansas State and Ohio.

Although the statistics he has racked up during his first three seasons at KU — 476 yards and four TDs on 39 receptions in 35 games — have not brought to mind names such as Shannon Sharpe or Tony Gonzalez, Biere’s production has been notable and his improvement steady in all areas.

While the coach who recruited him proved he understood that by putting Biere on the field as a true freshman, the coach who inherited him has done so with words.

“Tim Biere has stood out from a consistency standpoint,” KU coach Turner Gill said in April. “He’s good at blocking and catching the football, and he is playing with passion. That is really what I like to see.”

Three years ago, Biere arrived in Lawrence during one of the highest points in KU football history.

The Jayhawks were coming off of a 12-1 season and an Orange Bowl-championship run, and Biere expected similar results throughout his career.

During his first season, in which he played in 12 games and caught six passes for 65 yards from Todd Reesing, arguably the greatest QB in KU history, the Jayhawks advanced to the Insight Bowl and pounded Minnesota for their second bowl victory in two seasons.

The future was bright, and Biere was loving life.

But then the bowl appearances were put on hold. KU hasn’t been back since. With just one season — 12 guaranteed games, if anything in college football can be guaranteed — remaining in his career, Biere wants one more run at the postseason more than anything else.

“Honestly, going to a bowl game would end it on a good note,” Biere said last week at Big 12 media days in Dallas. “We went to the Insight Bowl my freshman year, and bowl games are an awesome experience. The last couple years have been pretty tough. Last year, we won one game in the conference. The year before that we won one game (in Big 12 play). So to be competitive and to win six games, that would mean a lot to me as a senior.”

With KU picked to finish 10th in the 10-team Big 12 and facing one of the toughest schedules in recent memory, many might choose to roll their eyes or even laugh at Biere’s goal.

But he’s not worrying about what anyone else thinks and, true to his team’s slogan, he believes that capping his career in a bowl game is within reach.

“I definitely think it’s possible,” Biere said. “Especially when you look at how spring ball went this year compared to last year. Spring ball this year was 10 times better than camp last year, so there’s going to be drastic changes.”

Biere and the Jayhawks officially report to preseason camp Wednesday. KU opens the season Sept. 3 against McNeese State at Memorial Stadium.

Comments

Greg Ledom 2 years, 8 months ago

If you don't set your goals high, you'll never get there. That's leadership 101. It's no surprise to me (apher) that you don't get that. So CTG suggesting that the ultimate goal is to get the program where it is competing for Big12 championships and thus National Championships is simply making sure everyone understands where he wants to take the program. To me that's a much better message than suggesting "....we're hoping to match or beat last years total by 1." In this case apher, your glass being half full is completely on the mark. Thank goodness CTG's glass overfloweth.

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gardenjay 2 years, 8 months ago

I for one like Biere's postive attitude.

As fans, if anything we should hope for a win on any given gameday, and show up to all games if we are within 1000 miles of Lawrence.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

"Tim Biere--pronounced, Tim BEER-ee."

Hello, Captain Morgan---let's chop up our opponents, shall we? Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 8 months ago

BB? Brandon Bourban or Brock Berglund? I don't know that either will start this year. I enjoy college football and after years of frustration finally just learned to enjoy the college football scene, the playing of the game. I mean I appreciate seeing the Pokes doing well, building a fine program. Despite my dislike of Mizzu I can still appreciate what Pinkel is doing over there. Rhoads is doing a good job up there in Ames, too. I can enjoy that. Loved seeing the Cyclones win down at Texas last year. Been a long time coming. Course my favorite all time unexpected win was the thrashing of historic proportions we gave Nebraska in 07. That was sweet. I can appreciate these things because the one thing I dislike about college football is the utter domination by a few. I still don't understand how OU can convince some 4-star kid that is going to be fourth or fifth on the depth chart (and just might play someday) to attend there versus going to half of the other league schools and maybe even start as a freshman. I don't get it. I would rather be an independent leader than a camp follower any day. To me, that's what those recruits are, camp followers. What would have happened if Aquib had gone to OU? He might have played one full season. Might have been drafted. Might not have. Could have been lost in that depth chart. Who knows? If I had talent I sure would not want it buried. I would want to stand out.

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squawkhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Clear, concise and to the point. When does BB start?

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Randy Bombardier 2 years, 8 months ago

I am just hoping we close the gap this year. Not going to get too hung up on Ws and Ls. After all, MM was 25-34 after his first five years, 1-1 in minor bowl games. Hard to believe, huh? 2-10 (worse than last year) his first year. If you liked MM you will like Gill in time. We just need stability, stability, stability. If we continue to be so stupid as to fire a coach every five years we doom ourselves to 2-10 seasons every five years, recruiting becomes a joke, we will always be looking for a dark-horse candidate because no proven coach would take the job, much less good staff. Combined with a more difficult round-robin conference we would be very stupid indeed to not seek long-tenured coaches. Looking forward to much better recruiting, a ground game and hopefully an improved defense in the very near future. Hope we can secure some great D-linemen. Any word on that anyone?

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Robert Brock 2 years, 8 months ago

I would be amazed if the Hawks could win 4 or 5 games this year. My expectations for glory and bowl games will be higher the following season.

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thunderjam 2 years, 8 months ago

Making a bowl game should be the goal and the fans shouldn't expect anything less.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I would liked to have seen the comment that was deleted. It was probably right along the same lines as I'm thinking now.

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amatxjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

A Season To Grow On by leafhimaloneahperse

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 8 months ago

6-6 is a great goal. A realistic goal. I'm tired of hearing Gill and these recruits talk about winning the big12 and national championships. Start small and build. There is no faster way to lose a team (eh-hem last year eh-hem) than to set unrealistic goals that cannot be achieved.

And chalk up another player admitting last spring/year was a joke.

Last, how excited are we for Wednesday? Does the ljw have a news helicopter to scout I-70 to see if Brock is driving in from CO to report?

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100 2 years, 8 months ago

Here's another Omaha kid who chose Kansas over Nebraska...

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