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.



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, 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.


100 6 years, 8 months ago

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

KGphoto 6 years, 8 months ago

You know who Sayers reminds me of now? I know Sayers was less physical, but some of the moves, and his galloping gait once he breaks loose...

Adrian Peterson. Watch it again.

Sayers had a couple moves AP doesn't. Namely that ghostly slide step at full speed between two defenders (3:30 of the video, against the Packers. Incredible!) But much of the stop-and-go, the go-go-go, the downfield cutbacks, the field reversal, and flat out explosive acceleration are all there with AP. And that little hitch in the giddyup, when they are trying to take it from "full speed" to "hyper space" after breaking into the open field? Almost identical.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

Great comparison. Although if there is 50 yards of wide open green hyperspace left, give me Sayers any time, anyplace... He'll not only engulf those 50 yards faster but he'll make it look like he's just sitting back in a recliner @ grandma's havin some lemonade.

As for the "surrounded by 5 D linemen in the backfield" comparison, right on. So similar. I'd still take Houdini Sayers, there too. In the open field or a jammed up line, iny humble opinion, there has never been a better back with the ball in his hands. Ever. Period.

Now if the job is to run over a 350 lb lineman, give me Peterson. However if the job is to dislocate the 350 lbers eyesockets by splitting the atom a one way then the other before darting under, around & through his gonads for 90 yards in an electiric powered easy chair & six points for Da Bears, give me the Kansas Comet any day of the week.

Rock Chalk KG

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 8 months ago

That was great to watch. What a master. He would never get a celebration penalty for a number of reasons but the major one is his excitement was the journey, not in crossing the line. In fact, he probably felt a little down after he crossed the line because he had to stop and wait for the next time he touched the ball again. Of course I am a little biased but I think he was the greatest of all time. Really glad that he is affiliated with KU. And a very good person, great ambassador.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 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?

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe get a little timer counting down...The Brock Clock

KGphoto 6 years, 8 months ago

This can't be the real manpursecoachingexperience.

Can it? What happened to you? Was Turner standing behind you while you posted this? I knew it.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 8 months ago

The (had to punch someone in the face because he said my girlfriend was) Sloppy Seconds

(no truth to that what so ever. but pretty funny)

Lance Cheney 6 years, 8 months ago

Your first paragraph is the first non-malicious thing I've ever heard you say. Well, I guess I should say it's the first nice thing I've "read" by you. I've never actually "heard" you say anything.

Chris Bailey 6 years, 8 months ago

Wait are you actually posting a somewhat positive comment about football? Sure the funny stuff is there but I actually see a glmmer of hope ahperse! Is it? Could it be? Is football season starting to get you excited? Yeah we may not win the big 12 (we won't). But we could have a better than we expect season if guys really step up! And I do think 6-6 is a great goal! We could get there with great play and some luck! I really hope we do! ROCK CHALK BOYS!

Ethan Berger 6 years, 8 months ago

Obviously you have never coached or led anyone in sport. You always, always set your goal at the highest. You will never lose players because your goals of winning are to big. If the goals were to big as an indivdual player, like Webb will throw for 4000 yards. Then yes, it could effect. But say to win the conference and win the national title is something every coach says. You aim the highest when it comes to winning. If you set a goal and a average season, then you will get an average effort. Players wont get pumped for saying 6-6. But instead you aim high. Now the thing is with the players and coaches is that they know what will be a success. 6-6 is a success. But you never ever ever claim that to be your highest goal. You will not lose players because you didn't win the title and conference title because you said you wanted to. Recruits, possibly but they care more about the powerhouse schools. But players on your team? No you won't

Chris Bailey 6 years, 8 months ago

If you are under the understanding I'm hoping for a 6-6 season and that I want to tell the team that I am not being clear. Sure I would love to win a national championship but speaking on it ain't gonna happen. We won't win em all. Does that mean our season is bad? Will the players feel that way? What if we win 5 or 6 and our average margin of defeat is like 14 points or less. Wouldn't that be a successful season even to the players? To me that is something to build on and show that hard work will bring W's pushing them even harder in the off season. I have never coached but I have spent enough time around atheletics to know that much. Recruits will come here if they say progress and us starting to build a winner. We can't get every player and won't. Some will only look at your school if you're Texas, Ohio State, USC, OU, Florida or a big name but that doesn't mean we can't still get quality players to buy into what Gill is selling. No slight on what you are saying cause I agree to a point with it. This is an opinion site so I guess we all will have differing opinions. Guess that's why we don't make those decisions.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 8 months ago

No, your right. I'm saying from a goal perspective you have the highest. But there are also unsaid goals. Im saying that players and coaches will be happy for improvement. I think I said, or maybe said it very poorly, but if we go 6-6, it will be viewed as a success from the players and the coaches. When i was in junior high, we played one of the best schools in the greater Houston area, we ended up losing but it was a very close game. We were so happy because we knew we put everything out and fought our heart out. Our coaches were pumped also, but before the game our coaches didn't come up and say "Hey lets make it a close game" they wanted us to win. A year later we would beat them and that was a whole different feeling. My point is that you have usually two kinds of goals. The spoken goals and the understood goals. Players don't get scared away when you don't win a title when you don't truly expect it, but you still will work for it.

amatxjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

A Season To Grow On by leafhimaloneahperse

nuleafjhawk 6 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.

Kenneth Hillman 6 years, 8 months ago

I honestly thought we might have the worst stadium since we are the only one with a track. PLEASE renovate the stadium and remove the track.

Al Martin 6 years, 8 months ago

Oddly, I have children attending the #1 and #2 schools in this article.

My son is starting grad school at Cincinnati. That stadium is horrendous. It sits in the center of campus and the top of the stands are at ground level, with the field well below ground level. It is completely bordered by buildings; I honestly don't know how they can realistically expand the seats. It's #1 and likely to stay that way.

My daughter goes to Northwestern. I think the article was a bit too harsh about that stadium. It's small but it has a real college atmosphere to it, and it sits in a beautiful spot by Lake Michigan.

Complain all you will (and rightly so) about the track around our field, but I've always thought that the atmosphere at KU football games is really nice when the team is competitive. The Iowa State game in 2009 had a full rocking house and was really fun.

Having attended a couple of UT games here in Austin, I can tell you that, while the stadium is huge; it's just another big pile of exposed concrete behind the stands, and the older sections aren't any nicer than KU's, just bigger.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 8 months ago

Good stuff but I'm not sure some website ran by a dude in his moms basement qualifies as national news.

squawkhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

That's probably where 90% of the information comes from these days.

Chris Bailey 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe that will make the boosters do something to improve things. Wish I had millions laying around I'd chip in!

squawkhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully, KU fans are tired of being embarrassed on the national level.

thunderjam 6 years, 8 months ago

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

Robert Brock 6 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.

Randy Bombardier 6 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?

squawkhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

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

Randy Bombardier 6 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.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 8 months ago

Agree wholeheartedly. I had no idea Aquib was a two-star. Course that whole ranking thing is not a good indicator of how well a player will do. Hope we are really, really good at evaluation and development. That will make up a lot of ground.

Mike Kendall 6 years, 8 months ago

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

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

gardenjay 6 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.

Greg Ledom 6 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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