Monday, October 22, 2012


Opinion: Big 3 — Klein, Snyder, Self — help Kansas save face


Kansas has just six of the 538 electoral votes, generally gets ignored on the political stage and tends to make national news mostly for unfortunate headlines such as the 2005 evolution vote, tornadoes wiping out small towns and a very strange man named Dennis Rader, better known as the BTK Killer.

Just when you start to get paranoid that some parts of the country view us as oddballs, college sports figures ride to the rescue.

For a state so small population-wise that it has just 1.1 percent of the electoral votes, Kansas can take bows for having three of today’s brightest bulbs and hottest names in college sports.

In the wake of running for four touchdowns and throwing for three in a rout of West Virginia, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein knocked Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith out of the Heisman Trophy watch perch seat. Klein has the Div. I-A record for career rushing touchdowns and is the second-rated passer in the nation. He’s Tim Tebow in his prime, minus the overexposure.

The only question about whether Bill Snyder’s mug belongs on the Mount Rushmore of college football coaches is whether to carve a likeness of him during his first Manhattan miracle or his second. If Snyder is able to keep this team undefeated and coach it all the way into the BCS title game, his second tenure already will outdo his first.

Nobody builds a winning football program at Kansas State, except Snyder, who almost never loses. Nick Saban certainly belongs in coach-of-the-year discussion this and nearly every year, but doing it at Alabama doesn’t equate to doing it at K-State. Joe Namath didn’t play quarterback at Kansas State, and Bear Bryant didn’t coach there. Bob Stoops has done remarkable things at Oklahoma, but he couldn’t beat Snyder this year, and, again, doing it at OU doesn’t match doing it in Manhattan.

In the past five years, Kentucky’s John Calipari has won a national basketball title and made it to another national-title game, then coaching Memphis. Mike Krzyzewski coached Duke to another national title and the USA to another two gold medals. Two remarkably accomplished basketball coaches.

Kansas University coach Bill Self, like Calipari, has a national title and runner-up finish to his name in the past five years.

Just as Snyder ranks higher on the likeability scale than Saban, Self ranks higher in that regard than Calipari and even higher than Coach K.

Klein, Snyder and Self to the rescue.


Krohnutz 1 year, 6 months ago

"Snyder kicks ass."

"Klein is undervalued by the ESPN idiots and people that don't watch football."

"Bill Self is the greatest basketball coach on the planet."

"Coach K, as most alreay knew, is an a$$hole."

There, I just saved you a lot of bad reading...



irtnog2001 1 year, 6 months ago

As a native Kansan I too am proud of Kansas proud history, however, we must face the fact to most outsiders it is just a flat, boring flyover state and I am glad they do not know any better because if they did they may all want to move here and bring their problems and irrationality with them!


DCLawHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Kansas is known for a few other pretty important things nationally. For starters, how about aviation? Both pilots (like Amelia Earhart) and builders like Stearman, Beech, and Cessna have made Kansas famous. Today in Wichita, Spirit still builds 4o-some 737s a month plus the front section (cockpit through the first few rows) of every other Boeing aircraft.

Historically, what about Carrie Nation? The pony express? Brown v. Board of Education?

As for being ignored on the political stage, that is not true either. Ever heard of the Koch Brothers Keegs? Living in DC I can tell you that Kansas punches above its weight here too. For example, our 4-person congressional delegation in the House sits on arguably the three most powerful committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Appropriations). There are several larger states that can't boast that same power.


HawkKlaw 1 year, 6 months ago

I'll have whatever Keegs is having. This s--- was glorious!


lahothan 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't usually comment on these articles, but after reading this I can't help but say WTF. This was the worst article I've ever read on this website. It's like he thought of this idea, started to put it on paper, and then 3 minutes into it he remembered that he had been slow roasting a ham all day and ran home to devour it. I don't think he realizes that his articles are available to read on a world wide level. People consider this guy to be a voice of KU sports. I'm embarassed that his articles have been re-posted to ESPN because the more attention he gets the longer he stays on staff at the paper and the more often I have to read this crap when I get home after a long day at work. Can we not hold our local paper to a higher standard? Bill snider, Colin Klein, Bill Self, and Dennis Rader all in the same article? You f#%^ing kidding me??? This site is supposed to be about KU sports and all this does is glorify the Wildcats and talk about how everyone hates the state of Kansas. Brilliant work. I think it's time the LJW "saves face" and gets rid of Keegan. Sweet Jesus.


milwaukeeJAYHAWK 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree with the premise of the article, but it totally fell apart at the end. Keegan needs to sharpen up his writing.


jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

So when I weighed all of the above evidences of Kansas' almost outsized importance in politics and political economy, I could only infer one thing about Tom's story. He was not being genuine in what he was saying. There is no way that a ewspaper man in Kansas cannot know the above factors of Kansas importance.

So: what was Tom doing? Why did he fly in the face of reality, when he did not need to?

Answer: KU basketball is some time away from its first game, and KU football is 1-5 and getting hammered by opponents.

I believe Tom's story is a kind of playful, light hearted psy-ops aimed at distracting everyone from the vissisitudes of KU football, where KU is about to go from one severe beating by OU, to another server beating by Texas.

I suspect his rationale went something like this: it is not enough to distract persons with basketball in this sort of a situation. Left to their own devices and tendencies, KU fans will abandon football and luxuriate in basketball around this time of year, again, if not disrupted from doing so.

This story purposely conflates football and basketball, and KU and KSU. If this weren't psy-ops, then I don't know what it would be.

This conflation prevents KU fans from either abandoning football for basketball, or alternatively from escaping the agonizing suffering of staying engaged in football.

Or maybe Tom just had the journalistic equivalent of one of those 20% trey shooting games KU's hoopahs sometimes have.

Either way, I'm willing to cut the old pro some slack, because it gave me an excuse to think about Kansas storied history in national politics and about some of the drivers of it that sometimes performed in exemplary fashion, and at other times in checkered fashion.

On the whole, though I would not trade Kansas' political legacy even up with either Texas, or California; that's for damned sure. :-)

Rock Chalk KU!

Rock Chalk Kansas!

And Tom, you're one of us now, so just sit back and luxuriate in the hoops. Football, to rerun one of the annoying cliches of the day just "is what it is."

The only thing to do about KU football is keep reminding KU fans: stick with Weis for the full five.


JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 6 months ago

Having lived in Kansas for over 30 years, I find this article to be insulting and beneath the standard to which a journalist, from a college town newspaper no less; should be held. Keegan announced to the world that Kansas should be known for its lack of political clout, tornadoes and the BTK killer; again, I find this offensive.

If Keegan could tell his arse from a hole in the ground, he would know that Kansas is known for a lot more than that...and I mean A LOT MORE!

Lets starts with sports, since this is the gist of the column, and take it at the Eastern state line. Drive a few miles west and you will find one of the better run and more successful soccer franchises in the country(that's right, soccer, the most popular sport in the world) playing in the most advanced (albeit small) soccer facility in the country and perhaps the world. This is the stadium where the National team likes to play its international games.

Move few hundred feet west and you will find one the better race tracks in the country; it just hosted its second NASCAR race of the year this past weekend. By the way, Heartland Park, one of the premier Drag Race tracks is only 50 miles west in Topeka.

Move west a few miles and you will find the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, the place where the brightest minds in the US (and over 100 other countries in the world) military come to prepare to lead the Armed Forces of the world. All of these are considerably better know than those mentioned by Keegan and we have not even gotten to get the point...

It is amazing that the average third grader know more about Kansas than a featured writer in a well know newspaper does. It is a safe bet that Keegan would not win a penny in the "Are you smarter than a fifth grader show."

It behooves the leadership of the Journal World to review this article and place Keegan on leave, until he successfully completes third grade remedial Kansas General Facts.


jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

At first, I felt Keegs was being authentic and I bristled at many of the same things others did here. I mean Kansas is among the vanguard of red states that maintains a very high national profile because it is a critical state to control in the interlocking ag and energy game. Let's think about some Kansans that have had a rather heft presense in politics.

Alf Landon was the Republican nominee that ran and lost against FDR.

Dwight Eisenhower was President for two terms 1952-1960.

Bob Dole was a pivotal US Senator, the Senate Majority Leader and then the Republican nominee for President that lost one time to Bill Clinton.

Sitting Governor Sam Brownback was a pivotal US Senator during the Dubya years, and is almost certainly being groomed for vice presidential candidacy 4 years from now,assuming Ohio is not stolen yet again by the Republicans. :-)

Our current President's mom is from Kansas and President Obama in his first run for office made sure to play up his connections to his grand parents and to Kansas.

Currently, former Kansas Governor Kate Sibelius, and Bilderberger invitee, is Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration.

Thinly populated Kansas is also historically Federal pork central with Fort Leavenworth subsidies, the Army General staff college subsidies, Ft. Riley subsidies, the Big Top and the Little Top subsidies, wheat subsidies, Corp of Engineer subsidies, aviation subsidies, etc. And then there is the fact that Kansas is a pinch point in all logistics infrastructure including trains, interstates, and the Super Corridor, so Kansas has to be controlled by any players that want to control goods and grain distribution and pipelines. And then there are all the oil, gas, coal gas from fracking, massive quantities of low grade crude that is being held in reserve, and wind waiting to be harvested. And recently, Kansas is now joined the leaders in Chem/bio warefare R&D.

Oh, yes, Kansas has long been a net importer of Federal dollars; that is one of the common threads of all red states. Red states are net Federal subsidy sinks. Kansas is a red state.

There are three individual reasons that states become red states and none of them have to do with liberalism, or conservatism. They are:

1) they have two senate seats and small populations and so they are cheaper to buy senate seats with pork than large populations states where more hands would be out and needing pork grease;

2) they have ag and extractive resources and again small populations, so its easier to exploit the ag and extractive resources with few hands out; and

3) they are at a pinch point along certain strategic infrastructures.

Kansas has all three characteristics in spades.

So Kansas is not only a red state and a net Federal money importer, but among the most important red states in the country to control.


BAjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I hate to spoil all the other non-Keegan related banter but this column was truly and undeniably pathetic. A faithful follower of KU football, I've been consistently impressed with the work Matt Tait has done to keep the football faithful informed. I'm sure Tait spends hours attending practice, going to press conferences, and tracking down information that appears in his articles for both the print and online editions. I'm sure readers/fans appreciate that hard work. I know I do. But I'll bet Keegan tossed this piece of garbage together in mere minutes. It's obviously a lazy effort. Don't reference BTK, Keegan. Ever! I hope his next column comes with a wee bit more work. But if it doesn't we likely won't have Keegan to kick around much longer.


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 6 months ago

Opinion: Keegan spends too much effort on pop-culture references in his introductions and not enough in developing any semblance of a conclusion.

Relax everyone. The title is lead by the word Opinion. That negates your right to argue with the writer on the subject matter in question.


kufankam 1 year, 6 months ago

I wasn't too put out with the overall content. It did seem to end rather abruptly... that's all.


mikehawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Never one to make comments about the writer. This, however, was really bad, and I'm not talking about the well deserved kudos to Klein and Snyder. This is just a very odd story. Not your best Keegs. Try again.


gorilla10 1 year, 6 months ago

GARAUNTEEEEEEE REPLACE CRIST WITH DOEGE, GENO, or KLEIN and KU is a 4-5 win team this season.....Weis HAS made improvements across the board with what he has been given. The qb position at KU has haunted us all season. A GOOD player at ONE key position for KU would have turned this entire program into a positive direction this year. Instead, with Crist as bad as he's been and a redshirt freshman as the backup, we will have to wait for the 4-5 wins next season. I PROMISE!!!!!


JayHok 1 year, 6 months ago

To get technical KSU hasn't played in a true BCS bowl game ever, much less won one. They like to argue the Fiesta bowl was one, but as much as they want it to be, it really wasn't under BCS system yet, so who knows if they would have been invited. If that's their argument, well, KU's "BCS" game status goes up quite a bit, with not only the 1960's orange bowl, but several other early seasons including an undefeated season. Unless injuries take over the KSU team this year, they should finally play in a true BCS game. And barring a bunch of injuries Snyder has a good shot at finally getting what a recent KU coach already has, AP coach of the year. Another item KU has accomplished that KSU hasn't ever -- 3 bowl wins in 4 years. Yes they went to a lot of bowl games in Snyder's 20 years. The surprise is his record in those games. Not as good as you would think. KSU in its hundred year history has won one league championship. This year, depending on injuries in the last five games, they have a shot at winning a 2nd. It's a fine line Snyder's players must walk for the next few games, it'll be interesting to watch. I think Synder will be wise down the stretch and play his starters in a much more cautionary way. Games will be much closer if he chooses this and his defense will finally get tired in the 4th quarter, but if he can squeak out some victories while protecting his starters that could bode well later on for Snyder winning the AP coach of the year. It's all about limiting injuries, especially to Klein and his line. He hasn't really tested his defense yet for long stretches so this could be a good time to do this while limiting injuries if he's ok winning some close games with the risk of a loss or two.


William Blake 1 year, 6 months ago

"help Kansas save face"

Does our face need to be saved? Botox maybe?

I'm not trying to bash here... no one likes to see bashed faces.


Chad DeShazo 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, I have to say I was chuckling to myself near the end of the article... not for what the article said, but for the comments that I was sure were to follow; I was not disappointed.

Most of the time I get a bit annoyed with the Keeg-bashing. Hey, I was graduated from the J-school and I understand the difficulty of writing articles that will be interesting to this ravenous, and at this point, basketball-deprived fan base (of which I consider myself a member) as we near the start of the season. I have to admit that this article was a bit off the deep end though. Must have been a tight deadline; that happens to everyone in this business once in awhile.

Keep the faith Mr. Keegan; you'll have much more to write about in two weeks' time.


Steve Gantz 1 year, 6 months ago

I thought it was interesting except for the line about klein being the career rushing TD's leader. Not sure how many he has but I'm sure it's not anywhere near the top.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

Don't we have bigger fish to fry than bashing Tom Keegan's article?

Good lord, people. Does it really matter?


741hawk 1 year, 6 months ago

This article is as bad as Keegan portends the State of Kansas to be. The premise is flawed. The writing is junior high level. Does the publisher of the LJW not notice what an embarrassment his sports editor is?

STOP writing Keegan. Get your job description changed -- play golf, manage the departmental budget.

We are quite happy with the works of Tait and Newell. You no longer seem to add content or interest to the discussion of sports, especially the University of Kansas sports.


jhawkrulz 1 year, 6 months ago

Well if you want to get technical...Mangino has a BCS win, Snyder does not, Mangino has a Coach of the Year, Snyder does not. So before you etch his face on Mt Rushmore, get your facts straight. Snyder should not be up there. Plus there is a lot of football to be played, and I think there are about 2 losses still on K-State's schedule.

Really you put Klein in the same article as Bill Self...that might have been the most disrespectful thing you have ever done.

The way you wrote the comparison between Self and Calipari you made it sound like Calipari is more accomplished. Remember who won the National Championship first, therefore Calipari actually finally caught up with Self this year by winning a championship. Calipari has slandered ever place that he has left, whereas Self has left every place better than when he arrived. That is the mark of a good coach. Calipari left every place with vacated wins and embarrassment. Coach Self has left every place with conference championships, higher expectations, and every college that he has coached at would want him back. Don't compare slime with respectability. Dick Vitale even said that Calipari should have been thrown out of college coaching for the amount of destruction he has caused.


Robin Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

This piece is supremely awful. The idea that someone would get paid for this work is unbelievable.


toe 1 year, 6 months ago

KU is having a tough time being known for anything other than basketball. Too bad it is declining in academic rankings and cannot attract top researchers. But, at least the rule of basketball will help make Kansas University a good tourist attraction.


William Blake 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not an oddball.... now where is my Jayhawk snuggie?


TexasHawk44 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, that is his point. He just goes about it in an odd way. But obviously someone at the World likes his style, and in the end that is all that matters as they sign his check.


irtnog2001 1 year, 6 months ago

I think his only point is that for a small state in flyover country we take our sports seriously enough to compete with anyone.


TexasHawk44 1 year, 6 months ago

First of all it is an opinion column, not an article. Second if you are going to bash another person's writing then make sure you do not come off looking like a uneducated hack. Have the intelligence to use the word "whether" instead of "weather". They could not be more different in meaning. I am surprised you can even read to make a comment.

As for Keegan, it is not his technical writing skills that are lacking. It is his poor ideas for subject matter and a general inability to tell a meaningful thought that make him so painful to read at times.


Brak 1 year, 6 months ago

Haven't you guys figured out yet that Keegan treats his writing just like he treats his diet, it's all about quanity over quality.


Alex Wishart 1 year, 6 months ago

I've never commented on weather something was well or poorly written but this article begs me to break my silence. Terrible. Just a bad "article".


bville_hawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey, cut Keegs some slack. He cranked out TWO columns today. He probably went past his attention time span.


KEITHMILES05 1 year, 6 months ago

Sociology lesson today. My goodness.


soapisurfriend 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, this is really bad. Big stinkin' pile of poopy.


REHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Keegs, I think you are batting a huge ZERO for this article. Perhaps a heavier lean on the Bill Self record might have helped save your bacon; but a few of the essential elements stink.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I almost never jump on the "Bash Keegan Bandwagon", but it really pizzes me off when supposedly responsible journalists (oh, quit laughing) give free publicity to psychopath killers.

Use the tornadoes, The Wizard of Oz, wheat, sunflowers, Bob Dole, whatever stupid icon(s) you want to describe our state - but leave the killers OFF the list.


Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 6 months ago

You should ghost write for the k-state outlets. This was not appropriate for your intended audience.


Cody Stumma 1 year, 6 months ago

I stopped after the words "electoral votes."


juke4jay 1 year, 6 months ago

Here is what is embarrassing to Kansas and the national opinion (good and bad) .... the fact that the LJW continues to employ Keegan in serving up these kinds of amateurish, poorly constructed, childish articles. I would rather read the local High School weekly publication - there at least, the kids are actually trying.....


Phil Leister 1 year, 6 months ago

Hold crap that was a strange article. While I generally agree with the premise of the article, it was written like a middle school creative writing assignment. Does Keegan have kids? Is he pawning his "work" off on them?


actorman 1 year, 6 months ago

Words fail me. This column is bizarre beyond belief.

TK, get a clue!!!


Nathan Scholl 1 year, 6 months ago

You write for Keegan. While I agree that Snyder is a legend and Klein is a once in a lifetime player, give Self at least a couple more paragraphs. You need to stop writing bad articles like this. How you have a job in Lawrence at this point is a mystery that Sherlock Holmes couldn't solve. Go marry Bonny Henrickson and Angel Goodrich and leave the writing to ESPN. FAIL. Put down the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, they are rotting your brain. Go back to the EAST COAST and eat your Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches five times a day.


milehighhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I think Keegan lost interest during the last four paragraphs.


RJ King 1 year, 6 months ago

Seriously, was there a fire alarm sounding while trying to finish this piece? Can Klein, Snyder, Self help Keegan save face???


Otownhawker 1 year, 6 months ago

Not one too complain but this column is stupid


Bulkmania 1 year, 6 months ago

Just stop keegan. You're embarrassing yourself. Make a gosh darn point.


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