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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Keegan

Column: Enough football negativity already

Blue Team defensive lineman Keon Stowers (98) leads the singing of the Alma Mater following the Kansas Spring Game on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Memorial Stadium. The Blue Team came back from a  first-half deficit to win 20-10. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Blue Team defensive lineman Keon Stowers (98) leads the singing of the Alma Mater following the Kansas Spring Game on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Memorial Stadium. The Blue Team came back from a first-half deficit to win 20-10. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

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I’m sick and tired of naysayers who are sick and tired of anything nice written or said about any aspect of the Kansas University football program.

Sure, it has been a rough four years, but how would raising the white flag more than three weeks away from the season-opening kickoff make anything better for anyone?

Seven things I’m already tired of hearing and don’t want to hear again or I might get sick.

1. “I’m sick of the Kansas football team getting hyped again.”

Who’s hyping the Jayhawks? I haven’t seen a single prediction of more than four victories for them for their 12-game schedule.

Talented, raw newcomers, improving returning lettermen and additions to the coaching staff all make for interesting conversation fodder, but to discuss or write about them does not equate to “hyping” them.

2. “All this Montell Cozart talk is just a repeat of Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps.”

Actually, Cozart’s situation could not be any different from those of Crist and Heaps, who, as it turned out, had similar one-season experiences at KU.

The transfers were advertised loudly by head coach Charlie Weis, based largely on their five-star high school careers and the potential he saw in them. They lit up quarterback camps. Cozart didn’t start a varsity game at quarterback until his junior year in high school.

Crist, a transfer from Notre Dame, and Heaps, an ex-BYU QB now playing at Miami, had extensive experience at the position, but were ill-suited for playing in front of a shaky offensive line. They didn’t have the legs to bail them out of jams.

Cozart, not as polished a thrower, is far from a finished product. He’s a work in progress, and there isn’t enough to make anything but guesses as to how he will do.

Crist and Heaps were recruited and developed by their first schools, Cozart by his only school.

3. “If Heaps succeeds at Miami, a lot of people will be eating crow, and it will prove KU should have started him.”

Wrong. If he succeeds at Miami, it will mean he gets far more pass protection from the Hurricanes’ line than KU’s blockers gave him. Heaps might be able to finish unbroken plays, but he can’t fix broken ones. KU faces so many rock-star defensive linemen that its quarterback will be required to create on the fly. Cozart has a better chance of making things happen under those circumstances.

4. “No way Kansas beats Mark Mangino.”

Mangino did a terrific job at KU, moving the saw back and forth, back and forth, back and forth and popping out of a pile of sawdust to win three bowl games in a four-year span. But he’s not playing in the Nov. 8 game at Memorial Stadium, and he’s not giving the pregame pep talk. He’s Iowa State’s offensive coordinator, and it doesn’t look as if he has a great deal of talent with which to work.

5. “Kansas can’t win more than two games, Southeast Missouri State and Central Michigan. They’ll get owned in the Big 12.”

Four exceptional quarterbacks play in the Big 12, instead of the usual dose of six or eight.

Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Oklahoma’s Trevor Knight, Kansas State’s Jake Waters and Texas Tech’s Davis Webb all are primed for big seasons, but KU is far from the only program with fingers crossed at QB.

6. “Let’s see, KU plays six road games, so that’s six losses right off the bat.”

The last 27 times KU has ventured off its campus to play a football game, it has lost. The last victory came in the West Texas town of El Paso. The road losing streak can’t possibly last forever. So why can’t it, at least in theory, end at Duke, West Virginia or Texas Tech this season?

7. “Forget football. How many more days until Late Night?”

It’s on the eve of KU’s sixth football game, so regardless of whether you sit in your room and slash the days off your calendar, Kansas will play five football games that count before it opens the doors for an intrasquad game and a well-scripted recruiting show. You can’t watch football and Late Night? I don’t get it. It’s OK to find both Sofia Vergara and Eric Stonestreet hilarious on Modern Family, right? So how does football in any way get in the way of basketball? Or is it just that cool points are not awarded for showing an interest in the football team?

Comments

Len Shaffer 4 months, 1 week ago

All valid points. It would be nice to know whose column it is, though; where's the byline?

As I said on another post, I've been a loyal KU fan of all sports for over 40 years and I'm not about to stop now. Of course over those 40+ years, I've been burned by the football team SO many times that it's hard not be at least a LITTLE bit cynical going into a season.

But your points are well taken, and I am looking forward to the season.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Please explain, how have you been "burned" by the football team? I feel like that's a very misleading statement. Unless you're an investor or booster, I don't think "burned" is the right word. Maybe let down or dissappointed?

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

Tom Keegan wrote it. It says so right before you click over to read it.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

It didn't when the article was first posted.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 1 week ago

Overreact much? I've noticed two or three guys constantly beating the negativity eardrum. Other than that, most commenters have been mildly optimistic.

Matt Tait 4 months, 1 week ago

Not to speak for Tom, but I know that he wrote this column more because of the things he's heard people say to him here, there and everywhere during the past couple of months... Not just because of a few comments on our site.

Chris Bailey 4 months, 1 week ago

I have said many times I don't wanna hear predictions this year. And for Tom to say no one is predicting is off base. Hell last season we had the prediction wheel on wins. Or the over under. Ultimately, I wanna see them play competitve football. I will not predict win's and losses. I have no doubt we are a better team than we were 3 yrs ago and have improved since last season. Obviously, improvement leads to a better record or at least a closer score. And don't get me wrong I was as excited as the next guy and hoping for those wins. I've stayed mostly off the comments sections. I was commenting daily and now I read and stay up but I want our talk left on the field. Hopefully this year we will see an improvement on the offense like we did last year on defense. I have high hopes we will be much improved. Now for my win predictions.........................

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

Some even come on here and state that they're not interested in reading it, but they sure have an interest in saying something about something they didn't read. That is just lunacy. Quite frankly, if someone does that, how about blocking their posts for a couple of weeks and see if that changes their attitude. That's just my opinion.

Mark Lindrud 4 months, 1 week ago

I am waiting for the Doug Cramer retort column, KU football will always suck until Mangino comes back.This coaching staff has been working hard to improve this team, but this does not mean 6 or more wins this season. To me, it means they are not settling, but trying to get better, which the prior regime did not seem to be doing as well. I for one have not seen anyone tell us how great we are going to be, but discuss who could have a really good season, and who to keep an eye on that could contribute for us this year. I am certain in a week or two the season predictions will come out and we will see. All I have said is this is the season that we see if this regime is on the rise, and that a couple more wins with more competitive games would be a sign of improving.

David A. Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Excellent points...agreed on all counts.

Jim Stauffer 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree with the overall sentiment of this article. While I also try to be objective, I refuse to squelch my enthusiasm for KUFB and will hope all the way thru the season the team continues to improve.

Yeah, that means I am laying my heart on the line to get broken again. What fun is a FB season if I don't commit my heart to my favorite team?

Mick Allen 4 months, 1 week ago

An expression used years ago, albeit in a different context, that has relevance here is " If your heart ain't in it, get your ass out".

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Good post. Gotta put your full heart into. And if they let you down, we always have bball to bring you back up.

Andy Tweedy 4 months, 1 week ago

Eric Stonestreet is pretty damn funny! Count me in on KU football this year...I'm ready, don't care how many games we win!!!

Lance Cheney 4 months, 1 week ago

We can't speak of Eric Stonestreet, being a KSU alum and all...

Andy Tweedy 4 months, 1 week ago

Fair point! How 'bout Ty Burrell is funnier?

Glen Miller 4 months, 1 week ago

I think when people talk about the Cozart situation being similar they mean that the hype surrounding them and how good they are going to be is similar to the other two going into the season. I don't think they were meaning that their backgrounds were the same. That being said, Cozart has mobility that they don't have which will help him to succeed a little better while our line kind of jells together early in the season. He seems to have more backing from the team and I think it is because he came here as a freshman from the area and wasn't brought in because he USED to be a 5 star, he is one of us..... not a one season loner. Seems like Crist and Heaps had quite a bit of hype before they even really did much at KU. Cozart had to earn his hype and if he can throw the ball better this season, which by all accounts seems to be the case.... a bowl is not out of the realm of possibility if our defense has improved as it is said to be. I see 4-5 wins, one on the road and no blowout losses this year and that is a very positive step forward. I can live with that.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

I live on planet Mars, evidently. I dont see as much negativity as this opinion suggests there is. What I do see is a slate of people who, like myself, refuse to pin their expectations on hype. If one were to say that there has been none in the prior couple of seasons, then one would be delusional to be very frank about it. Speaking for myself only, I absolutely welcome positive news regarding the football team. No question. All I have asked for is that the positives be given perspective; to be shown in the context of what is true more generally within the program so that the fan can have an honest evaluation of the football team. Call this negative if you'd like. Satisfy yourselves that boo birds are dropping guano and the preseason festivities. Have whatever opinion you wish, but tell me when the last time was that you read an article whose focus was on the areas in which Kansas football needed to improve. Cue Jeopardy! think music. Given how the last four seasons have transpired I find it shocking that this kind of critique (which is NOT synonymous with "negativity", by the way) is not more common place among articles here. Readers and fans rely on reporting for information. A spin machine which unduly highlights the positives deprives the reader of a set of facts which allows him to guage the talent level of the team both in a vaccuum and compared to other programs. If anyone can find just cause against this position, come to the front of the line to be heard. I don't know why this is even a discussion.

It's simple. Report in a way that gives the fan a true and complete picture of the state of the program. Is there anyone who has the audacity to suggest that this is the norm for preseason reporting with respect to Kansas football?

Anyone? Anyone?

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Wrong! It does not come close to qualifying!

There is NOTHING in that article that addresses anywhere that the team might improve itself. Did you understand the question I put for consideration?

All this article does is to compare depth this season vs. his other two. Take another stab at it. Seriously. I want you to try. You might be surprised.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Your last statement reminds me of the chicken exit at Worlds of Fun.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

I just erased a statement that said I wasn't angry, and that "frustration" would be more appropriate. But on second thought, you have it right Beakum. I AM angry. I'm angry about the drivel here lately, and how Tom won't stand up and give an honest critique of the team. He's a sports journalist and all he can muster about a team with five consecutive losing seasons is sunshine and rainbows. Im angry that a reader cant ask for realism without this knee-jerk "stop being negative, already" first-gradish retort. I'm angry that wanting to know where our team stands gets you dog-piled in comments. I'm angry that some here, and perhaps Tom himself, twists words to make it appear as if those of us who want to have a better handle on the team aren't as ardent fans as everyone else. As you can tell by the length of the paper trail and the amount of energy I devote to it, I am probably more interested than the average fan about what will transpire on Saturdays. Yes, Im angry. You want me to take a chill pill? Fine! As long as the prescription for it can encapsulate realism.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

If you get this worked up over an article and people who have differing opinions than you, get some help. Keegan has already said in a previous article (I don't remember the specific one and I'm not about to spend the time to find it) that he thinks KU is going 4-8 this year.

Has it ever occurred that the articles about the improvements that the writers see are in relation to last year's team and not compared to other teams.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Has it ever occurred to you that fans might be curious about how our team might do in the season ahead, and that 50% of outcome is determined by the other team.

You mention getting worked up over an article and people having differing opinions than I, but this very article was written from Keegan's getting worked up over people having differing opinions than his. Think about it, Aaron.

Light on yet?

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree that this article shouldn't have been published and shouldn't have been a column because this is a opinion piece and should've been in the double chin music category. That said, Keegan also isn't the one trying to get the last word in any time his name is mentioned. He gives his opinion, why he has that opinion, and moves on. Occasionally, he'll respond in the comments section if someone is confused or has a question about something.

To me, the way you express your opinions comes across as overly defensive and confrontational and that's not an approach that breeds productive debate.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Feel free to leave the final comment then if you will be satisfied!

John Myers 4 months, 1 week ago

And how would you propose they do that when they haven't seen any of the teams we'll be playing against and have not seen our team compete against anyone? It's audacious of you to think that's possible. All they can do is report on what they see. Would it make you feel better if at the end of every article they just said "But they probably will suck"?

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Audacious? Are you dense, man?

I'm gonna have to make this simple for you. Consider the basketball team, for example. We know we lost Wiggins and Embiid. But we have a good idea about the rest of the team. Our minds can make reasonable inference about Oubre and Alexander coming in. Now we can have a debate about how good they will be this year, but it's not like either side would be left without information because we haven't seen the team on the court this year. To assume we have nothing to go on is, well...nuts. We also haven't seen Hoiberg's Iowa State team, but we're familiar enough with what remains of his team and how he coaches them to arrive at some reasonable expectations. Same is true for Barnes' Texas squad, who I believe will battle for the conference title. How can I justify that statement when I haven't seen them play? Elementary, Watson. I saw them last year, got familiar with their personnel (thanks Benton Smith), I saw their level of performance with those players, and I know who they've added this year.

It's no different in football. The reporters can evaluate other teams in the same way they evaluate Kansas. For all the returning players on our team, we have experience from watching them in prior season(s). Guess what. For all the returning players on OTHER teams, we have watched those too! Many for several years. What do you mean, "..they haven't seen them play"? Do you think we have no reasonable idea of what the Baylor offense is like? How about OU's defense? Do you think there is nothing to go on to evaluate Kansas State's special teams? And we haven't seen Kansas play against any of these teams? About now, I'm sure the reality is dawning on you that your statement has gotten you out on a limb that you're wishing to crawl back off of. Sure, some of that will change from season to season, but not everything (as above).

For all the incoming players, who we haven't seen play yet, how do you suppose the reporters evaluate them? Hmm. They look at what they did in high school. They look at what they did at juco (if appropriate). They talk to people who have seen them play and determine their strengths and weaknesses. You know, the kind of thing that goes on when you actually scout players. And guess what else. Stuff gets printed in black and white by our reporters about Kansas players who have never played a down in a Kansas uniform.

But your last line is the one that makes it clear what Im talking about above and demonstrates how you and Keegan would be happy company in the same boat. If you ask for perspective, people accuse you of being negative. It's about like confusing 1 and 1 for 3. But since this is difficult for you, I'll make it plain. What would make me feel better is if there were more balance.

Chris Bailey 4 months, 1 week ago

Man Joe you're taking some heat today. Dishing quite well I might add. I'm with you most of your comments are pretty solid. I am not a fan of the Prediction wheel we saw last year or the Over Under. I saw improvement last season and we will see it again this year. I think that hiring Reagan was a huge step in the right direction. We need to have a tent for the pro-KUSPORTS football dudes! TOM and MATT see if you guys can hook that up! I liked the article. It's true we cannot have success without progress. Tom Keegan has got some big balls to write this article that is for sure! Thanks for saying it as I get tired of friends bagging on the Hawks. Let's strap it up and play! ROCK CHALK! Follow Captain HEENEY!

John Myers 4 months, 1 week ago

"About now, I'm sure the reality is dawning on you that your statement has gotten you out on a limb that you're wishing to crawl back off of."

Actually no, not at all. I still stand by it. You pretty much just said you already know everything - so why do you need the reporters to tell you?

Anyhow, I can see from the comments below that this thread has fully been beaten to death, so I'll leave it at that.

RCJHKU

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

Joe, you have as much information about what to expect as they do. Write the stuff yourself. You seem more than capable.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Appreciate the vote of confidence, even if it may have been given tongue-in-cheek. I am not granted access to players without a press pass. I don't have a front row seat with Charlie Weis, but I guarantee you if I did I would ask him the questions a few fans want to know. "Hey, Charlie. We've heard about improvement before. You are now in your third season with some of your own players. What can you tell us about where you are now versus where you wanted the program to be when you took the job? What needs to improve going into season three? Can you look both a fan and your AD in the eye heading into the season and tell them that competitiveness is going to be better than last year? What makes you think that and can you give us some specific examples? There are certainly a lot of positives in recruiting, but to what extent do you count on the new guys to produce on the field in order to achieve your goals this season? Speaking of, what goals do you have for the year and what would make this a successful season in your estimation? Cozart looks really confident, doesn't he? You've been a head coach and been around some amazing coaching minds, so when you look at Cozart do you think he's ready for the big stage?"

WHERE IN HEAVEN'S NAME IS ANY NEGATIVITY??? These questions and perhaps ones much harder hitting and to the point need to be asked and answered.

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

I like all those questions. I especially like the first one. Sure would be nice if you could get real answers to them too. Instead I’m sure you’d get some watered down generalization about those expectations. Can you tell me what kind of answers you would expect to get from each of these.

The “goals” for a successful season question has actually been asked and answered. He deferred to the players.

The question about Cozart being ready for the Big 12 has also been asked in many different ways, and it always seems to be answered in the same way. “He can extend the play”, “He’s more of a leader now”. etc., etc.

You can ask all the pointed questions you want, but these guys are trained and experienced in public relations. You’ll have to read between the lines and do your own research to get anything else.

I think Tait and Keegan do a fine job of that.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Excellent point, Jay! Now we're getting somewhere. If I can keep my reporter hat on for a couple of seconds more, I would realize that I can't control what answers are given to me. But I can sure let my readers know when I write a piece that an important question was asked and deflected, which may be cause for concern. Additionally, if a question were to be side-stepped, it can be asked again for clarification. Issues get harder to dismiss when questions rain down on coaches heads. You bring up an excellent point. But at the end of the day, a reporter shouldnt muffle questions because he thinks the coach wont answer them. Im sure Keegan himself would tell you that.

As for Tait and Keegan, I have no problem with either of them personally. I've met Matt once and he's a great guy. If I had the chance Id invite either of them over for beer and barbecue to watch a game in the absence of other responsibilities. I'll feed them on my dime and drinks for free. So Tait and Keegs, there's your standing invitation. Doesn't mean I can't violently disagree with them.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

I also wonder if you would ask the students who leave at half time why they come in the first place? I'd ask, not targeting all of them of course, but why they wouldn't just not buy a ticket and let someone that will stay to the end so when the game is close like against OU last year, the team has the 12th man and home field advantage or like against Texas two years ago in Lawrence. Remember the lightning delayed game against Oklahoma State that we lost 20-14, where where the fans? The team was there, the fans weren't.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

At least 2 of those questions have been addressed either by Weis directly or by the players.

The areas of improvement was the standard coach speak answer of everywhere, but considering the state of the program, how is that not an accurate and truthful answer?

The players at media days said they know what the goals and expectations are for the season, and that appears to be the most anybody in the media is going to get out of Weis or the players about what internal expectations are for KU football in 2014.

As for believing if Cozart is ready to step up and lead this team, Weis initially said at the beginning of spring ball that he didn't expect a starter to be named publicly until fall camp. That obviously didn't happen as Cozart was named the starter in the spring and that action should be taken as a sign that Weis and Reagan believe Cozart is ready to step into that role.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Joe Ross, I'm embarrassed and disappointed for you.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Be whatever you wish. But take a stab at the question. A circus side-show generated with a put-down makes no progress toward an answer.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Not that you care, but you look ridiculous.

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

Whoa there. We are all Jayhawks here. Joe is just as passionate a fan as anyone else. Debate is good. KU is actually famous for it. Let’s keep it at that.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

I'll let your response be my own Jay. Thanks.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

You've made your stance be known ... Ignorance

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

Joe,

Now this you're wrong about. It was yesterday where it was really out of hand with one user. Then there was another conversation where two were jawing about how "Mangino would never schedule a team like Duke", when Mangino is the guy that scheduled Duke. Neither one of them responded, but hey, they should have been embarrassed. This article was probably not targeted towards you.

Do you really think that the fans that come here don't know what the true state of the program is? That seems a little assumptive from my perspective like assuming this article was targeted at you. I'm not sure why this is that big of a deal to you.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

I'm glad you asked this question, Micky. I'll put my own neck on the line even if it generates some embarrassment on my own account in the process (I hope that's fair enough). To be honest, I don't know what the true state of the program is. I'm not contradicting myself in comments I made to John Myers above. I mean, yes. I do have some IDEA of what our football team will look like based on prior experience. But rather than doing the research on all the new incoming players myself, I would hope that I could rely on an honest evaluation from the reporters. They get paid for it. I don't. Would make it a helluva lot more convenient if new players were given a Keegan's rating report, for example, that would list strengths and areas that need improvement (something on the order of what you see on Rivals scouting reports, only it would be applicable to committed Kansas players/new team members). And usually, I dont research other teams and gain knowledge of them only after game day. I suppose where I need the most "crutch" is with new players and scouting other teams so that I can determine our chances.

I don't know if Tom is addressing me or not. But I respond NOT because I know he includes me in the group that he addresses; but rather because I place myself there. As far as why it's a big deal. Just chalk it up to passion for the game.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

My point was, do the players know how the season is going to turn out? The coaches? The media? The fans? I think it is fair to so no, by whoever you ask.

I regards to strengths and weaknesses, wouldn't that really only be opinion at this point before the season starts?

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

One fair question deserves another. With regards to strengths and weaknesses, isn't that what recruiting is based upon? I mean having some opinion about a player's capabilities has value in the real world.

As for prognostications on win-loss records or chances in individual games, I'm not asking for that personally. No one knows how games will turn out. Yet Vegas sets odds. Commentators comment about who they think will win. Fans have a sense of who they think will win games, etc. While none of them would admit to being clairvoyant, they all try to ascertain who they think will win based on what set of facts they have.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

Vegas set odds on the World Cup, and didn't think the USA was going to advance past the group play round.

I regards to strengths and weaknesses, if I am correct, the list of 25 did touch on some of those for these players. It's not like the NFL where you Jamaal Charles who is established at that level vs. newcomers who aren't. I also do recall reading in one article about Ben Heeney. In the article about him, Tom Keegan wrote about how much better he could be if he was just a little more patient and didn't run himself out of some plays.

http://www2.kusports.com/weblogs/double-chin-music/2014/jul/28/most-crucial-jayhawks-no-5-mlb-ben-heene/

“I think he can make another jump,” Bowen said. “Even a year ago, I think he left a lot of plays on the field, stuff that we’ve talked about. I’ve compared him many times to the dog that sits on the porch. When the car goes by, he can’t help himself. He runs and bites the tire. But sometimes if he would just slow down a little he might not get run over.”

So, he reported exactly what a coach said about Heeney's weakness. I'm betting it rooted from a question Tom Keegan asked.

I think we can probably find many like this if we looked hard enough. Tom may have turned off some of the readers with the opening comment about those talking about the team being "overhyped", but it did indeed touch on Heeney's main weakness.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

The point about the Vegas odds was NOT that Vegas gets it right; rather, that people of all walks like to guess at the outcomes of games based on what they know of teams. Vegas was used only to demonstrate this. As far as Jamaal Charles vs. unestablished players, it's not the players who are being compared. It's the reporting about the players that counts. The fact that you can show differences between the analogies is saying nothing more than the situations are not identical (but therefore analogous). What is actually consistent between the two is that both reporters, i.e., Keegan and Paylor, are professionals. It's the reporting that is matters, because what is being scrutinized in the reporting and not the performance of the players. I have not read the article you speak of, though I accept your word for its existence. My problem is that analyses such as the one you describe often slip in as a one liner in an article, rather than being a more in-depth analysis that would come from featuring both the strengths and weaknesses of a player's skills in a piece devoted to that purpose. Again, the point is not being negative so much as it is about being complete in scope.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

There is quite a difference between the NFL and players at college that are newcomers to a team, freshmen, or transfers for jucos. Even those players that played their first season last year as juco transfers can't be treated the same way Jamaal Charles is in the NFL. Is that not accurate?

Also, a college team has a much bigger roster. I believe they have to weed that down to under 60 players in the NFL.

I understand the want for a complete scope, but how exactly would you approach that as a journalist when you're only given access to 20 minutes of practice, and only have so much time in a press conference to ask questions?

What players do you want a more in depth scope. I remember another article written by a kusports.com writer, one that I can't remember right off the top of my head, that wrote about James Sims and why it might be more difficult for him to run for a 1000 yards in 2013.

I remember several articles that mentioned how Jake Heaps was not mobile in the pocket or out of the pocket and how he held onto the ball too long when he should have just taken what the defense gave him, like a short dump off pass across the middle, which would eventually open up those deeper passes so that he doesn't have to hold onto the ball so often.

I remember several articles that mentioned how the receivers need to help, and one most recently about Mundine and the dropsies. There were several more articles on the struggles of the OL. There have been plenty of articles that were focused around these issues.

I would just like to know, if you know you can only get 4 or 5 questions in a press conference to ask, which ones would you ask? You can't ask all of the questions you want to ask in a press conference, unless it goes on for several hours.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Press conferences with the head coach aren't the only way to gather information. Position coaches and players also make themselves available, and for much longer periods of time than you suggest. I think recently, for example, Reagan and Bowen just did a joint one. You speak of larger rosters, but every player on the roster needn't be analyzed. You're making the problem much harder than it is. Focus on the potential starters for each side, and the two-deep at the most. Tom and Matt did a series on the top 25 players that was pretty in-depth. If they can accomplish that, this would be easier by comparison (where not whole articles would need to be devoted to each single player). Most of the articles that you speak of--namely, the ones that identify problems with the players--are after the season starts and the hype machine must necessarily grind to a halt in light of what has gone on on the field. By contrast, I've made the point that preseason evalutions are often inflated, not those during the season where writers are forced to come to their senses.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

One of those articles I was mentioning, vaguely as I did, was the one where the writers go together to make their predictions for last season. It wasn't pretty. Nobody predicted a bowl game, and I think that just about every one of them predicted 3 or fewer wins. One of them may have predicted 4.

I really haven't noticed a lot of hype this preseason so far.

David A. Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Frankly, I always enjoy reading your points. You always lay them out line upon line, precept upon precept...without undue harshness or attacks. And, I don't think anyone could lump you into the boo bird catagory. Thanks for the insights- insights that, by the way, are very hard to argue against.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for your passion Joe, though I'm wondering a bit what your expectations are for coverage. RB - We lost our #1 (Sr), #2 ?mental checkout?/transfer, the top recruit went to a JC, and #3 & #4 have had injuries, but there are still 2 quality recruits; 1 JC & 1 freshmen. QB - Several mediocre, unproven candidates. Cozart can run but was horrible passing last year. WR - Performance last year went from abysmal ('12) to really bad. We've got 1 quality option coming back, a couple that might be capable now that they are being taught proper technique, 2 quality transfer ready to contribute, and 4 HS players - a couple that will be need. OL - Big questions here. Lost a couple quality player. Gain a couple big dudes that might be ready to contribute. HUGE unknown and where everything begins. There's really nothing new there. Have you not heard that before? Do we need to hear it again? The D is more of the same. IMO, it is so much more interesting to hear that Avery & Watson have gotten into D1 condition, or something else that might be new.

Wasn't it an article here that recently quoted CW as saying that Cozart could complete a high % of passes in practice, but it doesn't mean anything if he can't do it under pressure in a game. Were you looking for that in the headline and an entire article dissecting the probability?

Mitchell Schield 4 months, 1 week ago

This is truly comical. Members of KUsports.com can't post anonymously but Tom Keegan can post anonymous "controversial" articles? I know it is already evident, but Tom is a terrible journalist.

Thomas Fawcett 4 months, 1 week ago

This is clearly Tait. People like to trash Keegan, but he's a much better writer.

Mitchell Schield 4 months, 1 week ago

I've only ever seen Keegan use "Column:" so I am skeptical it is Tait. Regardless, it is cowardly for any journalist to not include their name in their column.

Dan Spurgin 4 months, 1 week ago

How much should the LJW be reporting what the coaches and players are saying (which will always be the same "Hey... this year is special/different/etc." and how much should articles be about objectively reporting on the talent levels as compared to peers.

Mabye we can come up with a coding system. Crimson for puff pieces and Blue for objective journalism?

If Turner Gill was such a train wreck behind the scenes, I would have personally appreciated a piece that revealed that WHILE it was happening, and not well after the fact in an article that proclaims "Now EVERYTHING is better/different".

I get it. People read the LJW to hear a homer voice about KU (that's why I read it). But I personally enjoy the objective stuff that let me know where we're weak, why we're weak, etc. (i.e. the play break downs where we mess up assignments, etc.)

My cents.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Excellently stated.

It's not about negativity. It's about honesty.

Greg Ledom 4 months, 1 week ago

@DS - All you had to do to see Gill was a train wreck (I was a fan of the initial hire, although not the contract specifics) was to go to any of the games he coached. And in this case I use the word 'coach' very lightly.

Bob Bailey 4 months, 1 week ago

Keegan's picture is on the column, why is there ANY doubt who wrote it? Some knowledge of fb is expected. Personally, more knowledge of Defense in the writers might help.

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

I think we really only have two or three poo-pooers, but they post a lot.

Tom, this probably wouldn’t be a problem if LJW pulled their heads out and resumed the anonymous posting. It was so much better then. So many more creative, funny and insightful posts to draw from, and to balance things out.

I mean how many people post here now, compared to when this site was cool? I bet you have about a quarter or less of the old regime. IMHO that seems to have magnified the negatives.

Bring back jaybate! Bring back nuleaf! Bring back the fun.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you, Tom Keagan. Now, all you homers go home. We've had a rough 4 years, but it doesn't excuse the negative attitudes or constant whining. Have faith, or find another team.

Dillon Davis 4 months, 1 week ago

Through no fault of Keegan's or Matt's, my approach to KU football is still the same. It's a new year, with new guys and some new staff so I'm interested to see what happens. However, this has been the case the past few years and still no big results. I'm skeptical but that doesn't mean that I'm not hopeful or bringing the team down in any way. Of course I want them to succeed and do well. I am just cautiously optimistic and will reserve my negative comments if and when they're needed after a few games this season.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

I bet all the guys fighting this article or defending their negativity have a horrible time going through a breakup. I fear for their significant others when that time actually comes. You've been let down and burned by the football team? Oh no, how horrible of the journalists to post positively about the upcoming season when there is absolutely nothing to be happy about. How dare they convey the players excitement when they haven't had a wining season in half a decade. That's horribly selfish of them and they should all be fired. What the hell else do you expect? Write a damn article that you would like to read, and then let the professionals (ie actual journalists) and fellow readers decide if you're delusional or actually making a point that we're obviously missing. If you can't do that, then get the hell off of this website, it's for true fans only. Thank you.

Mark Lindrud 4 months, 1 week ago

You are so misguided if you think there are bad breakups. Just good restraining orders.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

Meant to put "I meant restraining orders" but I accidentally hit "post" and was too lazy to edit it ...

Chandler Accipiter 4 months, 1 week ago

If we believe in the status quo as it applies to KU basketball ( excellent coaching staff, high expectations, Big12 champs, elite athletes, etc.), then shouldn't we apply it to KU football (questionable coaching staff, low expectations, bottom of the Big12, not as talented as other teams, etc.) as well?

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

I just don’t understand talking about my team with skepticism. It’s MY team. I want to support them in any way I can.

You know KU basketball was down and out for awhile. Yet every new year was adorned with possibilities. The status quo is not set in stone, it is molded from a number of factors like work ethic and desire.

As long as these kids (and coaches) desire and work to succeed for my school, I’m in. The LJW is a local paper. The Jayhawks are their school. Why would you expect being beat over the head with skepticism?

Warren Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for the article. Things are looking up...

Chandler Accipiter 4 months, 1 week ago

...and about those winnable road games. I'm hopeful, but those games at Duke and WVU are not just road games - they are ROAD games. Travelling east that far to a different timezone is difficult for even the best teams, let alone an unproven team with a fragile road psyche.

Chandler Accipiter 4 months, 1 week ago

Keegan also dismisses ISU's offense, but today's Iowa State Daily begs to differ: ISU football prepares for season with strong offense http://www.iowastatedaily.com/sports/article_2becc55a-230a-11e4-9eeb-001a4bcf887a.html . There are these kind of articles being written about every team in the country right now. Who's right? It seems like the ISU beat writers would be more informed than a KUSports columnist. But it's like Tait said yesterday, treat it all as entertainment, and do with the knowledge what you will.

Greg Ledom 4 months, 1 week ago

This must be what child birth feels like......

Jacob Zutterman 4 months, 1 week ago

We'll this comment string was entertaining. Can't wait for football season! Rock chalk!

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Question for Tom and/or Matt (who I've extended a personal invitation to for dinner as in above comments) or anyone else who'd like to take a stab at it.

In today's Kansas City paper, beginning on page B1 and continuing to B7 there is an article that is entitled, "Charles hones art of blocking". It is subtitled "Back strives to be as good at protecting passer as running." Like a lot of sports journalistic articles it begins with an opening anecdote of a play that captures the thrust of the article. Basically Jamaal Charles, due to height and weight limitations, often gets his lunch eaten by pass rushers as he's blocking for the quarterback.

But the article doesn't leave it there. It goes on to talk about how Charles is dealing with this weakness in his game. Sure, an article can be written (and certainly HAS been) that talks about what a great back Jamaal is. Or how adept he is as both a receiver and running back. Or how he racks up all of these all-purpose yards in his little, representing-the-lollipop-guild, small NFL build which is atypical of most backs in the league. In fact, all of this is alluded to even in this article.

But wait. The primary FOCUS of this article is in fact Charles' weakness. Now be prepared to have your mind blown. The article is in NO WAY NEGATIVE. Yet as a reader, I considered something I really hadn't before. I will be looking for Charles' blocking now in ways I hadn't before. There are wrinkles of his game I hadn't considered, but this article brought it into focus. To summarize the rest of an article in a sentence, Charles has set a personal goal of holding a block for 3 seconds and he feels the key to his improving is working really hard at maintaining a desire to block.

Parallels? Preseason football article. Local team. Article addresses talented player.

Departures? Terez Paylor writes an insightful piece that informs his reader of a problem area and shines a light on it for the fan base to see. He does so while maintaining respect for the player and without engaging in negativity of any kind.

So the question is, why can't this kind of reporting go on more often here?

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

That’s good. I must really have the rose colored glasses on too, because the first thought that came to mind when Charles and blocking were mentioned were a few of the crushing blocks he’s made over the years, and none of the missed ones. Ha.

It also made me a little nostalgic for actual newspapers. Haven't picked one up in years.

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

Think J-Ross says it best, which is where I come from. "It's not about negativity, it's about honesty". Let me add one more in there..."Its about being realistic".

I LOVE KU FOOTBALL.

What I don't love are the decisions our school has made regarding the firing of Mangino, the one coach that gave us hope. What I don't love is replacing him with Gill and Weis, two coaches that don't have a sniff about what it takes to win in this league.

Tom - This website is ALL hype when it comes to the KU football program. How about writing some articles regarding where the team needs to improve skill sets or talent levels...because thats what KU football fan needs. A realistic and honest analysis of our program.

  1. We lack talent in the trenches (this perhaps is the number 1 reason why this program has been the worst BCS team in the country since Mangino.

  2. We lack discipline and football I.Q. My goodness, how many times do our linemen create penalties when we have a shot at moving the chains. No discipline whats so ever, and I'm sorry, THATS ALL on Weis and his coaching staff.

  3. Other than Ben Heeny, we lack players that have tasted success at this level, in a KU unie.

  4. Cozart was the most inaccurate QB I've ever seen at this level last season. Now some of our fellow posters suggest that this will improve...hopefully so. But if we don't balance our offensive approach with a pass threat, then Big 12 defenses will load the box, and it won't matter how fast Cozart is.

  5. We have a TON of seniors and juniors on this team, due to Weis's strategy of recruiting JUCO players. When I look at the future of this program, from a talent and skill level standpoint, the future looks bleak. We don't have 4-star talent developing as underclassmen, which is what you want.

So Tom and Matt, how about writing about some of these talking points ?

I enjoy this website, and I think Matt and Tom are probably really good dudes.

Obviously you guys work hard and are passionate at what you do, to provide material for us to read. I also think you're great at it, but I have to wonder if your relationship with Weis brings a certain bias to your writing...

Tom - your excitement in 2009 when Mangino's witch hunt investigation was announced was quite elevated. I have no idea if Mangino pissed you off at some point, but you seemed quite giddy to provide a negative spin from a media standpoint, in getting him out of Lawrence.

That is my perception, and I could be very wrong, but thats what I picked up on.

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

  1. Mangino left the trenches bare. Admit this much.

  2. You don’t have to be an abusive bastard to discipline players. Weis doesn’t degrade his players, but he cleaned house of slackers immediately and handled off-field issues with an iron fist. The football IQ thing I tend to agree with because he installed a system that was too complex and didn’t work. This year he made the necessary change.

  3. Dexter McDonald, Isaiah Johnson, Ngalu Fusimalohi, Michael Reynolds, Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox. Not that it matters. I don’t really know how a taste for success ties to future success. In my mind it’s about putting in the work and getting better.

  4. Two of Cozart’s three starts came in terrible weather. Blustery winds had both QB’s throwing wildly against W.V. and another game was played on ice skates. He’s not Reesing but it is also reasonable to believe that he was a nervous freshman thrown into a complex offense with bad conditions and/or tough competition (K-State) He made several nice throws in the spring game. He just needs consistency.

  5. Weis Juco strategy has landed KU Isaiah Johnson, Keon Stowers, Cash Sendish, Dexter McDonald, Taylor Cox, Ngalu Fusimalohi, and a ton of other players and prospects, many of which will help this team in the future. Remember that some of these Juco guys are coming in with 3 years of eligibility. Johnson and Stowers come to mind. Where would we be if he hadn’t landed those guys? Would you be happy going 0’fer until his ALL high school recruits were ready in 3 years?

That’s my perception, AND it’s honesty.

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

  1. What does Mangino have to do with our current players ? That was 5 years ago...our current players were all recruited by Gill and Weis.

  2. We won't know if this "change" has occurred until we see improvement on Saturdays.

  3. Tough for me to say we've seen consistent success from anyone other than Ben. Cox didn't even play last year, Pierson didn't play half the season, Reynolds and the rest of the pass attack failed to put pressure on opposing QBs...which has been a constant since Mangino.

  4. Those are all excuses.

  5. I'd rather have talent developing as underclassmen, as opposed to not having any at all, and still posting 3-9...WITH juniors and seniors...

Jay Beakum 4 months, 1 week ago

  1. By your own standards it takes 3-4 years to develop a player. Mangino left nothing, and Gill didn’t help. What do you want Weis to do in 2 years?

  2. Weis is running a clean program and that means something. That’s something every KU fan and alum can be proud of.

  3. What is your definition of individual success? Isaiah Johnson was newcomer of the year. Fusimalohi was on the All Conference list. Cox had success two seasons ago, and Pierson is one of the most dangerous players in the conference. You think opposing coaches aren’t finding him before every play?

  4. You try throwing in that wind. NOBODY can be accurate in 40 mph wind. Just like it’s impossible to move on ice with the wrong cleats. I’m not making excuses, I’m telling you what I saw.

  5. Weis has talent developing as underclassmen. But again, he’s only had two years. How about Greg Allen, Courtney Arnick, Brian Beckman, Tyler Holmes, Schyler Miles, Tre Parmalee, Tevin Shaw, Kellen Ash, Joey Bloomfield, Montel Cozart, Colton Goeas, Ben Johnson, Colin Spencer, Corey Avery, Jacob Bragg, Kyron Watson, Joe Dineen, Josh Ehambe, Tyler Patrick, DJ Williams, Daniel Wise? That doesn’t include the underclassmen who transferred. Keon Stowers and Isaiah Johnson.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree with you. Doug acts like that all these players are juniors and seniors who have been at KU the whole time. Isaiah Johnson is one who is a juco transfer, led the team in interceptions last season. I think he had 5, which isn't too shabby for 12 games.

I think he wants it both ways. He wants success in 2 years, but then he wants freshmen and sophomores being developed. It seems to me that you can't have both of those.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

Doug, two points.

First, a big part of a newspaper writers job is to generate interest in the subject they cover and negative articles do that as effectively.

Second, in regards to how Keegan covered the Mangino investigation. You know as well as I do that Mangino treated a lot of people like crap around the athletic department and Lawrence in general. It's not a stretch to believe that would also include the staff at the LJW. If that's the case, then why would Tom or any other writer go out of their way to defend someone who treated them like crap over the years?

Gill may not have been the most interesting figure in the world, but he also didn't treat the LJW writers poorly so they had no reason to go out of their way write negatively about him until he was gone and the issues in the program came to light.

Charlie Weis doesn't treat the media like crap so they're more inclined to put a positive spin of stuff because of that positive relationship.

You are right in that what appears to be a positive relationship between Weis and LJW writers influences how Weis is covered by the local writers. That's also of just about every other college coach and local writers.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

It's about being realistic? 2007 was Mangino's 6th season, not his 3rd season. Weis inherited a program in much worse condition than Mangino did.

Michael Leiker 4 months, 1 week ago

So the talent left by Mangino was worse than the talent left by Terry Allen in 2002? Hardly.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

My question to Doug and Joe:

Do you guys have jobs? You sure spend a lot of time on your posts ...

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

National Weather Service Meteorologist. What's your career John ?

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

So you get the forecast wrong quite a bit. I've never seen the an article focusing on that weakness.

Don't get me wrong, I have a huge respect for the meteorologists and I defend them most of the time. However, there are two things that I want to touch on that there was never an article on.

The Springfield National Weather Service office messed up the day that the F5 tornado struck Joplin. It was a high risk convective outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center, and the person in charge in Springfield cancelled the conference call with media outlets because "they didn't have enough time". That conference call was supposed to be about 8am. The tornado struck Joplin in the late afternoon. There was also a break down in the communication between spotters in Kansas and spotters in Missouri, as Joplin is very close to the state line. The Kansas spotters reported the tornado, and they are on different frequencies. As you well know, you communicate with the spotters directly during severe weather events, but someone in Springfield forgot to tell the spotters in Missouri what the spotters in Kansas were saying. Then you see the videos in Joplin of people that didn't even seem aware that there was even a tornado coming at a Home Depot Store where some people were killed. There hasn't been an article about that.

On April 3rd, 2012, there were some storms rolling through North Texas, and it wasn't expected that the risk was going to escalate into a tornado event. I'm a spotter so I have my dual band HAM radio on and I here spotters confirming with other a tornado on the ground west of Weatherford. National Weather Service office in Fort Worth fails to issue a warning. Then a tornado strikes Cleburne, TX which is on the very southwest edge of the DFW metro. There was no tornado warning issued despite Johnson County, TX spotters confirming it. Then, when they did finally issue the tornado warning for Johnson County, the rotation was almost into Tarrant County and a new tornado formed less than 10 minutes later and went through Kennedale and into the southwest part of Arlington. The NWS has weaknesses too.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

I ran out of space to post on the previous one.

I have a lot of respect for the field of meteorology and I understand that it's not a perfect science, and then even at it's maximum, there are people in meteorology that shouldn't be there, one in Joplin and one in Fort Worth that decided not to issue a warning, then Cleburne is struck. Luckily, nobody died, but several homes were completely destroyed. I haven't seen anyone in the media write an article about that, I'm thinking, you might find it offensive if they did. As a spotter, it offends me that the NWS didn't issue the warnings even though spotters on the frequencies monitored by the NWS weren't heeded. It wasn't my town that was hit. I didn't know any of those people who lost their homes, and that really can't be prevented. It was the thought that would arise in all of us if a tornado was about to hit our home, or was hitting it while you're inside of it. I've been in that situation, not recently, but I do remember it. It was horrifying. The Dodge City National Weather Service did issue the warning, even though there wasn't a tornado confirmed by spotters. Fort Worth didn't issue one even though there were two confirmed tornadoes. Springfield didn't help the media get the word out to the people early in the day so that people were more alert of changing weather conditions.

So, I said my piece on being realistic and honest. Nobody in the media would even touch the weaknesses at some NWS offices around the country, not that all of them have that, but two did. It happened to be 2 out of 3 that I came across in the research I was doing for a project, one of which I witnessed first hand.

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

Micky - I work at the Springfield NWS, and several points in your discussion are wrong.

  1. SPC had a "Moderate" risk...not a "high" risk. Here is a reference. http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/archive/2011/day1otlk_20110522_2000.html

  2. There was no conference call scheduled at 8am. There are never calls scheduled then because thats shift change. At 8am...SPC only had a slight risk out...therefore there wasn't a call scheduled.

  3. We issued a Tornado Warning for Joplin 18 minutes prior to the tornado even developing...so I'm not sure how we didn't communicate properly.

Can't speak for the Fort Worth office, I didn't follow that event.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

Actually, there was a conference call scheduled for that morning that was cancelled. It was a local media outlet there that initially stated it and there was some friction. It may not have you directly, but someone there cancelled the conference call.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

There is also something to be said about the SPC not issuing the moderate risk. Was there a MSD about a conditional threat of super cell tornadic storms? The terms that the NWS and SPC use are not for the general public to understand. There are so many acronyms. The watches and convective outlooks use some time zone code that people don't understand, it seems that more often than not local times aren't used except for when it's an actual watch or warning.

The only thing that they do is offer a glossary of the terms, which they often substitute acronyms for in the Convective Outlook statements and MSDs. The day that the tornadoes struck in north Texas, actually both times, there was a slight risk one day, and that was not changed until after the event began. The other day, I don't think there was even a slight risk issued. Either way, for certain communities, it became a high risk event, and by the grace of a higher power on April 3, 2012 nobody died in the DFW area.

A federal agency never get's as much scrutiny as the Jayhawks. Why is that?

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

I can't speak for SPC on anything either.

Do agree that acronyms can be confusing, which is why I write my discussions in plain English...and easy to read.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

The SPC is part of the National Weather Service.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Cue the kitchen sink by John Fitzgerald.

So I don't come off as someone who is trying to be condescending because of my line of work, I'll just answer you with "yes".

You know, for a bunch of people who evidently agree that there is too much negativity, the number of comments of an insulting nature are inordinately high from the proponents of the premise. Think about it.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 1 week ago

Fitz' has usually remained a positive poster, but lately been dabbling self-defense and poster attacks.

I usually try to stay out of the fray myself, but if there's one thing I've noticed since the cloak of anonymity was removed on this site it's that there actually seems to be more personal poster attacking and more tribal warfare now. Certain groups of posters have formed cliques and taken to bullying other posters into leaving the discussions (or at least attempting to do so).

I usually think that at some point the insults and attacks will stop and posters will just "agree to disagree" But the battles rage on. It's really a bother to casual posters like myself. Even though I rarely get shamed out of the comments section, the discussions largely get dominated by back and forth arguments that have nothing to do with the content and everything to do with ego.

Intellectual debate is fine, but name-calling and insulting is lame.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

I guess I've started to add fuel to the fire lately... so you're right I should probably stop before it gets out of hand. No harm to Joe or Doug.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

And my reactions are meant to defend Tait, Keegan, and the Ku football program. I can be a little childish in those attempts I'll admit, but for the most part would just like people to approach their concerns in a more constructive manner so I don't feel the need to be destructive. That may not make since, but needless to stay I'm just tired of the bullsh!t. Anyways, sorry if I upset anyone.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Im an older guy now, John, and my skin has grown very thick over the course of many years. You, of the two of us, were the only one being "destructive". All I am guilty of being constructive towards an opinion that's different than your own. But you were not insulted, asked irrelevant questions, or being given bull stuff.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

I apologized, not sure what your asking for now. Yes, you have a large ego, let it rest my friend and move on.

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

Agree Jonathan. To be very honest, I'm guilty of name-calling and insults on occasion. I need God's grace as much as the next guy. I do try never to be the first to defect with a sharp comment, however. But if responding in kind is equally as sinful, I'm afraid my passion is going to land me in a confessional more often than I care to admit. Every once in a while, though, Keegs starts a riot with one of these drive-bys. LOL

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 1 week ago

Your original posts are almost always well-stated, logical, and intellectual. I enjoy reading them, even when I disagree with the conclusion. I consider you one of the elder statesman of the forum.

I've never understood how debate so easily slides into assault on this website. The few times that I've been drawn into a one-on-one punching match I have trouble even remembering why it ever came about.

John Myers 4 months, 1 week ago

Well, and the silly/stupid thing is - if we were all in the same room together, I have a feeling we'd probably all get along swimmingly. After all, we're all Jayhawks.

Chandler Accipiter 4 months, 1 week ago

We are passionate KU football fans, and we are not legion. We are the divided and few. If we can't all be civil in our disagreements of our expectations of the program, our views on its recent history, and how these should be covered, then what chance does this world have? ...at least I can take some solace that we would all unite to curb stomp a Missouri Tiger, and in that there is still some beauty left in this world.

Ethan Berger 4 months, 1 week ago

I can understand the negativity with KU football. Fact of the matter is we have been one of the worse teams in the nation since '10. Every year there has been a reason to look up only to be disappointed. So I fully understand that people feel they are being built up only to be let down. Saying that, I feel this team is in a much better situation than last year. From the eye test, our defense was much improved last year. They created turnovers and were much tighter in coverage. Pressure still needs to be brought but last year it was better. Offense is what scares me. Our offense has been just terrible since Reesing and Co left. Now we have a proven receiver, another receiver who was stuck in a log jam and a speedster who needs to work on mechanics. We also have a Swiss Army knife player who is one of the most dynamic. A qb who has good size and is a great athlete. Question is can he be accurate and can he relax in the pocket. It all comes down to o line for me. If they are how they were last year, we are doomed. If they improve, we have a chance. I see the pieces, now let's just see if they can succeed.

Dale Rogers 4 months, 1 week ago

How quickly we forget. I read all this Mangino love but his final season at Kansas was a disaster. He started the season 5-0, then managed to lose the final 7 games in a row, including to K-State and Missouri. For this we want him back? No thanks.

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

Yeah you would rather have:

  1. 3-9
  2. 2-10
  3. 1-11
  4. 3-9

as opposed to having 4 bowls in 8 seasons, a BCS Orange Bowl Victory, and a National Coach of the Year.

I don't get it...just don't get it.

Dale Rogers 4 months, 1 week ago

Just sayin' I think better times are on the way and I don't think Mangino would be the answer for the future.

Mark Lindrud 4 months, 1 week ago

He isn't coming back, get over it people! I hear Glen Mason is available and he won a few bowl games, let's get that drunk back while we are at it!

Bryce Landon 4 months, 1 week ago

At this point, I'd welcome Glen Mason back. Gladly!

Mark Lindrud 4 months, 1 week ago

His record his first 3 years was: 1–10
4–7 3–7–1 His overall record with us was: 47–54–1. I certainly wouldn't want a guy with that record back.

Doug Cramer 4 months, 1 week ago

Thats fair enough Dale, and there are certainly a lot of KU fans that share your opinion.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 1 week ago

If Mark Mangino were to come back as HC at KU, and I believe very strongly that it will never and could never happen (even more strongly than I believed that LeBron would never go back to Dan Gilbert and the Cavs, which is to say that I obviously can be wrong), it could be the best thing to happen to both Mark Mangino and to KU, as he would carry in his baggage a ton of lessons that he learned about how to build a program and win and about how to treat people with dignity and respect rather than enmity and intimidation. He would get a shot a redemption and KU would get a proven head coach who hopefully would be more likeable than before and better suited for building lasting relationships that can strengthen the future of the program.

That said... I'd rather see Weis succeed than Weis fail and us take a huge gamble by bringing back the mean old coach who took us to places of unparalled success behind the strength of an up and coming Ed Warriner and some terrific defensive position coaches and coordinators like the line coach who left of okie state.

Micky Baker 4 months, 1 week ago

So if they don't agree with you about Mangino, the want a losing program? You do realize how absurd that is, right? I hope you do.

Kevin Kelly 4 months, 1 week ago

Well speaking as a KU alumn from living in Nebraska, I think winning less than 6 games since conference re-alignment is the key. We were dismissed and ready to be thrown on a trash heap. Nationally, at the water cooler, it has been unbelievably brutal to be a Big 12 member and then 10 times as brutal to be a fan of the cellar dweller of a conference people want gone for their own selfish reasons.

We've needed the football team to at least show competence. To say that hasn't happened is an understatement. I don't blame anyone who, at this point, gets so despondent they consider suggesting a change in colors to brown to help hide the stains that seem to appear on the uniforms about halfway through the second quarter.

If the comments are overwhelmingly negative then it is what it is. Maybe...just maybe...its time to get mean on the field.

Kevin Kelly 4 months, 1 week ago

Oh and add to that the fact that every national CFB talk show would like to see Charlie suffer facial burns for his past behavior and they don't care if that means they now hate KU. Fun stuff.

Greg Ledom 4 months, 1 week ago

Now I'm sure this is how child birth feels. Seriously guys...........

Joe Ross 4 months, 1 week ago

LOL. A moment of levity. Much needed. Kudos.

DaNeille Davis 4 months, 1 week ago

And no more Keegan bashing! If you guys don't have anything nice to say about someone then don't say it at all! Didn't your parents teach you anything! I enjoy the articles and their opinions. Some of your opinions on here I can do without. This is OUR team and OUR school. Can't you just be supportive no matter what? Rock Chalk!!

Jack Jones 4 months, 1 week ago

But, Tom ~~ Negativity, whining, crying and moaning, and worse are part of the male sport fan's DNA.~~ correction >> The male DNA (not just the sport's fan.) One simply (the operative word) has to read the Facebook comments, the newspaper reader comments, this site's postings, and listen to the "expert" opinions offered (shouted) at live sports venues to more than authenticate this incurable fact of life. Always has been ~ always will be.

Jack Jones 4 months, 1 week ago

Oh ~ And great column, by the way. Something that has been needed to be "called out" for a long, long time.

Bryce Landon 4 months, 1 week ago

You wouldn't be you if you weren't scared! :D

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 1 week ago

I'm convinced, KU's going 14-0 and winning the national title this year solely because Michael is scared.

Erich Hartmann 4 months, 1 week ago

Anyone lumping the past Weis 2 seasons in with the 2 Gill seasons, simply because of the W-L record is being incredibly superficial, as well as unfair. Weis's first 2 seasons were heavily tainted by Gill's legacy. Didnt Weis have to come in and dismiss 30+ players for a multitude of reasons? So what did that do to depth, experience, morale, team chemistry? So Crist comes in and finds out he cannot function well behind KU's line, nor can the passing game function at all due to "dropsy" by receivers and "footsteps/injury PTSD" mental baggage that Crist brought with him. If Gill stayed, this season would have been about Jordan Webb and the RBs, and conditioning "optional" leading to continued epic 2nd half blowouts. Also recall Gill likely would have had about 14-15 academic ineligibles, as those were part of Weis's dismissals.

Weis gets his own separate 'rebuild' timeline, and also we simply must 'pay heed' to the fact the Weis started in a deep, dark hole that Lew + Mr. Turner Gill left for whoever would come in after Gill.

Now, this season, with Weis' own recruits, as well as time-in-system and proper conditioning...we see if we can put together some sustained drives, and put together some wins. Im not trying to defend Weis either...as his timeline will play out on its own. If he cant make progress after 5yrs, he would likely be shown the door as well...

This all is maddeningly incremental. Maddeningly slow, stepwise process. Slow progress. That is reality. I could care less-than-zero what "frustrated" fans think or care. I'm simply going to judge play after play...drive after drive. Critical 3rd down conversion rates--on offense and on defense.

I disagree with Joe Ross's sports-talk theme as if asking (whichever) journalistic questions would make the readership happy or are more investigative or analytical or what not...None of that matters like actual on-field performance and the ability to sustain key drives, and getting key stops matters. Asking questions doesnt give me the answers Im seeking: the questions get most DEFINITIVELY answered automatically by the team's actual performance on the field, and how consistent it is. Its time for some W's.

Notice how Bill Self isnt saying much about his team, or what he does say is going to be carefully crafted coach-speak.

So are we going to talk about talkin-about-it, or are we going to watch and judge actual football action? I know which one I'd rather be doing. Maybe Jayhawk Nation ought to do the same. It is a new season with another 'clean slate' to try to do something with, right? That much is absolute fact. No reason why people can't hope for the positive.

Philosophy.

Jonathan Allison 4 months, 1 week ago

I often find I can't help but agree with your posts. Lots of names have come and gone from this site in 7 years but your posts are consistently good.

John McCoy 4 months, 1 week ago

I have been a KU fan since Gail Sayers, John Riggins, Laverne Smith, and the great Ransom lad ran through OU's defenses unabated. Such fun it was. I wear my KU football shirts with pride down here in Texas, even when some clown looks at them and remarks "wrong sport." Rock Chalk. Better days are ahead.

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