The year was 1978 and on a warm day in late June, I entered the world at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
Because I am a native of Colorado (yes, I used to have the sticker on my car) I instantly was granted membership into the fandom of any and all Colorado sports teams. Throughout the years, I've even been known to embellish the circumstances surrounding my birth to tell the tale that the first thing I remember seeing was glorious Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes. Not true. Sue me.
My parents are both natives of Kansas, my mom attended Lawrence High and my dad is a Shawnee Mission South graduate. Because of that, and their love for Kansas University, I moved to Lawrence when I was 10, a few months after Danny and the Miracles made their run to the title (sweet timing, right) and have been here ever since.
I continue to call Colorado home and made many attempts at returning there after moving to Lawrence. I intended to return for high school.... didn't happen. I was certain that I would attend Colorado State University for college.... that didn't happen either, mostly because of the reputation of KU's Journalism School and my in-state status. After that, though, I was sure I would move back to Colorado for my first job. As you surely know by now, that didn't happen either. I used to wonder why I never made it back there, but then it hit me: Lawrence must be a pretty great place and I must like it here. Both are true.
During my time in Lawrence, I attended Pinckney Elementary School for two years, West Junior High for three and graduated from Lawrence High in 1996. After that I attended Kansas University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Journalism.
During my college days, I covered the KU baseball and basketball teams for the University Daily Kansan. While I enjoyed covering baseball and learned a lot while doing it, basketball was the beat everybody wanted and I still remember my first hoops story for the UDK: Michael Jordan retires. There was something pretty cool about seeing my byline next to a mug shot of Jordan. Other highlights from my time at the UDK included my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my roommate (Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star) and I did on the top 10 KU athletes of the century around the Y2K craze. The KU athletic department voted on the top 10 and Sam and I split up the names to do stories on five each. Mine: Wilt, Ray Evans, Al Oerter, Jim Ryun and Ralph Miller. What a great time.
In addition to working for the UDK, I was the publisher of a KU sports web site run by Rivals.com — JayhawkTalk.com — which I continued to operate for a little more than a year after graduation.
I joined the World Company in June of 2001, when I was hired to become the sports editor of the Bonner Springs Chieftain and Basehor Sentinel weekly newspapers. In 2004, my position grew to include becoming the sports editor of the Shawnee Dispatch, another weekly, which I helped start from the ground up. In July of 2007 I got the call to the big leagues when I was named High School Sports Editor at the Journal-World.
It was an awesome feeling covering high school sports in the town I grew up in. Many of the coaches who were around when I was at LHS still are there today and it has been an absolute blast reconnecting with them.
In February of 2010, my job title changed again when I was promoted into the role of KU football beat writer. After helping out with our football coverage during Mark Mangino's final couple of seasons, I covered the entire Turner Gill era and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but have made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I can into the KU program to help explain how and why things happen while also analyzing the players, coaches and trends surrounding the Kansas football team in a basketball-crazed town.
In May of 2007, my wife, Starr, and I were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we were anointed by the natives as "Jamericans."
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, basketball, golf, tennis, yard games, playing guitar, fantasy sports and cheering for any and all Colorado teams.
Saturday was tiebreaker time for Kansas University quarterback Montell Cozart, and the sophomore who entered Week Three with just five career starts leaned a little more toward his good performance in the season-opening win over SEMO than the bad one he put up in a Week Two loss at Duke. By Matt Tait
Of all the guys who made big plays, scored touchdowns or had a direct impact on the Kansas Univeristy football team's 24-10 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday, only one — Jake Love — received a shout-out from head coach Charlie Weis in the postgame speech in the locker room.
Kick-started by senior Tony Pierson's 74-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, the Jayhawks (2-1) jumped out early, watched Central Michigan (2-2) tie the game at 10 with 6:11 to play in the third and then reclaimed control with a 60-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart to senior wide receiver Justin McCay, both Bishop Miege High grads, both players in dire need of a feel-good moment. By Matt Tait
A breakdown of Saturday's Central Michigan-Kansas University football game. By Matt Tait
Kansas University wide receiver Nick Harwell has a history of big games against Central Michigan. By Matt Tait
Tuesday afternoon, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis said there was no need to worry about how physical KU’s practices would be this week because Weis and his coaching staff had plans to turn things up a notch. Turns out, they did. By Matt Tait
With an overall record of 5-21 in his two-plus seasons as Kansas University football coach, Charlie Weis knows that every game from here on out is big for the future of the program. By Matt Tait
With last Saturday's 41-3 loss at Duke representing the latest lost opportunity for the Kansas University football team to gain some momentum, KU coach Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks made sure not to lose a chance to move forward on Sunday. Normally, Sunday and Monday are about looking back, recovering physically and preparing to tackle the game plan for the next opponent on Tuesday. Not this week. By Matt Tait
It was billed throughout the offseason as a game that could make a huge impact on the psyche of Kansas University’s football players. The hope now has to be that it doesn’t. By Matt Tait
After preparing all week to face specific Duke receivers, KU cornerbacks JaCorey Shepherd and Dexter McDonald found themselves lining up against different guys when Saturday's game began. By Matt Tait