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.
Kansas University senior Tony Pierson, who missed all but two plays of last Saturday's 34-21 loss at Texas Tech, is being evaluated by doctors this morning for an injury in his neck area and the full scope of the injury is not yet known. By Matt Tait
The developing relationship between junior quarterback Michael Cummings and junior wide receiver Nigel King is one of the most intriguing aspects of the slowly improving Kansas University offense. By Matt Tait
Ben Heeney's 21-tackle performance during Saturday's 34-21 loss to Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium may have shocked some of the folks watching the game from the bleachers. But it did not catch anyone in a Red Raiders uniform by surprise. By Matt Tait
The Texas Tech curse strikes again. One year after a head injury knocked Tony Pierson out of Kansas University's game against the Red Raiders in Lawrence, Pierson again was bounced from Saturday's 34-21 loss at Jones AT&T Stadium with an undisclosed injury. By Matt Tait
The Kansas University football team's streak of second-half shutouts by its defense ended at two on a drizzly and dreary Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium, where Texas Tech's 17 second-half points helped the Red Raiders put away Kansas, 34-21, in front of a crowd of 54,071. That's four losses in a row for Kansas (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12) and the end of a four-game losing streak for Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3). By Matt Tait
A look at Saturday's Kansas-Texas Tech football game. By Matt Tait
With new blood at quarterback and renewed hope for the offense, the Kansas University passing game suddenly has some life.
The Kansas University football team is headed back into enemy territory this weekend in Lubbock, Texas, where it will look not only to build on last week’s near-upset of No. 16 Oklahoma State, but also to snap a 29-game losing streak away from home.
Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury knows a thing or two about the position Kansas University coach Clint Bowen is in today. By Matt Tait
Kansas University junior Michael Cummings was probably the least impressed of all the Jayhawks by his performance Saturday as KU’s starting quarterback in a 27-20 football loss to Oklahoma State. By Matt Tait