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.
When Bishop Miege football coach Jon Holmes saw his former quarterback Ryan Willis step onto the field during the final few drives of last week’s Kansas University loss to Iowa State, he recognized just about everything. By Matt Tait
It seemed like this was the next logical step. And it was made official Monday, when Kansas University football officials announced that junior quarterback Montell Cozart was out indefinitely with a shoulder sprain. It is Ryan Willis time at KU.
Saturday afternoon, after his team’s 38-13 loss at Iowa State, Kansas University football coach David Beaty talked about the need for his coaching staff and players to focus less on winning the small battles and more on winning games. That kind of recipe could make for a long eight weeks. By Matt Tait
Very few Big 12 Conference football teams are in need of any help on offense, but those that might be struggling in the run game likely just circled their game against Kansas University in the upcoming weeks. By Matt Tait
Dumb and Dumber is not just a movie title any more. It also accurately and completely sums up the way the Jayhawks played Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium on their way to a 38-13 loss to Iowa State in front of a fired up and friendly ISU crowd of 55,837. By Matt Tait
Last weekend, for the second game in a row, red-shirt freshman Tyler Patrick was the Jayhawks’ most productive and impressive wide receiver on the field.
A game-day breakdown of Kansas University’s game Saturday at Iowa State By Matt Tait
It’s not every year that a walk-on gets cut from a college football program and, four months later, finds himself suiting up and starting for that same program.
Sniffling and congested but still smiling, as he always seems to be, Kansas University quarterback Montell Cozart met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the Jayhawks’ upcoming battle with Iowa State. By Matt Tait
The Big 12 Conference announced Monday morning that the Oct. 10 game in Lawrence between Kansas and Baylor would kick off at 11 a.m. and be televised on FOX Sports 1.