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.
Sometimes basketball really is a simple game — shoot, pass, score, rebound, win. Wednesday night was one of those times for the Kansas University women’s basketball team, which rocked Iona, 90-49, at Allen Fieldhouse.
As the Kansas University football program prepares for Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown in Manhattan against a team it has defeated just five times in the past 23 seasons, the focus is on K-State quarterback Jake Waters, Wildcats wide receiver Tyler Lockett and KSU defensive end Ryan Mueller.
Behind red-hot shooting from three-point range on Wednesday night, the Kansas University women's basketball team rocked Iona, 90-49, at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas University co-offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau has spent the early part of the week doing his best to break down the reality that lies ahead for the KU football team, which will play its season finale at 3 p.m. Saturday against Sunflower State rival Kansas State in Manhattan.
Following Monday night's 87-60 loss to Kansas University at Allen Fieldhouse, Rider basketball coach Kevin Baggett joked that he knew, however briefly, what it felt like to be KU coach Bill Self. By Matt Tait
In need of a feel-good effort to bounce back from last week's 32-point loss to Kentucky in Indianapolis in the Champions Classic, the Kansas University men's basketball team returned home to warm and cozy Allen Fieldhouse and got exactly what it was looking for in the form of a 87-60 victory over Rider.
As interim KU football coach Clint Bowen prepares to square off for the first time against legendary K-State coach Bill Snyder, past connections between the two Sunflower State coaches came roaring back on Monday morning.
After all of the times they’ve had to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and fast-forward past the pain of an embarrassing loss during the past four seasons, there’s something fitting about the Kansas University seniors having to do that one last time heading into the final game of their KU careers at 3 p.m. Saturday at Kansas State. By Matt Tait
The Kansas University football team is now down to one chance this season to snap a road losing streak that has grown to 32 consecutive games and dates back to a 2009 victory at UTEP. By Matt Tait
Kansas University senior Keon Stowers, who finished Saturday's game with three assisted tackles during Saturday's 44-7 loss to No. 23 Oklahoma, said after the game that he did not think the KU defense was beat up as badly as Samaje Perine's record-breaking performance made it look. By Matt Tait