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Say something nice about Kansas football

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KU coach David Beaty celebrates an early score in the Jayhawks' 45-14, season-ending loss to Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at Memorial Stadium.

KU coach David Beaty celebrates an early score in the Jayhawks' 45-14, season-ending loss to Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at Memorial Stadium. by Richard Gwin

Welcome to the first “Say something nice about Kansas football,” blog, which will appear here every Monday.

Here’s how it works: I’ll say something nice about the KU football program and challenge you to do the same.

Sure, it’s not necessarily easy given that the Jayhawks have gone 4-57 in the Big 12 in the past sevens seasons and have lost their last 38 games played outside of Lawrence. Going 0-12 in 2015 and losing their conference games by an average of 35.7 points doesn’t make it easy. Who said life is supposed to be easy all the time?

To ease the challenge, nice comments unrelated to on-field performance count. For example, you might like a certain uniform combination, a particular food or drink from your friend’s tailgate, a specific chant from the students, etc.

All nice words, provided they aren’t linked in any way to basketball, are welcome. This is a football blog. Jokes about basketball season starting early are so stale and weren’t particularly funny in the first place. No basketball comments of any kind allowed in the “Say something nice about Kansas football” blog.

Sarcasm, although not encouraged, is not discouraged. For example, if someone were to write, “I like the bathrooms in Memorial Stadium because I can’t see the scoreboard from them,” that might not be within the spirit of the blog, but certainly is within the letter of the law.

One more rule: If you disagree with someone who says something nice, that’s fine, but you must then say two nice things about Kansas football to make your contribution a net positive, twice the challenge. Here’s your chance to prove you can say something nice about KU football.

I can.

Here goes: Coach David Beaty has parted from recent reliance on recruiting offensive linemen from junior colleges. More than any position, O-linemen must be recruited out of high school and grown in the weight room. That takes five years, the first as a redshirt, in most cases the first few as a backup building strength and polishing technique.

Beaty’s recruiting class of 2016 included four offensive linemen (Cam Durley, Antione Frazier, Hunter Harris, Chris Hughes), all from Texas high schools.

Kansas already has received a verbal commitment from a Texas high school O-lineman, Jared Hocker, in the Class of 2017. Grant Polley, another prep O-lineman, withdrew his commitment.

Beaty gets that it’s impossible to rebuild a football program without building the foundation with high school blockers. I like that.

Your turn. Say something nice about Kansas football.

Comments

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 8 months ago

I like that Beaty is recruiting players for his system instead of taking whoever and forcing them into a system that doesn't necessarily fit them. Weis abandoning his strategy after 2 years guaranteed his failure because of his lack of patience and I hope the AD and boosters have the patience to let Beaty follow through with his recruiting strategy.

Chuck Woodling 5 years, 8 months ago

Well, er um, gee . . . Gosh, let me get back to you on this.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

You can do it, Chuck. You have six decades of material from which to draw.

David Brown 5 years, 8 months ago

First of all I am not a fair weather fan. I was a fan "seven seasons" ago and I'm a fan now. Those kids work as hard as any other athlete at KU and deserve our support. The football program has faced some tough times, but we're still going to hold our head up and go out there and play the game the best we can. I am also one who has shamed Keegan for is unflattering remarks about our hawks.

Rock On KU FOOTBALL!!!!!

Brett McCabe 5 years, 8 months ago

Went for a run on campus Saturday and saw Montell and a couple of others out on the field, alone, working hard. Respect the commitment.

I believe that Beaty understands the recruiting wall he is up against. We need to be the A's before we can be the Giants. We are going to have to evaluate talent in the 2-star range better than any other program in the country. Those are guys who will come, and those guys can play - as proven by many before them.

Most first-year coaches are simply trying to get bodies in their first recruiting class. It's classes 2,3 and 4 that decide their fate. Beaty is taking the right approach.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

Great post, Brett. Thanks for sharing that you saw Montell and a couple of teammates holding their own workout. Doesn't surprise me. Also, your point about evaluating talent a great one. It has been one of the many keys to Snyder's success.

Matt Herrera 5 years, 8 months ago

The funnel cakes are consistently on point.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

I'll have to try those. Thanks for the heads up.

William Woody 5 years, 8 months ago

I still say that a full Memorial Stadium on game day, in the shadow of the Hill and the Campanile, is one of the most beautiful sites in all of college football.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

Agree, especially when the seats are filled.

Tim Orel 5 years, 8 months ago

With people dressed in blue. Not filled with red, or purple.

Mike Gant 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's see... you could put me, a forty something year old man, in as the starting quarterback, and the team's record wouldn't be affected in the slightest.

Tom Horner 5 years, 8 months ago

I can still come in to Lawrence, or an away game site, at the last minute and get tickets. However, I expect (hope) this to change soon.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

Definitely a plus. Tickets to KU football games are easy to acquire, even at the last minute. Sunny days could equate to solid walk-up sales. I'll never forget my first live game. Syracuse University had Larry Csonka and Floyd Little in the starting backfield. Years later, I learned that Tom Coughlin, former New York Giants coach, also was part of that SU offense.

Matt Tait 5 years, 8 months ago

I like this idea a lot and hope it catches on... We all know where KU football is these days and how they got there, so why dwell on that? Believe it or not there are a bunch of good things happening within the program, even if the win/loss record does not reflect that.

To that end, I'll jump in with my contribution to today's blog and I'll start with a little local flavor...

Junior linebacker Joe Dineen is as good of a young man as I've ever been around and he's become one hell of a player, too. He's still got a little ways to go before he's in the conversation with guys like Ben Heeney, Mike Rivera, James Holt, Nick Reid, Banks Floodman and others, but he's definitely trending in that direction and I can assure you that no one on that roster cares more or works harder at trying to get this thing turned around. Easy young man to root for.

Gary Bedore 5 years, 8 months ago

A nice thing to say about Kansas football would be that some of the alumni have their best times of the entire school year while tailgating. I would like to tip the cap to Kent Deutsch and his wife, Michelle, who rain or shine, cold or 110 degree heat, show up with the goods (food). And they stay for the entire game. The loyal Deutsches and fans like that are what's good about football season right now. Can the team follow with Ws?

Ryan Goodwin 5 years, 8 months ago

Something positive? Not a problem. Take it to Vegas.....KU will open the season 3-0. Great job of scheduling a not good FCS team in Rhode Island for Win 1, Ohio could be challenging but the juice from beating RIU will carry us to Win 2, and then fortunate circumstances with Fuentes leaving Memphis and the fact that the whole team was Seniors last year leaves them extremely vulnerable and the perfect opponent to end the road losing streak against. Then at 3-0, who knows where irrational confidence could lead this team. It is crazy to think KU could be 0-12 1 year and in a Bowl Game the next but so much of winning with 18-23 year olds is confidence and unselfishness. Get to 3-0 and 6 wins may not be as out of reach as everyone would think.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

I would accuse you of being unrealistic, but I never thought Baker baseball could accomplish so many positive firsts this season and look what happened. Take a bow for that, Coach Goodwin!

Dirk Medema 5 years, 8 months ago

Both would look like they could be great additions and even better that they're home grown.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 8 months ago

The strength and conditioning improvements are enough to show that Beaty has a great plan in place. He's not just saying things are improving, he's backing it up with stats. Either way, I still have season tickets and will be in the stands supporting crimson and blue. Rock Chalk!

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

No. of players pre-spring 2015 and pre-spring 2016: Bench press 300-plus: 20, 51; Back squat 450-plus: 16, 38; Power clean 300-plus: 8, 28; Vertical jump 32-plus: 13, 28; 40-yard dash sub-5.6: 3, 24.

Mike Pressgrove 5 years, 8 months ago

I love tailgating up on the hill overlooking the stadium on a beautiful fall day, nothing better! Been a football season ticket holder for 20 years, so have seen the great and the bad. I went to the Rutgers game last year and met Matt Tait on the plane, good guy. I also like the new coaching staff, especially Coach Beaty's positive outlook.

Jeremy D. Morris 5 years, 8 months ago

Our "team" is made up of courageous guys:

  • We have 60 some scholarship players sign with a team who was a rock bottom.
  • We have a coaching staff who is willing to put their neck on the line in terms of reputation and maybe not earning top dollar
  • Our FB alumni are more engaged than ever with the current staff and team
  • We have a core group of diehard fans who will always show up on Saturdays and will always buy season tickets.

Those are the kinds of people I like to be around.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 8 months ago

I like the positive can-do will-do attitude of both the players and the coaches. The first ingredient of any approach to success is believing you can, believing you will, even though you know it will take awhile. It would help if more fans were supportive of that terrific attitude.

Harold Wayne 5 years, 8 months ago

Tom do you think this is funny, ironic or will help your readership? I am offended by the way you seem to pile on KU football. And while I'm at it, it's the University of Kansas, not Kansas University. I knew it was wrong to read an article and expect it to be any different than what I have come to expect from you. I won't do that again.

I would expect to see articles like this in the student papers at Missouri or Kstate, but not the local paper. I like what Coach Beaty is doing and I hope you don't hurt yourself when he turns things around.

Matt Tait 5 years, 8 months ago

Harold,

I think you're missing this one. I can assure you that Tom came up with this idea as a genuine way to promote something other than the same old "KU football stinks" comments we see just about everywhere these days.

If you've read Tom for any length of time, you know that when he wants to rip and "pile on" and poke fun, he goes ahead and does it and does not choose to hide behind any gimmicks.

If you're still uncertain as to his motivation for this, just scroll back through the comments and see (a) how it inspired others to chime in with their "something nice" and (b) how he interacted with them after each offering, something he surely would not have done if he were just looking to take a nasty shot.

Thanks for the feedback and for reading, and I know we'd all love to hear your "something nice" for the week regarding KU football.

Have a great night! - Matt

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

Harold, Where are your two positive comments about KU football? You're a net negative so far.

Brett Gaul 5 years, 8 months ago

I like how the special teamers and freshman who aren't dressed out dance together before every kickoff/kick return regardless of the score. Enthusiasm is a good thing.

Jason Spangler 5 years, 8 months ago

We need a "Wild Bill" Whittemore... It all started with him back in the day. And it can happen again God damnit.

Scott Proch 5 years, 8 months ago

The BAND!! Still worth hanging out for on a sunny (or even rainy) day at Memorial Stadium. Coach Fambrough respected us greatly and made us work even harder!

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

Best of all: No Starship Enterprise formations from the KU band.

brent flanders 5 years, 8 months ago

First, horrible headline

When you start an article with a negative, you've framed the context

KU FOOTBALL fans have a lot to be optimistic about;

Great coaching Great recruiting Great energy

So tired of the pessimism

Tom Keegan 5 years, 8 months ago

"Say something nice about Kansas football" is a negative headline? Wow! At least you followed the rules. Two negative comments outweighed by three positive ones (great coaching great recruiting, great energy), so you are a net-positive contributor.

Dennis Privat 5 years, 8 months ago

It doesn't equate to wins.yet.......but David Beatty seems to be the most likable KU coach in years....that's one reason KU fans are hoping for improvement/success....also...after home games last season, several players jogged to the locker room, giving fist bumps and saying "thank you" to the fans in line behind the roped off area southwest of the stadium....a third thing about KU football is Matt Tait...he always gives us hope !!!

Bill Kackley 5 years, 8 months ago

I have been critical of Tom' over the top negativeism in the past but feel this article is a step in the right direction. I also havve bee a season ticket holder for over 20 years and the last few haven't been that easy to indure, especially making the long round trip from Wasington, MO, knowing we were going to get our butts kicked but eager to see small signs of program growth. I have at times been rewarded with that. I was at the open practice for season ticket holders and students and was appreciative of Coac Beatty taking the time to come over and thank the small group that was in the stands. As a 50 year reunion participant, iI was rewarded later that week by being able to meet "The Voice of Doom" Curtis McClinton at the alumni gathering. I am a proud supporter of Kansas football and hope to be able to go to another bowl game. Rock, Chawk. Bill Kackley

Doug Cramer 5 years, 8 months ago

We have a coach that wants to build the program organically, gradually, with patience and persistence.

Mangino style...Beaty will "Keep Sawin Wood"

Greg Ledom 5 years, 8 months ago

Long time season ticket holder. I've been supporting the Jayhawks for a long time. Born and raised in Lawrence makes rooting for Kansas easy for me to do, and I support basketball and football equally and despise the "just wait till basketball' comments people make. I'm one who also can't wait for football! I remember walking the hill as a teenager (lived on Kentucky street) when pops gave me a ticket to see KU play UCLA that year. I went by myself and we beat that top 20 UCLA team for the only win the entire year. Ive seen the good, bad and ugly of Kansas Football and firmly believe it can always be a competitive program that goes bowling every year. We saw it with Mangino and I firmly believe we'll see it with Coach Beaty's squads. It's going to take time as Gill brought recruiting prowess but no discipline, Weis brought coaching chops (questionable to be sure) and name recognition with discipline and academics but no respect and a flawed recruiting methodology that decimated our roster that Beaty is paying the price for. What I like about this version of Kansas football is passion, family, respect, work ethic, fishing locally where we can (players not fish), respect for Kansas tradition, and the dedication to make it work if given enough time to show the wares of progress and hard work. As long as I see progress I'll back coach B. Wins will be scarce again this year, but I predict we get at least 3 and if we sweep the non con, maybe 4. Keep sawing wood Coach, get interest from the big donors back in and upgrade that stadium. RCJH!!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 8 months ago

Nice things to say about Kansas Football are:

  1. The best player from the best team in Texas will be in the Kansas lineup this Fall - Micah Long.

  2. Incoming freshman Isaiah Bean is a player that will in two years make everyone in Lawrence forget about the kid from LHS who signed with OU.

3.The OL will be better and the team will not have any poorer results from this past season.

David A. Smith 5 years, 8 months ago

Tom- I wish I'd seen this article yesterday. Thank you for a much needed shot in the arm. I have to admit, I've been apathetic about KU football lately....and that is a first for me. I'm one of those (seemingly) rare birds that follows the football program more than the basketball program- and have loved it all my life. But, its been no fun for a long time. Intentional, realistic optimism about KU football and its' culture is very refreshing to me today. Kudo's!

With that in mind:

1) If Willis is healthy, our passing game stands to be a strength for us this year. That hasn't happened since Reesing. 2) For as down as the program has been, the players and staff are authentically positive. 3) Our backers and d-line are showing real improvement. 4) Beaty isn't taking short cuts.

Michael Leiker 5 years, 8 months ago

I think the staff and the players did a great job last year of bouncing back and having great energy and enthusiasm after some pretty disappointing outcomes. They represented KU well. Beaty represents KU very well with great grit and fight and refusal to accept or let losses and setbacks get the best of him. The last two versions of KU Football did not show that level of discipline. This version of KU football, even if they continue to lose is a version I can feel good about bringing my son to watch on Saturdays.

Jim Stauffer 5 years, 8 months ago

1) Beaty is truly an excellent recruiter. His staff follows his lead. As a result we will have talent sufficient to win in our league. (Have to wait until we are playing 22 yr olds instead of 18&19 yr olds.) 2) Willis will be a combination of Whittemore and Reesing if coached properly. 3) We should be very close to bowl bound after the '17 season.

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 8 months ago

Good idea for the article. I think and hope that we have learned our lesson. The key to success is going to be a long term commitment to staff. There are no quick fixes. Glad to see Beaty getting back to basic program building. He needs 8 years to get any kind of momentum. AND I hope we can be grateful now and celebrate getting to .500. I still say if we are content with ten years at .500 maybe the next ten will be .600. We need to take the long view, like 50 years to get to a place where we expect nine, ten, 11 wins each and every year. I don't know if I'm saying anything positive about KU Football but more at encouraging us to be patient, stay calm, let the man do his job.

Pat Sullivan 5 years, 8 months ago

I cut my ticket commitment from 4 to 2 and have effectively managed the carbon footprint by reducing paper production. Thank you KU Football for making me environmentally conscious. Together we have made a difference.

RockChalk!

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