Originally published April 11, 2013 at 12:16a.m., updated April 11, 2013 at 09:08a.m.


Opinion: Sorry, Tiger: Tony Pierson top draw


Sure, we’ll enjoy watching Phil Mickelson squeezing shots through needle-eye openings, Dustin Johnson pounding drives into orbit and Kevin Na draining 30-footers during the Masters coverage. And we’ll enjoy listening to the announcers call the spectators “patrons.” All of that will help pass the time toward the real attention magnet.

Tiger Woods has his best shot at a 15th major title since he backed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant in 2009 and out spilled tales of a secret sex life with waitresses, porn stars and various other plastic-surgery patients. His marriage, carefully crafted image and lethal putting stroke simultaneously blew up. He suffered a two-year victory drought. Now he’s back to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings and in the heart of Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. Awww.

Tiger last won a major, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, nine weeks after Mario Chalmers hit that three-pointer against Memphis, but it feels as if he’ll win this weekend.

Kansas University’s spring football game has a Tiger Woods element to it, except that in one sense it brings even more suspense. We have a pretty good idea when the camera will return to Tiger. We won’t know when the ball will find the hands of KU’s most electric player, junior-to-be Tony Pierson.

“Obviously, we have big plans for Tony,” Kansas coach Charlie Weis said. “We didn’t do all that research on Tavon Austin for nothing now.”

Charlie never shies from cranking up expectations. Austin finished eighth in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting after amassing 1,289 receiving yards and 643 rushing yards (8.9 per carry) and returning punts and kicks. He scored 17 touchdowns in four different ways for West Virginia.

As a running back his sophomore season, Pierson rushed for 760 yards (6.5 per carry) and four touchdowns and averaged 13.9 yards on 21 receptions, two for touchdowns. The revealing of his new role, as a receiver first, a running back second, comes Saturday.

The 5-foot-8, 173-pound Austin has thicker build than the longer Pierson (5-10 1/2, 171) and they bring similar speed.

“This is a copycat business,” Weis said. “All those people who try to act like all their ideas are original, they’re all liars because when you’ve got somebody who’s doing something that’s really good and you’ve got somebody who kind of fits that bill, you go study them. ... Tony’s clearly the most dynamic running back we have. OK, the only problem is he might be the most dynamic receiver we have as well.”

As Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2010, Weis coached Dexter McCluster (5-8, 170).

“Tony’s faster than Dexter by a significant margin,” Weis said. “Although Tony’s got toughness, hardly anyone’s tougher than Dexter. … Tony’s in that 4.3-and-change range and Dexter’s that 4.5 guy. Two-tenths is significant. I’d take Dexter, too, if you want to give him to me. We’d get him in there.”

Can’t have him, but it will be interesting to watch Pierson in person for the 1 p.m. kickoff, even if it means using the DVR to capture Tiger’s simultaneous chase of the Masters Field and Jack Nicklaus.


Chandler James 9 years, 5 months ago

Wow this article was like a bad hair day morning.. all over the place

Adam McEwen 9 years, 5 months ago

Not sure who Keegan's boss is, but you should email me and give me a chance at his job. Horrible writing skills, incoherent thought process, and really seems to not know a damn thing about sports. Personally, If I was his employer, I'd drug test him.

wyansas 9 years, 5 months ago

Does the editor even look at these articles?

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes because the editor is the one who wrote the article.

April13 9 years, 5 months ago

It's difficult to imagine a day when I would sit in front of a TV on a Saturday and watch golf. I think I'd almost watch an NBA game first...or maybe pull out one of my own teeth. I'm not sure which would be more painful.

Excited, though, to go to the game on Saturday and see the whole team. I've watched KU football for many years and I don't think that we've ever had a better quality stable of running backs with Sims, Cox and Pierson. And that doesn't include the freshman from Dallas who is seemingly impressing everyone. I kind of wish we ran the wishbone!

KGphoto 9 years, 5 months ago

Don’t forget Bourbon, who when (rarely) healthy has more power than Cox, and might have Pierson’s long speed.

Add a healthy BB and I don’t know if we’ll ever see a backfield with this much talent and diversity again. It’s something to savor.

And to think we lost Darrian Miller from this bunch. Unreal.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget we had Dreamus Smith as well now going to West Virginia. I don't think BB is as fast as Pierson either. And didn't he move to FB? I think BB has 4.4 or 4.5 speed. He is a power runner for sure and I still think we may get to see him. Is he a soph or junior now? I know he redshirted first season. I'm thinking he's a redshirt soph. Anyway the backfield should show some great talent hopefully we can get our receivers and TE in the mix this year and really put up some points. I'm so tired of losing to kstate. So sick of all the idiots who've never stepped foot on a college campus as students talking smack on my team! I graduated from both WSU and KU obviously use my KU degree. It just really gets my blood boiling when those people talk smack! Sorry for the rant! Damn I can't wait till we can beat them and Snyder retires for good this time! Rock Chalk!

KGphoto 9 years, 5 months ago

I’m sure he’s nowhere near Pierson’s 40, (Although a 4.45 is nothing to sneeze at.) but if they both had to go 100, Bourbon will hang with most. He turned in a 10.4 hundy in HS. which is screaming. For comparison, Jamal Charles won the last of his three Big 12 100 meter titles with a time of 10.23. (And Charles is faster out of the gate with a 4.36 40)

At 6’2”, once Bourbon gets striding, he’s gone.

He’s still listed with Cox as the #2 “H” back.

H - James Sims (Sr.)

Taylor Cox (Sr.) OR Brandon Bourbon (Jr.)

I don’t think we are gonna use a true FB much this season. It’s not even on the depth chart. Instead we have the “F” position with Pierson and Spencer as the #1, and #2 respectively.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

It's difficult to imagine a day when I would sit in front of a TV and watch a practice football game, whether it's some college football spring game, or NFL preseason.

April13 9 years, 5 months ago

If anyone was looking for a complete description of the typical KU football fan - you just provided it.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 5 months ago

how is this the typical KU football fan? i certainly am a fan of the team and will be attending all the home games this season and routinely read these articles to find out as much as possible about this team. however, i am a huge golf fan and would rather spend my weekend watching the masters and reading about/watching highlights of the spring game on sunday. different strokes for different folks. hardly makes me less of a KU fan, i just have different priorities for my weekend than you.

bballwizard 9 years, 5 months ago

wow what sports fans do not watch the Masters I guess April 13. And whats wrong with the NBA? Tom is trying to the tie the excitement of spring and the masters to Ku football. all you old guys need to drink your metamucil and have a cup of coffee and wake up.

April13 9 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I'm pretty well caffeinated right now but the Metamucil suggestion is a pretty good idea! Right now, though, I'm trying to adjust the rabbit ears on the TV so I can get a clear signal. Archie's ranting on Edith again and I don't want to miss it!

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 5 months ago


Just messing with you (no malice, as jaybate would say). I used to love All in the Family. I'm 98% sure that Archie and Edith were modeled after my in-laws. I'm not bragging about that! Just sayin.......

vd 9 years, 5 months ago

If I want to go to sleep, I watch golf on TV. If I had time to watch this sport on TV, I would get my clubs and play it, not watch it on TV.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Not everybody enjoys watching golf on TV. It's a slow paced sport and that's not appealing to a lot of people. I'm a big golf guy, but I rarely watch it on TV except for the majors or if I'm trying to take an afternoon nap because it's a slow paced sport.

April13 9 years, 5 months ago

Well, for several months during the basketball season, many of the people posting on this site seemed to not understand the role of a "columnist" or the concept of an "editorial". Some of the comments were just above third-grade level (or SEC level, if you prefer).

Suddenly the word Opinion started appearing. I think that Mr. Keegan may be trying to get a jab in.

Brak 9 years, 5 months ago

In defense of those posters if Keegan isn't held to the standard of writing above a third-grade level I don't see why the posters should.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 5 months ago

Honestly, I can tell who wrote the article usually by simply reading the title. Keegan has a different style. Some of his articles are off but I usually enjoy reading them. I'm not the greatest writer in the world and I know I have typos many times in my posts. Thankfully I'm not turning these posts in to be graded. I'm not in a pissing contest. I will admit we have some posters from time to time that really can't spell for that matter make sense. I chalk that up to the use of a cell phone to post most of the time. It's much harder to proof read when you post that way. At least it is on a Droid. Ultimately, I don't care I like many of Keegs articles. He has his own style but I don't want to read 6 different people who write the same way and same things. I appreciate his style. I know we have some very intelligent people posting on here and expect that as many are KU grads. Just know I'm not on here for a comp class. I understand it's different as they are professionals but come on we all screw up. Get past it and over it. I'm here for the content. Can't wait for football and can't wait for next basketball season! Rock Chalk!

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

They are editorials which is not hard news. Editorials are intended to stimulate discussion and sometimes get people to look at a topic in a different light. Some of Keegan's editorials don't make a ton of sense because he uses a lot of metaphors and analogies in his editorials and not everybody understands them because of a generation gap. Keegan is a very good writer his style of writing is something that a lot of younger writers don't understand or appreciate and I'll admit I fall into that category at times.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

When he has trouble, it's often because he starts mixing his metaphors and tossing out analogies that don't connect that well to the argument he is attempting to make. And often times he has pieces that don't really seem to have an ending or any kind of arc to his argument. Those kind of have an automatic writing sort of feel to them that leave the reader feeling like he/she is missing something. Often like a piece of music that doesn't complete the AABA structure, thereby not resolving the conflict. Most listeners may not know why, but they usually don't like it.

But all in all, I do usually enjoy hearing his opinion and think the criticism that always seems to follow gets a little old and overdone many times. I mean, at this point, you know what you are getting in a Tom Keegan article. Those who don't like it, just stop reading (which will have a MUCH bigger impact than reading and commenting, thereby increasing internet clicks).

I mean, if you don't like jazz, do you go out and buy a Coltrane album just to b**** about it? That makes just about as much sense.

gchawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Surely there's a better analogy out there when talking about Pierson's comeback than to compare it to Woods's. I was a little concerned at first that maybe Pierson had multiple girlfriends and Keegan was the whistleblower.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 5 months ago

I'd rather watch a hemorrhoidectomy than golf. My choice to live near Myrtle Beach means local sports coverage includes NASCAR, WWE, MMA and golf. Tom's article contains some KU info and is better than local ACC and SEC news. I am now more appreciate that yesterday's editorial had music references. I find Joni more interesting than Tiger. Neil>Phil.

gchawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Hemorroidectomy!! Ouch, butt humorous in your context.

dumbarton 9 years, 5 months ago

A few other talented KU backfields of the past include 1973 Robert Miller and Delvin Williams with Jaynes at QB. 1976 probably has the all time speed in Laverne Smith, Norris Banks and Billy Campfield...with Cromwell at QB running the wishbone.

Jayweb2718 9 years, 5 months ago

At least she is used to things going downhill quickly.

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