Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ode to Kansas Highway 10

There's a fascinating little stretch of highway between Kansas City and Lawrence called K-10. Johnson county sons and daughters who enrolled at K.U. were acquainted with the divided roadway that connected the southwest side of Lawrence with the outskirts of Olathe and Overland Park. It may surprise you that the 45 minute ride inspired a number of musical efforts. Chuck Mead's band The Homestead Grays sang about 285 Desoto, a highway exit back in the 1980s that has since disappeared. A few years later, a local band went one better when they named themselves after a similar sign on K-10, henceforth known as Kill Creek. Ditto for The Eudoras, who adopted the name of an entire town six miles east of Lawrence on the well travelled roadway. Most recently, Lawrence/Kansas City trio OK Jones released a song called, well, K-10.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Love the Hawks

They Jayhawks lost today. It was hard to watch. I bit my hat. But what a season. They won more than 30 times, clinched the conference and the conference tourney title. Came back twice from double digits to defeat Texas. And they won three games in the big dance. That's much better than no wins at all. I'm spoiled like most KU fans, but I can't complain about this season. It was great. (Wished it was better, like the previous 19 years), but I'll take it. Thank you.

Friday, March 23, 2007

50 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest college basketball games in history. Story by Tom Keegan.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

April 2nd: Birthday Alert

A college professor steeped in the media arts once remarked, "If you threw a party and didn't send out invitations, would you expect anyone to show up?" Professors are always steeped in something; pipe tobacco, tweed jackets, or Socratic irony, if you're lucky.

This bearded lecture hall veteran used the analogy to point out the importance of advertising or perhaps underscore a fundamental flaw in my social skills. I owned a pickup truck so I was good with keg transport, but not as handy with the invitations.

And so it is with birthdays, especially mine. I have to advertise to get a return on my special day. Oh, Mrs. Jones always comes through with a kiss and a gift. And Mom, God bless her, is quick with homemade chocolate cake, hand delivered. Grandma sends a card with a generous check, and Dad phones with recollections of waiting in the hospital with sweaty palms for the joyous news, it's a boy! Cigars were lit, people smoked everywhere in 1965, backs were slapped, and relatives drove in from farm and field to get a look at my freshly pressed mug.

Touting your own birthday as an adult is a cagey affair. You gotta weave it into conversation subtly. Force the birthday comment and one seems desperate, as the boy who sacked my groceries last night at Price Chopper reminded me. But if you're too proud to mention it, if you put your friends to the test by keeping mum, your birthday passes unnoticed, much like Arbor Day. Nobody stays home from work, but somewhere a tree is planted in your honor.

This year I'm setting aside any pride I had left before I started this web log and I'm letting you know in advance, it's three weeks and five days until my 42nd birthday. Submit those vacation requests soon, I understand tree planting takes the better part of an afternoon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A.P. Posts Correction

I know you'll be relieved that the Associated Press issued a correction to their report about the K.U. / Texas basketball game yesterday. Thank you. Good night.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Durant's Ankle and Other Basketball Myths

My son and I drove to Lawrence and watched K.U. win against Texas at Allen Field House today, 90 - 86. I might write more about our fantastic trip later (Thanks, Kurt W), but I wanted to correct some inaccurate reporting by ESPN and the Associated Press here.

I scratched my head after I turned on the TV tonight and ESPN reported that the game turned when Texas star Kevin Durant twisted his ankle in the second half. (K.U. trailed by as many as 16 points earlier in the game) I blew it off to a producer trying to create extra drama, as if the game needed it.

I think ESPN got their bad information from the Associated Press. Here's a quote from their article posted on USA

Kansas put together a 24-7 run after he got hurt, taking a 59-58 lead on Wright's basket.
The score was actually K.U. 71 Texas 65 when Durant limped off the court and went to the locker room, presumably to get his ankle taped. Our come back was already under way. The same AP article contradicted itself later, albeit this time with correct information:
Kansas was ahead 71-65 when Durant left the game, and held an 81-72 lead when he returned at the 7:19 mark.

That's more like it. This was a great K.U. victory and Texas was a worthy foe, but let's not take away from the excellent Jayhawk second half by linking Durant's injury to K.U.'s run.