Saturday, October 31, 2009
- Wouldn't it be fun to be in Lambeau Field tomorrow in Green Bay when #4 comes back to visit in his purple uniform? Brett Favre's Vikings take on the Packers tomorrow afternoon.
- On this day in 1969, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. was incorporated. Founded by Sam Walton, in the 40 years since founding, Walmart is now the country's largest private employer and the largest grocery retailer in the U.S.
- In a "15 minutes of fame" moment, Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin's grandson, is posing for Playgirl magazine. On a more serious note, Johnston apparently has decided to go to court to sue over child custody, alleging that Palin is preventing him from meeting his son.
- A survey in London found that British men believe "curvy" women are better in bed than their size zero rivals. Interestingly, 68 percent of British women felt the same way, saying that heavier men are the best for "romps." (Editor's note: "Romps" is the term used by the London Sun in this report. You can likely produce your own conclusion as to the meaning.)
- Quote of the week: This just in from Victoria Beckham, the artist formerly known as Posh Spice, "I'm a control freak...I'm not the easiest person to work with." I'm stunned...
- You may want to tune in on Thursday night on Lifetime--Cindy Crawford is rumored to be set to guest judge, alongside Heidi Klum, on Project Runway.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Southern Miss at
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Check out KU's currently ranked opponents, based upon the latest poll:
#3 Texas - KU plays the Longhorns in Austin this year
#11 Tennessee - The Jayhawks go on the road to play in Knoxville in early January
#12 California - The top-ranked team in the Pac 10 comes to Lawrence in December
#15 Michigan - This game in Allen Fieldhouse takes place three days before KU-Cal
#16 Oklahoma - KU won in Norman last year--this year Willie Warren comes to Lawrence
#29 UCLA - December 1 in Pauley Pavilion
#31 Oklahoma State - Always tough in Gallagher-Iba
#32 Missouri - The Jayhawks have dominated this rivalry recently
#40 Kansas State - Can Frank Martin's Wildcats duplicate the 2008 win in Manhattan?
#47 Texas A&M - In College Station this season
#43 Memphis - The Jayhawks play their 2008 national championship game foe in St. Louis
On top of these 13 games, Kansas also plays Belmont, a sometime NCAA tourney team; at Temple; LaSalle at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO, and a resurgent Baylor program in Lawrence.
The journey starts next Tuesday evening in Allen Fieldhouse with a pre-season game against Fort Hays State.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Unfortunately, Springsteen had a death in the "immediate family," as stated in the press release from the band and AEG, and cancelled tonight's performance. Sadly, those who journeyed into Kansas City for the performance as well as local ticketholders will have to wait, and hope, for a return visit by The Boss.
In the meantime, here's a little bit of Springsteen trivia to fill the gap of no post-concert report.
The manager for Springsteen is Jon Landau. What makes the relationship unique is that Landau started in the music business as a rock critic, writing for Rolling Stone. Among Landau's more famous writing was the one accusing then Cream guitarist Eric Clapton of being "a master of blues cliches." Landau's criticism of Clapton, who notoriously did not deal well with such feedback, was cited as leading to the demise of Cream.
In 1974, Landau, writing for a different publication, said, "I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau's line was credited by some for being the impetus behind Springsteen's sudden rise in popularity. Landau was then hired by Springsteen and received co-producer credit on The Boss' studio records from Born to Run (1975) to Human Touch and Lucky Town (1991.)
Springsteen is not the only major artist managed by Landau. In an interesting twist, his other highly visible star is country and crossover star Shania Twain--Landau was instrumental in guiding Twain's rise to fame in the late 1990's.
Landau's involvement in rock-and-roll now extends beyond artist management--he is the head of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Well, show of hands—who predicted this in the Big 12 North? Let’s review, shall we…?
- Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were picked by most to win the Big 12 North. Don't look now but the Big Red are 4-3, 1-2 in the Big 12 North and have games coming up against Oklahoma at home and at Kansas and Colorado. The offense is in a shambles and the loss against Iowa State was against a team without its starting QB and the league's leading rusher.
- Kansas: The Jayhawks started out as planned with five consecutive wins even though they should have lost to Iowa State. That should have been a sign. KU then lost at Colorado by spotting the Buffs 14 points off of turnovers. The turnover trend continued yesterday against OU and now Kansas faces a killer end to the schedule--at Texas Tech, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Texas and Missouri (Kansas City.)
- Missouri: The Tigers were the surprise team in the league in the non-conference portion, then Blaine Gabbert injured his ankle in a loss to Nebraska at home and things haven't been the same since. MU next lost to Oklahoma State and was blown out last night against Texas. The good news is that MU's next four games are very winnable--at Colorado, Baylor, at Kansas State and Iowa State, then the match-up with Kansas.
In the place of these might-have-been stories, at the top of the Big 12 North, is Kansas State. What's most intriguing about the Wildcats is how they got here. The Cats lost at Louisiana-Lafayette and at UCLA and were 2-2 entering Big 12 play. They survived by blocking a PAT against Iowa State, were blown out at Texas Tech but then came home and annihilated Texas A&M. Next up came Colorado and another win, 20-6. KSU is now 5-2/3-1 and firmly atop the North standings. The road, though, gets much rougher--at OU next week, a critical game against Kansas at home, then Missouri and at Nebraska.
Given all of this wackiness, how do we predict who will end up winning the North? It's going to be a four-way tie between Kansas State, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri...but KU will prevail with tie-breaker wins in Manhattan, over NU and over MU in Kansas City. The Jayhawks will then get the inglorious task of trying to stay within four touchdowns of Texas in the Big 12 Championship game at Jerry World (a k a Texas Stadium) in Arlington, TX.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
- Speaking of shout outs, let's give one today to Jalapeno's. This Tex-Mex chain of two restaurants in Kansas City has consistently served up the best fajitas in town combined with a varied, tasteful menu. Both the location in Stanley and the one in Brookside are first-rate with their service. I thought about naming Jalapeno's as a "dive of the week" but this joint is one or two steps above dive level, yet still worthy of today's restaurant recommendation.
- I'm not sure I understand why there are questions about the two pilots on the Northwest flight who overshot their destination by 150 miles. Don't you think one was overly talkative and the other put in earbuds and turned on his i-Pod as a result? They then went into their own little worlds, as air-travelering seatmates do these days, and lost track of time and geography.
- Speaking of bad pilots, Ozzy Osbourne finally received his drivers license. The dark one had failed the driving test 18 times but credits his recent passing of the test to giving up drinking. I don't know about you, but this certainly makes me feel comfortable. Not!!!
- What is it about cats? YouTube announced that the video of the cat playing the piano is now getting one billion hits a day. You heard right--one billion (with a "B.")
- For observers of the English language, I give you this. Forty seven percent of Americans consider "whatever" the most annoying expression in our language. Next is "you know," at 25%.
- Finally, our quote of the day comes from Tracy Morgan, former cast member of Saturday Night Live and now on 30 Rock: "I can't watch American Idol. It's like karoake without the booze."
Friday, October 23, 2009
Remember the days when business travel was considered exotic and a perk to any job? Remember when your friends would ask, with some longing, "where are you going this week?" Yep, back in the day...
Earlier this week USA Today published a front page story on the travails of flying, particularly the phenomenon of carry-on luggage which is overloading cabins and irritating passengers and flight attendants alike. In case you missed it, or don't travel, airlines are now charging for checked bags. Only Southwest Airlines does not charge a fee for checking a bag to one's next destination. Some airlines are going further--at United Airlines, one can "buy up" to get in the fast-track line through airport security or more legroom (all of a few inches.)
The consequence of this luggage fee is that more and more people are lugging bags onto aircraft. These pack mules--I mean, passsengers--are bringing more than the allotment of two bags and luggage which well exceeds the size limit for carry-ons. And, according to USA Today, some are doing it knowing that if they can't find overhead space for the bag, the airline will check it to the next destination--free of charge and at the front of the queue of luggage which will be loaded off of the plane upon arrival.
Many passengers get on and immediately throw their carry-on into an overhead compartment at the front of the plane, even though their seat may be in 22C. The end result is frustrated flight attendants, irritated fellow passengers and even a few injuries given the heft of these bags and the issues which can occur if one falls from above.
On top of the new luggage laws, airlines are trimming flight schedules in order to get flights more fully packed, thus reducing expenses and, in the process, reducing convenience for travelers. For example, in the past two weeks, I've flown round-trip and direct to Oakland from Kansas City, as well as a one-stop flight and connecting flights between those two cities. Further out, in the past month, I've flown to Chicago Midway and from Chicago O'Hare to San Francisco. In all cases, every flight was fully booked--there were no empty seats.
This ain't your father's former form of air travel--no space, no coffee served in china cups, no flight attendants puffing your pillow. Nope, the new world order in air travel--fares which no one can understand; a constantly changing, and constricted, list of flights; and too many people, and too many bags, jammed into smaller seats and smaller planes.
Air travel--the new millenium's version of a Greyhound.
South Florida at
Arkansas at Mississippi. Line: Ole Miss by 6.5. Who would have thought, before the season, that neither of these teams would be ranked right now? I'll go with the Rebels' home field advantage for a 7 point win.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
This week’s schedule includes two huge, traditional contests—Oklahoma and Texas in the Red River Shootout in Dallas and USC journeying to South Bend, Indiana to play Notre Dame.
Season prediction performance to date: 47-19 (.712)
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech. Line: Virginia Tech by 3. If there is an upset special this week, I think this one is it. Virginia Tech is on a roll but will face a high-powered option offense in
USC at Notre Dame. Line:
John Wooden, regarded as the best college basketball coach ever, turned 99 in
In honor of Coach Wooden’s birthday this week, we provide excerpts of Wooden’s wisdom from an article published in 2000 in Esquire magazine.
- “Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.”
- “You can do more good by being good than any other way.”
- “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict.”
- “Passion is momentary; love is enduring.”
- “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.”
- “If I am through learning, I am through.”
- “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”
- “I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.”
Happy Birthday, Coach Wooden!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Stadium announcer, after a performance by the Kansas City Chiefs' cheerleaders: "Those were your Chiefs cheerleaders, in their throwback uniforms!"
Throwback uniforms!? On cheeleaders? Huh, what the heck...!!!???
(Note: The Chiefs wore Dallas Texan throwback uniforms in celebration of "the game that was never played"--the Texans of the American Football League against the Cowboys of the National Football League--in today's Chiefs-Cowboys game.)
Contrast that behavior with today's game at Arrowhead Stadium. In section 218, we had a populace of beer swilling, Jack and Coke drinking, "motherf-----'" using, "Cowboys suck" yelling and cheerleader learing boors who totally destroyed what was intended to be an enjoyable afternoon in 30 degree temps watching the Chiefs (in Dallas Texans gear) and Cowboys do battle. As I sat there in front of the guys who seemed to have a vocabulary of only words with four letters and behind the Dallas fan who was egging them on, I thought "how sad."
I don't know why this behavior is prevalent in a professional sports stadium and I wonder what it must be like in Philadelphia or New York or Washington, given that Kansas City's fans at Arrowhead have long been lauded as being some of the nicest by NFL and television network officials. If what I experienced today was "nice," I'd hate to see problem behavior. (And, to provide context, today was my first visit to Arrowhead in three years--I quit going then because of the very behavior I experienced today.)
What makes NASCAR seem different? The whole vibe of the day is different--from the open nature of what fans can experience to the way the drivers treat the fans to the prayer and solemnity beforehand to the prevalent displays of patriotism. Yes, beer is served at the track but going to the race to get trashed does not seem to be the mission as it is for many who go to an NFL game.
Whatever the reasons, attending an NFL game these days is not for the faint of heart or for those easily offended by profanity and vile behavior. The National Football League and NASCAR are the two pre-eminent sports properties today in the U.S. Attending an event in each sport, though, is a very differente experience.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
On the heels of some baffling coaching strategy--on both sides of the ball--last night in
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
My key to the game—NU’s ability to control time-of-possession by running the football, thus keeping Gabbert and his receivers off the field. I know the line favors