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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sports not forgotten amid the destruction

The Wichita Eagle

ESPN reporter Steve Cyphers has been in and around Greensburg this week, and the devastation surprised him.

"I looked at all the footage on TV and all the pictures," Cyphers said, "but it's nothing at all like seeing it in person."

The perseverance of the Kansans has not surprised Cyphers, whose wife is a native of Ulysses, near the Colorado border.

"The Greensburg people have been telling me, 'Ulysses, now that is the middle of nowhere,' " Cyphers joked.

Cyphers is working on a story about how sports can help people persist through a catastrophe and the generosity that has helped Greensburg's junior high and high school athletes keep going.

"I saw one kid show up for track in boots," Cyphers said. "It was all he had left to wear. He found one of his track shoes, but it was filled with insulation. Then somebody pulled up a truck and donated all these track shoes. It was amazing."

The track shoes were donated by Nike.

Cyphers said his piece "could never do justice to all the hardship in Greensburg, but we're going to do our best."

The story is scheduled to air on "Outside the Lines: First Report" at 2:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN, Channel 32. It will be repeated during various "SportsCenter" telecasts, as well.

Sooners help out

Members of the University of Oklahoma football program filled a small truck with donations for the people of Greensburg.

"We're all concerned for the people there and want them to know that we're thinking about them," said coach Bob Stoops, a former Kansas State assistant.

OU director of athletics equipment Greg Tipton said the bulk of the truck was filled with clothes but there were also toys and books for children.

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