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An improving Coffman

* Carson Coffman came a long way as a quarterback last week during Kansas State’s 59-7 win over Kansas. Or did he?

Coffman’s numbers were outstanding. He was cool-headed in the pocket and his passes were accurate. He ran and he passed with effectiveness.CoffmanBut now comes another test, one that will show us just how far Coffman has come. The Wildcats play at Baylor on Saturday, and the Bears are a bear at home. They aren’t the best defensive team in the country, but they do have speed and they will put more pressure on Coffman than he got against KU.

I’m intrigued by Coffman. I’m looking forward to seeing how far he has come – or hasn’t – against Baylor. This is a guy who has been much-maligned during his K-State career, losing the starting job early last season to Grant Gregory. Some Kansas State fans were aghast – rightly so – that Coach Bill Snyder didn’t bring in a quarterback with more upside for the 2010 season.

But Snyder has a way of making average quarterbacks better than average, and his magic might be working with Coffman. He’s getting more and more comfortable in the K-State system and more and more comfortable with his group of receivers, none of whom were around much last season.

K-State is 5-1 with Coffman, remember. A win at Baylor sets up consecutive home games against Oklahoma State and Texas and also makes the Wildcats bowl eligible. It’s an interesting stretch of games for Kansas State, which recovered nicely after being blown out at home by Nebraska.

* Thanks, ESPN, for showing Brett Favre’s regularly-scheduled Wednesday news conference live. I just don’t get enough of Brett, so anything you can do to give him more exposure – maybe the wrong word there – is much appreciated.

* It sure feels like the NFL jumped the gun in mandating harsher penalties for hits that are deemed potentially harmful to the head and neck areas of those players who take them.

Defensive players all around the league are lashing out. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $75,000 for a hit he made against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, is threatening to retire, saying he doesn’t know if he can play anymore because of the stricter guidelines.

Please, James, shut up and get back to work.

His point, however, deserves some discussion. I don’t believe anybody is totally clear on what the NFL deems to be a violent hit. Defining one is difficult. There’s plenty of subjectivity in the equation.

By reacting so quickly, and with such an iron fist, the NFL has put itself in a difficult position. It will be nearly impossible now for the league to back off its stance, but I’m not even sure the NFL understands what its stance is.

Stay tuned. There is a lot left in this story.

* Don’t count me among those who claim not to want a Texas Rangers-San Francisco Giants World Series. I’d be perfectly satisfied with that match-up. The Rangers, to me, are the most intriguing team in the postseason.

* I’m getting great feedback on my best sitcoms of the decade list, which today reaches the 1980s. It was a rather think comedy decade on television, what with series like Too Close for Comfort, Webster, Who’s the Boss, ALF, Benson and Mr. Belevedere on the landscape. I did enjoy Bob Uecker in Mr. Belevedere, however.

Here’s my 1980s Top 10:

10) Alice (1976-85). I liked Mel, what can I say?

9) The Love Boat (1977-86). Lauren Tewes, who played Julie McCoy, sailed my boat.

Kate and Allie (1984-89). I was fascinated by Susan Saint James, who starred in a previous series, McMillan and Wife, with Rock Hudson.

7) Night Court (1984-92). I’m a big Markie Post fan.Smithers6) WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-82). It was clearly about the chicks, Loni Anderson and Jan Smithers.

5) Cosby (1984-92). A ground-breaking series. And a legendary star. Who doesn’t love the Coz?

4) Golden Girls (1985-92). I still watch this show today. A lot. Estelle Getty does it for me.

3) Family Ties (1982-89). Michael J. Fox in the role of a lifetime.

2) Newhart (1982-90). Bob Newhart = funny. Always has, always will. And the supporting cast was right with him.

1) Cheers (1982-93). The best ensemble cast in sitcom history as far as I’m concerned. Loved them all. Especially George Wendt (Norm).

My Facebook Friend

Dave Phillips

I’ve known Dave for a long time. He’s a former general manager of the Wichita Wings, a former television anchor and reporter at KAKE (Ch. 10) and a former outspoken sports radio talk show host in Wichita. Currently, he works for Carlos O’Kelly’s in some big-wig capacity. Anyway, here’s what he had to say about our Facebook friend status:

“I’m Facebook Friends with Bob Lutz because he dares to tell the truth in his newspaper column. Sure I’m tired of having to defend him to all my neighbors.Last Sunday morning, I’m in the driveway, going to church, my buddy is on his way to church, and he yells, “Lutz is an idiot.” He was referencing Bob’s insight into the debacle that is Turner Gill. I, as I have to do almost daily, stood up for Bob. If it’s that bad on Sunday mornings, when we’re in a good church-going-mood, you can imagine the venom they pour on poor Bob Mon-Sat. But I enjoy him. Plus, he and Bruce are dynamite on the radio.

“Oh, as far as Facebook? Yeah, there’s never anything of interest on his wall.”

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