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What's Turner doing?

I listened to the first half of Kansas’ 31-16 loss to Southern Mississippi on Friday night and watched the second half.

Watching gave me a much different perspective on first-year KU coach Turner Gill, America’s most laid-back coach.

People have told me Gill has a different style of coaching. Ya think? As cameras panned to Gill on the Kansas sideline, he had the same stoic look. He adjusted his headphones occasionally but at least on the TV shots had no interaction with players and didn’t speak into the headset.

I became irritated as I watched this, especially in comparison to Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora, who was shown doing what football coaches do: talking to players, yelling, giving direction.

I don’t intend this to be an indictment of Gill. In fact, I hope Gill succeeds at Kansas. I think he’s a genuine guy who doesn’t feel the need – or even have the capacity – to rant and rave as he’s coaching a football game. He has said from the beginning that he believes in giving an inordinate amount of autonomy to his coordinators – in this case Chuck Long (offense) and Carl Torbush (defense). Both have proven themselves in those roles.

But this is different. Really different. And if Gill doesn’t win (it’s far too early to say whether he will or not at Kansas), his lack of apparent involvement on the sideline will start to be a hot topic of conversation.

Football is such an emotion-driven game and it’s strange to see a head coach who doesn’t display much of it on the sideline.

Another thought on KU. What are the odds on a team having two punts blocked in the first three weeks? And a couple of other punts were almost blocked, resulting in personal fouls on the opposition.

Given the hit-and-miss nature of Kansas’ defense – it was mostly miss against Southern Miss – KU needs to shore up its special teams. It’s not asking too much to be able to get a punt off without disaster.

Troy Tulowitzki is hot, in case you hadn’t noticed.

I’m sad to hear that Joe Torre has decided he’s had enough and will step down at the end of the season as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Torre is one of the best manager ever and his playing career is underrated. He’s a former National League MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his MVP year, 1971, Torre batted .363 with 24 homers and 137 RBIs. He led the National League with a career-high 230 hits.

Torre didn’t rule out managing again, but strongly hinted that his days in the dugout are over.

Time for some quick NFL picks for Sunday’s best games:

Tennessee 20, Pittsburgh 17

Minnesota 27, Miami 14

Baltimore 19, Cincinnati 7

Dallas 28, Chicago 17

Houston 24, Washington 20

New England 23, New York Jets 14

And the Chiefs?

You’d think they’d have an easy time of it in Cleveland, considering the Browns blew a game last week against Tampa Bay and are in a serious rebuilding mode.

But road games are a different animal, so I’m picking the Brown, 21-17.

My Facebook friend

Jim Graber

I got to know Jim a little bit a few years back; he sponsors a softball team out of Kingman and I knew some of the players. But I’ve gotten closer to Jim in the past year or so because we’re both deluxe – yes, deluxe – karaoke singers.

Our styles might be different, but the results are the same. Women swoon when they hear our dulcet tones.

Jim and his wife, Peggy, join us for karaoke once a month or so.

Here’s what Jim had to say about himself and why we’re Facebook friends:

“What defines me?…well, I am pretty much un-defineable, Bob.How did we get to be Facebook friends?…..neither one of us has much of a life, sadly.Why do we stay Facebook friends?…so we can plan the next time we go sing karaoke.Sports aneccdote……1964…..the year that I decided that I hate the Cardinals, and the year that Bob decided that he hates the Yankees.

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