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Nuptials and more

I know you want to know how the wedding went Saturday night. Well, if I say so myself, it was fantastic from start to finish.

Yes, I was nervous, even though I’ve done this before. Yes, I stumbled on some words during my vows to Debbie. Yes, I got through it.

A couple of Don Henley songs – “For My Wedding” and “Everything Is Different Now” – were key parts of the ceremony. We had two pianists because that’s what big-time weddings have, right? We had a great preacher, Bill Allan, who Debbie knows from her days at Friends University. Pastor Mike (O’Donnell) did a great job paying tribute to our families.

Debbie has a great family and they were so happy for her. Not because she was getting married to me, necessarily, but because she was getting married for the first time. I feel very fortunate that I am the one to snag her. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. But I think you know what I mean.

We had a great wedding photographer, Fernando Salazar, who works at The Eagle. We had tremendous guests and our reception, at the Wichita Boathouse, was one for the ages. It included karaoke – you can hear a short snippet of me and Debbie singing “I Got You Babe” on my Facebook page.

My son, Jeff, who turns 28 tomorrow, brought me to tears with his toast. I love me some Jeff.

All in all, it was a night I’ll never forget, the best night of my life. I will post a few pictures on the blog as soon as Fernando gets them to me. For now, enjoy the one of Debbie and me I have included as we saunter toward the sunset on the beautiful beach near the Boathouse.

* Now, on to sports. Although I gotta admit, I haven’t paid attention the way I normally do.

I did see most of Josh Selby’s debut with the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, when KU eked out a win over Southern California thanks to his late three-pointer.

That guy is smooth. And the pressure didn’t seem to affect him at all. He never hesitated on the shot and looked like he was made to take the biggest shots of a game. Very impressive and Selby is only going to get better.

Wichita State survived a real scare against a mediocre LSU team that the Shockers should have beaten by double digits. I’m still waiting to see the real WSU basketball team. Maybe it’ll show itself Tuesday night against Tulsa at the Intrust Bank Arena. I’m really looking forward to that game, mostly because of the venue but also because of the Shockers’ long-standing rivalry with Tulsa that really isn’t a rivalry anymore but does conjure up some nice memories.

As for Kansas State’s basketball team, I have no answers. I just know I haven’t liked the chemistry with the Wildcats from the very outset of the season. Something seems to be wrong in Manhattan.

* I just received an e-mail with a picture of Bob Stoops’ new house, being built near Norman, Okla., where Stoops coaches football. You might have heard of him.

Anyway, the house, as you can see, is pretty large. Not quite as big as mine, but close. Stoops is doing pretty well, as are a lot of college football and basketball coaches at the highest levels of their sport.

My first reaction to seeing this photo was, “Wow, that’s an amazing crib.” Then I started thinking about the worth of coaches in our society and how out of balance it all appears to be. I guarantee you there is not another employee at the University of Oklahoma who lives in a house like this. Not the head of the science department or the dean of students or the president of the university.

On the flip side, I know how much revenue football brings into the coffers at Oklahoma and how important it is to those who support the university. I know Stoops’ success trickles down to all facets of OU, and that he’s under a lot more pressure than the head of the science department or anyone else associated with the university.

College football is big business, so on one level it makes sense that the coaches should live like kings. I suppose. But seeing the picture did get me to thinking. And wondering how we can justify a house like this for a coach when we give so little to the athletes who make this house possible. Yes, they get a free education in many circumstances. And that’s value. But, for me, Stoops’ house represents a disconnect in the way college athletics operates. Maybe I’m making too much of this. Maybe I’m just jealous.

My Facebook Friend

Mark TriplettMark and his daughterMark is one of the most loyal followers of the LLC (Lutz Live Chat), a Tuesday staple at Kansas.com on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. We have a lot of fun there; you should jump aboard sometime. He’s a fellow St. Louis Cardinals fan, which means he’s a right-thinking American. Mark is a real sports follower, the kind of guy who pays attention to everything. He asks a lot of questions during the LLC and some of them are even good ones. Just kidding, Mark, you’re an LLC legend.

Anyway, here’s Mark on Mark and our Facebook relationship:I’m married, two children (3 and 1- yr old-daughters). I enjoy spending time in the outdoors (fishing, hunting etc), and all sports in general. I grew up in Wichita – I’m a Heights alum (2000) was the Sports Editor of both my high school and college newspapers, but received my BBA in Accounting from Oklahoma Christian University. I have been a tax analyst in Wichita for the past 6 years. I just finished my MBA at Wichita State this semester. I grew up attending WSU baseball and basketball games, and still actively support them.I suppose we are “friends” because I’m such an avid sports fan and listen to “Sports Daily” – daily – but the main reason I guess is that I’m also a St. Louis Cardinals fan, from birth. Both my dad and grandpa are Cardinals fans, so I grew up listening and going to games whenever we got the chance. Plus, having a friend like you makes me feel better about myself somehow. :)I enjoyed playing in the Sports Daily Golf Tournament this year, and following the infamous LLC. My bucket list would include meeting Albert Pujols in person, attending a Cardinals World Series game, traveling more with my family, and living in Colorado someday.

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