* Mario Chalmers was the MVP of a Final Four, made arguably the biggest shot in KU basketball history (although I don’t know of anyone who wants to argue it), was a key player on a national championship team and is in the midst of a solid NBA career. That’s a solid body of work and his uniform number belongs in the rafters at Allen Fieldhouse.
* It was heartening than during a week that included Lance Armstrong’s repentance and Manti Teo’s whatever-that-was, “Sports Illustrated” chose to go with a cover of Stan Musial, who died Sunday, to accompany a well-written piece by Richard Hoffer. SI, of course, did have a story on the Armstrong and Te’o escapades, but the mag resisted the urge to put those clowns on the cover. Well done, SI.
* It’s taken a bit, but I’m warming to the new panel of judges on “American Idol.” I can’t decide who is my favorite, Nicki Minaj or Keith Urban. For now, I’ll call it a tie. I catch a lot of grief for my love of this show, which I’ve never understood. It’s a singing competition and some of the back stories on the participants are inspirational. I don’t miss an episode.
* “Justified” is the best show on television. Period. Exclamation point? Not a question mark? No. Boyd Crowder, as played by Walton Goggins, is one scary dude.
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* A new documentary on my favorite band, the Eagles, will debut on Showtime coming up Feb. 15 and 16. Two hours of the doc will show on the first night, covering the band from its formation until its break-up in 1980. The second part, just an hour long, will detail the band’s revival in 1994. The Eagles are planning a “History of the Eagles” tour starting in June. Exciting times.
* My son, Jeff, wrote the wonderful obituary for his mother, Marilyn King (LeVan) that appeared in The Eagle this morning. It was a tribute more than an obituary. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to Jeff during his mother’s illness and in the aftermath of her passing. It has meant a lot to him.
* This is one of my favorite Wichita State basketball teams, and that goes against the grain. I normally like teams that score and that have scorers. I love shooters and guys who can create offense. The Shockers are limited in their offensive ability, although Cleanthony Early is a big-time scorer. This team, though, hooks me with its toughness, defense and perseverance.
* Perry Ellis had some good moments for Kansas the other night during its 59-55 win over Kansas State. The Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse is an important one for Ellis. He needs to build on his performance against the Wildcats. I think Ellis is a big key for KU the rest of the way. Kansas lacks depth and Ellis could go a long way in relieving that issue.
* People always ask me how much I think North senior Conner Frankamp will play for Kansas as a freshman. A lot. He’ll play a bunch because of how young and inexperienced the Jayhawks will be in 2013-14. And I don’t expect Frankamp to have the growing pains Ellis has endured during his freshman season. They’re two different players with completely different personalities. Frankamp has a little attitude in his game, which isn’t a bad thing. He’s good and he knows it. Ellis is good, but he’s a bit reluctant to believe in himself. That’s the biggest difference.
* I am the least handy man to ever live. It’s embarrassing and I don’t want to talk about it. So forget I wrote anything here, please.
* Does something ever get so weird that you just want to cover your eyes and ears and pretend it’s not happening? That’s how I feel about this Manti Te’o story and the weirdos involved. And although I guess I don’t hold Te’o responsible, the guy has to be clueless.
* Rob Ryan is the defensive coordinator for my St. Louis Rams. You have no idea how difficult it was to write that sentence. I nearly gagged doing so. But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, so I guess I’m sticking with the Rams out of my admiration for Jeff Fisher. But this is a blow, Jeff. This one hurt.
* I’m going to watch my six-year-old granddaughter, Airyn, during her swim lessons next Thursday night. That’s exciting for me. I’m a grandpa now, you know.
* The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers each have two starters in the NBA All-Star game? Has anybody looked at the records of those teams? Ridiculous. Get me to the playoffs, please.
* Have the Atlanta Braves markedly improved themselves by adding B.J. and Justin Upton to their outfield to replace Martin Prado and Michael Bourn? Probably some, but not as much as you’d hope in giving up as many good prospects as Atlanta had to relinquish to Arizona in the Justin Upton deal. That said, this is going to be a heck of an athletic outfield with the Upton brothers manning left and center and Jason Heyward in right.
* Spring training is so close I can almost taste it.
* I’m going to be for Baltimore in the Super Bowl. Not that I like the Ravens that much, but I do like their coach, John Harbaugh. I can do without his brother, Jim, who is coaching the San Francisco 49ers. It comes down to a brother preference for me.
* I love just about everything about this Super Bowl, except for the teams. Yes, I’m strange that way. The quarterback match-up is so good with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco going head to head with the Niners’ Colin Kaepernick. Both have been sensational so far in the playoffs. I’m going to give a slight edge to Flacco, although I believe it’s entirely possible Kaepernick steals the show.
* There are some Super Bowls that I want to watch and some that I just want to glance at during a party. This is one I want to watch. So be quiet everyone, please.
* Kansas State has a tough one Saturday at Iowa State. I picked the Cyclones to win on radio this morning. If the Wildcats can get this one, I think it puts them in the driver’s seat to finish second in the Big 12.
* I’m speaking to the Bel Aire Senior Club on Monday evening. I might also join.
* Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful, exciting weekend. I’ve got a story coming Sunday on Derby’s Steve Stelljes, who will be the head linesman for the Super Bowl. I used to officiate kid’s basketball games with Stelljes many years ago and we grew up just about two blocks from one another. It’s a great honor, and a recognition of his abilities, that he’s gotten this assignment.