Sports

Just who do they think they are?

I am confounded by the Clark family.

After two years of dealing with them — father Steve, mother Patty, sons Zac and Trace and daughters Destiny and Sadie — I have no concrete answers as to why they behave the way they do.

And to that end, I have come to the conclusion that the way they communicate with me is a completely inappropriate way to deal with a sportswriter.

Please read on:

Context: Interview with Zac in athletic offices at Butler Community College, mid-August, 2008.

Me: Coming from a football family, with your dad playing in the NFL and at K-State, I've got to assume that this is kind of what you've always dreamed about... playing college football, that is.

Zac: Yes, sir. It really is. When I was two or three years old (Sadie) was just a baby so my mom would take us to the mall and she had to push Sadie's stroller, so I would run wild. I would scream 'FOOTBALL!' and tackle trash cans, chairs, anything in the way. I would run wild. I've got a lot of great memories like that from growing up. We were all pretty close.

From: Stevan Clark

Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:32 PM

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Zac

Great article on Zac! I enjoyed our conversation the other day... I wish you continued success and keep up the good work.

From: Steve and Patty Clark

Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:38 PM

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Re: Zac

Selfishly, I'd like for him to go somewhere where we would be able to catch a game or two, but it seems that most of his choices will be quite a drive away... His recruitment has been stressful, but I've reminded him that there are millions of kids that would trade places with him in a heartbeat right now. He knows, but really wants the decision part to be over with soon so he get off to school and start working academically and training this offseason with a new set of teammates... he's a great kid.

From: Stevan Clark

Sent: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 1:28 p.m.

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Enrolled and On Campus!

Attachments: O.JPG

(This was just a picture of Zac standing in front of Autzen Stadium on the campus at the University of Oregon)

Edition: main

Published: September 8, 2009

Section: Sports

Page: 1B

Source: BY TONY ADAME, The Wichita Eagle

Headline: Dream come true: Clark graduates from City League, KJCCC to Pac 10

Excerpt: The Clarks might not get to see Zac play until a bowl game because Steve is an assistant on the Collegiate football team, which Zac's younger brother Trace plays on, and younger sister Sadie is an All-Metro volleyball player for the Spartans. And to their credit, nobody is differentiating between a possible state tournament appearance and, say, a night home game against USC on Halloween.

"We're so busy that it's hard to say when we'll get out there," Steve said. "But I talk to Zac almost every day."

From: Steve and Patty Clark

Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2009 7:33 PM

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Sadie will sign with Arkansas State

We wanted to invite you to Sadie's national letter of intent signing on Wednesday at 3:00 in the WCS Upper School Library.

Steve and Patty

(I couldn't go but sent a note saying congratulations. They responded the next day.)

From: Steve and Patty

Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:29 PM

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Re: Sadie

Thanx, and we hope all is going well with you.

Context: Phone interview with Zac, Dec. 30, 2009 — two days before Rose Bowl game against Ohio State.

Me: I saw you on the TMZ TV show last night, and then on their site.

Zac: (Laughing) Yeah they were waiting for us when we walked out of the restaurant.

Me: Is your family coming out to watch the game?

Zac: They're getting in tomorrow.

Me: Who is coming?

Zac: Mom, dad, Trace, Sadie, Destiny... and my uncle.

Me: All of them?

Zac: All of them.

From: Steve and Patty Clark

Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 9:10 AM

To: Adame, Tony

Subject: Zac/Oregon Spring Game

Zac will be playing on ESPN2 tomorrow afternoon at 4:06 our time ... he's had a great spring, running with the ones at DT. He's up to about 270 and wearing it well. He still lines up at DE when they shift to a 3-man front. He's on schedule to get his degree this fall. The Rose Bowl was awesome — the outcome was not. Here's a link to info on the game ...

Context: Phone conversation with Steve. Yesterday afternoon.

Me: So I'm going to write this piece on your family. Kind of about my dealings with you the last couple of years.

Steve: Well I'm sure you'll do a great job, Tony. We're just watching some volleyball up in Kansas City right now and are going to cut out to watch some football here in a bit.

Me: I was going to use some e-mails you guys have sent me the last couple of years, if it's okay with you.

Steve: Of course. Good luck with your article.

Like I was saying ... just who do these people think they are?

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