Hey, everyone. Here are my final Friday musings – for October. You didn’t really think I’d stop musing forever, did you? That’ll never happen.
▪ Halloween is a nice holiday, I suppose, although I’ve never been much into dressing up in costumes. When I was a kid, I have recollections of trick-or-treating, but I don’t think I stayed out for long. I always considered the holiday to be a little creepy, which I suppose is the point. But I do look forward to the small kids who come by the house to trick-or-treat. The bigger kids I could do without.
▪ Halloween, to me, signifies the start of winter. I know winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. I think the seasons needed to be broken up. For me, November through February is winter. March through May are spring. June through August is summer. And September and October are fall. I guess November is really the month in question here. Is November fall or is it winter? Please respond as this is now a pressing matter in my life.
▪ Fleetwood Mac is coming to Intrust Bank Arena in March. Bob Seger is coming in February. It feels like 1974, doesn’t it? Kudos to IBA for getting some iconic classic rockers to come to town. I hope there are more as the downtown arena celebrates its fifth year in 2015. Is that possible? Five years?
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▪ The NCAA will announce its basketball tournament sites for 2016, 2017 and 2018 in a few weeks. Of course, I’m hoping Intrust Bank Arena gets to host the second and third rounds in one of those years. But I have concerns, especially about the amount of media space at IBA. My fingers are crossed but I think it’s a 50/50 proposition.
▪ I’m looking forward to seeing ESPN’s 30 on 30 about former Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth. I’ve heard great things about it.
▪ I’m a Conner Frankamp honk, admittedly. It’s not shocking to me that he’s decided to leave Kansas. It never seemed like a good fit for either party. As I wrote earlier, I think Frankamp would have a chance to really develop under Gregg Marshall at Wichita State. Marshall, though, is demanding. He stresses defense. I think Frankamp would thrive in Marshall’s system. Others, who also know basketball, disagree. What do you think?
▪ It’s amazing how preseason rankings in college sports get so much notoriety, considering they mean hardly anything. It must speak to our insatiable desire to try and predict the future. It’s part of being human and we love prognostication. I’m no different, trust me. But I’m rarely accurate.
▪ The Kansas City Chiefs are looking more and more like a playoff team to me and one that could be a real threat come January. I like the way the Chiefs have diversified their offense with running back Knile Davis and tight end Travis Kelce. With more weapons, Alex Smith is a bigger threat. Still too bad he doesn’t have any receivers who can stretch the field. That’s still the biggest missing ingredient.
▪ I very much enjoyed covering the Kansas City Royals during baseball’s postseason. It was a treat and an experience I’ll never forget. As you know, I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan and that will never change. But I can appreciate what the Royals accomplished this season and I’m even happy for their long-suffering fan base. Everybody baseball fans deserves a team that gets to the postseason now and again. Of course, being a Cardinals fan, I’m a little spoiled in that area. Four National League Championship Series in four years.
▪ The death last week of Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras hit me hard. I’ve been examining why, since he’s not someone I knew. But the Cardinals are big with me. As a fan for more than 50 years, I feel like that franchise is a part of my family in some ways. And Taveras had so much promise and was so young. It’s heartbreaking.
▪ Been writing a lot about the upcoming college basketball season the past couple of days. I’ve enjoyed researching the top teams and getting an idea for players to watch. I’ve concluded that this is going to be a fantastic season with a lot of outstanding teams and players. I can’t wait for it to begin.
▪ That Cleveland Cavaliers home opener last night – and LeBron’s return to the city – did not go as planned. A loss to the Knicks? Really?
▪ I wish I was more excited about the conclusion of the high school football regular season. But with the playoff format now, in which two teams from each district get to the postseason, I just don’t much care. I wish somebody would go in and overhaul high school athletics in Kansas and get it up to standards with other states.
▪ I’ve been hearing about a new Don Henley country record for two years now. It was supposed to come out last year, then this year. And now it’s supposed to come out in 2015. If there’s one thing that irritates me about Henley, it’s that his records rarely come out when he says they’re coming out. Don, can you work on that?
▪ The Wichita chapter of the NAACP is honoring me at their annual banquet next Saturday as Man of the Year because of my work with League 42. I’m humbled. But I’m also proud and want to point out that League 42 would not exist if not for the efforts and love of many volunteers who do so much to make this organization work. Kudos to Todd Johnson and Bennie Dick, who have been a part of League 42 since its inception. And to Shannon Boone, whose dedication is incredible. And to Colleen Johnson, our league secretary, who has put so much work into this. And to all of the others who are dedicated to this baseball league that is bringing the game to kids who otherwise would not have an opportunity to play. We have a bunch of great people involved with League 42. I just wanted to acknowledge them and thank the Wichita NAACP for acknowledging me and those of us with League 42.
▪ Happy Halloween, everyone. Take care of those kids tonight. And no apples, please. Apples aren’t fun.