The first girl you kissed. When someone close to you died. Where you were when you asked your wife to marry you. The memories that make up your life come in all different shapes and sizes. Today was another one for me, which isn’t a surprise because lots of mine are sports-related. Here are some I have of KU in the NCAA Tournament … it goes back a minute:
1988: Sitting on the floor in my father’s office in Fairbanks, Alaska, watching Danny and the Miracles. We moved to Wichita a little over a year later. Also, my dad breaking down for me how Danny Manning had moved to Lawrence for his senior year of high school and why a No. 6 seed winning the whole thing was a big deal.
1997: On spring break visiting my family in Colorado. Had basically guaranteed everyone in the room that Kansas was going to win the national championship. My Uncle Felix, a good dude, cheered for the Jayhawks that year only for the fact that I was from Kansas. They lost to Arizona in the regional semifinal. Lost a 15-dollar bet to my cousin Fabian that I paid off in late 2006.
2003: Went up to Topeka to visit my best friend, Chris, and his cousin Erin on the weekend KU beat Duke in the regional semifinal. He was in his last year of law school at Washburn and had a deep, deep hatred for Roy Williams and was cheering for Duke … in a sports bar in Topeka. Jeremiah Bullfrog’s. Thought about halfway through we were going to have to scrap our way out of that place. Thank goodness Kansas won that night.
2008: I’d just started working on the copy desk at The Eagle a few weeks before, and I distinctly remember sports editor Kirk Seminoff going in a back office to write down the play-by-play because we were worried we wouldn’t get it because the game started late. I also remember Eagle photog Travis Heying’s shot of Chalmers (above) coming across the desk that night and everybody being blown away. A few days later I bought my little sis the t-shirt of our sports cover with that photo on it. Not a bad way to start off my career at The Eagle — you see the kind of work that goes into covering something like that, from the production level all the way to the writing, and it leaves an impression. There’s just a certain way we do things that’s hard to describe. A lot of work, a lot of people not caring about how many hours they work in that span of time.
2010: My first year covering the NCAA Tournament. Sitting next to Jeff Lutz in Oklahoma City when Ali Farokhmanesh hit the shot that sank the Jayhawks for good. As the final buzzer sounded, I looked left to right and saw about 20,000 hearts breaking at once … as the N. Iowa fans began to chant “MVC! MVC!”
2011: Read tomorrow’s paper
Y’all take it easy.