This man is a trip. He kills me. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I finally asked him. He agreed, and The Eagle’s sports columnist breezed through some questions for his favorite fan base:
1. Why do people get the impression you hate Kansas State? You love KU, don’t you?
Hate? Love? These are very strong emotions. Everybody knows I have no emotion. I simply judge the sports world from a stoic ivory tower and pass down judgments that are, usually, without fault. Can an ivory tower be stoic? Sorry, sometimes my own writing distracts me. Anyway, back to your question. My father whipped me with a purple belt when I was young, so maybe that has something to do with my “hatred.” There were now crimson and blue belts in our house. This is all deeply psychological and, honestly, I’m not comfortable with self-examination. The bottom line is that I’m a sports columnist who writes about my many, many opinions. Everybody has opinions; I get to share mine in a newspaper. I’m sure that annoys people. Hell, it annoys me sometimes. But I have no hatred or love for Kansas State. Ditto for Kansas. And Wichita State. And Delaware State. The only team I have “love” for is the St. Louis Cardinals, and I have a really strong feeling they’re going to test that love this summer. I’m equally loathed by Wichita State fans. And KU fans are just too cool to really care that much about what a columnist in Wichita has to say.
2. What was or has been more impressive this year — the ascent of Jordy Nelson or the arrival of Michael Beasley? Why?
Jordy who? Oh, that wasn’t very nice. Especially since I just wrote about him last week and I would have to say he’s one of my all-time favorite Wildcats. What a career he had. And any time a Kansas kid does well, it’s extra nice. I like this state. It would be kind of sad if I had spent 52 years here and didn’t like it, huh? But as good as Nelson has been, Beasley is one of those once-in-20-years stories. And players. How many times does a player like Beasley not only live up to the hype, but surpass it? I was against the hiring of Frank Martin and Dalonte Hill when it happened. Everybody knows that. And I’m still not convinced it will work in the long term, although I have been impressed with Martin. That being said, I’m thankful for the opportunity to see Beasley play in person this season. And it wouldn’t have happened had Martin and Hill not been hired. So, what I’m trying to say (and it doesn’t come easily) is that I was wrong.
3. You’re hired to succeed Tim Weiser as K-State’s athletic director. Are you happy with the first-time coaching hires your predecessor made?
First of all, I would never even apply for the job because it would mean moving to Manhattan. OK, now I’m just being silly. By the way, Weiser is one of my favorite people. Not in sports, but in life. Great, great guy. I think it’s a tough loss for K-State. But if I were hired, I would be happier about the coaches still in place than I would about having to work under K-State president Jon Wefald. I like Wefald personally. He’s an engaging guy. But I think he’s too involved in the athletics department. And if I’m an AD, I want more autonomy that I believe Wefald is willing to give. As for the coaches, I have real doubts about football coach Ron Prince. I think all of the changes on his coaching staff, in just two years on the job, is alarming. I think Prince was a real stretch. As for Martin, I’m curious to see what he can do without Beasley. And without Bill Walker, who may or may not be around next season. The jury is still out.
4. Who wins Saturday in Lawrence? Is K-State in trouble?
Kansas wins. Not the answer you K-Staters were looking for, I know. But KU will have revenge in its hearts for this one. The KU fans will have a good time with Walker and Beasley. It won’t bother Beasley in the least. He has amazing poise and focus for such a young player. It could bother Walker, though. In fact, it could send him over the edge. He lacks poise. And his focus is easily disrupted. I say it’ll be 82-68. And K-State better handle both Colorado (done deal) and Iowa State if it wants to cement itself as an NCAA Tournament team. I want to see the Wildcats in the NCAAs. Actually, I want to see Beasley in the NCAAs. I just want to see Beasley as many times as I can before he leaves for the NBA.
5. Fast forward two years — what the state’s landscape in Division I athletics look like? Is KU the dominant program in all sports? Does K-State seize control in football? Is Wichita State good again in basketball?
You know how good I am at this predicting stuff. Not good at all. So how do I know? This question is a set-up and I’m not going to put myself out there. I’ll just say that, of the three schools, Kansas State is in the most tenuous position with its athletic department. No athletic director and two unproven coaches. That’s not to say things won’t work out. It’s just to say that K-State has more question marks right now — at this very moment — than KU or WSU.
6. When can I submit something to Bob’s Blog?
Bob’s Blog is hallowed ground. One must fill out many forms and go through a detailed background check before being allowed to submit an entry. If you call the FBI, you can begin the process.