* I’ve spent so much time the past few days talking and writing about whether Kansas and Wichita State play basketball that I’ve made myself sick of the subject. I need a few days or even weeks to re-charge my passion on this issue.
* Bottom line: Wichita State and Kansas should be playing on a semi-regular basis. Five games in 10 years, something like that. Same with Kansas State.
* My wife is already fretting about Christmas being over, and it’s not even here yet. I’m not a big Christmas guy and I think it’s mostly because I just don’t like cold weather. Especially cold, cloudy weather. And especially cold, cloudy weather when it gets dark at 5:15.
* So I guess I’m fine with Christmas. Just not a big fan of Christmas weather.
* We put up exterior Christmas lights at our house for the first time in a few years. I like them. They make me happy when I pull into my driveway.
* I’m not a Chiefs fan and never have been. But I do admit the NFL season is more fun when the Chiefs are relevant. I just finished a column on the Chiefs’ top 10 all-time skill position players and it was fun to research and write. I think I’m a little bit into the Chiefs.
* Fox Sports Midwest is showing a condensed version of five of the best St. Louis Cardinals games from the 2013 season on Christmas day. I hope to set aside a little time to watch. I miss baseball tremendously during the off-season and regularly tune into the MLB Network during these winter months.
* No doubt about it, baseball is my favorite sport. But college basketball is right there, which makes my work at this time of the year enjoyable. I love watching college basketball in person and am looking forward to covering the Georgetown-Kansas State game Saturday afternoon at Intrust Bank Arena. I was going to head up to Lawrence for the KU-Georgetown game, but the weather forecasters scared me out of that one. Now watch nothing happen weather wise overnight or on Saturday morning.
* I don’t think “Homeland” had a stellar season and I was disappointed that Damien Lewis’s character, Nicholas Brody, was killed in the finale. But I think Brody’s death could help the series, which needs a different direction. My disappointment had nothing to do with the acting. I just thought the story got out of whack.
* I’m hooked on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” It’s no place for prudes.
* My son, Jeff, turns 31 on Saturday. That’s a little hard for me to believe. I cannot be this old.
* When was the last time the Wichita State basketball team had four players as good as Cleanthony Early, Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton? Maybe the 2005-06 Sweet 16 team with Paul Miller, P.J. Couisnard, Paul Miller and Sean Ogirri?
* I’m stunned that guard Conner Frankamp isn’t playing more than he is at Kansas. I figured he would be a big factor as a freshman and that he would overcome nerves, lack of size and inexperience by the sheer will of his make-up. And I would not be surprised if Frankamp does start to play more and make a difference for the Jayhawks.
* I’m looking forward to seeing some City League boys basketball after the break. I especially want to see the new gym at North, though the Redskins are off to a slow start.
* It’s a big movie week next week. My wife has green-lighted a movie a day, or thereabouts. Tops on the list is “American Hustle,” which is getting amazing reviews. David O. Russell (the O stands for Owen) is the hottest director out there. And how can you not be enticed to see a movie that stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner?
* I hope you’re enjoying the Shocker Invitational, which I’m writing about on my blog. It’s a fictional 16-team tournament made up of Shocker players from the present and past, randomly (mostly) thrown together. I’m working with a couple of guys on devising a way to play these games on a gaming system and will share more information about that in the near future. It’s just fun for me to write about the history of Shocker basketball and this tournament is giving me that opportunity.
* Lanny Van Eman and Ron Washington are two of the most underrated Shockers of all-time. Both play for Team 3 in the Shocker Invitational.
* There will be an announcement soon – perhaps as early as Saturday – concerning the 2014 class into the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame. As is the case every year, I’m hoping against hope that the selection committee has finally done the right thing and will induct former WSU center Robert Elmore, who played for the Shockers during the mid-1970s.
* Wichita city council member Jeff Longwell was on “Sports Daily” on Friday and talked about what a big year 2014 will be for Wichita. I hope our citizens get behind the city’s efforts to make this a better place to live. And one of the ways to do that is to renovate Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, which is badly in need of repair. L-D is a crown jewel of Wichita and needs our attention.
* Have a Merry Christmas, everyone.