Daily Archives: Feb. 27, 2014

Memories of a sports writer – Lutz is a bias biggot!!!!

Newspaper columnists take a lot of heat. We get a lot of praise, too, and I always bristle when somebody who does public work whine about how often they are disparaged. Folks, it comes with the territory.

I developed a thicker skin as I went along in the newspaper business. But when I became The Eagle’s sports columnist in 1996, the ante was upped. I’m an opinionated guy and there are a lot of opinionated readers. Which is as it should be. The vitriol can be intense at times, but it’s the life I’ve chosen. And, like I said, there is some praise associated with what I do.

Thursday morning, though, as I was reading posts on Facebook, I came across the words from the headline of this blog. It’s not important to name names, but it took me by surprise. The comment was one of many made concerning my recent give and take with CBS Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb, but it didn’t fit the tone of the conversation.

“Lutz is a bias biggott!!!!”

I ignore most of the negativity sent my way. I learned long ago not to read the comments to my columns on Kansas.com. I don’t look at message boards, where anonymous people sling mud.

But I am on Facebook and Twitter often. Sometimes because of my job, other times because I’m hooked just like a lot of other people.

This comment, needless to say, took me off guard.

Where did it come from? Why was it made? Four exclamation points? What could I possibly have done to elicit such hatred?

I sent a private Facebook message to the man who made the post. He responded by asking me to call him and provided his number. Then he wrote: “I’d love to talk about it and many other issues!!!

I called, but he was at work and unable to talk. He assured me, in a friendly tone, that he would get back to me later. I hope he will.

Until then, I’m left to speculate what I did to offend him. He did say, during our brief phone conversation, that he had reached out to me and not gotten a response. I told him I didn’t remember, which at my age is not a big surprise.

As far as I know, I do not know this person, who is black. Perhaps he was an athlete at one time, but I’m not sure.

I didn’t feel defensive when I read his comment, just bewildered. I don’t think I’m a biased bigot. As much as I can remember, I don’t think anyone else has ever accused me of being a bigot. I’m a pretty liberal guy who just wants everyone to get along and have an equal chance to live the American dream.

I hope this person does call me back. I want to talk to him. I want to understand what he was referring to and perhaps grow to understand myself better in the process.

It’s obviously his opinion that I’m not a good person. And as I told him when I reached out to him on Facebook, I probably won’t be able to change his mind. But I do want to understand. I do want him to explain to me how he came to such a conclusion about me. I’ll let you know.


Lists, lists, lists

I normally get to the lists blog on Wednesdays. Sorry for being a bit late. I blame Doug Gottlieb.

Five sports figures who give great interviews.

1. Bill Self, Kansas basketball coach. He has an answer for everything. And not just an answer, a great

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self always gives a good interview.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self always gives a good interview.

answer. I have never seen him downgrade an interviewer’s question. First class all the way).

2. Brent Kemnitz, Wichita State pitching coach. Another guy who gives thoughtful, entertaining answers to all questions.

3. Gregg Marshall, Wichita State basketball coach. Thoughtful, entertaining, insightful. But not every question is treated equally.

4. Bill Snyder, Kansas State football coach. Not every interview with Snyder is great. Or even good. He sometimes isn’t interested in saying much. But when he is, he can be glib and disarming. Those are the interviews you wait for and more often than not they come after a loss. So there have been times when you have to wait a long time.

5. Chris Lamb, Wichita State volleyball coach. Lamb speaks in technicalities. Sometimes it’s impossible to comprehend what he’s talking about. But it’s fascinating to interview someone with such passion about a sport that isn’t as mainstream as some of the others. Interesting guy.

Top 5 quick meals

1. Hamburger Helper. Had it just last night, in fact. Cheesy Macaroni.

2. Chicken fried rice from the Great Wall. So good that I don’t even mind the onions. And normally I mind onions.

3. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This goes way back to my youth. It was my regular lunch. I used to go with grape jelly, but now it’s strawberry jam.

4. Turkey and cheese sandwiches. A great fallback that we fall back to many evenings.

5. A bowl of Honey Chex cereal. You pour it out of the box, add a little milk and there it is. Doesn’t get easier.

Five radio gods I see daily

1. Jack Oliver, KEYN

2. Steve McIntosh, KNSS

3. Dancin’ Don Hall, KEYN

4. Teddy Woodward, KNSS

5. Tommy Thurber, Sports Daily board operator who is leaving our show after Friday’s show. I have spent two hours every weekday morning for 10 years with Tommy and while we have had our battles, I’ve come to really like this guy. We’re very different people. Very different. But we’ve forged a relationship and it will be strange to walk in here next Monday and work without him being around. My best to Tommy, who is cutting back a bit to enjoy his life, which includes a full-time job. Remember, now, he’s left radio two times previously, only to return. So the door is never shut. But I hope Tommy enjoys the time he’ll have free now. Good guy.

Five all-time favorite Kansas City Royals

1. Hal McRae

2. Frank White

3. Dennis Leonard

4. Darrell Porter

5. Dan Quisenberry

(No George Brett? I know that must have Royals fans up in arms. Sorry, never cared for the guy.)

Top 5 Beatles songs

1. In My Life

2. She Loves You

3. I’ll Cry Instead (it’s a great karaoke tune)

4. Here Comes the Sun

5. Eleanor Rigby

Five favorite Tom Hanks movies

1. Saving Private Ryan

2. Forrest Gump

3. Cast Away

4. Sleepless in Seattle

5. Big

Thanks for reading. Always appreciated.