Hey everybody. What’s up? I’m headed to St. Louis on Thursday for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, always one of the highlights of my professional career.
So let’s start there with the lists today, OK?
Five highlights of my Wichita Eagle career
1. The Wichita State basketball team making the Final Four last year, then following it up with a 31-0 regular season. Who would have ever thought? This has provided some great stories and columns, obviously, and has united a city that is too often bickering about insignificant things. Shocker basketball has been the biggest sports entity in town forever and now it’s not even close.
2. Covering high school sports during the late-1970s, an era that produced some of the finest football teams (Southeast and Kapaun Mount Carmel) in City League history and some of the greatest basketball talent (Ricky Ross, Darnell Valentine, Antoine Carr, Aubrey Sherrod, Greg Dreiling, many others) to ever play here.
3. KU basketball and KSU football. I had never been to a basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse before I started my job with the newspaper. Now I can say I’ve been fortunate enough to be at many games over the years and the experience is always exciting. It’s a grand place for college hoops. As for Kansas State, covering the renaissance produced by Bill Snyder has been fun. I regard him as one of the greatest coaches in sports history for what he has accomplished with the Wildcats.
4. The people I’ve worked with. Sounds cliche, but I have been around some fantastic people in my career. I heard from one of them just the other day. Steve Love, a columnist for The Wichita Beacon way back (he also wrote columns for The Eagle) e-mailed me to say how much he’s enjoying the Shocker coverage. Journalists are a strange lot, to some degree. But for the most part, we mean well. We’re an interesting lot and certainly some of the smartest people out there. Don’t you agree?
5. Barry Sanders, Lynette Woodard. I covered Woodard extensively in high school and was honored to be in Springfield, Mass., when she was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. I also was in Canton, Ohio, when Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the same year. Both are North High products and, obviously, two of the greatest athletes to come out of Wichita.
Five foreign countries I would like to visit
2. New Zealand
4. Canada (nope, never been there)
Five favorite Meryl Streep movies
1. Sophie’s Choice
2. Kramer vs. Kramer
3. Out Of Africa
4. The Devil Wears Prada
5. Postcards From the Edge
10 iPhone aps I use most
5. TuneIn Radio
6. Bank Of America
7. Kansas.com (I’m contractually obligated to mention this one)
8. Yahoo Sports (for scores and results)
10. Weather Channel
10 funny females
1. Tina Fey
2. Amy Poehler
3. Ellen DeGeneres
4. Sarah Silverman
5. Joan Rivers
6. Carol Burnett
7. Phyllis Diller
8. Kristen Wiig
9. Betty White
10. Julie Bowen