Sharing some thoughts after a very long weekend that did include wearing shorts for a night game in Boulder. Oh, yeah.
Late Night in the Phog turned into an even later night in the car. At least there wasn’t much traffic. That is the highlight I can report of our overnight drive to Boulder after Late Night. After shooting the big basketball kickoff event and finishing a gallery, Laura and I rolled out of Topeka at 12:30 AM. Trading naps, driving time and wonderful conversation, we arrived at the team hotel outside Boulder at 7:30 Saturday morning. The hostess at the check-in was completely confused when I asked for our key. Three hours of sleep was all it took to get us rolling in Boulder.
Laura and I never tire of visiting Boulder. The city fits our life style perfectly. While we never could afford to live there without that lottery check, we visit every chance we can and enjoy every second of our time there.
On your next visit don’t miss eating one of the fabulous crepes at Crepe Ala Cart just off downtown’s Pearl Street. The savory Tex-Mex crepe is my favorite. Then, after shopping, cool off at Maiberry with the unique taste of frozen Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit. Laura goes for strawberries, mango and kiwi. I lean to strawberries, pineapples and blackberries. Delicious. We tried to eat at Larkburger after the game, but it had just closed. Larkburger features very healthful yet tasty burgers and great sweet potato fries. How I wish all three could open in Topeka. Sadly, the odds are very against that ever happening.
Looking into the stands Saturday night in Boulder, I spotted a friend and co-worker Banks Floodman. Banks played linebacker at KU just a few years ago and now works for the Williams Fund, the athletic department’s fund-raising operation. Banks was sitting next to Gale Sayers who just recently returned to KU in fund raising. Banks also works very closely with former KU quarterback John Hadl. Sayers and Hadl is where any discussion of KU football greats begins.
That is pretty cool for a great guy like Banks. But, I hope he will always remember that he is watching another player deserving of the “legendary” adjective in front of his name. That has to be Todd Reesing.
Everyone knows that I am not a KU fan. I love working there and am proud to do so, but I don’t live and die with KU’s outcome. That really is the best way to do the work I do. However, I am a huge Todd Reesing fan.
From the moment Reesing, in desperation, entered the Colorado game three years ago, he has been one of the greatest winners ever. The fact he will leave KU with every passing record is nothing compared to the leadership skills he has displayed from the moment he stepped onto the playing field.
KU fans should relish every second of the time Reesing and his key receivers, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier, have left in their playing days. Trust me, you’ll won’t see a group of players like that for years and years to come and maybe never again. Talk about catching lightening in a bottle.
I am still stunned KU lost at Colorado. I always figured Reesing would twist and turn his way out of trouble and find either Meier or Briscoe. I am amazed when Kerry Meier doesn’t catch every pass. Meier’s performance on the drive before the half should always be remembered. Going 80 yards, Meier caught five passes for 64 of those yards, including the final 58 and got KU back into the game. I was sure Briscoe’s leaping touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter that finally put KU ahead was all they’d need. It wasn’t.
It also wasn’t a very good weekend for Laura’s and my favorite teams. First, Oklahoma dropped the Red River Rivalry game to Texas. Laura doesn’t say much about games before or after. She doesn’t get too worked up during the games. But, if you watch her, you can see in her face just how clearly she hates it when OU loses. We just let things get quiet for a while.
Then Texas Tech brings Nebraska quickly back down to earth with a stomping in Lincoln. A Nebraska loss burns a deep hole in me and doesn’t sit at all well. That is why I mentioned earlier how much I hope KU fans appreciate the magic they’ve seen in recent years.
No one could have convinced me that I would see Nebraska football fall as far as they have since Tom Osborne’s retirement. It has been a long road back even to respectability which really pains me. I fear the road will be even longer as I am not sure Bo Pelini is the answer. Sorry, but his tirades on the sidelines don’t instill confidence. I’ll take unflappable cool, like Osborne’s, any day.
However, for both of us, the Yankees came through. We watched the end of the game in a sports bar in Boulder as I worked on a photo gallery. Granted it looked like a total losing day until Rodriquez’ redemption tour continued with another huge home run in the ninth. Both of us always cheer hard for the Yankees, but we really are this year.
There is this little thing we worry might be some sort of baseball curse. Chicago has the Billy Goat curse. Boston had the curse of Babe Ruth. We have the curse of not being able to celebrate a Yankees World Series title since our marriage. Hopefully, that will end in just weeks.
The weekend started with Late Night in the Phog. The 25th edition. Scary to think I have covered about 20 of those 25 either for the Topeka paper or KU. Certainly expectations have never been higher at KU. A loaded roster and a fabulously fancy new look to the Fieldhouse have KU fans riding high before a ball has even been tossed up for an opening tip.
My studio used to be on the second floor of the Fieldhouse. Trying to get in a door already squeezed by fans at 8 in the morning always seemed a bit much. This year the lines outside seemed longer than I ever remember. From the new entrance to the court where space is left for another championship year to the warm-ups the team wore sporting patches of past titles, there is a very clear indication that another National Championship is THE goal.
I tried to spend just a little time with the camera away from my face just to look at the fans. The look of complete adoration and awe proves one point to me. While these past few months haven’t been what Bill Self and the school want for publicity, all will be right with the world on November 3 when victory after victory ensue.
On Sunday as we walked to lunch, life in Boulder was back to normal. Street performers plied their trade, cyclists whizzed along the cross streets in waves, skateboarders cruised along and barely a Colorado shirt could be seen. It was close to 80 degrees. There really was no clue of the big upset the night before other than a few hung over students being dragged out for lunch by their visiting parents.
Finally at 11:30 last night, we pulled into the garage after a sleep-deprived weekend of work and fun. Wouldn’t want to do this every weekend, but we sure can make it fun.