Flashback two weeks ago:
Cell phone rings. Shows a 785 number.
Wonder who that could be? Let's answer it.
"This is Mike."
"Hi Mike. This is (name redacted) from the KU ticket office. I was just calling to see how everything is going for you."
:: Silence ::
"Um. Everything is fine. How are you?"
"Oh good! I'm good, thanks for asking. How is everything going for you at the football games this fall?"
"Oh, it's great! I can sit wherever I want!!"
:: Silence ::
"Oh... :: nervous laughter :: ... that's good... Well... I was just calling to offer you pre-game sideline passes to watch the Jayhawks warm up before the K-State game. Is that something you'd be interested in?"
"Oh, yeah, that sounds great!"
"Excellent! Well I will put you on the list. Look for an email confirmation from me by the end of the day."
"Ok, thanks for calling!"
"No problem, have a good day!"
Headed to Lawrence about 10:30 AM this morning.
Pretty cold day today.
Car thermometer says 32 degrees.
There's a light sheet of ice on basically everything except the roads - grass, trees, signs - it's actually very pretty.
Probably not going to be a very fun football game.
Supposed to get sleet and freezing rain sporadically throughout the day.
Wife and I are splitsville today - she's going to the volleyball game with a friend of hers, so I'm taking a buddy to the football game with me.
So, Go Jayhawks, and Go Jayhawks.
Pick up friend a little after 11.
Get to Lawrence about 11:40.
He wants to eat at Pepperjax. Ok.
Head to the Mississippi Street parking garage. Get there about 12:45.
Pound a few beers in the parking garage. It's not too bad here - there's no wind.
Gotta be on the north end of Memorial for check in by 1:50 for the "pre-game experience."
Headed that way, get checked in.
They take us out on the field when the clock says 60 minutes until kickoff.
Quarterbacks are warming up right in front of us. Ryan Willis is huge.
Those helmets are really cool close up. Don't care for the rest of the uniform though.
Offensive line coach Zach Yenser comes through and shakes everyone's hand, saying, "Thanks for coming."
Even Bill Snyder says hi to the group as he walks by. (Not individually, I mean, he waved at the group and said "Hi" as he walked past.)
K-State comes out and runs right in front of us.
Quarterbacks move to the other side of the end zone. Now the O-line is going through warmups.
And I thought Willis was huge!
Our time is up.
That was pretty neat.
Another shout out to Zach Yenser, btw. Cool move by that guy.
KU band not running down the steps today.
Probably a good call - there's ice on the benches, the chairbacks, the railings... everywhere.
All they're doing is playing music - no Sunflower formation or anything.
Kids these days are weak.
Field didn't seem that slick, but in fairness, there were some spots that were icy. It is wet.
The K-State band tried to play during the intro video. LoL. That didn't work out to well, they just turned up the volume on the jumbotron.
Well the game started about like you'd expect. Throw three passes, try to punt, fumble the snap. K-State scores on the next play.
KU answers on the next drive. Tie ballgame, 11:15 to go in the first quarter.
Something tells me that will be the only points we score today.
Another typical KU-KState game.
35-7 now. Still nine minutes to go until halftime.
Surely there's some kind of prize if you stay until the end, right?
I'm sticking it out.
Jayhawks drive down to the five. It's 4th-and-2.
No Willis. Fumbled snap. Big loss. WTF?
K-State doesn't even have bad field position after that. 4:55 to go.
Starting to feel the cold a little bit now.
Ok - KU is not losing because of the officiating, but the refs are not having a good quarter.
They missed an obvious block in the back on K-State on a punt, and cost us a couple yards on a spot that also cost us a first down.
They allegedly reviewed that, but didn't overturn the spot. I feel like they need to look at it a third time.
KU band spells out "Royals" and plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Weird... I assumed they would make a Wildcat and shove a baseball bat in its mouth until it blew up.
I mean, I can't think of a better way to honor the Royals. Missed opportunity right there.
Once again, no movement on the field by the band.
Time for hot chocolate.
4th-and-1 from the 10 yard line. No fewer than 3 KSU defenders get into the backfield before Willis can even hand the ball off. How does that happen?
It is getting really cold. Fingers and toes are having a hard time right now.
KU scores again! Color me impressed.
That was actually a really nice play, both by Willis and Hartzog.
Really nice grab by Hartzog, actually.
And this is mercifully over.
The game and the season are mercifully over, I mean.
I never did get a prize for staying to the end.
Anyone wearing blue when the clock read 0:00 should have received something.
KU-UK tickets, maybe.
Just a thought.
Anyway, if I'm honest with myself, it's about what we expected.
How many times did KU get inside the 20 and not convert? Two that I can think of. Maybe more.
I'd say this game was closer than it looked on the scoreboard. KU competed. They gave away 14 easy points. They failed to convert inside the 10 yardline a couple of times. That's a 28 point swing.
Yeah, yeah, "Ifs and buts," I know.
Beaty's got a lot of opportunity in front of him.
Opportunity to recruit.
Opportunity to develop.
I'm interested to see what he can do.
Until next year!