misterbrain, thank you for joining us on the second edition of meet the commenters. Let's get the question that everyone has been dying to know out of the way first. How have you managed to maintain two identities all this time without slipping up?
I'm not really sure you can say it's been without slipping up, but the real secret has been to actually have the second identity be a second real-live person. Novel, isn't it? At first, I thought I could try to do both identities by myself. But quickly, I realized that my unique speech patterns and habit of using words that were a bit too formal for the occasion would be a dead give away. See, I had tried to pull it off on an ESPN chat for the Big East tournament back in 2011, but I was the only one that made parenthetical comments. Unfortunately, so did my altar ego.
So in order to really pull it off, I knew I would need input from another human being. So being the great guy that I am, I astral-projected myself around the area. Being in Olathe at the time, there wasn't really anyone worth influencing to sign up for RCT, so I reached out further and further. Fortunately, I was finally able to find Mike, who was cooperative enough to be influenced by the superior power of my brain. Unfortunately, a side effect of the astral-projection-possession was that part of my memories/attitudes/mannerism/
But please don't tell anyone else. I don't want to end up on a slab in some lab somewhere.
The reason we are all here are the Jayhawks. How did you become a Kansas fan and how did you find Rock Chalk Talk?
I actually lucked into being a Jayhawk fan. I was originally a University of Maryland Terrapin fan, as I lived there from birth to the age of 10. I always loved watching sports, and my dad was a mild fan of the Terps, although he really was just a fan of the local teams as they were the ones he could watch most often. My hatred for Duke was seated quickly in my mind though, as my brother was good friends with a kid whose dad was one of those really arrogant and annoying Duke fans that liked to rub it in when his team beat yours.
When I was 10, my dad got a transfer out to Kansas City, and I quickly found new teams to latch on to. The 1995-1996 season was just getting into full swing, and with both Kansas and Kansas State good in football and basketball, I had plenty of good teams to watch. As Kansas football and Kansas State basketball both fell off a cliff, it was easy for me to become the dreaded mixed fan. But as a kid who just loved to watch sports, it took a while for me to actually decide on a fanbase to join full time.
Ultimately, I always enjoyed college basketball more than college football, so I naturally started to gravitate towards KU. And as I was getting ready to graduate high school, I had my eyes on trying to be a lawyer, so I had it all planned out to go get my degree from KU and then move directly into KU Law. Add in that I was a National Merit Scholar coming out of high school, and KU was the only school that would give me a full ride, and I was hooked. I immediately dropped all allegiances to other colleges (except BYU, but that is different) and bought in full time. Yes, even the football team. But I was a Chiefs and Royals fan, so rooting for a perennial loser was actually no big deal.
As for RCT, I first found this place shortly after joining SB Nation back in 2010. But at that point, the community was still really small, and I just didn't have much time to get too involved. Plus, I had joined because of Arrowhead Pride, and spent a lot of time talking Chiefs with the guys over there. And being in Olathe, it wasn't too difficult to get KU news from the local paper and listen on the radio, so I wasn't too concerned with finding an internet source.
I'm not even sure why I signed up in the first place for RCT. I'm guessing I wanted to comment on something, but I wasn't able to figure out what. My first fanpost though had to do with Calipari talking about how conference championships didn't matter anymore (I'll try to dig up the link to the fanpost), and then I posted a few open threads for the Women's tournament.
But then I took a job out in Florida, and RCT became the main place to look for KU-related news. Unfortunately, that was also about the time that the site started to die. Contributors were getting busy, and while we still had good coverage of the basketball team, there wasn't really any other information out there. Once the summer hit, it was pretty much impossible to find anything, and so when Owen asked for someone to help out with the News and Notes, I figured it was a good way to force myself to keep up with the KU news that I was sure everyone else was getting back in Kansas.
Tell me about growing up. Where are you from? What did your parents do? Any brothers or sisters?
I have 5 brothers and 1 sister. My family was all born out on the East Coast, in the West Virginia/Maryland area. I spent my early childhood growing up on the Appalachian Mountain Range, in a little town called Middletown. My dad worked for Sprint since I could remember, and my mom always stayed home with the kids. I was actually homeschooled until I reached the 4th grade, but I was far ahead of the 4th grade material at that point. When my mom finally decided that homeschooling 5 kids was just too much, we got thrown into the public school system and I was as bored as one could possibly be.
Being third out of seven kids was a real mixed bag too, since I got the benefit of my parents having gone through it all before, but also the problem of my parents having gone through it all before... My oldest brother got into all kinds of trouble (legitimately, not "The Little Rascals" or "The Goonies" type of trouble), and the next one was just as good as can be, so I had to find my own niche between the two extremes.
What kind of activities/sports were you into in high school?
I was a real nerd in high school. Literally, I was in a group that self-identified as Band Nerds. I played the clarinet, and was actually a captain in the marching band my senior year. I was into pretty much every academic activity you could imagine: Science Olympiad, Scholar Bowl, Forensics, Debate, you name it.
I played a year of football in junior high, but entering high school I had to pick between it and everything else I was doing, and I decided that football just wasn't for me, especially since I broke my arm on a kickoff return 4 games into the season.
Now I'm not a member of the LDS church but one thing that has always interested me about the faith are the missions. Did you go on one after high school?
I didn't get an opportunity to. There are pretty strict standards on what you can and can't do before it is time to go on a mission, and I didn't live up to those. It's probably the one thing that I regret not getting to do at this point in my life, although on the flip side I can't complain too much, since I probably wouldn't have the family I do have if I were to have gone on one.
I know we don't usually like to mix sports with religion or politics on here, but I'll say that if you (or the readers) are interested in learning more, I'll try to answer some questions, or you can read up on it at www.mormon.org.
What's Years did you attend KU? What was your major?
I was at KU from 2003-2007. I got a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. I was actually done with all my coursework in the spring, but they miscounted my credits and told me I had to come back in the summer. When I went to enroll for the summer, I was told someone messed up and I already had all the credits I needed. Then they proceeded to lose my graduation paperwork. So now I'm officially class of 2008, even though I didn't attend school after the spring semester.
I believe you are an actuary or soon to be actuary. Was math something you were always interested in? How did you decide on that as a career?
That's right. And yeah, I always loved math. I'm actually studying for the last exam I have to take to become a credentialed actuary. It's scheduled for the opening day of the NCAA tournament, so as long as we don't play early on Thursday, I'm good.
I didn't hear about the profession until halfway through my junior year in college. A recruiter came to campus, and it immediately clicked for me that actuarial work is something I would enjoy. Before that I was pre-Law, with designs to head straight into KU Law after I graduated. Having heard all the horror stories from my lawyer friends, I'm glad I didn't become one.
Are you Ben Stiller from Along Came Polly?
Actually no. He identifies himself as an actuary, but he is actually an underwriter. Instead of assigning people to individual risk classes for insurance, actuaries instead take the data and decide what it means to be put in each risk class. They also looks at the financial impact of the insurance on the bottom line of an insurance company.
Besides, Ben Stiller isn't nearly good looking enough to be like me.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think you have 4 kids. How insane is your home? Any desire to fill the minivan and go for 5?
This house is always crazy. I don't think I've had a quiet moment in years. Even when they all are sleeping. I'm not sure how I could handle having another kid. If we did something like that, it would have to be far down the road.
If I were to visit you in the city you live, where would you take me and what would we do?
Head down to the beach for the day, then hit up downtown at night. Especially on the weekend, downtown is fairly similar to Mass Street in that there are tons of restaurants/clubs/shops that are open for pretty much anyone. Unfortunately, I don't have much time for those kinds of things anymore though, so if you were following me around, it would be a lot of kid-oriented stuff.
What was the worst loss you've experienced as a Jayhawk fan?
January 22, 2004. 69-68 loss to the Richmond Spiders. My dad came to campus for a visit, and we finished up the day expecting to see a convincing win. Instead, every sat in stunned silence for about 5 minutes until my dad got up and said "well, guess I should get home." And no one even acknowledged him as he pushed past them to get out of the door.
Age - 29
Height - 6'4"
Where do you live - St Petersburg, FL
Facial hair - Goatee
Any pets - Not anymore
What kind of car do you drive - Kia Sedona. Yes I'm rocking a minivan.
Corrective lenses - Yes
Hair style - Short
Favorite movie - The Princess Bride
Favorite tv show - Gotham
Favorite beer or thing to drink - Black Cherry Soda
Favorite band - Imagine Dragons
Favorite food - Whatever I'm eating right now.
Favorite non KU team - Royals/Chiefs
All time favorite KU player - Nick Collison
First concert - 3-11/OAR/Something Corporate in downtown KC
First w-2 job - Steak N Shake
Best athlete seen play live - Kevin Durant