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Notebook: Kansas Mauls Preparing for TCU

What do you think, Smithers? I think women and seamen don’t mix. We know what you think.

Wichita State v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Rock Chalkboard

Ollie Gordon Leads 13 Big 12 Players on ESPN's Top 100 Players in 2023
The 2023 season has come to a close for the Big 12, marking the end of one era and the start of another. But before we get into what’s ahead in 2024, there were some big-time performances and surprise superstars around the league this season.

Neal has thrived with hometown program, helping shape it along the way - KU Sports
A sea of Kansas blue greeted the Jayhawks inside of Phoenix’s Chase Field on Dec. 26. The baseball stadium that permanently houses the Arizona Diamondbacks, complete with foul poles by the end zones and the smells of kettle corn and hot dogs wafting through the stadium, was transformed into a stage for long balls of another variety.

Late-game rally falls short in Kansas women’s basketball’s loss to Iowa State - KU Sports
The Jayhawks, who are still looking for their first conference win, had a nearly four-minute scoring drought in the second quarter that allowed the Cyclones to tie the game at the half. Then, Iowa State doubled its score in the third, and the Jayhawks were facing an 11-point deficit. In the final period, though Kansas outscored Iowa State and got within five points with a minute and a half remaining, the Jayhawks still couldn’t close the gap.

Bits o Chalk

2024 NFL Pro Bowl: Brock Purdy headlines roster announcement with league-high nine players from 49ers | CNN
Brock Purdy, the ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ of last year’s NFL Draft, was the headline selection to this season’s Pro Bowl rosters after the teams were announced on Wednesday.

NFL Playoff Picture: Bills could win AFC East or be out of the playoffs completely
You won't see a scenario like this often: Win your regular-season finale and get the No. 2 seed, or lose and be out of the playoffs altogether.

What-If Wednesday: Big 12 Quarterback Play, Oklahoma State's Next QB
Texas’ weakness, of which they did not have many, was its secondary. And we saw what Michael Penix and the great Washington wide receivers did to that Texas secondary on Monday night in their 37-31 win.

Top Storylines to Watch for Big 12 Football in 2024
It was a fun and wild ride for the conference, and the last go-around that involved either the aforementioned Longhorns or their arch-rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners.

Eraser Dust

The Culture War Is Already Coming for Star Wars' Rey Movie
Somehow toxic fandom has returned and at the mere mention of Star Wars and women, no less. Nonsensical virulent misogynistic notions abound as Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and the director of the studios’ upcoming Rey film Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy have found themselves in the crosshairs of troll pundits and anti-woke platformers over women playing in the Star Wars sandbox. Mind you, the sandbox wouldn’t still be there if not for Kennedy.

Time for ESPN to end to Pat McAfee’s Aaron Rodgers disaster
All of this, of course, brings us to The Pat McAfee Show, for which ESPN paid the hefty price tag of $85 million, only to have the mid-day sports romp turn into a litany of conspiracy theories and false information every Tuesday when Aaron Rodgers (who McAfee pays to be on the show) makes his weekly appearance. For a guy who ostensibly shows up to talk football, Rodgers has so far weighed in on wanting to debate Dr. Anthony Fauci over vaccines, hyped up anti-vaxxer and entirely serious presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, mocked Travis Kelce for advertising for Pfizer, and now has seemingly defamed late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Jeffrey Epstein documents: Here’s what we know so far | AP News
They’re likely to disappoint sleuths online, where the plan to release documents prompted rumors of a list of “clients” or “co-conspirators.” In fact, the judge who made the call wrote in December that she was ordering the records released because much of the information within them is already public.

Gen Z Scoffs at Suggestion That $74,000 Salary Is 'Middle Class'
Even still, Smith posited that $74,000 is much higher than the average Gen Z salary. (A SmartAsset analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the third quarter of last year found the median salary of a 25-to-34-year-old in the US was $52,156.)

Jay Bilas reveals favorite college basketball venues - Sports Illustrated Kentucky Wildcats News, Analysis and More
Bilas had two venues tied for his top spot: Allen Fieldhouse and Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Burger King worker awarded a backpack, movie ticket, and Starbucks cup after never missing a day in 27 years buys first home with $446,000 in donations
Working at Burger King for just shy of three decades, Kevin Ford found that his loyalty amounted to not much more than a few party favors. Ford, who has not missed a day of work in his 27 years on the job, went viral last summer after posting a TikTok that showed his company’s recognition of the fruits of his labor: a movie ticket, a backpack, a Starbucks cup, a couple pens, and a handful of candy.

Dave Chappelle's transphobia has swallowed his comedy whole
Netflix sure does love transphobia. One week after releasing Ricky Gervais’ testament to lazy provocations, Armageddon, the world’s biggest streamer did it again. The Dreamer, Dave Chappelle’s comedic nadir, is an exercise in trolling, an attempt at offending, upsetting, and endangering the lives of marginalized people for his amusement. No one is laughing harder than Dave, who stands on the same stage where he performed his breakthrough special, 2000's Killin’ Them Softly, smacking his microphone on his knee to let his overpaying audience know he’s reached another disappointing punchline. Chappelle has lost the desire to drill down on heretofore unspoken truths about society. Instead, he drops hateful grenades and runs before they blow.