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At the Mike
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Two weeks might be too much for the national media
I am certainly glad the national media is here to tell me that Cam Newton is a black quarterback. I would have never known. For Pete’s sake. Why is this even a story? It’s not. He is not the first nor will he be the last to play in a Super Bowl.
I can hardly listen to sports talk radio. It dominates the conversation. Who cares? Seriously. This conversation takes away from the game.
In situations like this I think two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl is too much time for the media. They get bored and go looking for stories.
The Super Bowl will feature two great quarterbacks – one entering his prime the other possibly playing in his last game. It features two good defenses. It is the top seeds from each conference.
There are a lot of things to talk about besides what color Cam Newton is.
Prep thoughts
Now things get real serious. February is here for high school basketball. No more midseason tournaments, no more Saturday or Thursday games. With a few exceptions it is Tuesday-Friday to the end of the regular season.
The area has some true title contenders. At the top of that list would be Central Plains. Both the girls and boys teams are unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A. The girls are a powerhouse looking for their third straight state title. The boys have been good the past few years – really good – but couldn’t beat St. John. This year they have, twice.
St. John boys are still very much a title contender, ranked No. 4 with two losses to Central Plains.
In addition several teams are having some good seasons with hopes of putting together a good run to head into post season including the Great Bend girls and Larned boys.
The Ellinwood boys under the direction of former Barton assistant Derek Joiner have been playing very well. Weather took away a big match-up Tuesday with Victoria. The Hoisington boys seem to have found their stride as well, winning their last five and the Hoisington girls are 8-4.
February basketball. It goes quickly.
Former Athlete/Coach update
Barton lost a good friend – a very good friend this week. J.B. Webster passed away at the age of 87.
While better known for his musical ability, J.B. was the first golf coach at Barton. He coached the team for 20 years or so. He was the coach of current Barton coach Doug Kaiser as well as the legend himself, Steve Gotsche. He was inducted into the Barton Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
At home basketball games, J.B. could always be seen sitting in the top row of the reserve section. That is when he didn’t slip away and play in the pep band.
So long, J.B. Thanks for everything you did for Barton.
Around campus
The Presidential election season is here. So let’s take time to thank a former Presidential candidate in fellow Kansan Bob Dole.  
The Bob Dole foundation recently donated $20,000 to Camp Hope – a weeklong getaway for children with cancer held at Barton’s Camp Aldrich. For the past two summers Camp Hope has had to make do at the Barton campus since Camp Aldrich burned. The camp is about ready to re-open and the funds will help in the restoration of the facility.
Hopefully, things should be ready to go for Camp Hope this summer to return to Camp Aldrich.
And Finally
The Denver Broncos are off to the Super Bowl. I am not a Denver Bronco fan. It is not because I am Kansas Chiefs fan, either. I like the Minnesota Vikings, but that is another story of heartbreak.
I spent some years in Hays where there are several very obnoxious Bronco fans. Many were my good friends. I grew to dislike Denver.
I was pretty indifferent about the Broncos until I moved to Hays. Did I mention they were obnoxious? My best friend Steve Webster is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan.
One time covering the Fort Hays football team in Colorado we had a chance to attend at Chiefs-Broncos game in Mile High Stadium. What the heck, I would cheer for the Chiefs along with him. Why not. We hardly ever agreed on our favorite teams but I figured I would help him out that day.
Kansas City jumped out a lead on the Broncos. We were on our feet in the upper deck of Mile High doing the tomahawk chop and chanting the song that goes with it. No problem. Except the Chiefs were up 19-6 with five minutes to play and we had three sections of Broncos fans ready to throw us off the upper level.
We might have been a bit brash – not obnoxious, like Bronco fans. We were brash. It didn’t hurt, or perhaps I should say didn’t help, that concessions were served just a few quick steps up the tunnel in our section. After Kansas City added those three points for that 19-6 lead I was truly beginning to wonder if Steve and I would make it out alive. These people were very angry with us. Not ‘oh isn’t this fun let’s rib them some’ angry. More like ‘glaring red eyes and veins popping out’ angry.
But John Elway to the rescue. A TD with 1:55 left followed by another with 38 seconds left gave the Broncos another comeback win and perhaps saved the lives of Steve and myself. We took some verbal abuse but we were alive.
Now I find myself cheering for Denver. It’s hard not to like Peyton Manning. I cheered for Denver to beat New England. More for the fact I wanted New England to lose than anything else.
So if this is in fact Manning’s last rodeo as everyone else seems to think, why not go out a winner.
Just don’t tell my football official crew mate Mike Myrick. He is a huge Denver fan. I would never hear the end of it.