LARNED — Remember when you were a little kid and always had someone you looked up to, that you worshipped, that you wanted to be like? A famous ball player like Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle or George Brett? Maybe it was George Washington, Marilyn Monroe or even Cher, though, I don’t know why!
Anyway, it got me to thinking about who I WOULD NOT want to be. Here are a few.
ERIC SEXTON. the athletic director at Wichita State. He just ended the 36-year reign of baseball coach Gene Stephenson and now has to hire a new coach that will make fans happy. In other words, he’s got to come up with another Moses to lead the masses out of bondage and into the promised land. Sexton has to come up with a coach that will return the Shockers to the College World Series if he is to be judged successful. I don’t want to be in his shoes!
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI’S WIFE. Being the Duke basketball coach’s wife is hard enough but she’s expected to know how to spell his name? To be able to write out a check and sign it without some clerk just KNOWING you are making that up? Now the guy has signed up for another tour of duty as the USA basketball coach as they begin preparations for the Olympics and Mrs. Krzyzewski will have more of the bill-paying chores. Is that fair?
GEORGE BRETT. Brett is still the face of the Royals. Mention the Kansas City Royals and everyone wants to think about George Brett and how things USED to be, not how they are now. This past week, the Royals’ Brass appointed Brett as “temporary” hitting instructor. Teaching these guys to hit might rank right up there with putting a rocket ship on the moon. It CAN be done but it won’t be easy! Brett says, “I can’t hit it for them. I can show them how to do it IF they will listen to me.” That, dear George, is where the problem lies.
BILL SNYDER’S SUCCESSOR. Sorry to point this out Kansas State fans but there WILL come a time when Bill Snyder steps down as head football coach and it will be permanent. No more “rising from the ashes” to rebuild a down program. Pity the poor coach who follows him. How do you follow God?
CHARLES BARKLEY’S BARBER. I don’t even know if he has one or EVER had one. Has anyone ever seen Barkley WITH hair? The “Round Mound of Rebound” has had the shiny head for as long as I can remember. If Barkley ever runs for governor of Alabama as he has said he would like to, he may have to get one of those wigs like the judges in jolly old England used to wear!
STEVE NASH. Trying to be a true point guard while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers is nearly an impossible mission. Kobe wants his kajillion shots a game, Dwight Howard wants the ball down deep and Metta World Peace (yes, that really is his name) wants the ball in his hands more. Now do you get a little inkling of why the Lakers had a disastrous season?
MARK MANGINO’S TAILOR. Speaking of round men, Mangino has used up his lucrative buyout money that he got when he was fired by KU, and has taken a new job as an assistant football coach at Youngstown State and he’s going to need some new threads. Surely those athletic stretch suits aren’t going to cut it again. How about a suit, vest and tie? Let’s go the distinguished route and have him smoke a pipe on the sideline. That would be enough work to keep his tailor busy until … well, about bowl season!
A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.