The National Basketball Association has cleverly managed to keep themselves in the news a lot longer than their six-month season with the creation of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where they trot out the new draftees plus a number of second-year players. The games are televised and we get the usual overdose of talking heads telling stories on air and ignoring a lot of the game. Gosh! It’s just like the regular season!
With Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailuk becoming NBA draft picks recently, that gives Kansas 82 all-time draftees, including 24 in the 15-year Bill Self era. The 2018 draft marked the eighth time under self that the Jayhawks have had multiple players selected in the same draft. What is it with KU guards? Devonte Graham was taken with the 34th pick. In 2008, Mario Chalmers was picked 34th and last year Frank Mason was-yep, you guessed it-selected at number 34!
Has the National Anthem furor brought hard times to the National Football League? Many would like to think so but it doesn’t look that way. For the past season each NFL team was given a $255 million check for national revenue. Those kinds of numbers are not usually disclosed but because the Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned team, those figures were disclosed. There are 32 NFL teams and if each received $255 million, then my limited math skills tell us that there was an $8.15 billion pot of gold for professional football in the United States. Baseball is America’s pastime? I don’t think so!
Former Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger recently announced that this next year he will be an assistant football coach at Free State High School in Lawrence, Kansas. A big comedown for Zenger? Not necessarily. Remember, he has a couple of years left on his contract so the money will keep coming in AND he will get to do something he loves, coaching football. Zenger may not have been able to fix the Jayhawk football problem but he does know his football. He was Director of Football Operations under Bill Snyder at Kansas State and also has worked as an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming. Great get for Free State!
Speaking of athletic directors at Kansas, former KU AD Lew Perkins has given the Jayhawks a thumbs-up for hiring Jeff Long as their new sports boss. My reaction? “Should we care?” Perkins is the dude that ended football at Wichita State and then ran off Mark Mangino at Kansas after a successful run. Kansas football hasn’t recovered yet. I am not too impressed nor concerned about what Lew Perkins thinks when it comes to “good hires”!
Robbing the cradle? The KC Royals recently announced the signing of Kaito Yuki from Tondabayashi, Japan. He is a pitcher that just graduated from what we call Middle School in this country. Hey, stick him in the lineup. He can’t be too much worse than the pitching that is currently being served up by the Boys in Blue and, besides, it will probably give a bump to ticket sales!
Kudos to the Kansas State University athletic department. They just completed a ninth consecutive year of a balanced budget. The Wildcats operate a self-supporting athletic department that DOES NOT rely on money from public taxes or student tuition dollars. That is a rarity in modern day college athletics. How do they do it? Giving. Wildcat fans gave gifts in the amount of $30.9 million.
At income tax time, did you ever notice that when you put the two words, “The” and “IRS” together it spells………………….”THEIRS” ?
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.