Front Page » Table of Contents » Archives: Sports

SALINA, KaN. - Ted stopped by and shared the news. I never thought I would care about, let alone feel sorry for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Another generation of kids young and old had been disillusioned.

Immediately I had flashbacks to my worst moments as a Royals' fan - the trade of the hometown boy and reigning Cy Young Award winner David Cone to the Yankees, the Johnny Damon trade, the Carlos Beltran trade, etc. , etc.

Oh, I almost forgot, Ted's news. The Brewers' star player, Prince Fielder, left his team and signed a $215 Million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers. To add insult to injury, the Tigers play in the same division as the Royals.

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Practicing law wasn't my first career choice. My first choice was to play first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But even by 4th grade Pee Wee League in Great Bend, I was too slow, couldn't field, was scared of the ball, and warmed the bench. When I got my two front teeth knocked out by an errant bat in 7th grade, I was terrified of the bat and the ball. As a player, baseball was over for me.

I wasn't very good at all. But we all loved the game. Summers were about baseball. And when we weren't playing for the St. Patricks' Crusaders (each school had it's own team then), we spent most afternoons in "pick up games" on local diamonds. A few phone calls and you could have a pick up baseball game going in half an hour.

EMPORIA, Kan. - While many people have found many reasons to strongly dislike the new immigration legislation in Arizona. It's effect will reach more than just the work-a-day world it could have far reaching effects in the sports world as well.

According to the Kansas City Royal's director of Player relations the change could hurt the Royals minor league system in Arizona immensely. Eighty-percent of the currently Royals Arizona Rookie Squad Roster is players of foreign descent here playing on work visas.

Unsafe At Any Weight

YOCEMENTO, Kan. - In 1965 Ralph Nader wrote his earthshaking Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile, addressing the automobile industry's resistance to the introduction to safety features such as seat belts in designing cars.

Is football the new GM?

In an earlier article, I attempted to explain the physiology of repetitive hits to the head in football and the consequent brain damage. I mentioned the case of an eighteen year old. He died of other causes, but his brain upon examination showed evidence of tau neurofibrillary tangles; the same kind of tangles found in Alzheimer victims. The young man played only two years of high school football.

This evidence should be the source of concern for parents and young players. Is playing football at any age a potential threat to the brain?

university-of-kansas.gifLAWRENCE, Kan. - As KU faces off against UCLA in basketball today, it brings back memories of seven foot legends Wilt Chamberlain for KU and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabaar) for UCLA. But they weren't the first.

In the fall semester of 1927, University of Kansas basketball coach Phog Allen quietly planned a basketball revolution. With little fanfare, Phog Allen enrolled the first known seven foot basketball player in classes at Lawrence.

In the 1920's, a player 6' 4" was considered extremely tall, and a player seven foot tall was unthinkable. Harry Kersenbrock enrolled at KU, and quickly earned the nickname "Big" from his KU classmates. At the time, freshmen were not eligible to play varsity, so Kersenbrock played for the freshman team.

This was 1927 - long before anyone had heard of giants Bob Kurland at Oklahoma A & M, George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers, or even Wilt Chamberlain.
Kersenbrock was raised in Crete, NE, and people didn't know what to make of the sometimes clumsy "freak of nature."

GREAT BEND, Kan. - If there was a way Tiger Woods could visit his father's grave in Manhattan, Kansas today, I'm sure he would. Earl Woods' always kept a close watch over Tiger, and his death on May 3, 2006 probably had an impact we are only realizing today. Maybe we should have seen it coming.

Earl Woods was an African-American pioneer in his own right. Born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas, Earl Woods was the first African-American baseball player in the Big 7. The Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues showed an interest in signing the catcher to play professional baseball, but Woods turned them down, graduating from college in 1953, and becoming a Green Beret in the Army.

Woods retired from the service as a Lt. Colonel, and he always emphasized discipline and self-control in raising Tiger. In a letter to Great Bend's Frances Burns (widow of Earl's Ban Johnson baseball coach in Great Bend in the summer of 1951) Woods mentions "discipline." He wrote that the discipline he learned from Coach Al Burns in baseball "has helped me in teaching Tiger and has directly contributed to his success."

university-of-kansas-ku-1.jpgLAWRENCE, Kan. - Although some would say KU football coach Mark Mangino's high water mark was winning the Orange Bowl in 2007, I think the defining moment for Mangino came earlier that season when Kansas overcame decades of futility to thrash Nebraska 76-39 in Lawrence on November 3, 2007. Nebraska had never had any team, ever put up 76 points on them.

My brother and his son, along with hundreds of other fans, waited outside the locker room after the game for Mangino to exit the stadium. When Mangino appeared, he was mobbed by the fans like a rock star. He could barely get to his car, as fans praised him for ending decades of frustration at the hands of the Cornhuskers.

But that was then. This is now. In sports, like in politics, people want to know: "What have you done for me lately?"

The Way of the Brain

HAYS, Kan. - Lately, there has been a spate of media coverage on the connection of brain damage to the sport of football. The New York Times, NPR, and PBS have all weighed in. Congress held hearings about it, too. Probably the most influential piece of late is Malcolm Gladwell's "Offensive Play" (The New Yorker, Oct. 19, 2009.)

Mr. Gladwell focuses on the research associated with the football-brain damage connection. This brings up a big question: if repetitive hits to the head are causing brain damage in NFL players, could something similar be happening to younger players?

EMPORIA, Kan. - Holton, Andale and Hugoton are the only undefeated teams in class 4A, but there should still be some great match-ups before the final game.

Early Round
Ulysses (5-4) at Wellington (6-3)
Wellington survived a scare last weekend at Chaparral, and survived a weak district. Ulysses was in a tough district and played a tough schedule all season, if there is going to be an early round upset, it will happen here.
Prediction: Ulysses 27-17

EMPORIA, Kan. - Another big bracket, this one contains some of the state's top low classification teams. There are some great match-ups late and couple of good early rounders, let's take a look at them.

Early Round Fun
Osage City (6-3) at Central Heights (4-5)
Upset alert, Central Heights it the higher seeded team, but Osage City came out of one of the toughest districts out there. The Indians should earn the win here, but face a tough test on the road.
Prediction: Osage City 34-17

More stories posted in this same topic:

Want to see more in this same section? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. We have many more under this same category in our archives.

To find all of our Sports stories, simply look at the left sidebar of this same page. Archives for Sports are listed on the top left of this page by month and year.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.

Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:

About This Page

This is the first page of the 'Sports' section.

'Science' is the previous section. 'State' is the next one in our Table of Contents.

Only the most recent stories published under the heading of Sports are shown in the center of this page.

The complete archives for Sports are listed below here in this sidebar.

Sports Section Archives

This list shows all of the stories ever published in the Kansas Free Press under the heading of 'Sports', organized by date:

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

Breaking Down the Brackets 2-1A Edition

EMPORIA, Kan. - In 2-1A there are a lot of good teams to talk about, so we'll just look at the good match-ups in the first and late …
Breaking Down the Brackets 8-Man I Edition

EMPORIA, Kan. - In 8-man Division I, the play this season has been exciting and there are some great match-ups as we head into state play. Week One …
Breaking Down the Brackets 8-Man II Edition

EMPORIA, Kan. - Eight man two has been a two pony race most of the season, with Hanover and Victoria favored and nearly going wire to wire. However, …
What to Watch for in the District Finals

EMPORIA, Kan. - So we're at District final weekend, this is what to watch for. I'll denote whether the game is on Thursday or Friday. Hope you get …
What to Watch for: 10-23 Edition

EMPORIA, Kan. - It's a Friday night in Kansas, district play is firing at all cylinders and it's an amazing night to be a sports fan. If you're …
4A and 3A Preview (Plus 2-1A and 8-Man)

EMPORIA, Kan. - So here are the districts to watch at the 4A and 3A level. We're one week and looking for who's going to end up on …
Why You Should Give Volleyball a Try

EMPORIA, Kan. - This column is for you guys out their who love you football, love your baseball, love your basketball... heck I'll even let you love your …
5A and 6A District Previews

EMPORIA, Kan. - It's district football season in Kansas, and here's your guide to what to watch for, where to watch it at... and who I think is …
What to Watch For 10-16 Edition

EMPORIA, Kan. - It's a Friday night in Kansas, district play is starting (look back here for a class by class breakdown next week) and it's an amazing …
Citizen Journalists to Participate Directly in Democracy

Welcome to the Kansas Free Press! So, what is the Kansas Free Press? KFP is a brand new state-wide online newspaper, in blog format, written exclusively by citizen …

News and Opinion

Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.

Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Visit Our Friends!

Kansas Free Press began as a wish expressed by Kansan writers, many of whom write at Everyday Citizen, the widely acclaimed national site. We hope you will continue visiting, KFP's national birthplace. Many Kansas writers write there, too!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press,, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.