Can't spell "Live from Kansas" without l-i-n-k-s
Our parents' generation had a man on the moon. We, short of TiVo and ketchup in squeezable bottles, have the wonder of Google News, which lets a curious reader pick up dozens of stories literally published that day about a game like today's USF-Kansas showdown. No need to run to the local newsstand: it's all here.
I'll start with my own story -- hey, what's a good blog if not self-promoting. Enjoyed playing "This is your life" with Leavitt's coaching past, chatting with former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder and several of his former assistants for today's story on Leavitt's days in Manhattan and his relationship with Snyder. And yes, the Bulls are playing Kansas and not Kansas State, but when you're normally half a country away from a story and then one day, you're 80 miles ffom a story, it's local enough for my relevance meter.
One story you won't find on Google news that I want to plug is a 1998 piece written by Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden, who by happenstance was at last year's USF-Louisville game, writing a short story on Amarri Jackson after his huge game in the Bulls' upset. You can find Layden's story here, and in reading, I was amazed at the number of times I'd step back from the computer for a second and think: "That's so much like Jim Leavitt." Snyder's had a profound impact on the way built his program at USF, and there's a genuine respect both have for each other.
Back to more game-day writings:
-- The Daily Kansan checks in with its preview, and it's probably weak to in any way criticize a student paper, since I so thoroughly enjoyed mine and recognize what utter tripe half of what I wrote there was. One outrageous line that stands out to me, nonetheless: "Although defense was Leavitt’s specialty as an assistant coach, his offense is South Florida’s strength." And giving up points isn't necessarily a defense's fault, so when it's written that USF "has struggled to shut down opposing offenses early in games," it's blaming them for an interception returned for a touchdown, a punt returned for a touchdown, a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a fumbled punt recovered in the end zone.
-- The Associated Press gleans this gem from Leavitt: "All I'm thinking about is Kansas."
-- In talking to a lot of folks from his K-State days, it's astounding how many associate Leavitt with drinking huge amounts of Pepsi. I hadn't really noticed it at USF until August, when the preseason Big East media gathering in Rhode Island was only stocked with (gasp!) Coke, and Leavitt sent off to have a Pepsi brought in. Sure enough, Wednesday night after practice, Leavitt took a quick break to run to the store and get two 20-ounce bottles. If Leavitt can take USF to more national acclaim, it's as well-earned a sponsorship deal as anything this side of Carnell Williams and Cadillac.
-- My favorite kinda-maybe-possibly headlines this week on Kansas quarterback Kerry Meier, whose injured arm has him questionable for today's game.
Oh, and bad news at Pearl River Community College, where QB Mike Greco, being recruited by the Bulls, will miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone, suffered in Pearl River's first loss of the season Thursday night. It's somewhat telling that former USF quarterback Carlton Hill didn't take over at quarterback, but rather another Pearl River receiver, Larry Freeman -- he too could wind up at USF next season. Hill did return a kickoff 37 yards Thursday, but otherwise wasn't mention in the game story on Pearl River's website.
OK. I'm out for a few hours. Will check back in later, hopefully before kickoff ...