Well, they're getting ready in the midwest. As the summer days shorten and the mornings become a bit more crisp, dreams of championships are everywhere.
In Lincoln, Nebraska at a place called Memorial Stadium, which according to Wikipedia has been the host to 333 consecutive sellout crowds, attendance at one game last year was said to be 91,000 - even though the stadium official seating capacity isn't that high. When they're playing football here, it is the third largest community in the entire state. Oh, they're the Cornhuskers. It's been a while since they played their absolute best, 17 years since they won the big one (Tom Osborne was the coach then)...but they're ready to give it another go. The maintenance folks were making sure the sign is ready to light up the sky...and they're hoping to add another year to the bottom of the sign, but it may not be 2014.
Nonetheless the fans are ready for some football! University folks from all across the country attended a recent meeting and signed a plastic corn husk and presented it to the genial host, Matt Hammons of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He wore it proudly! It is more appealing than a razorback or a hunk of cheese!
Now, on to another kind of football. A canceled plane and forced overnight allowed us to visit the training camp of the Kansas City Chiefs!
Under the watchful eye of Coach Andy Reid (who we could hear from the sidelines when he wasn't pleased) the big boys go about their business...hoping the boss will keep them. Cuts are a comin'.
Quarterback Alex Smith was going through the paces, as 3 hopefuls watched and waited for their turn. Smith is in contract negotiations this year. There are some sports observers saying he's a "franchise quarterback." We'll see...
I think the yellow jerseys on the quarterbacks mean - hands off - no touchie, to tacklie!
Make no doubt about it, these guys are serious - the coaches and the players. There's a lot at stake, and they practice like they mean it. And, as Connie shows, it is easier to tell the players when you have a program with pictures.
It'll be fun to watch (on TV) this winter and see these same guys bundling up and playing at Arrowhead Stadium on a cold blustery snowy winter day - dreaming of the drizzly days in St. Joe!
UPDATE --- Here is a link to the Kansas City Chiefs latest news--- Ouch!
This will come in installments because there was so much to see and cover during a recent trip to the breadbasket of America.
Let me begin by posting a couple pictures of contrasting capitols---
This is the State Capitol in Des Moines - Iowa, not New Mexico.
All of Des Moines, New Mexico would fit in this building.
There's gold in them thar roofs ---
This is the State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Use a little imagination...it's a giant cornstalk ---
And this is me, at the Cass County Fair near Weeping Water, Nebraska.
This tractor, and the attachments that allow the gentleman farmers to bring in the crops, costs about $450,000. This green monster happens to be a John Deere -- which reminds me of a joke told by my 5th grade teacher in Taos,New Mexico. Celestino Romero, who would go on to serve in the state legislature was the teacher.
Teacher Romero: "Do you know what the tractor said to the plow?"
Students: "No Mr. Romero, what did the tractor say to the plow?"
Teacher Romero: "Hold me closer, John Deere!"
Drum roll, please!
And, this is how Weeping Water, Nebraska got it's name:
On the road, again, Connie & I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be outstanding in a field - of corn!
(A few sunflowers snook into the picture along the ditchbank!)
In Albuquerque it is big news that THE ANCHORMAN, Dick Knipfing, has done his last regular newscast. It was in the same building where he started in the tv biz 51 years ago.
Anyway, some of the best of times in my life were while covering the news and working with Ricardo at KOAT. We worked in studios on University Boulevard. The building has been torn down, but the memories live on!
Here ... a memory jog.
From election central with our party experts, Fabian Chavez and Jack Eastham
And from the front page of a weekly throwaway TV schedule then available at your local grocery store.
Senior Citizens of KOAT-TV - Huh? That was back in about 1973...
Just returned from Oak Tree National in the rolling hills of Oklahoma. That's the same place some of the world's best golfers 50 years and older competed in a USGA event.
Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won.
First of all, the golf course is fine, fine, fine.
Second of all, there are some huge homes on the course
Third of all, golfers like Bob Tway live on this golf course
Fourth of all another picture of the golf course
Fifth of all, here I am working.
The USGA contracts with EventCorp to conduct a survey of those at the golf tournament. This company has been doing this for years. This year, the President of the company asked for my assistance. Here I am, assisting.
The USGA Championship Office gets nightly reports on the findings of the day. They have been known to make changes in traffic patterns for the public and other things that impact the viewing public as soon as they're made aware of a problem.