Thursday, September 9, 2010

Q&A with Rock Chalk Talk.....

Former Kansas QB Todd Reesing cougar hunting during his final season last year.......
This has no relevance other than it's freekin' hilarious.....

Owen Kemp from kickin' Kansas blog Rock Chalk Talk generously suffered the fool & took time to answer some questions about Saturday's game, the state of Kansas football, & Wizard of Oz jokes. We certainly appreciate the insights:

1) What can we look for this week out of the Kansas offense? What type of spread are you running?

As far as the Kansas offense goes, I don't think we know. Word is leaking out that Jordan Webb will get the start at quarterback so that would seem to indicate that Kansas might be moving back toward a more traditional spread. But the staff continues to contend they want a stronger running game, the question is whether or not the offensive line can accomplish that. If I had to guess we'll see more passing this game, less dependence on the run and a heavy reliance on the strengths of the team which are at receiver and tight end.

2) You obviously played well on defense last week. Tell us a little bit about the Jayhawk's defense & what we'll see on Saturday?

I'd say we were all pleasantly surprised by the defensive effort in this one but it was an inferior opponent so we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves. Kansas runs a traditional 4-3 with the defensive backfield is probably the strength. The biggest concern headed into Tech is the defensive interior. We just don't have a lot of size or depth. If Tech's line get's to the second level and prevents our linebackers from making plays, Kansas will have a tough time defending the triple option.

3) Please explain to everyone what a "Jayhawk" is. It's a cool story.

Well it actually traces back to the pre-civil war days. At the time Kansas was a battleground for those pushing the state toward a pro-slavery stance and those wanting the state to enter as a free state. Jayhawkers were the group fighting to keep Kansas free. The bird itself is a combination of a Blue Jay and a Sparrow Hawk which was meant to represent the fighting/hunting nature that the two birds possessed.

It's still a pretty sore subject to this day between Missouri and Kansas and fans of opposing sides will argue the history and who was right and wrong, but the name stuck and just the fact that there is that amount of history behind it is a pretty neat thing.

4) If you Google "Kansas Jayhawk traditions" one of the first results is a montage of basketball clips, no reference to football. In the ACC the last few years we've seen basketball-centric athletic programs at Duke, NC State, UNC, Wake Forest, and Maryland attempt to "get into the football business".... and boy did UNC go the whole hog. How is the sporting culture at Kansas evolving to embrace football? What was the reaction to Mangino's departure & Gill's hiring? We realize last week may change things but give us a "state of the program" in 2010 for Jayhawk football?

Well I think fans are ready to embrace it, but we've never seen any form of sustained success. Every so often Kansas jumps on the radar in a big way but then quickly fades back to anonymity. The culture does appear to finally be changing however as the alumni and University support has reach a much higher level. Kansas football has the resources now, there aren't any shortcuts(see:UNC) but people are ready to see winning football. Last week just didn't do any of those people any favors.

5) Who's the guy for the Jayhawks when he's on the field you say,"hell yes, ________is gonna make a play?

Right now it's Daymond Patterson and DJ Beshears. They are the slot men, the return men and they have speed. Right now the problem is they are the only weapons that showed up in week one and Kansas needs to find some balance.

6) Conversely, who's the guy that when he runs on the field your sphincter puckers and you think, "oh shit, we're screwed now.....?"

Well, I guess I'd go with Jacob Branstetter our kicker. He missed two in the loss to NDSU. I won't fault him for the 52 yard one because that is out of his range, but in general he's accurate to a certain distance and then things go south in a hurry. It's just tough to rely on three points from about anywhere on the field right now.

7) What's it like being from a state so closely associated with the Wizard of Oz? Seriously, how annoying is it to here "you ain't in Kansas anymore" at every away game? We're from Georgia and its not like people are always yelling, "say hey to Ray Charles for me, let this old sweet song keep Georgia on your mind, Bitches!" I guess what I'm asking is what's the most common and annoying Kansas related trash talk you get from other fans. For us it's "Nerds". And Dragon Con references. Georgia fans can rarely string more than one word together.....

Actually believe it or not the most common trash talk is..."You still live in Kansas". It's as if the rest of the world believes it's a third world country. Sure it's flat, but it's a healthy slice of what America is all about. You can't drive through small town Kansas and not get a little sense of pride about living in America. Besides, who's to say we care what anyone else thinks...maybe we don't want anyone else moving here.

8) Three things that need to happen for the Jayhawks to beat Tech?

Kansas finds an offense.
The defensive tackles stuff the middle
Kansas eliminates the mistakes and miscues that plagued them in week one.

9) Three things that will doom the Jayhawks if they happen on Saturday?

Blown assignments defensively.
Further offensive line struggles.
A QB carousel.

10) Say I'm a young, hip-happening Tech fan with my pork-pie-hat, fur coat, and my Georgia Tech pennant, pulling into Lawrence in my stripped down Model-A with a 'coon tail flying from the antenna on Saturday. Give me the lay of the land? I know these are broad questions, but we don't usually cross the Mississippi unless its clogged with ice. What's the tail gate scene like, what's the vibe inside the stadium, any quirky traditions (Georgia Tech's Band plays the Budweiser song between the third and fourth quarter), are there any signs indicating where "The Day After" was filmed? Where does a man head for libations after dark and deep fried goodness for lunch & dinner? Drink of choice on Saturday?

Lawrence is a great town, solid tailgating but an 11am game will be a little bit of a deterrent. Most of your action on gameday takes place around the stadium. Plenty of tailgates in the yards at surrounding homes. Grab a beer and sit on "the Hill" if you have time. After the game, Massachusetts Street is a 6 block stretch with various bars and restaurants or the Wheel is an option close to campus. Jefferson's is your spot for deep fried goodness and don't discount a Burrito King run at 2AM for some of the world worst yet best drunken substance
If you want to see one spot from "The Day After" head up to Wescoe which is a building on campus. One of the more famous scenes was shot there. As to quirky traditions, the alma mater and Rock Chalk chant prior to the game is a must. The band running in the stadium down the steps in the north bowl is another gameday tradition.

Many thanks to Owen & Rock Chalk Talk for their insights. We answered a few questions for them and you can find our thoughts here. Burrito King at 2am = perfection. Burrito King for those on the plane with you the next morning = flying Dutch Oven. That's Tech-on-Tech crime right there and it's going to happen, no doubt about it......

1 comment:

  1. Good writup on their site, Cuz. It was a good writup on Jacketsonline as well.

    Thank you for the constribution, Mr. Kemp.

    I am looking forward to this game, but am certainly concerned. It's nice to get attention, but we are nowhere near being able to look past anyone yet.