This is a very unusual season in Lawrence…
And not just the weather. Basketball’s well underway but everywhere you go the scent of pigskin’s in the air. There’s a new phat dude in town and KU football fans are getting restless. They’ve all but put Missouri in the rearview mirror and out of their minds. However, instead of dreaming about going to the Big Dance, they’re buying KU football tickets.
To some in KC, hiring new KU head coach Charlie Weis was downright dumb. Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger labeled it desperate, calling Weis a failed head coach on his fourth job in four years with really bad health.
Mellinger didn’t quite have the guts to come right out and say it, but Weis isn’t just phat, he’s fat.
Just like former KU head football coach Mark Mangino, the dude who inspired defunct Lawrence retailer Joe-College‘s infamous "Our Coach is Phat" T-shirts.
All that said, Lawrence is stoked and here’s why.
"So far, so good," says Lawrence promoter Brett Mosiman. "He’s brought a lot of enthusiasm back to KU football. People are talking about it in the middle of basketball season and that’s never happened hardly.
"They’re talking about possible assistant coaches and that kind of stuff. It looks like things are looking up for KU football, so we’ll see if any wins follow all of this enthusiasm."
Mosiman’s a die hard sports fan who just runs legendary Lawrence artist showcase, the Bottleneck. He also created the Wakarusa festival and is the force behind the Crossroads KC concert venue downtown.
"Since Weis came on two top ranked quarterbacks have committed to KU," Mosiman says. "So ostensibly we have two 5-star quarterbacks coming in over the next three years. And they should attract top receivers and all kinds of offensive talent. I mean, Weis is an offensive genius. He has like three or four Super Bowl rings and look at Matt Cassel.
"Cassel was terrible in Kansas City his first year. Then his second year he made the Pro Bowl and then he was terrible again this year. And the only difference is that during his second year he was under the tutelage of Charlie Weis. Tom Brady was a sixth round pick and Weis turned him into ann All Pro, Super Bowl-winning, Hall of Famer."
Let’s take a minute to refelct on ousted KU football head coach Turner Gill. Gill was one very popular cookie in LA – despite his horrible win-loss record – owing in large part to the fact that he was such a standup guy.
Is there anybody floating around thinking Gill got a raw deal and deserved another year or two to get KU on track?
"You will not find that sentiment in very many barber chairs," Mosiman says dryly.