Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2005

Column: Sports year was tough on loyal fans

December 29, 2005

As the past 12 months have passed by, I have noticed one particular thing that is common about the different sports teams that I cheer for, and that is they have all underachieved.

My two favorite teams are the Kansas Jayhawks and Oakland Raiders. Yes, I said the Raiders, the team most people in this area despise. I have been a Raiders fan my entire life and will remain one along with many of my family members.

Unfortunately, the Raiders haven't lived up to their motto of "just win baby." In fact, they have almost done the opposite and left fans to wonder why they can't win with the talent they have.

I thought the Raiders had a chance to be a playoff contender with their free agent pick up of Randy Moss. I knew Kerry Collins wasn't the best quarterback, but with the receivers they have, I thought he could get the job done.

Boy was I wrong. First Ronald Curry tore his Achilles for the second straight year. Then Moss got a pulled groin and cracked ribs. And finally a couple offensive linemen got hurt during the season. This left Collins getting sacked and throwing interceptions.

The Raiders started the season bad and have now become pathetic. I am hoping the losses we are acquiring have a purpose, which is to obtain a higher draft pick. I know the team is depleted with injuries but I know some college teams that could beat the Raiders.

I just hope they draft a quarterback first in April, then either some offensive linemen or a running back. With the talent of the receivers, a quarterback needs time and a running back to be successful with that team.

But the Raiders aren't my only disappointing team in 2005, the University of Kansas men's basketball team was heartbreaking in March. The Jayhawks loss to Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament was ridiculous.

The Jayhawks were senior led with some other talented young players and Bucknell upset them. I know Bucknell has beat some other teams this year, but that loss last March was ridiculous.

I love watching upsets happen in the tournament, until it happens to your team. We had an experienced team and that shouldn't happen to teams with senior leadership that the Jayhawks had.

This season the Jayhawks are quite shaky, but I know they are very young and are trying to find an identity. This team will take some time to mature, but a couple of losses have come because of not attempting a shot in the final seconds, which hurts to watch.

I will be heading up to Allen Fieldhouse to watch the Jayhawks play Wednesday with a friend. I love watching KU games at Allen Fieldhouse, because it is the greatest college basketball arena in the country.

Despite the disappointing seasons by the Jayhawks and Raiders, there have been a few bright spots this year. The KU football team is improving and becoming good once again.

The Jayhawks had one of the best defenses in the nation, but an offense that was horrible for most of the season. If they could have had a decent quarterback all season, they would have beaten Kansas State, Oklahoma and maybe Texas Tech.

I was still happy to see them beat Missouri and Nebraska and finish the season 7-5. I am excited to see how they do next fall.

Another bright spot was the Baldwin High School football and cross country teams. I traveled to most cross country meets to watch my old team and it was a blast. I loved being there at state to watch them sweep Class 4A titles.

The BHS football team was fun to watch and be around also. It was sad to see the Bulldogs end their season in overtime with an interception though. It will be interesting to see how they do next year after a load of talented seniors graduate this year.

Well as I watch the ball drop Saturday night, I will be making a new year's resolution about my sports teams and their success in the 2006 year. It won't take much to beat this year, so I am very optimistic. Oh by the way, go Longhorns on Wednesday. Take those Trojans and beat them down.

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