I started covering the Kansas Jayhawks back in 2012 when I threw up a random fan post over on Rock Chalk Talk. It chronicled Angel Goodrich and the Kansas Jayhawks Women’s basketball team was taking it to Delle Donne and the Delaware Blue Hens in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
It took another year for me to become a regular contributor. I grabbed the various KU-related articles every morning to help keep fans like me informed. It seemed like a good way to keep myself connected to the university since I was living in Florida at the time. In September 2014, I took over as co-manager at RCT. That is when I officially fell in love with talking publicly about this school and these teams. And yes, that even includes football.
It’s difficult to constantly cover a terrible football team, much less talk about them constantly on a podcast. However, doing that for the last few years has given me a new appreciation for beat writers, players and coaches who are stuck in a no-win situation. It takes a healthy dose of honest reflection on both your motivations for reporting, and your ability to remain objective. And as I learned as a Royals fan since the mid-90s, you have to learn to celebrate even the little victories. It might be a while before any big victories come along.
Now that you have a little bit more background about me, I’d like to talk about how these experiences brought me to the LGG. I routinely find myself as the one of only a handful of Big 12 fans. So, while my allegiance will always be to the Jayhawks, I find myself advocating for nearly every team in our conference. Any time something happened with a Big 12 team that became a national story, I was the “expert” that everyone looked to for more information. Naturally, this led me to start keeping tabs on the other teams in the conference and forming opinions about non-KU topics.
If you’ve listened to The Rock Chalk Podcast (or any of my appearances on the Ten12 Podcast), you probably know that I like to talk. But as my only outlet to talk was strictly KU-focused, it was difficult to get engagement with anything I wrote that wasn’t about Kansas or their next opponent. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of a team-specific site. And that’s okay, but it was becoming obvious that I was going to need to find a way to branch out.
Enter the LandGrant Gauntlet. I’ve been following the coverage here since the site launched. They have done a fantastic job as a single source for all the major news around the conference. So, I was happy to learn that they were looking for new voices to help give deeper insight into all the teams in the Big 12. Given the small size of our Kansas coverage team (it’s only me right now, but we are looking for more passionate Kansas fans to join), let’s first talk about what the KU-specific coverage won’t be, at least initially:
- Kansas News Dumps
- Daily Countdowns
- Weekly Game Grades or Player Rankings
I’m not trying to say that those types of things aren’t valuable. There are plenty of outlets who does those types of stories. Many do them very well. I’m also not saying that as our team grows that we won’t add any of these types of stories in the future. However, our coverage here at LGG will have the most impact if we move into a space that isn’t already filled.
Instead, I’m going to initially focus on telling stories that have Kansas ties with significance across the conference. We will be the first outlet to consistently bring you Jayhawk content from a conference-wide viewpoint without skimping on the team-specific knowledge. One of my first posts highlighted a huge conference shortcoming involving Kansas that needs to be addressed. I will try very hard in my coverage to let my love for KU shine through, but temper it with honest evaluations of the people and decisions involved.
I can’t wait to get started. I hope you continue to join us to stay caught up on the Jayhawks, whether you are a KU fan or just a fan of the Big 12.