The very nature of sports is that they are never a precise science. One never knows how an athlete’s body will react, how an athlete’s mind will be prepared or how a team will fare against an opponent.
Rather than talk about what might have been, let’s celebrate the accomplishments of the University of Kansas men’s basketball team this season. Under the superlative leadership of Bill Self and his staff, the KU team earned an unprecedented 10th straight Big 12 Conference title.
I am grateful to every team member who accepted a scholarship and wore our uniform with pride. I appreciate the walk-ons who make the team better with every practice.
I recognize the trainers for conditioning the players to be strong and healthy. I thank our athletic director and the university leadership for providing the resources our team needs to succeed.
Last but not least, I acknowledge the thousands of Jayhawk fans around the world, the alumni and the donors who make this whole enterprise we call KU basketball the premier program in the country.
I am and will always be a Jayhawk and very proud of our team — win or lose. Rock chalk.
Gladstone Senseless gun laws
What is the matter with Kansas and Missouri and their determination to nullify federal gun laws?
Although the main reason is to pander to the National Rifle Association and gun lovers, there are more reasons not to do it.
First, and most powerful, it is unconstitutional so it will ultimately be either vetoed in Missouri (as Gov. Jay Nixon did last session with the veto sustained) or sent to the courts in Kansas, costing taxpayers for wasted time and money.
Legislation proposed in Kansas would ban cities and counties from regulating gun use, including open carry.
In Missouri, proposed legislation would make it a crime for federal agents to attempt to enforce gun laws, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Instead of wasting time on such bills, the legislatures should be working on sensible bills to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them by requiring universal background checks and expanding them to include some mental health issues.
We can dream for common sense and decency to prevail, can’t we?
Kansas City College sports union
The National Labor Relations Board ruling this week that permits Northwestern University athletes to unionize is good news (3-27, A1, “A coup for college athletes”). Not that athletic unions on campus are the best solution to the exaggerated role that major sports play in Division I universities but because the ruling will force the NCAA and universities to address the way big time sports is turning higher education on its head.
Today's recruitment of athletes is in no way connected to academics. Nor is their one- or two-year domicile on a college campus, swamping any media news on the true mission of a university, healthy for higher education.
It is great entertainment but at what cost? I cannot think of a successful business model where a Fortune 500 company would pay a director/coach of their entertainment department of the business five to 10 times the salary of the company's chief executive officer, yet that is what's happening in so many major universities today.
Athletics have a place in education but not the dominant place they demand today. The pendulum has swung too far.
It's time to swing back. Thanks to Northwestern athletes for addressing the elephant on campus.
Harold J. Schultz
Kansas City Ballot box cure
The only way Obamacare will be fixed or replaced is if the current members of Congress who voted for this bill are faced with losing their jobs. It is certainly not the fact that many Americans are losing their current plans and facing increased premiums and deductibles.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, is too busy working on closed records of Irish adoptions in the 1950s to be bothered by the health-care law. President Barack Obama is delaying all the mandates with hopes he can get through the 2014 elections.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is blocking any votes on changing the health-care law because he considers the election of Democratic senators more important than the American people.
It seems the only recourse we have is the ballot box.
St. Louis Played in Brookside
When the Trolley Trail was being built, too few people asked why the transportation authority would be building a park-like walking trail (3-26, A1, “Proposed streetcar line may shrink”). Some of us understood the reason behind that unusual transportation project.
The object was to build a constituency that could be counted on to object to the right-of-way’s return to its original use as a trolley route.
Now we see the people of Brookside reliably rallying against just such a project. Do these people feel no shame at all for being played like this?
Kansas City KC must do better
Kevin Collison’s March 25 business column, “Crucial juncture in future of KC,” was spot on and should have been on the front page — with only a couple of notable exceptions, think Power Light District and Sprint Arena.
Kansas City has been gripped by an insidious conservatism for the past 30-some years. We seem incapable of big thinking.
Collison’s overarching point seems to be that capital allocation will become necessarily more selective and that Kansas City needs to be in the game or be left behind. The negativity regarding the obvious need for a modern airport to replace the current dungeon that is Kansas City International Airport is perfectly emblematic of the can’t-do thinking that has replaced the Kansas City Spirit that built all of the iconic public structures in this town.
This attitude, if adhered to, will ensure that, like the neglected sewer system that is now costing billions of dollars to address, the eventual replacement of the airport will also cost multiples of what it should have. In the meantime, KCI will continue to scream “Welcome to Possum Trot” to potential investors in our community.
We can and should do better.
Gladstone Politics, tea party
A March 25 letter writer asks critics “to be specific when making charges against the tea party.” Here are two:
• Most tea partiers miss the fact that a deficit is produced when expenditures are more than revenue, so a deficit can be produced by reducing revenue. In 2011, federal tax revenue was 15.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, near a 60-year low. From 1980 to 2008, U.S. debt grew from $1 billion to $10 billion under the policies of primarily Republican presidents who were actively reducing revenues in a relative sense.
• The letter writer referred to “socialist policies of Obama.” Tea party charges of President Barack Obama being a socialist are absurd.
Obama’s actions clearly identify him with the corporate Democrats who took over the party in the Clinton years. Anyone who doubts that should look into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that Obama is strongly supporting.
This 12-nation treaty would enrich corporations at the expense of our freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process. It has been negotiated in secrecy with strong input from the corporate sector and no input from the public.
Lenexa Ongoing KC loss
I walk our dogs, Daisy and Bruce, by what used to be JJ’s every day and have for years. Before the fire, there was always fresh ice water out front for the dogs.
As we’d walk by, the hostess, the waitress or the bartender would rush out, pet the dogs, chat a bit, call them by name and give them each a treat. Their kindness and friendliness were refreshing, and we looked forward to seeing them every day. They are wonderful people.
I heard the owner of JJ’s on the radio the other day talking about what a special place JJ’s had been. I don’t know him, but he fostered an atmosphere where everyone — employees, customers and just folks walking by — built happy memories that will be with them forever.