Monthly Archives: March 2017

48 hours and change until UConn’s latest coronation

The NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four is taking place tonight in Dallas’ American Airlines Arena, home of the Dallas Mavericks and their crybaby owner, Mark Cuban, who complains more than either of the women, Barbara Corcoran and Lori Grenier, on Shark Tank

Did I say Final Four? More like another coronation for the University of Connecticut. 

While several teams have a realistic chance of winning the men’s national championship each and every year, the women’s game has no such parity. 

There are 64 teams in the tournament, but really, 63 of them are playing for second place. 

Connecticut enters tonight’s game vs. Mississippi State riding a 111-game winning streak. If it doesn’t reach 112, then Geno Auriemma ought to retire right then and there in Dallas. 

The Huskies have made a farce of the women’s game with their dominance. Some of the regular season games UConn plays are grossly unfair. Auriemma has built up such a machine that the players on the end of his bench could beat most opponents’ starting fives. 

ESPN has jammed UConn down the throats of America year after year after year, telling us there is some pressing need to watch the Huskies slaughter some overmatched team by 50 to 60 points. 

Last year, UConn defeated Mississippi State 98-38 in the Sweet 16. That’s a SIXTY point margin for those who are mathematically challenged. Does anybody outside of Mississippi realistically expect the Bulldogs to put up much more of a fight tonight? If there are believers out there, I’m guessing they’re limited to Starkville, Columbus and other communities in east central Mississippi. Of course, I’m certain many in Oxford and Hattiesburg would love nothing more than to see State get slaughtered again. 

Stanford and South Carolina play the first semifinal. Two fine women’s basketball teams, led by two fine ladies Tara Van Derveer has won over 1,000 games with the Cardinal. Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley was an All-American playing for Virginia, an Olympic gold medalist in 1996, and has been a very successful coach, first at Temple and now at South Carolina. 

Yet Stanford and South Carolina are playing for the right to probably get beat badly by the Huskies Sunday. I would expect the game to be closer than the 38-point beatdown UConn laid on Oregon Monday in the East regional final, but if UConn doesn’t win by at least 15, I would be surprised. 

I’ll give Auriemma this: he doesn’t shy away from the media, unlike Bill Belchick, Nick Saban and Gregg Popovich, all of whom would rather the media leave Earth and exist on Uranus if at all possible. Auriemma will speak his mind and not back down from his comments. 

However, Auriemma has been known to say some stupid things, like claiming men’s basketball was “unwatchable” in comparison to the women’s game a few years ago. 

I’ll agree with Geno on this point: most basketball is unwatchable. I am so glad Caitlyn is done with playing basketball, because high school games are so intolerable with officials who refuse to call blocking in the low post. College women’s games feature too many blowouts. And the NBA? Is that real basketball, or just a shooting contest? 

Barring something unforeseen, UConn will leave Dallas with its 12th championship trophy. There will be another huge parade somewhere in Connecticut. And few outside the Constitution State will care. 

New old trivia locale

Another early morning departure for Kansas City. I woke up briefly at 2:25, then went to bed until 5:15. I was out of Russell before 7, and in Kansas City by 10:30. 

I’m starting this Kansas City sojourn at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Only this time, it’s not at Zona Rosa. 

I’m at the store on Missouri Highway 152, on the eastern edge of the Kansas City city limits, almost in Liberty. 

Prior to the opening of the Zona Rosa location in 2011, this Buffalo Wild Wings was the only one in the Kansas City metro north of the Missouri River. When I first spotted this location on the map on Buffalo Wild Wings’ website, the map had the store in Excelsior Springs, which is way out to the northeast. 

When I started staying near KCI on my trips to Kansas City, I would come out to the B-Dubs on Highway 152 to play trivia. It is 15-20 minutes to get from the airport to the restaurant, and if there’s trafffic on 152, it’s even longer. 

I came to that B-Dubs quite a bit in 2008 and 2009, until the July 4 weekend that year, when I started urinating blood at Buffalo Wild Wings. I had to go to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Northland for a kidney stone–which I passed before going to the hospital–and a urinary tract infection. Once I recovered from that, I lost my trivia fervor for quite a long time. I really didn’t return to playing Buztime regularly until 2013.

I have only been to the B-Dubs in Liberty once this decade. It was in 2013, when I one day ate lunch there before going to Zona Rosa. 

The store on 152 has been remodeled, and it looks very nice. There’s brick near the entrance, there is a new bar, there are new tables, and the barstools are much more comfortable, since they have padding, unlike the ones at Zona Rosa, which are hard, necessitating the use of a cushion. I might have to come here more often. 

I came to the B–Dubs in Liberty to see my trivia buddy Larry (MIZZOU), whom I had not seen since December. He has been coming to the locale in Liberty as of late, and I figured I would go there to meet him. Sure enough, he showed up at 11;20. I’m glad I came, because I’ve found another place to come when I need to. 

I am going to Zona Rosa today to see Robb and Dawn, as well as Lindsey Taylor-McClain, who is leaving. Time marches on. Tomorrow I need to go to Zona to see Molly. Then there’s Minsky’s, where Tara and Lindsay will be working today and tomorrow. 

Got out in the nick of time

My timing has usually been beyond pitiful during my 40 years, 5 months and 8 days on planet Earth, but yesterday, it was good.

I ventured to Overland Park, something I don’t do on every trip to Kansas City. I did it because I had a prescription at the Walgreens at the corner of Metcalf and 75th waiting for me. I forgot it in Russell, and I figured it would have to be refilled sooner or later, so I figured why not now. 

I also went further south in Overland Park, first to Bed, Bath and Beyond on 119th Street, all the way to 135th. There is a new Zaxby’s on that street, and I have had a hankering for the chicken finger place this trip. I went Saturday evening and twice Sunday in Liberty. 

Not only do I like Zaxby’s food, but the online ordering on the mobile app is awesome. Allows me to take my time and decide what I want, then skip the line when I get there. I love Zaxby’s mushrooms and toast. Makes a fine meal all by itself on a Friday during Lent, and any other Friday I want to avoid meat. 

As a side note, I’m seriously considering going back to the old Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on every Friday, not just Lenten Fridays. I don’t go to Mass, but that’s more of me being a little intimidated by crowds than not believing in the religion. I believe there is ONE TRUE FAITH. Sorry, Peggy. I figure not eating meat every Friday would be a way to make up for not going to Mass. Thank God I don’t live in Mississippi or Alabama (save the Gulf Coast areas of those states), where Catholics are very few and very far between. 

Back to yesterday.

The trip from 135th to get all the way back to Zona Rosa is a very taxing one. I had the option of continuing down 135th to I-35 in Olathe, but I decided to go back to US 69. That took me to I-35, then to I-635, and finally I-29 to where I needed to go. 

Less than two hours after I took the ramp from I-35 north to I-635, there was a fatal accident at that very location. That could have been me.

At 3:30 yesterday, a huge fire broke out in Overland Park near Johnson County Community College, on College Boulevard between Switzer and Nieman roads. An apartment complex which was being built was totally destroyed, and several houses in the area were also damaged. 

The fire went to eight alarms, and it dominated the evening news on all four stations in Kansas City. 

Fortunately, nobody died. Three firefighters were taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation, but fortunately, the injuries were nowhere near life-threatening. It could have been much, much worse. 

When I saw where the fire was, I immediately thought of Caitlyn. Of course, she was in school back in Norton, but she’s going to JCCC to play volleyball starting in August. I hope Peggy and Clark didn’t have designs on moving her into one of the apartments which burned.

I didn’t arrive at Buffalo Wild Wings until after 1. When I got there, eight men were siting in a row at the bar, drinking copious amounts of beer. They were still drinking when I departed at 5:55 for Minsky’s. Minsky’s was quiet, but that was good. 

Didn’t get here until almost 2 today. Nothing going on anyway. 

Back to Russell tomorrow at some point. Just what point is the question. I might have stayed another night had it not been for an important 9 am appointment Thursday in Hays. 

The next two weekends are good weekends to stay away from KC, although I might get bored. Hmm. 

Take a walk

I’m spending my third consecutive Friday night in Kansas City.

I came up with one of my better plans in many years this afternooon.

I was hoping to split this Friday, as I had the previous two, between Buffalo Wild Wings and Minsky’s. 

The biggest fly in the ointment was the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 

The schedule makers–the networks which are televising the tournament (CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV)–determined that the three games involving Kansas teams should tip off within 40 minutes of one another today. 

The Jayhawks were up first at 5:50 against California-Davis. Wichita State was next, going against Dayton at 6:10. Kansas State, which beat Wake Forest Tuesday in the First Four, had a 6:27 tip against Cincinnati. 

Needless to say, there were myriad complaints all over social media about the three Kansas schools not getting any respect from the networks, and how unfair it was for all three teams to be playing at the same time. 

I knew Buffalo Wild Wings was going to get swamped by 5:50, or shortly thereafter. I wanted to be at Minsky’s no later than 7:30, but the problem is the pizza joint’s parking lot is small, and I figured it would be extremely crowded by time the games were going on. 

The light came on in my head just before 2.

Today was a lovely day in Kansas City. A little warm for my taste for St. Patrick’s Day, but a perfect day for a walk. 

My idea was to drive across Barry Road to Minsky’s and park. I would walk back to Buffalo Wild Wings, then return to Minsky’s after Robb and Dawn left. 

It worked like a charm. 

I left Buffalo Wild Wings at 3:25, and by 3:40, I was back. 

As it turned out, I didn’t need to park and walk back and forth, since there were plenty of open seats at Minsky’s when I arrived at 7. Yet it was a good preventive measure. 

I left Russell just after 6:30. I woke up an hour earlier than I set my alarm for, and I ended up watching all of Perfect High, the movie starring Bella Thorne which I recorded on LMN earlier this week. I wanted to get it out of the DVR queue so my parents can record things this weekend. If I forgot anything, I can always purchase it on iTunes. 

I stopped in Topeka before heading to Kansas City. I didn’t get to Buffalo Wild Wings exactly at 11, but close enough. I was able to check into the hotel before going to B-Dubs, so that saved me the hassle of leaving and coming back. 

I’ve been at Minksy’s two and a half hours. One more game of trivia, and I’m off to la la land. I took Seroquel just now, since Dr. Patriarca wants me to try it again to help me sleep. Hopefully I’m not so groggy that I miss seeing Molly tomorrow at B-Dubs. 

I didn’t mention the NCAA basketball tournament much. Not that I’m very interested. More on that tomorrow. 

Can the consolation games!

To anyone who disagrees, I’m sorry. You won’t like this post. But a civil debate would be good for all. 

Today is the final day of the 2016-17 Kansas high school basketball season. Eight girls teams and eight boys teams–way, way too many for a state with fewer than 375 schools–will take home championship trophies. Sixteen more teams will take home state runner-up trophies.

The girls championship games are underway. Most boys championship games will start at 6:15 or shortly thereafter. 

Before we could get to the championship games, the eight sites (again, way too man) had to get through a pair of third place games. 


Why the hell does the Kansas State High School Activities Association insist on third place games? 

I believe it’s all about $$$$$$$$$$$. Or as Pink Floyd crooned in 1973, “MONEY”. 

The fans of the schools involved in the third place game must not only pay admission to get into the facility for the game, but they’re going to have to spend more money on gas, and if the fans are a long way from the site, pay for another night in a hotel, which can be expensive. 

The KSHSAA does not pay schools for travel expenses. It demands exorbitant radio and television rights fees, which makes live broadcasts of the state tournaments cost prohibitive. It does not pay any schools a cut of the gate, which is the case in Louisiana and several other states. It keeps everything after facility rental and offcials’ fees. And the KSHSAA has gotten cheap in the case of officials, forcing the officials assigned to the Wednesday and Thursday games at each state tournament to work two games instead of one. 

I haven’t begun to discuss the games themselves. Here I go. 

The teams which must face the third place game are less than 24 hours removed from seeing their dreams of winning a state championship completely shattered. If a team suffered a particularly heartbreaking loss–like the one which Bishop Seabury suffered last night in the Class 2A boys semifinals–it is particiulary cruel. 

Bishop Seabury lost the longest game in the history of the KSHSAA state basketball tournament–a history that dates to 1911, when William Taft was president–a six-overtime thriller vs. St. John-Hudson, a perennial powerhouse which happens to be the alma mater of Dean Wade, who is now in Kansas State’s starting lineup. St. John won 52-51 on a 35-foot shot at the buzzer in the sixth overtime. 

SIX OVERTIMES. That’s 56 minutes of basketball, or the equivalent of a full game and there quarters of another. 

If I were the losing coach in that game, I would never be able to get my players up for a game less than 24 hours later. 

Yet the KSHSAA, in its undying quest to make money, forced Seabury to come back today at 2 and play again against a Hoxie team which was handily defeated by Sacred Hebert late Friday night. Even though Hoxie was blown out, the Indians had a clear advantage, seeing as they would want to end their season on a high note, even if the game meant absolutely nothing. 

Somehow, Seabury defeated Hoxie 68-56. My theory was wrong in that instance, but in many others, it has been proven deadly accurate. 

I would not award third place trophies. Many states, Louisiana among them, awards trophies only to the top two teams. 

If the KSHSAA insists on giving third place teams trophies, then just give the losers of the semifinals trophies. The KSHSAA doesn’t have any problem spending money on superfluous awards, so what’s a few more trophies? 

If the KSHSAA is worried that much about the lost revenue from the third place games, it would be easy to make it up–and more. 

Make the championship games separate admissions. 

Play the first game at 1. Clear the arena 30 minutes after the completion of that game. Then re-open the gates and tip the second game at 5 or 5:30. The KSHSAA could also charge a higher price for admission; I’d say $2 or $3 more than the earlier rounds. 

The NCAA held third place games during the men’s Final Four from its inception in 1939 through 1981. The last third place game was Virginia vs. LSU in Philadelphia. It happened to be the same day President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr. Reagan’s condition at George Washington University hospital was unknown early that afternoon, and it was debated whether or not the third place game–and the championship for that matter–should proceed. 

The games proceeded, but later in 1981, the NCAA said no more third place games. This wasn’t a problem for the women, whose first NCAA tournament was in 1982. 

The KSHAA severely limits the number of games basketball teams can play in the regular season, yet they want to make teams stick around for another game after losing the most important game for eh season for a meaningless contest? 

The KSHSAA has third place games in every team sport except football. The only one I can remotely tolerate is volleyball, since it’s at the same time as the championship match on another court. Fine. I’d say nix it, but it’s not taking up extra time. 

But as bad as a third place game is in basketball, it’s much, much worse in association football, or soccer for those less enlightened. 

Players in association football run at least 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) per game, save for the goalkeepers, obviously. Can you imagine running 10 to 15 kilometers on back to back days, while at the same time facing physical contact? Let’s not forget association football is not exactly gridiron football as far as contact goes, but it’s not volleyball, either. You’re going to take a beating. 

It’s horrible the KSHSAA plays its state semifinals and championship games on back-to-back days. There should be at least three days of rest, probably more. 

Enough already. I think I’ve made my point. 

Cue Summer Roberts

If you don’t get the pop culture reference in the title, I’ll spill the beans shortly.

When nature called a few minutes ago at Buffalo Wild Wings, I dreaded entering the stall. 

I was extremely worried that the person before me had not flushed the toilet and his disgusting excretions were still on display. 

Therefore, when I entered the stall, I turned away, yet out of the corner of my eye, saw toilet paper and urine. 

Summer Roberts, Rachel Bilson’s character from The O.C., would have said it best. 



I swear, I am going to get a big sign made for Buffalo Wild Wings and affix it to the stall to flush the freaking toilet when you are done. I am tempted to use a word stronger than freaking, but I won’t, since little kids use it, and I don’t want to offend them. 

Whenever I use a toilet in a public location, I give it AT LEAST one extra flush to make sure all of my nasty is out of there. When it’s bad, I’ll do two extra flushes. 

The other thing about using the restroom which angers me is the large number of people who absolutely refuse to wash their hands. 

Howie Mandel and Tony Shalhoub, through his iconic character Adrian Monk, had the right idea. Shaking hands can be dangerous due to the lazy morons out there who can’t wash their hands after using the facilities. 

Easy rule of thumb, people.

If you touch your butt crack, WASH YOUR HANDS! Even if you touch your butt crack when covered by clothing, WASH YOUR HANDS! 

If you touch your junk, WASH YOUR HANDS! Same rule applies as the butt crack: if you touch yourself with your pants on, you’ve got to wash. 

NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE RULES. Even if you’re in the privacy of your own home and all you’re doing is going back to bed at 2:30 a.m. 

It is not that hard to practice good manners. Sadly, too many people don’t. 

Another Friday far away from home

For the second straight Friday, I’m in Kansas City. I didn’t expect to be here this morning, but as I was driving home the previous Sunday, the low oil pressure light in my car came on and off several times. It never stayed on for long, but it was a little disconcerting. 

Ergo, here I am, sitting at Morse-McCarthy Chevrolet. Oh well. I have nothing better to do today. 

I did get in a little time at Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday–six hours to be exact. I managed to avoid eating too much–only fried mushrooms and fried pickles, but simply because I was hungry and hadn’t eaten for much of the afternoon. 

I watched much of the Kansas-TCU basketball game at Buffalo Wild Wings. The Jayhawks led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Horned Frogs made a big comeback to take a 43-42 halftime lead. The second half was nip and tuck throughout, but when Kansas took an 80-76 lead with just over a minute to go, I figured it was over for TCU. 

Instead, the Frogs hung tough, and with less than three seconds left, the Jayhawks committed a stupid foul on a 3-pointer from the right corner. The TCU player sank all three free throws, and Kansas was headed back to Lawrence with an 85-82 loss. 

It is only the second time in 21 Big 12 tournaments the Jayhawks have gone one-and-done. Kansas has NEVER been forced to play in the first round, which means it has finished in the top four every year the Big 12 has been in existence. Of course, the Jayhawks have won or shared 13 consecutive Big 12 regular season titles, tying UCLA from 1967-79 for the longest streak in NCAA Division I. 

Kansas almost certainly will be the #1 seed in the Midwest regional for the NCAA tournament, but the Jayhawks are not infallible. Not much depth, and rebounding is a sore spot.

The Midwest regional semifinals and final are at Sprint Center. Jayhawk fans are praying for two games and then at least one more in Glendale, Arizona, but first, Kansas will have to survive two games, most likely in Tulsa. 

There will certainly be some cheap tickets outside Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City today from Jayhawk fans who have no desire to stick around and watch TCU-Iowa State and Kansas State-West Virginia in today’s semifinals. 

Big 12 executives and Sprint Center can’t admit to a rooting interest, but they have to be hoping Iowa State and Kansas State win today. Cycolne fans turn out in droves for this tournament, and of course, it’s an easy drive from Manhattan to Kansas City. 

By contrast, if it’s TCU and West Virginia, Sprint Center might be half empty tomorrow at 5 when the championship game tips off. 

TCU is the smallest school in the Big 12, and the Horned Frogs don’t move the needle much as far as basketball is concerned in Dallas/Fort Worth, not with the Mavericks and SMU. Besides, TCU has enjoyed far, far more success in football and baseball than it ever has in men’s basketball. Sounds like another school which wears purple and goes by an abbreviation…I think it’s in Baton Rouge. 

TCU should have been in the Big 12 in the first place. The reason why the Horned Frogs weren’t in the original Big 12 is lying in a grave in the Texas State Cemetary in Austin. 


When talks between the Big 8 and Southwest Conferences were taking place in 1993 and 1994, Richards was the Governor of Texas. She demanded her alma mater, Baylor, be included in the Big 12, or else there would be no Big 12. Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech capitulated. 

If Richards had not had her way, TCU would have been in the original Big 12, not Baylor. And i don’t think the Bears would be in the Big 12 today, not with the scandal that school has gone through. I’m surprised the Big 12 stuck by Baylor after the murder of men’s basketball player Patrick Denehey by teammate Carlton Dotson and the massive cover-up by then-coach Dave Bliss, who was given a 10-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA for his egregious violations. Bliss got off easy. He should have been banned for life by the NCAA and sent to prison for what he did. 

Now, if the sexual assault allegations against Baylor football players are true, then the Bears should be kicked out of the Big 12. Art Briles has gone down the same road as Bliss, and although it isn’t murder, it may be worse, since these women have to live with the trauma of these violent acts. 

West Virginia has a rich history, but it’s a very, very long drive from the heart of Appalachia to Kansas City, or anywhere else in the Big 12. The Mountaineers wanted to be in the ACC, but the conference felt its academic profile was nowhere near what it was looking for. I believe West Virignia’s status as an economic backwater (at least among the elite) and the state’s heavy reliance on the coal industry, one which has been deemed evil by the left wing in the United States, made several ACC members, especially the private schools, North Carolina and Virginia, want to turn away. Yet why would the ACC say no to West Virginia when Morgantown is an hour away from Pittsburgh, which is in the ACC? 

West Virginia had no shot of getting into the SEC, even though it isn’t all that far from Lexington and Knoxville, and some would argue if the SEC took Missouri, why not West Virginia?  But the SEC would have had to find a 16th team if it took the Mountaineers, and that would have been difficult, if not impossible, unless Kentucky somehow found religion and would sponsor Louisville for inclusion. 

The Big Ten? If the ACC said no, then the Big Ten was going to say HELL NO. Some in the Big Ten still want to expel Nebraska after it was kicked out of the Assoiciation of American Universities shortly after the Cornhuskers were accepted into the Big Ten, but it’s too late. So the Big 12 was all that was left for the Mountaineers. 

West Virginia is a beautiful place. I drove through the state many years ago on Interstate 77, and I found it breathtaking. I don’t care what the environmental nut jobs say about coal, it can help the United States gain energy independence. I know I wouldn’t want to be a coal miner. If I thought my dad’s job at Air Products and Chemicals was dangerous, it was a picnic compared to what coal miners endure. Look at all the miners who have died in accidents in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. 

I left my iPad in my car last night when I got back to the hotel. I thought about going to get it, but I was tired and I figured it would distract me. So I left it. 

Trying to figure out the car right now. Supposed to snow tomorrow in Kansas City. Sunday looks good to get back home. My mother is cooking lasagna for lunch. Can’t miss it. 

Musings from a Minsky’s barstool

I slept way, way too late today. Bad move on my part. 

I feel really bad about it, since I didn’t get to spend enough time with Molly at Buffalo Wild Wings. She only works on Saturdays, and I had not seen her since January 21. 

Because I slept so late, I didn’t get to Buffalo Wild Wings until almost 2. Then I left just before 4 so I could get to Minsky’s before the Kansas-Oklahoma State men’s basketball game at 5. I figured if I stayed at Buffalo Wild Wings later, I would be stuck there until after 7, and then parking at Minsky’s would be difficult. 

It was busy at Buffalo Wild Wings when I got there, but that was because Kansas State was playing Texas Tech. When the game ended (K-State won 61-48), the crowd thinned out rapidly. By 2:45, I was the only customer at the bar. And it stayed that way until I left. I had to promise Molly I would see her again before she and her fiancĆ©, Jake, leave for Jamaica on March 27. 

I figure it’s time to expand my horizons and not spend hours upon hours in one place like I have in the past at Buffalo Wild Wings. Also, I can only eat so many chicken wings, which I have totally swore off for Lent. No traditional wings until after Easter, and no more boneless wings, period. 

Tara, the beautiful lady who took care of me the first time I came to Minsky’s, isn’t working tonight. She’s going to a concert with a friend. Glad she’s getting to enjoy herself. I saw her last night, which helped make my trip. The other part was seeing Robb and Dawn twice.  

Computer is still holding up. Phew. I figure I’m going back tomorrow evening to get work done Monday and Tuesday. This is the last busy week until April. By Wednesday afternoon, I’ll be pretty much in the clear, save for a very few things from state basketball. 

High school state basketball is screwy in Kansas. Too many sites, too many teams. It should be four teams, and everyone goes to a central site for the finals. I have long advocated it being Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Kansas Jayhawks, but that’s too idealistic. I would settle gladly for Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita. Or even Salina’s Bicentennial Center. But please, ONE SITE. Not eight. 

And please, get away from the cramped, dingy pit that is White Auditorium in Emporia. No parking, cramped concourses, stage at one end. Is this an optimum setting for a high school basketball state tournament, even if it is Kansas’ messed up version? I always have strongly disliked going there. You have to get there very early to make sure you aren’t parked three miles away. If Emporia were smart, they would offer shuttle service from the parking lots to the arena entrance. Or maybe let fans park at Emporia State’s football stadium and then bus them to the auditorium. 

Emporia is also a hard place to get to, unless you have easy access to Interstate 35 or the Kansas Turnpike. From western Kansas? Don’t get me started. From Russell and Hays, it’s either (a) drive to Salina, then to McPherson, and take two-lane roads east, or (b) drive to Topeka and double back on the Kansas Turnpike. I’ve usually opted for (b), simply because I don’t trust the two-lane roads. 

Hotel selections in Emporia are also very few and far between, so I’ve usually stayed in Wichita or Overland Park. I’ve even stayed in Platte County, my usual destination when I’m in Kansas City, and driven down the Turnpike. 

I shouldn’t say too much about Emporia. If I’m going to travel to watch Cailtyn play volleyball at Johnson County Community College, Coffeyville, Parsons, Independence, Fort Scott, Chanute and Iola would be on the docket. And if I thought Emporia is a hard place to get to, I haven’t seen anything like that. I went to Pittsburg once many years ago. Not fun. 

Kansas City will be overrun with basketball fans two of the next three weekends. Sprint Center hosts the Big 12 men’s tournament Wednesday through next Saturday, then the NCAA Midwest Regional March 23 and 25. Too bad KC cannot host the Final Four anymore, since the NCAA limits it to facilities with 30,000 or more seats.


Friday foodieĀ 

I got to Buffalo Wild Wings before noon for the first time before noon today. I finally got my butt up, showered almost right away, then drove to Clay County to shop at Price Chopper. I took the long way back to Barry Road, going I-35 south to I-29 north. I stopped for gas at the 7-11 on NE Antioch, and did my good deed for the day by helping a gentleman figure out how to get the gas pump in his tank, which did not have a gas cap. It was one of those “easy fuel” tanks where you just insert the pump. 

I have decided I will not eat wings during Lent. I do not like “boneless” wings (an oxymoron); the only time I eat them is when they are half-price at Buffalo Wild Wings. No more. Why the hell did I fool with boneless so long? They’re nothing more than glorified chicken nuggets in sauce. If I want them that bad, I can go to McDonald’s and then use a bottle of B-Dubs sauce. 

Besides, I’ve got other options for fried chicken in Kansas City. Popeye’s is across Barry Road from B-Dubs (albeit it’s always crowded), and now Zaxby’s is open in Liberty in front of Price Chopper. 

I’ve tired of the traditional wings too. You can only cycle through the sauces so many times. Also, there are some I refuse to eat: Sweet BBQ, Teryaki, Honey Mustard,  Honey BBQ, Wild, Mango Habanero and Blazin are all out for me. 

Last week in Salina I got a combination I had never ordered before: Mild and Hot BBQ. I’ll only order BBQ flavored sauces when I’m not in Kansas City, and only hot BBQ is decent. 

I have never understood why so many people order honey BBQ in Kansas City. If I wanted BBQ, I am not going to Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City. Not with Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Jack Stack and Joe’s all there. 

Sweet BBQ sounds like a kiddie sauce. Teryaki? Only if I’m eating sushi or ahi tuna. Honey Mustard? Great on fried chicken, not on wings. Wild and Blazin are way, way, way too hot. Hot is the farthest I’ll go on the traditional buffalo-flavored sauces. 

Mango Habanero sounds disgusting, and it really is. I tried it once four years ago and I said never, ever again. NEVER. 

My sauce rankings (at least among those I eat): 

1. Medium; 2. Spicy Garlic; 3. Thai Curry; 4. Hot; 5. Mild; 6. Parmesan Garlic; 7. Asian Zing; 8. Hot BBQ

All of those sauces pale in comparison to the wings I ate at Ivar’s in Baton Rouge. Ivar’s sauce was perfect: not too hot, not too mild. It was somewhere between medium and hot at Buffalo Wild Wings. PERFECT. Lovely orange color. I could eat 50 of those in one sitting if I were really hungry. 

The other thing I miss at Ivar’s is the oyster po-boy (The Pearl). What I wouldn’t give for one right now. 

Today was easy to avoid wings due to it being a Friday; I ordered popcorn shrimp. Yesterday I had the southwest Philly (pico and queso with chopped steak). 

Buffalo Wild Wings has what they call a “Bayou Po-Boy” with shrimp. Three major problems: (1) it’s popcorn shrimp, and the po-boys in New Orleans are made with larger shrimp; (2) the bread isn’t authentic French bread, but instead a hoagie roll; and (3) it has coleslaw. I don’t like coleslaw, and NOBODY in New Orleans puts coleslaw on a po-boy, at least sane people. Last I checked, a dressed po-boy in New Orleans is lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard and mayo. No coleslaw! 

Minsky’s got really interesting by the end of my evening last night. A husband of one of the employees showed up with another couple, and the two men were going back and forth, using the F word or some form of it every fourth word it seemed like. I glanced back at them once, but mostly I was turned away from them, looking at the screen while playing trivia. 

If I go tonight, no Italian sausage on my pizza or calzone, but that’s no big deal. There are more than enough good veggies to be enjoyed. And they have shrimp alfredo pizza and calzone too. I’m probably going there after Robb and Dawn leave B-Dubs today.  

Laptop held up last night and this morning. Knock on wood and fingers crossed. 

Norton’s boys play in Russell tonight. I feel bad if anyone from the Cox family shows up and I’m not there, but Peggy told me it’s fine. Maybe I’ll go to Hutchinson next week if the Bluejays qualify for the Class 3A state tournament. In the past I covered the basketball sub-state tournaments, but no more. I don’t miss it. Less trouble. 

I’m now the lone customer at the bar. Been there before šŸ˜‚

Wednesday was not the worst…but almostĀ 

I wish I were in Russell tonight, watching Cailtyn play basketball.  

But I’m not.

Instead, I’m in Kansas City, where I’ve been since 11:50 p.m. Monday. My third full day is about to end. 

Day one was great, getting to see Robb and Dawn and then going to Minsky’s Pizza later. 

Day two was horrendous. Really, really bad. Not one of my better Ash Wednesdays. 

A group of people sat in the dining room at Buffalo Wild Wings and kept playing music on the jukebox ahead of mine. i had never experienced it like that. More often than not, I’m the one playing the jukebox, at least when there isn’t audio from a sporting event on. I’m not playing it constantly, because that would be cost prohibitive, but 98 percent of the time, my music will play right away. 

Yesterday, these people, who had been there long before I arrived at 1:30, were sitting back there playing song after song after song after song, cutting in front of mine. 

I was starting to get very angry. I was sick of hearing the Randy Rogers Band, Keith Whitley and some other country act whose name I can’t recall right now. Some of the songs were played two, three times. 

I wanted to play Michael Jackson for Tori and her parents, but I couldn’t get it on because these people kept playing their songs right away.

This is the first time this has ever happened at Buffalo Wild Wings. Usually people will just queue their music and wait until mine is done. These people had a wild burr up their asses they needed to hear their music right away. 

One of the people in this group looked like the lead singer from House of Pain–redhead, beard, heavily tattooed. His pal started looking at me like I must have been retarded. I screamed JERK at him so loud everyone could hear. 

Oh boy. The only good news is I didn’t scream something I can’t repeat. 

I was ready to leave right away. Instead, I went out to the patio, even though it was chilly–made even worse by the lack of sunlight and a stiff wind–but I lasted two hours. 

I eventually went back inside for another two and a half hours then left at nine. I didn’t eat anything there, instead choosing to get Outback to go.

It got much worse when I got back to the hotel. 

My computer was turned off when I woke up in the middle of the night. I didn’t turn it off. I tried rebooting it, but it shut down after I logged into Windows. It did it two more times. 

OH F**K. 

The last thing I need is my laptop crashing on me. The last thing. 

I had to reset Windows. I lost a ton of old e-mail and all of my software was wiped off the computer, but my files were saved. It hasn’t gone down yet, but before I left the hotel this afternoon, I shut the computer down. I ran it on battery then charged it while I was gone. 

It’s been another split day between Buffalo Wild Wings and Minsky’s. I’m leaving Minsky’s in a few minutes to go back to the hotel. I’m beat.