• HAPPY HOLIDAYS — I hope you and yours enjoyed the Christmas holiday as much as I did.
Because I have such a limited window of being able to take time off due to school being in session for 9 months, I was able to pack a lot of living into the last 5 days.
I spent that time in Lawrence visiting The Sis and her family and of course the dogs, Sugar and Zoey. Not having pets at my abode, it reminded me just how much I enjoyed the company of four-legged friends when I was a kid.
I was able to spend some time at Allen Field House, a place that 40 years ago was like a second home when as a student I used to attend KU basketball games faithfully and cheer on the likes of a young Darnell Valentine and one of my favorites, “Booty” Neal.
The grand old barn itself hasn’t changed that much, but the addition of the Jayhawk Hall of Fame is a treasure. I found myself spending about an hour viewing Naismith’s Rules of Basketball and the history of KU athletics dating back to the early 1900s.
In my years as a student at KU, we didn’t achieve a whole lot of athletic success. The football team was terrible as it is now, so not much has changed there. We were OK in basketball, but it was near the end of the Ted Owens era and grumbling was already starting before he was shown the door a few years later, which led to the hiring of Larry Brown and the rebirth of KU basketball.
Lawrence itself is what has changed the most in 40 years. In the late 1970s, Alvamar Golf Course (another of my favorite places) was about as far West as West could be, but the city has definitely outgrown that boundary. There’s practically an entire city of its own once you get out to Wakarusa.
Yet some of my favorite haunts are still there, including Louise’s West and a few other refreshment establishments. And everywhere you look, there’s a different restaurant, of which many I visited.
The best part of all was spending time with family. There’s no substitute, especially for somebody who has very little family left.
I do know when the time comes that I finally type out that farewell column, I can see myself spending a lot more time in Lawrence.
• CHIEFS WERE SENSATIONAL — Kansas City’s 33-10 rout of Denver was like witnessing the changing of the guard.
The Super Bowl champions were reduced to playoff outsider as the Chiefs jumped on the Broncos early and never let off the gas, highlighted by Dontari Poe’s free throw pass to Demetrious Harris at the end of the game.
While Broncos fans went off on emotional outbursts about running up the score, most of the Broncos didn’t seem to have that much of a reaction according to the reports I read. I’m sure Denver’s players, though, will remember that play and use it as a little extra motivation for when the teams meet next year.
You just have to wonder about Denver’s future. Its offense has been terrible all year and that great Super Bowl defense of last year has about run its course as many of the stars left after last season and probably a couple of more could depart after this season.
Denver GM John Elway has a lot of decisions to make. Oakland is the team most on the rise and Kansas City is nipping at its heals. San Diego is in disarray, starting with where it will play next year. Its game Sunday against Kansas City could very well be its last there as the team may be on the move.