Glen Mason's wedding is just around the corner, and I woke up in a cold sweat this morning when I realized I hadn't yet purchased a wedding gift for the blushing groom.
Since I don't know where he's registered, I brainstormed just long enough to come up with an unofficial, last-minute gift guide.
Don't worry. The blessed event's not until Friday, so there's plenty of time to shop for:
- A healthy quarterback. Without one, the honeymoon will be over quick. Even if Ben Rutz comes back in time, he has very limited Division One experience. If he's not, Matt Johner has even less, and Zac Wegner and juco transfer Akili Roberson have none.
- The head of the person responsible for the '96 schedule on a platter. Or at least his butt in a sling. Forty-three days between home games, none in September and just five all season? Utah on the road? And, oh by the way, welcome to the Big 12.
- Floss, floss, floss. Since the bride, soon-to-be-former Kate Blubaugh, is a Lawrence dentist, you can bet oral hygiene will be a priority in that household.
- Then again, toasters make a nice gift.
- Round-trip tickets to Athens, Ga., so Mason can check in with his former team, the University of Georgia. And he can finally meet the letter-writers who mistook southern hospitality for southern hostility when he reneged on the Bulldogs to return to KU for his ninth season.
- An outside linebacker just like the outside linebacker who played like dear old Keith Rodgers. And a quarterback like Mark Williams. And a wide receiver like Ashaundai Smith. And a couple of offensive linemen.
- About 42 points -- just in case -- against Utah. And maybe another 42 at Oklahoma. And a really nasty cold for Iowa State's Troy Davis on Nov. 2.
- A long, healthy, working relationship with defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz.
- Food processors are always nice.
- A copy of the videotape ACLs of Steel. Given the run of torn knees last fall and spring, Mason could use some help.
- A small earthquake, just big enough to call the structural integrity of Nebraska's Memorial Stadium into question and force the Huskers to play KU in Lawrence again this year.
- A camcorder, so Mason can keep an eye on Missouri coach Larry Smith all game long -- just in case Smith decides to, uh, acknowledge the KU sidelines using a form of nonverbal communication. Again.
- A clone. One Mason can tie the knot on Friday, and the other can address those assembled the same day in St. Louis for the Big 12 Conference media day. The real Mason has to decide which goes where.
- A highlight video from the 1995 season. Who knows when the next 10-win season will be?
- Round-trip tickets -- for a hundred or so -- to St. Louis on Dec. 7 for the inaugural Big 12 championship game.
- A bowl invitation. Anywhere.
- A salad bowl. In Mason's pattern, of course.
- Just one season free of speculation about whether he'll get fired or move on to greener turf.