1-1-98 Chuck Woodling column
Happy Y2K Minus One. Who knows what will happen in '99, but here are some of the things I'd like to see happen before the beginning of the new millennium.
- Move the fences back at Kauffman Stadium. In their misguided wisdom, the Royals thought they could beef up their offense by lowering the fences and cutting the power alleys. Instead, since the 1995 adjustment, KC pitchers have produced the four highest earned run averages in club history while the offense has remained tepid.
- Remove the signage from Allen Fieldhouse. Instead of trying to squeeze the last drop of revenue out of Kansas University's venerable basketball arena, why not hold bake sales or car washes ... anything to prevent the old barn from looking like an indoor fast-food strip.
- Convince the Chiefs they need to acquire a quality running back. Say all you want about KC's demise -- injuries, penalties, overconfidence -- any organization that goes into a season with Donnell Bennett as its running threat deserves the Myopic of the Year Award.
- Reacquire the NCAA cross country championships for Rim Rock Farm. What a treat to make a short drive into the country, traverse winding gravel roads and come upon the site of an NCAA championship.
Why does the NCAA move this meet around every year? It should be the goal of every cross country runner in America to earn the opportunity to run at Rim Rock Farm.
- Reestablish a margin of excellence in Kansas football. Will the third year be the charm for Terry Allen? Third years often are. Seven home games can't hurt. Will the Kansas offense be the Zac (Wegner), Zak (Kustok) or Zach (Dyer) Attack?
- Find an area for a self-contained track and field facility that will please both the traditionalists and the pragmatists. Old-timers think it's bush for a university to share track and field digs with high schools and grade schools. Nouveau-thinkers believe a track and field facility does not belong in a football stadium, yet there appears to be nowhere else on campus to put one.
- Urge major league baseball to divide into two leagues -- the Haves and the Have Nots, although not necessarily using those terms. Each league would have its own playoffs and World Series. Sort of like Division I-A and Division I-AA in football. What's wrong with having two World Series? Let the rich teams play in the World Series and the small-market teams play in the Global Series, or some similarly named extravaganza.
- Don't wake the NBA from its slumber. Pro basketball, so full of itself, is now offering fans an opportunity to assess what sports writers have known all along -- namely that the NBA season is too long, the games are interminable and the 24-second clock is an anachronism.
- Add a couple more bowl games. The world needs more postseason football. Every college football team with six victories deserves a bowl game. If Honolulu can add a second bowl game, why can't Miami add the Orange Blossom Bowl to the Orange Bowl, San Diego the Vacation Bowl to the Holiday Bowl, Atlanta the Peach Basket Bowl (maybe this should be a coinciding basketball tournament) to the Peach Bowl and Boise, Idaho, the Good Samaritan Bowl to the Humanitarian Bowl?
- Michael Jordan announce he is retiring from pro basketball in order to devote his energies to world peace, specifically by trying to negotiate a deal with Saddam Hussein to buy Iraq.
- Have each of the five NFL owners who fired head coaches on Monday hire one of the four coaches he didn't fire. After all, the only item more recycled than an NFL head coach is a Coke can.
- Heighten awareness that Greg Ostertag wearing No. 00 has nothing to do with underlying fears of the approaching year '00.
-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is email@example.com.