The Sideline Report with Darrell Stuckey

It’s easy to look at the Kansas football team through five games and pick apart the negative.The Jayhawks can’t run well. Their pass defense hasn’t been spectacular. Their special teams have been struggling. And on and on.Sure, that’s easy. Here’s the truth of the matter, though.KU is 4-1. And that hasn’t happened a whole lot in the last decade.Quick, not counting last year, name the last time that KU started the season with a 4-1 record or better.Here’s a clue: It hasn’t been for a while.The correct answer is 2003, when KU started 4-1 on its way to a 6-7 season (and a loss in the Tangerine Bowl to North Carolina State).In fact, heading into this year, 2003 and 2007 were the only seasons this decade that the Jayhawks had started at least 4-1.How quickly some of us forget the distance this program has come.KU did have a miserable first half against Iowa State, but the important thing is the Jayhawks found a way to win.It wasn’t so long ago (two years ago in 2006), that KU wouldn’t win those kinds of games. Just see here, here, here and here.Even if it’s easy to nitpick the negative, KU fans need to enjoy the team that they have. They need to enjoy the best quarterback this school has seen in more than a century, and an emerging wide receiver that is among the best in the nation. There are plenty of fans, even ones close by, that are wishing they had the kind of team, coaching staff and football program that many KU fans are taking for granted.On to the “Sideline Report,” this one with KU safety Darrell Stuckey.The Sideline Report with Darrell StuckeyJesse Newell: Who’s a better athlete, you or your sister (Iowa State women’s basketball player Denae Stuckey)?Darrell Stuckey: Oh, man. I don’t know, that’s a hard one, because we’ve both played different sports throughout our entire lives. I want to say her, but the only reason I say me is because physically, my body can take a little more punishment. If she was a boy, she’d definitely be the greater athlete. If her body set was a little bigger, and if she was a little stronger, she’d definitely be a greater athlete than I am.JN: If she was a boy, would she beat you up?DS: She probably would. She’s a little more mean than I am, when it comes to being off the field and being more considerate of others (laughs).JN: I saw you’re a movie guy. What’s your favorite movie?DS: That’s a good question. I saw so many in the last couple days. Batman was one of my favorites over the summer. The Dark Knight was pretty good.JN: How many movies do you watch a week? DS: Not too many, since we’re in season. I don’t get too much of a chance to watch them at all. I watch a lot of “Cold Case,” though, the show.JN: Tell me something that would surprise me about you.DS: I was born with six toes.!JN: Really? What happened with that?DS: They cut it off (laughs). It had its own bone and everything.JN: Where was it at?DS: My right foot. It was an extra pinky toe. It had its own bone and everything. They cut it off.JN: Do you wish they’d have kept it?DS: No, I don’t wish they’d have kept it. It’s too expensive. I can’t buy wide shoes or wide cleats. I don’t think they make them.JN: How about those toe socks? Would you have trouble with those as well?!DS: I’d have a little trouble. I’d have a little nub at the end of one of them (laughs).JN: What’s your ritual before the game?DS: Just kind of similar to meditation – thinking over my responsibilities and my different assignments and kind of praying. Just self-talk. Positive self-talk.JN: When you talk about meditation, people have a certain image of that. How does it work?DS: I just kind of sit in my locker and face out toward the middle of the room. I have my iPod in playing music or whatever. But yeah, just praying and kind of talking to myself. Positive self-talk.JN: I saw you are a motivational speaker. Tell me about that.DS: I feed off energy – I feed off other people’s energy and the surrounding environment around me. I give speeches a lot. I actually just gave a speech for David Lawrence’s FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) group at Free Methodist on 31st. : This week, I gave a motivational speech just about relationships and handling them – different types of relationships and stuff. I firmly believe that we, as athletes, have a duty to give back to the people and the youth, especially if we grew up and didn’t have anybody to look up to or didn’t know who our role models really were. They look up to us, so we have to make sure they know who we are, and we allow them to see that we are a positive influence and that we are positive people.JN: A lot of people don’t like talking in front of others, but you say you feed off that?DS: Yeah. I get nervous before I do it, of course, but I know it needs to be done, and I know it’s very much needed and very necessary. I just think about, ‘What if I don’t say it? Who will say something besides me that might not be the right thing?’JN: Who’s playing you in a movie?DS: Probably Kel off of Keenan and Kel (laughs).!!JN: Why’s that?DS: I don’t know. I think he’s a funny guy. Everybody tells me I look kind of like him. He can be very serious, too. He’d probably have to get a little bit more muscular tone, but I think he’d be a good guy to do that for me.JN: All I can remember is his ‘Good Burger’ routines. I don’t know if you remember those.DS: Yeah, I remember them. I imitated them a lot, too. It’s pretty fun.JN: What’s your favorite Mark Mangino story?DS: It probably was when he gave a story about the gangster in his neighborhood when he was growing up.JN: What was that story?DS: It was about a guy that really wasn’t doing too much with his life, basically doing stuff that was gang-related. He was tied within the mob or something like that. And he was talking about how all the adults were scared of him, and how as kids, you don’t really know who to have fear of except the people that your parents tell you to. So what happened was the guy would come through the neighborhood every Sunday, and one day, (Mark) hit a ball, and it bounced and hit the guy’s car as he was driving by. And the guy stopped the car and got out, and they all got scared. And all the parents got nervous. And the guy got out and said, ‘If you’re going to hit the ball, hit the ball,’ and he started playing baseball with them for hours.He was talking about how the guy was a good guy, but it still caught up with him. He was talking about doing the wrong thing still catches up with you. It was an analogy about always doing the right thing. The guy was a good guy, but he did the wrong things with his life, and he’s dead now. Basically, he was talking about how you can’t hide the wrong things for too long until it comes out.JN: So that stuck with you?DS: That was just one of the many speeches he gave. I listen to a lot of different things he says. We’re all listening or talking to him. I believe that everything that is said to you or going on in your life is going to mold you in some way. You need to take something out of everything you learn or that you come in contact with, because every day is a new day. width=”100″ height=”200 width=”150″ height=”200 width=”100″ height=”150 width=”100″ height=”150