Straight Shots From Welch Ave.

Is Bill Callahan cocky? Why is Dan Hawkins so cool? Will the Missouri Tigers really beat Oklahoma? How smart is John Walters? Find out what CN's publisher Chris Williams has to say about all of these questions in this weeks edition of Straight Shots From Welch Ave.

My Bad John Walters


I am beginning this week's column by discussing what one of my biggest idols in sports journalism pointed out to me last week in Kansas City. The Voice of the Cyclones John Walters comes up to me and he says, "Hey, why is your picture for your Straight Shots From Welch Ave. column crooked?" That's genius Mr. Walters. Flat out genius. I never thought of that. Mr. Walter's has that brilliant ability to find the slightest, most clever flaws that the normal naked eye would never see.


Why is my picture cricked? I thought about renaming the column…Not So Straight Shots From Welch AveThen I thought about it. Hmmm…not such a hot idea. That's more like a topic for Deace in the Afternoon airing from 4-7 on 1040 WHO.


Anyways, I'm sorry Mr. Walters about the crooked picture, but until something better comes along, which it probably won't because God knows I'm packing on the pounds, the crooked picture WILL stand.


Confidence the Theme of the Week


I saw 12 coaches speak at the Big 12 media days in Kansas City and one thing stuck out with every single coach.


Those boys are confident. They should be. To make it to this level of coaching, you can't do it without having a little strut in your step.


The big one who stood out to me was Bill Callahan. Callahan comes across as not confident but cocky to a lot of people. I see where you get that, but this guy is exactly what Nebraska needs. Nebraska is not the Nebraska of old. The swagger is completely gone from that team and if Bill Callahan can't deliver swagger, then Kansas State can't deliver JUCO's.


Speaking of Kansas State, Ron Prince impressed me last week. Prince's class and ideas were great and he really had me in his camp, right up until Colorado's Dan Hawkins took the stage.


Hawkins came across not only as an offensive mastermind, but an honest media savvy fan as well. That was refreshing to me. Hawkins didn't spit PR at you. Hawkins told you what he thought and he showed a ton of emotion. One example that impressed me was when Hawkins was asked about how his system was working since he got to Colorado. Hawkins simply said, we have a long ways to go. Hawkins then went on to talk about how the fan in him is excited to coach in all of the prestigious Big 12 stadiums.


Thank you Dan Hawkins. Thank you for keeping in real, something that you rarely see at media days.


Mizzou Over Oklahoma? I Don't Think So


When Blum and I were driving back from KC we were tuning into some sports talk radio, Missouri style. There was some Missouri sports writer, who I had never heard of and he actually thought that Missouri would beat Oklahoma this year in Columbia. He was serious.


You know I don't mind having a little confidence in your team, in fact I love it. But come on, a comment like deserves a swift kick in the you know what. Go ahead Mizzou fans; pick them to win the North. Pick them to go 8-4, that's cool with me. Why? Because that is all realistic. The North is wide open, but picking your Missouri Tigers to beat Adrian Peterson and Oklahoma is flat out ridiculous.


An Unappreciated McCarney?


I learned a lot of things last week at the Big 12 media days in Kansas City. I learned a lot about the business. I learned a lot about different coaches and players in the Big 12. But the biggest thing that I learned while I was in Kansas City was how unappreciated I feel that Dan McCarney actually is in Ames, Iowa.


I know it's a very small portion of the fan base, but that portion of the fan base is there. I read what they say on message boards every day.


The cool thing for me was that at these Big 12 meetings, I could talk to any sports writer that covers any school in the Big 12. I had a chance to do that last week. During these talks, they usually start off with the basics. You know, who do you write for? What do you think about the season? That sort of thing. Then you start to get more into details.


Well the thing that I noticed is that every time I told a guy I covered Iowa State, the first thing they said was, "that Dan McCarney is the most underrated coach in the country." This happened four or five times to me last week.


Writers from Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas told me that. ESPN's Bob Davie said it. TBS's Charles Davis said it. On a national stage, the job that McCarney has done continues to shine, as it should.







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