This Week in Kansas History: Nov. 24 - Dec. 1

"Brian's Song" debuts - it's okay to cry

On November 30th, 1971, "Brian's Song" debuted on ABC. The movie was about Chicago Bears' Brian Picolo and his friendship with Gayle Sayers. It was a mostly factual account of the relationship between the teammates and Brian's untimely death from cancer. The movie became a sports classic and macho men across the nation dabbed their eyes with Puffs. Sayers was born in Wichita and played for KU from 1961-65. The Kansas Comet was drafted by the Chicago Bears and became the youngest player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Kansas and Missouri competed in the first Thanksgiving Day football game on November 30th, 1893. The tradition continued for eighteen year. Read more from

Jeff Dishman was born November 30th, 1960. Dishman was an Academic All Big 8 player that averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds during his two years at KU. Kelly Knight was born on November 28 one year later. Knight averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game from 1979-84. The brother of Danny Knight was a medical red shirting his sophomore year.

The first play-by-play broadcast of a football game was aired in College Station, TX on November 25, 1920. Contrary to popular belief, the game was not called by Max Falkenstein.

On November 25, 1985 Bobby Brown announced that he was leaving New Edition for a solo career. This blow came just a year and half after the announcement Ted Owens was leaving the University of Kansas to pursue other career options.

The 1995-96 Jayhawks thrilled fans on December 1st by overcoming a 15 point deficit at the half to come back and defeat UCLA. The team was led by Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, Jacque Vaughn, Jerod Haase, and Scot Pollard. The young team went on to become Big 8 Champions before losing to Syracuse in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Other Dates in History:

(11.24.96) Barry Sanders set an NFL record when he recorded his eighth straight 1,000-yard season. Sanders was originally from Wichita, KS and played for OSU.
(11.28.77) Larry Bird was introduced as "College Basketball's Secret Weapon" with a cover story in Sports Illustrated.
(12.01.64) Kansas defeated Arkansas for its 900th win in history.
(12.01.80) Kansas gets its 1200th win by defeating Pepperdine.

Finally, this week in 1973 the New York Dolls played their first show in a London restaurant. Three years later on December 1st the Sex Pistols made their infamous appearance on the British TV "Today Show." Band members said naughty Coach-K-like words and the Pistols were banned in several British cities. This has nothing to do with Kansas sports history, but who doesn't love punk music and drag?

Information compiled from a variety of sources including,, media guides, This Day in History,, and other print publications. Top Stories