Since the Jayhawk is a bird

Is it sacrilege - or cannibalism - to eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

It occurred to me not for the first time, as a Jayhawk, that eating large birds on Thanksgiving may make me an honorary member of the Hannibal Lecter Epicurean Society...

If so, pass the fava beans, Clarice--pfft--pfft--pfft-pfft...

Of course, we're safe, as any grocery store selling unwieldy red and blue birds with yellow beaks has been frowned upon since that awful poultry scandal in 1968.

As Jayhawks, we have much to be thankful for as we prepare to eat Ourselves stupid and watch *sigh*other football teams on the last Thursday of November.

Let's start around the table and take a moment to give thanks before we Eat. Coach Mangino


Oh. Never mind. Can't talk. Eating. Okay, we'll come back to you, Coach.

But speaking of football, we may think that the chief source of joy and thanks this year is that the football season is, well--it's over--and so we know if nothing else we can't get beat up on again. But there is more, really, to be thankful for in Memorial Stadium. I'll defy anyone, righteous or Wildcat, to deny that there are flashes of a cohesive football unit being built in Lawrence. I'm not just talking about Lawrence High or Lawrence Free State, who had much better records.

Coach Roy? Any words from you?

Oops--he and Wanda are canoodling over the cranberry sauce. Take it outside, you two.

Over the years I've heard people grouse that year after year we think KU Hoops will be unstoppable. Then, when we get stopped, it's all Roy's fault and he should be ashamed that an NCAA Championship ring is conspicuously absent from his finger.

Pass the rolls and shut up. Kansas University Basketball has a national reputation for solid recruiting, fair and equitable treatment of student athletes and fans who are zealous pilgrims to the Mecca that Phog built on Naismith Drive. Roy Williams is a man of honor and a great coach. But note his name is Roy--and not Moses-and we've been just since '88 without a championship. Fourteen years is not forty.

As we pause for giving thanks, allow me to drop this little nugget into the gravy. Do we not do our high-profile head coaches a grave disservice by our inclination to deify them? If we want to really show our thanks for Kansas Athletics, don't we want to realize that Coach Roy and Coach Mangino put their pants on one leg at a time? And that, while they very well may be more expensive and in some cases much bigger pants, they are human? I fear and fret for some that would put these men into higher strata of consciousness. When these men do falter--and they will--they tumble from on high in as graceless and unfortunate a manner as a gob of spittle over the Kansas River bridge.

Be thankful for our coaches--and let them be human.

My editor suggested a "Turkey of the Year" award for this Thanksgiving holiday. Step off, all of you. KU Football is too easy a target--and a tad unfair besides. Still, I am a guy, and easy works for me a great deal of the time.

Perhaps, in light of Enron, Worldcom, and Tyco an Award of dubious distinction should go to KU Athletics Director Al Bohl. We'll call it the "We've got our eye on you, Skippy" award for diminished expectations in athletics administration. No one's making any (new) accusations. I am just saying trust everyone, but cut the cards.

And save me the drumstick. Top Stories