Usually with my column I like to be more concise and focus on one particular subject at hand. But this week there are few things I need to address. So let me welcome you to this special edition of Ty’s Take.
KU vs ISU
Monday night, sportswriter and awesome cat owner Dustin Turner; the Daily News’ do-it-all version of Lois Lane, the wonderful Nicole Wiegland (who also drove by the way, thanks once again); and me, your favorite karaoke singing, Dollar Tree addicted, young journalist, paid a visit to Hilton Coliseum, home of the Iowa State University Cyclones.
My co-workers came decked out in ISU gear. I bravely wore a black KU hoodie, crimson and navy colored Nike sneakers, my lucky KU scarf, and a KU Final Four T-shirt for the occasion. For the bulk of my fan career I have been exposed to mostly Missouri fans, who are hostile and full of envy. So going to Ames, I expected a similar experience.
Needless to say I was very disappointed.
ISU fans are unreasonably nice. I was seriously ready to receive verbal venom and was more than prepared to dish it out in return, and yet, I never got my venom. I actually got more trash talk from my coworkers, who support ISU, than I did from any random fans.
Nicole even joked about leaving me in Ames after KU won.
The other ISU fans were pretty much courteous and, for the most part, simply ignored me. They paid more attention to their Cyclones, which meant I was a mere afterthought — some bozo in the opposite colors, not someone to spew hate at.
The most negative experience of the evening came when Dustin and I ordered “Clone-Cones.” They gave me this petite, mole-hill of red and yellow ice cream, and they served him this gargantuan mountain of sugary delights that could only be described as the Everest of ice cream dishes. Although it was small in comparison, it was delicious.
And speaking of delicious, I have to give credit where credit is due. Hickory Park in Ames served up some pretty good barbecue for a great price. For a general barbecue review, I would give them an eight and half, and on the Kansas City scale, they get a solid seven. It’s hard for me to give barbecue outside of my native Kansas City such a high ranking, but it was well deserved.
But yeah, the game was great! My Jayhawks overcame the “Hilton Magic” and ended the Cyclones’ home win streak at 22 games. It was a great moment to witness. And even as I left the arena doing my best Ric Flair “Woo’s” and holding up my lucky scarf, the fans were still great.
The closest I came to an “incident” occurred when I returned from the restroom right as the national anthem began. When I came back to the arena a man tapped me on the shoulder, and I as I turned to look at him he motioned for me to remove my hat. I obliged and after it ended we exchanged a head nod and I made the climb back to my nose-bleed seats.
Black History Month
I talked about sports in the previous passage which isn’t one of my beats. Education is one of them, however, and I love it. Going to all the schools and hanging out with the kids and seeing what’s going on is phenomenal.
One of the things that has really impressed me is how diverse the kids in Jasper County are.
I heard nothing but good things about Fruteland Jackson’s visits to the schools as a part of Blues in the Schools and Black History Month. It’s so cool to me to see these kids not only learn about other cultures but to embrace them as well.
I was also highly impressed when I talked to the kids for last week’s Kids Talk segment. The answers that personally stirred me the most, were the kids who chose Obama and Lincoln as their favorite presidents.
Wyatt Hall said he chose Obama because, “...he thinks all people should be treated equally.” That was such an impressive answer, especially coming from a 9-year-old.
And the kids that picked Lincoln all mentioned slavery, and what he did to help out Black people. I loved it. I know this is a small sample size, but if the kids in this county are this progressive, it really gives me hope for their generation and the generations after theirs being truly colorblind.
I appreciate the schools here have taken such an initiative to teach kids in our county all aspects of history.
The last thing I want to address in this week’s special edition of Ty’s Take is my new office hours. Starting next week, every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. I will be at Worth the Weight downtown on the west side of the square, holding office hours.
Office hours is an open invitation to any reader who wants to come by and chat with me. At these office hours, you can pitch me a story, give me feedback on stories — I will take praise and criticism equally — and we could just shoot the breeze, or you can tell me about any cute, single women in town.
No topic is too taboo and as a journalist all conversations whether they are serious or silly is kept between us.
This is a staff-wide initiative and the other writers will also hold office hours. They will announce their own times and locations.
So start to look for me at Worth the Weight on Wednesday’s and enjoy some frozen yogurt. But I have to admit I was so close to holding my office hours at another location.
Dustin Turner dubbed it “Dollar Tree with Ty.”
Staff Writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641)-792-3121, ext. 426, or firstname.lastname@example.org via email.