No 18-hour football watching session yesterday. My step-dad was visiting, so we took him down to Bloomington for the day. You will be relieved to hear the Colts sold out in time for their thrashing of the Titans. Since they missed the blackout deadline, though, the only highlights available here were those shot by local stations from the sidelines. That’s how hard core the NFL is: if you can’t sell your game out at least 72 hours in advance, you can’t expect to see network highlights on local stations either.

The big news here, of course, was Governor Frank O’Bannon dying. He looked a little like Mel Carnahan (O’Bannon, Carnahan, that makes sense). His politics were similar. And they both had demeanors that made you forget they were lifetime politicians and probably pretty ruthless when they wanted to be. Gov. O’Bannon just looked like a nice, old man. New Governor Joe Kernan was ready to end his political career. He had no interest in running to replace his close friend this year. Now, he’s forced to fill the final four-months of O’Bannon’s term. When politicians die, you always hear heartfelt eulogies from friends and foes, and lengthy discourses on everything they did for their constituents. I don’t think any of those obligatory remembrances of Frank O’Bannon were forced or less than genuine.

We finally watched Bowling for Columbine last night. I thought it was interesting so much of the movie that is specific to the Columbine shooting takes place in the first 45 minutes. It makes sense, when you take into account that Michael Moore is looking for what causes the high level of gun violence in the US. But you would expect that the entire movie would lead up to the security footage of students hiding in the library, then fleeing as the gunmen made their way into the room. My sympathies on the subject lie with those who would put limits on certain types of weapons and ammunition. But I felt it was a fairly evenhanded portrayal of the subject. It’s really a movie that I would write for hours about, but since it’s Monday morning, this is really all I have in me.

The University of Kansas is 2-1!!! That one is looking very ugly now, as Northwestern clearly peaked in the rain in Lawrence (are they mudders?). But the two is looking more impressive as UNLV ran all over Wisconsin in Madison Saturday. Something tells me Erick R. was running up and down his street without a shirt Saturday afternoon. The heartbreak of college sports is having a player like Bill Whittemore, who has single-handedly won a couple games and kept KU in other games in his career, when there’s very little talent around him. Next year, when he’s moved on and the offensive line, defense, and receiving corps are maturing, we’ll be busy breaking in some new quarterback.

Is it just me, or is Colorado the polar-opposite of Kansas State? I heard K-State ripped on CBS, ABC, and ESPN Saturday for their scheduling. Sure, CU takes a beating early each year (Colorado State, UCLA, Washington State, and Florida State this year), but they also have two straight Big 12 North first place finishes. The murderous quality of their non-conference schedule seems to prepare them well for the rigors of the B-12 season. I think CU and KSU should swap schedules next year so we can see what happens.

My first local recruiting effort has been aborted before it could get started. A.J. Ratliff, a 6’2’’ guard from Indianapolis that KU was recruiting, committed to Indiana over the weekend. That’s a shame. The kid will never know what kind of love he’s missing out on by not having me at his games this winter.