Ours is a college sports family, as you can see by the picture above taken at a bowl game a few years ago. Our son and daughter were raised in a university town, and they became avid fans of the Kansas State Wildcats. When they married, the following K-State and the other teams in our conference stayed intact. Except that Karen married a Jayhawk--the arch rivals of K-State. So, since we love our son-in-law, we look at the Jayhawks a bit more kindly and root for them unless they're playing us. During football bowl time and basketball tournament days, we root for all the Big 12 conference teams. When they do well, our conference does well. At least, we did all that until now.
Recently, there has been a shake-up in our conference. Nebraska fled straight into the arms of the Big 10 when invited. More money from TV exposure. Tradition and loyalty slid way down their ladder of values.
Next, Colorado moved to accept an invitation to the Pac-10 Conference. OK, that leaves 10 teams for us. Not necessarily so! Texas is deciding tomorrow if they are going to the Pac-10. If they go, so will Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Texas A&M may go with them, or they might just slip on into the SEC conference. If all this happens, what does K-State and KU do? What about Missouri and Baylor and Iowa State?
It's an unholy mess as far as the fans are concerned, but what does this have to do with writing? During all this upheaval, I've taken notice of something. Our newspapers are filled with numerous articles about the situation. Sports writers are pounding out one story after another, watching each day to see what new change has come about. They've researched and written about the great history of the Big 12 confeence, they report what's going on, they highlight Athletic Directors and chancellors of the schools involved. But what they are doing more than anything is speculating. It's all they can do for no one knows how this will all pan out.
The writers tell us 'if this happens, then this might happen, or if it doesn't, this could very well be the outcome.' They don't know any more than the guy in the barbershop or the convenience store counter, but they can guess. They guess and they put ideas into the heads of their readers who will come back the next day for more. And the guesses will probably be different on any given day.
For these sports writers, it's manna from Heaven. They don't have to think about something to write. The story is there each and every day with new material to build upon the old. I must admit that I've read some very good writing on the sports pages lately. They give us the facts, but they also appeal to the hearts of the fans, as well. I think these sports writers are going to have something to write about on this subject for quite some time to come. If Texas and its cronies flee to the Pac-10, then they can spend plenty of time speculating what thr few teams left in the Big 12 are going to do. There's going to be a summer's worth of writing floating down to them like snowflakes in a major storm Might even take them right up to the first football game of the season!