This week the Big 12 Conference tournament is being held in Kansas City at the relatively new Sprint Center in the Power and Light District--Party Place for those attending the tourney. I've been reading story after story in the Kansas City paper and our local one, too, about the teams, the players, the coaches, the history of the tournament. Then there are stories about the Power and Light District to let people know what's available there for eating and entertainment.
There are so many stories connected with this tournament that the Kansas City Star put out an entire section highlighting many of the things I mentioned above. As I read it yesterday, I had visions of the reporters/journalists pounding keyboards and phone pads at a rate that would defy most of us.
Years ago, the sports stories pretty much mentioned the scores of the games, something about the stats and occasionally a mention of the players or coaches. Nothing like today when we see one player after another in a feature piece. We learn about their childhood, their families, obstacles in life they may have overcome, their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. What that does is connect us with the teams, so that when we watch the games, we are watching indivduals, not just teams. We know that one player just lost his mother, that another has a brand new baby in his life, while still another is the only one in his family to attend college. It makes them people, not just number 23 on the second best team in the conference. (which happens to be the Kansas State Wildcats)
If you're a sports fan, thank a sports writer for making the sports world more meaningful through the words that they write. And if you're tempted to skip over some of those stories, don't do it. Reading them will only add to your enjoyment as the teams battle for the conference championship. Go Cats!