Summer sports fans are having fun this Fourth of July holiday weekend. Royals fans have a baseball team that is still in the playoff race – for a first time in 29 years. Soccer fans have been going crazy with the U.S. team advancing past group play in the World Cup. Soccer fans are a special breed.
The Chiefs have a lot of question marks as they face an extremely difficult 2014 schedule. Camp is just around the corner and it seems coaches and fans alike remain uncertain about how all the new faces are going to work out. The British Open is in a week and no one ever knows how that tournament will turn out.
It’s probably odd timing, but I feel compelled to bring up the topic of the new basketball coach at the University of Missouri, Kim Anderson. He has done a tremendous job of reviving interest in the MU basketball program throughout the state. He is a true Midwest guy who understands our thinking because he is one of us.
He has already shown more interest in the program than his predecessors in their entire tenure at the university. He has done a border-to-border PR blitz for his new program.
Coach Anderson was able to secure a game with Oklahoma State at the Sprint Center in the early part of the nonconference schedule. The Missouri fan base was in desperate need of Tiger attention, and this game is a step in the right direction. He has many ties in this area and should be able to draw in a fan base from the west side of the state. His plan to build a program rather than get through a year at a time with transfers and one-year wonders makes sense.
I hate the chatter about his age from bags of wind at the golf course and Royals games. He is Missouri tough, and his age affords him the experience as an experienced and successful coach and he was a key recruiter in the Norm Stewart regime. If Coach Anderson is able to stay the course and build a successful program at MU the fair-weather fans will no doubt be the first to jump on the Anderson express.
It will take patience. The first three years of a rebuild in any sport is difficult and testy – success may not be fully realized in wins and losses. However, during that time a way to do things has to transition into a way of life. Coach Anderson is beginning that process right now, and he needs to find out quickly who is in and who is out, which should be his biggest strength.
Only the best programs know exactly where they stand as a group. All players and coaches see the same vision and are totally invested in the philosophy. Coach Anderson is perfect for the challenge. This is his lifelong professional goal. Age is not a factor – a hungry dogs runs further and faster. It would be a relief to see all the MU fans totally get behind this guy and enjoy the ride.
The three things the new coach will bring to the table are good work habits, unselfishness and class. Bruce Brown, in his publication “First Steps to Creating a Successful Team,” indicates these qualities are a must in creating a successful program. This new Missouri coach is a poster boy for possessing all three.
My request is for fans to give Coach Anderson room to let his Midwest background and experience guide the program to a successful rebuilding process and to quit dwelling on his age. I am ending this article with a quote from Hall of Fame college football coach Duffy Daugherty:
“It is important to have a philosophy of life. I encouraged all of our young Spartans at Michigan State University to have the three-bone philosophy. The first bone I wanted them is to have is a funny bone; to always have a sense of humor and to enjoy a good laugh each day, especially if it came at their own expense, and to take this responsibility seriously, but never take themselves too seriously. The second bone I wanted them to have is a wishbone to think big so their seeds will grow, to hitch their wagon to the proverbial star, and to have high goals and lofty ideals. The third and probably the most important bone is a backbone. This gives you the gumption, the get up and go, the courage, the desire to excel, the motivation to make all of your dreams come true and to reach all your high goals and ambitions.”
• Golf fans, this is a reality: Tiger Woods is not going to come back and tear up the golf world in one week. Golf is one of the hardest games to play in the world. You just do not step back up on the tee box and shoot 62, even if you are one of the best in the sport of all time.
• It looks like it will be another great year for the local American Legion teams. I hope people will get out and support these teams on their march to a possible state championship. Mike Rooney and his coaching staff understand building a program year in and year out.
• This year’s Paul Splittorff Annual Memorial Golf Tournament was a great success and a lot of fun. Be sure to circle the event on your calendar for next year. It is always for a great cause, and the Splittorff family puts a lot of time and effort toward the cause in memory of a great, great guy.
• Another great benefit tournament is the annual Tabitha’s Closet Tournament. It will be held WinterStone Golf Course at 8 a.m., Aug. 2. More information will be available mid-July. You can learn more or register online at www.tabithascloset.org.
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 5-6 p.m. every Thursday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org