Articles By: Joe Kleinsasser

Dynasties: Hard to build, harder to maintain

If winning were easy, everyone would do it, right? Well, not exactly, because for every winner there has to be a loser. In professional sports, there aren’t many dynasties because it’s hard to win consistently. Almost every team goes through ups and downs. The downs seem to be longer for some than others. If losing builds character, there are some […]

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Officiating should not be a matter of life and death

During my 40-year basketball officiating career, I remember a fan in a small high school gym taking exception to one of my calls. The gentleman stomped down six or so steps before he stopped short of the court and gave me a piece of his mind. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I’m quite sure he wasn’t inviting […]

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From intros to media timeouts, it’s about entertainment

Major college basketball teams and the NBA love elaborate pre-game introductions. The player introductions may slightly delay the start of a game, but they don’t factor in its outcome. They’re largely for entertainment value. Earlier this spring, when I was traveling on business, I had some free time, so I attended a Miami Heat at Washington Wizards game. The Heat […]

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Is momentum in sports real or mirage?

The Atlanta Falcons had momentum in the first half of this year’s Super Bowl game. Suddenly it vanished. The New England Patriots took the momentum in the fourth quarter and carried it over to the end of the game in overtime. Old Mo is fickle. One minute, it’s with you. The next thing you know, it vanishes like a puff […]

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Final thoughts on March Madness

OK, so maybe KU, WSU and KSU didn’t make the Final Four this year, but two former K-State coaches (Dana Altman and Frank Martin) and former KU coach Roy Williams had teams in the Final Four (Oregon, South Carolina and North Carolina). • It’s difficult to please KU fans. The following tweet appeared on Twitter minutes after the Jayhawks disposed […]

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Should professional athletes be allowed days of rest?

NBA fans aren’t happy when coaches rest players, especially if the fan is attending the game. It’s easy to understand why. Tickets are pricey, and if you fork over a hundred dollars or more to watch the stars come out, you want to see them play. Imagine having tickets to watch Steph Curry of Golden State, or Cleveland’s LeBron James, […]

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In sports, fairytale endings are usually that: fairytales

Sports fans are all too familiar with the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Our local basketball teams are a case in point. The ongoing success of Tabor College men’s and women’s basketball is remarkable. If dynasty isn’t the right term, try juggernaut. Both teams annually continue to win either the conference or KCAC post-season tournament. The fact […]

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You say it’s fun to go traveling? Not refs

It won’t surprise K-State basketball fans who watched KU benefit from a missed call at the end of a game in Lawrence this year that traveling is one of the calls most often missed by officials. For what it’s worth, I don’t blame the officials for the Wildcats’ loss. The call was a factor in the outcome, but it wasn’t […]

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Officials often double as fashion police

One frustrating aspect of being a basketball official, or any official for that matter, is having to double as the fashion police and babysitters. Rules specify that uniforms are to be worn properly. That sounds simple enough, right? Ah, no. Those seemingly simple rules can lead to confusion when discussing those concerns with a coach before the game. One of […]

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A reminder: life is fragile for everyone, famous or otherwise

Yordano Ventura was only 25 when he died. He’s not the first and won’t be the last professional athlete to die in their prime. Football player Pat Till­man was 27. Baseball player Jose Fernandez was 24. Basketball players Len Bias and Hank Gathers were 22 and 23, respectively. The cause of these deaths varies, but each one was a shock. […]

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