Thursday, February 26, 2009

HAWK TALK - Ally Stanton, Softball

Allyson Lane Stanton, junior, St. Louis, MO... Big White Castle fan.... Major is Journalism... Parents are Dan and Connie Stanton... Has one brother, Drew... Dad played football at Southeast Missouri State... Chose KU because she really loved the softball team and most of her friends from home go to Missouri and she wanted to do the exact opposite of all of them... Is a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band.

What is your favorite memory from your elementary school years?

Soccer was a really huge deal in elementary school and I remember when I became a free agent around 4th grade and switched teams and it was a big deal – I was the only one and I went home and told my parents that there was a huge frenzy and big backlash from switching teams. I felt very honored. I was always the biggest kid in my class. I came home in Kindergarten after we learned about numbers and we measured everyones height and weight and got in order. I was the biggest kid in my class and my mom told me to not tell anyone. I was proud of it so I guess that transferred.

Most ridiculous KU sports memory?

The most ridiculous when we had the 80’s band play before a softball game. They had an 80s cover band come out. We were warming up, it was a colder day. When we showed up at the field there was a band setting up. Our coach is intense and she was getting frazzled and said ‘what are these kids doing here? getting mad’ and marketing told her about the 80’s band. So the 80s cover band played for us, the other team and like 4 of our parents. They dedicated the songs to players cause there was no one else there. It was crazy, but it was pretty cool I guess.

What is your favorite YouTube video?

Currently I really like the one where the kid just got back from the dentist, all high on laughing gas. It is really cute the little kid just wants to go back to real life. When he screams, he just wants to get out of his body. He sighs, and his dad knows he can’t do anything for him. It is hilarious. Of course, I also like all of the JayRock videos.

JayRock - Softball 2009

What is your proudest moment?

I walked-on to KU so that’s been a big accomplishment to see as much playing time as I have as a walk-on. I didn’t know how to be recruited and I didn’t think I wanted to play softball but then at the end of my senior year in high school I was like ‘oh wait, I do!’ And I came to KU for a camp and fell in love with it and they knew I was going to be a walk-on cause there were no more scholarships. But I was up for the challenge and I worked really, really hard when I came out here. So doing that has been one of my biggest accomplishment. Also, being the inaugural Hawk Talk on this blog is right up there.

Best thing that has happened this week?

Softball wise, we beat Cal last weekend, who was ranked #10. Also, there was a Dog the Bounty Hunter marathon last night that got me through studying, or hindered me from doing so. One of the two.

When no one is looking...

I play with my nose. Not the inside, I'm not picking it. Since I broke it, it doesn’t look bad but it feels funny so I play with the bridge of my nose. It is like a mashed together puzzle. I broke it playing softball, I foul tipped a pitch into my face. So now it is reconstructed and I play with it.

Fictional character most like you and why?

These are really tough questions. Well, I don’t know if she’s most like me but I absolutely love Kate Hudson’s character Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Because I think she’s a nut. If I could go back in time, I’d like to be her with her crazy furry coat and she has a toolbox, like a fishing tackle box, instead of a purse. She kind of goes where the wind takes her, so I would like to be like her, but I don’t think I am like her.

What’s your dream job?

It’s to work in an Athletic Department, in the Student-Athlete Development/Life Skills area). I’m in Journalism, but I’m kind of realizing that it’s not the path that I want to take. I love being a student-athlete, so I know when I’m done here in a couple years I don’t want to stop interacting with them. And I think it’s a cool thing and it’s something that a lot of people don’t understand. It’s really cool to have a support group and it’s like a family and I want to stay a part of that.

Would you rather have wheels for feet or a t-shirt cannon for an arm?

As an outfielder, I think the t-shirt cannon would lend itself well, but I think wheels for feet. I’m a terribly slow person. I’m awfully slow. So the wheels I think would help me out. My dad says I run like I’m towing a refrigerator. So I think wheels for feet. I did steal my first base of the year this past weekend. I was superpumped, like “oh yeah.” An inning later I found out the pitcher threw a change-up (when I stole the base) which clearly gives you more time to get to second. But I was still excited.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet the Chair

So Brad Thorson came up with the idea to start a Jayhawk SAAC Blog, and by now you have probably realized that it is awesome. Don’t get me wrong, Brad actually got the idea from Club Trillion (though he claims that it came to him in a dream), but for the sake of Brad’s ego, we will totally give him credit.

For those of you who don’t know me, you have probably been living in a hole for the last 5 years. My name is Matt Baysinger. If this name doesn’t ring a bell, you may know me better as the brainchild of Jayrock brilliance. You also may know me as having the worst athletics mugshot ever. If you feel like you know of a more grossly horrific mugshot, please email the link to and we will be sure to post. Before I continue, I feel like I need to give you the background story of the faux hawk. Approximately one month prior to our team pictures, a bunch of the guys on the cross country team had the bright idea of growing beards and moustaches for the team picture. Unfortunately for me, I have yet to hit puberty, and likely will not do so until age 35. To properly compensate for my lack of facial hair, my attention-driven ego and I thought it would be best to find an alternate route to look foolish. In retrospect, it was a horrible idea, and the picture has now come back to haunt me on multiple occasions. Oops.

The main reason that this picture has come back to haunt me is that I was recently elected as the Chair of the NCAA Division I National SAAC – which means that this picture is regularly attached to any quote or publication associated with my name. Real professional, right?

Now that you know a little more about our group, you may think that SAAC stands for ‘stunningly attractive astonishing citizens’. While this acronym wouldn’t be incorrect in its application, SAAC is actually the student-athlete advisory committee. We have realized as student-athletes that we’re all in this together, and that the power of many is far greater than the power of one. Here at Kansas, we meet every other week to talk about community service, student government, upcoming games, and general ideas of promoting awesomeness. On the national level, I do a lot with legislation – like how legislative proposals become rules.

Before I go any further, it has come to my attention that people sometimes get Paul Hefferon and me confused. Paul and I are both young, handsome, and witty. He has been one of my best friends since our sophomore year in high school – Blue Valley West Jaguars represent! I moved from Colorado shortly after Paul moved from Georgia. After a few short months, we not only realized that we had a great deal in common, but we realized that we are the exact same person. It is our theory that Paul and I are actually the product of a government experiment of what happens when the same person is raised in two environments. Through this process, Paul became a distance runner, and I started sprinting. I won’t go into details, as I am sure that Paul will want to touch on this subject at another time.

Rock Chalk.

Matt Baysinger (MTF, CNCAADINSAAC [Chair, NCAA Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee])

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Night to Remember

Every year KU student-athletes have the opportunity to compete against each other in a variety show always consisting of very unique events called Jayrock. You can try and decipher out my political correctness for your own image of the night. This year was no different. I take that back, this year was very different. It was the biggest Jayrock in the history of Jayrocks. It was the sultan of swat, the titan of terror, the colossus of clout, the COLOSSUS OF CLOUT! It was a night to remember (of course all brought to you by SAAC and Mike Harrity).

As I paced backstage I contemplated just sneaking out the back door. I could have probably made up an adequate excuse enough; I mean who in their right mind would sing a Whitney Houston to an athletic director. Not to mention I tip the scales at a smidgeon under three bills and this athletic director just so happened to be Time Magazine’s Best Sport Executive in the World: Lew Perkins. I mean doubt me not, I can kill the song, no problem. But I had been fighting off a cold for quite some time and try as I might all the hot tea and throat lozenges in the world couldn’t help my rasp.

To make matters worse, while calming myself I was interrupted with a slew of questions about my lack of outfit. Apparently jeans and a KU t-shirt wouldn’t do. Ten minutes before my performance, microphone in hand, I was rushed out to the elevator to pick up my outfit. Not only was it transportation in the building, but it also became my dressing room. If the point hasn’t come across I was nervous and flustered, with my Irish skin it’s pretty easy to notice when my face gets flushed. I reassured myself it would be okay again and again and then I was announced.

I guess I should mention my compatriot hiding behind the stage with me happened to be Phoenix from American Gladiators, a former KU women’s thrower. Again as I tried to ready myself I was interrupted; Phoenix was appalled I would go out with a shirt on. I mean Google her and check out those biceps, I wasn’t about to say no. Back to me nearly dropping the ball on the opening act of Jayrock though. As I stood there and the music started I tried to gracefully enter into the first verse. Nothing. Tried to sing a little louder. Nothing! I started to panic and tried to push out the words. NOTHING! Actually that’s a lie, if anyone was there and remembers that short shrill squeal that sounded like electronic interference, that was my voice. I turned and looked at Phoenix and lipped “I can’t” and with that she thrust me onto stage. From there it’s history. I belted out every line and left the crowd in tears, standing ovation, roses at my feet. That may also be a lie but I won’t admit to it outright.

Anyway, enough about me. This was the beginning to a great night for everyone overall. There were some incredible events that took place, most notably the fall of Men’s Track and Field supreme reign. Insert memorial piece to Paul Hefferon who championed all of these previous wins for MTF here (that’s one of the cool abbreviations you get to use if you work in athletics). Okay, I have to mention Matt Baysinger as well since he was actually the brains of the operation but come on who can say no to Paul's 130 pound frame? Granted they did a great job, not as good as I did, but other teams showed up to compete as well. It was an excellent testament to the competitiveness and fun loving spirit of KU athletes. If you didn’t already know on behalf of all athletes we would like to yet again highlight 2008 Orange Bowl Champions in football and 2008 National Champions in Men’s Basketball (FB and MBB respectively if you want to abbreviate them). Rock Chalk Jayhawk anyone?

A couple days before Brad made his incredible Jayrock debut, I got the privilege of giving Brad a pep talk and sharing all of my performance tips with him. Basically, his success is because of my awesome advice. Oh yeah, this is Kaitlyn Coen, a proud member of the Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams (or WTF in Brad’s abbreviation terms). Brad has a slight ADD issue and just wandered off somewhere, so unfortunately you are stuck with me to finish out your Jayhawk Chalk Talk blog experience (this is actually a great discovery for you because not only am I cooler and wittier, but I am better looking than Brad).

Let me tell you exactly what Jayrock is. Our #1 athletic director, Lew Perkins, decided that it was important for student-athletes to come together in a non-athletic way, so he allows Mike Harrity to put on a “dinner and a show.” All athletes come together for a delicious meal and some great acts put on by their fellow athletes. Until this year, MTF had never lost. The tradition was proud, and strong, but unfortunately it wasn’t carried over to the women’s side. Previous MTF acts have been a “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out”, an OK Go music video, and a “no-show skit from last year that somehow was magically put together that night” skit. So for three years running, MTF had the coveted “Overall Best Act” trophy; that is until this year. Swimming & Diving dethroned the guys with a fun little dance about food. Volleyball and Men’s Basketball felt somewhat slighted because they didn’t receive any award for their version of the High School Musical movies (getcha head in the game!) that has, as I write this blog, hit 72,024 views (and counting). According to some insiders in KU Athletics, “the rest of the world has spoken” regarding awards for Jayrock. Oh, here’s a fun fact of the day for you (FFD if you really wanted another abbreviation), the trophies awarded to the winning acts travel to Lawrence all the way from the big city of Hays, KS. Yeah, that’s right; there are some cool things that come from Hays; me being one of them.

Well, the best way for you to get the entire experience is to watch the videos that Matt Baysinger has posted on YouTube. You can’t really explain in words the amazingness of the event. Except for maybe Brad’s rendition of “I Will Always Love Lew” because if you watched a video of that, it may end up permanently damaging your ears. Rock Chalk.

-Brad Thorson (Football) and Kaitlyn Coen (Cross Country/Track & Field)

FYI- Kaitlyn forgot to mention Wild Bill Hickok, former Sheriff of Hays, KS. In my opinion he's probably the most famous person from Hays although the race is a close one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The First Post

What is this? Well to be honest, I don't think many of us know exactly where we are going just yet. But we here at the University of Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) decided if everyone else has a blog why not us. Hopefully- if we can stay dedicated in between whatever crazy class/athletic schedule we've created for ourselves- we'll be able to introduce a few of ourselves to you readers and keep you up-to-date and informed on KU Athletics and the fun stuff us athletes get ourselves into. By the way, I'm Brad. You'll probably hear a lot of things about me but let me assure you they are all lies, even the one I'll be forced to write about my rendition of Whitney Houston in a purple crushed velvet pimp suit. Enough about me because this is about SAAC and the cool kids involved around campus and in the community. Special thanks to Mike Harrity for letting us put this together and supporting our ridiculous ideas far more often than he needs or probably wants to. So before I go to lifting where I will surely be destroyed by "legendaries" here's a preview of what's to come.

First and foremost we have an upcoming full SAAC meeting 7pm in the Naismith room on Monday February 23rd. All are welcome and encouraged to join. Additionally, I am going to round up some of the other athletes and see if I can't get them posting on here pretty soon. Expect a little info from Paul Hefferon on last Wednesday's show at the Jazz Haus (I'll let him fill you in), maybe a little something from National SAAC Chairman and former KU Track All-Star Matt Baysinger on what's going on big picture style (that's right Paul, I called Matt the All-Star) and obviously lots and lots of fun stories. See all you Jayhawks at SAAC Monday. Rock Chalk.

-Brad Thorson