It’s been five straight terrible days for the city of Kansas City, the Chiefs, and the sports world.
Yesterday, it was announced by Yahoo Sports that Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor had passed away suddenly at the age of 37. Paylor began his journalism career fresh out of Howard University in 2006 covering high school sports for the KC Star, before taking over as the Mizzou beat writer in 2012. He was soon elevated to the KC Star’s Chief’s beat, a post he held from 2013 to 2018 before being wooed away by Yahoo Sports to be a Senior NFL Writer (mostly covering the Chiefs). The man was beloved by colleagues and fans, and even the Chiefs organization he worked so hard to cover. Tributes came pouring in from across social media, but of course, some of the of the best came from some of the writers he worked with longest, past and present KC Star writers like Vahe Gregorian, Sam Mellinger, Candace Buckner, and others that the KC Star compiled.
Rest in peace Terez, you will be missed.
Now, on to K-State sports. And really, the only thing new out of yesterday was that the WeberCats lost, again. Oh, that isn’t new? Well, the way they lost certainly was. In what was easily their most complete performance of 2021, a game where the Wildcats showed up for the full 40 minutes, K-State dropped a close game to the Longhorns. The WeberCats took Texas’ best shots for 40 minutes and never gave up, with both teams hitting 51% of their field goals, and the final margin came down to UT hitting six-straight free throws as the Cats were fouling to keep time on the clock, and a last-ditch three from half-court clanged off the rim. The 77 points, including 22 from Nijel Pack and 18 from Mike McGuirl, were a season high for K-State, and came against one of the better teams in the league (before they had started to have COVID problems a couple weeks ago).
If the Wildcats can continue to play like that down the stretch, it opens up real possibility for some winnable games down the stretch, even without a reschedule of the Iowa State game. Kansas is down and still has to visit Manhattan (in a game that has been moved to Wednesday Feb 17th on ESPN+ because apparently ESPN didn’t want two un-ranked teams playing on ESPN2 on Tuesday night); TCU struggled to hold off Iowa State last night; and by some voodoo or magic, Oklahoma hasn’t managed to win a game in Manhattan since Frank Martin was still the head coach at Kansas State. But again, those are only possibilities if the Wildcats can repeat the performance, or at least overall effort, of last night’s game. We shall see.
The Wildcat women are in action tonight from Fort Worth, and will be looking to snap their own losing streak against a TCU team that Jeff Mittie has struggled to beat in his time at K-State. But, like the men, the MittieCats showed a much-improved effort in a loss to a No. 8/8 Baylor over the weekend, and will be looking to continue that effort tonight. Hopefully it will be enough. If you want to watch, the game, like most of the Big 12 women’s slate, will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.