Know Your Knights: Michael

It occurred to me a week or so ago that I never really formally introduced any of the staff that is contributing content to KC Kingdom. They are the knights of this site’s round table and a big part of the community we’re working to build. With that in mind I thought it would be beneficial to provide some information about each of them. To facilitate this process I came up with eight incredibly unimaginative questions and posed them to the staff (and answered them myself).

Baby Jay chillin’ on the sidelines (Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Next up we have Michael Engel who covers Kansas Jayhawks basketball for the site.

How did you become a fan of the team you’re covering?

It was weird, because for a while, I had no real favorite college team. I even had a K-State basketball sometime during the Mitch Richmond days (I know because I ended up kicking it into my backyard rather than shooting hoops with it ). In 1988, a teacher said that Kansas won the championship and I thought that was pretty cool. Then, in 1991, they went to the championship game but lost to Duke. That was the first NCAA championship game I ever watched. In 1993, my older sister went to KU and it was the first year I got into every game of March Madness, then KU went to the Final Four. I was hooked. Went to my first game at Allen Fieldhouse during my senior year of high school and got hooked … more … if that’s possible.

Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I grew up in a smallish western Kansas town of Hays, KS. All-American City in 1996. Currently, I live in Lawrence, KS.

What is your college/educational background?

I got a BA in History from the University of Kansas in 2004.

What do you do for a living?

I’m the book buyer for the textbook department at the KU Bookstore and the trade bookstore inside the KU Memorial Union.

What is your family situation (wife, kids, etc.)?

Single, no kids. One cat. Lots of books.

What do you like to do for fun (sports related or otherwise)?

Big fan of reading and working in a bookstore makes it really difficult not to give my money right back. I like literary fiction, baseball books and generally interesting books. I’m an avid fantasy football player and not quite as avid a roto baseball fan. I also run FanSided’s Royals site, Kings of Kauffman, and record a (typically) weekly podcast called the Kansas City Baseball Vault.

What is your favorite sports moment or memory?

I remember the first game I went to at then-Royals Stadium. It was Picture Day and we were all set for our one trip to Kansas City. My dad somehow missed the stadium and we got in just before first pitch. No Picture Day
for me … Also George Brett, my favorite, was either on the DL or just not in the lineup that night. Royals beat the White Sox 4-2 though.

Playing-wise, one year in baseball, I was facing Gary Kolasch. His team was the Reds. My team was the Yankees. I took a swing at a pitch over the middle and a little down and it felt good. I was thinking triple off the bat, thinking I’d hit it into a nice gap. As I was busting it around first, I noticed the shortstop was kicking dirt around and not looking too eager to do anything, so I looked out to the outfield and the center fielder was up against the wall looking out through the chain link. My one and only over-the-fence homer. That was pretty cool.

What are your least favorite team(s) and why?

College sports – Mizzou
Baseball – Yankees
NFL – NFC East generally, though I’m alright with the Eagles usually
NBA/NHL – I’m pretty indifferent

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