On Friday we added a new knight to the KC Kingdom round table. Our latest addition is Joel Wagler who is the first of our team (aside from me of course) that has “general coverage” responsibilities as opposed to being primarily focused on one team. You can expect him to help out on the Chiefs and Royals fronts but he will also be tasked with tackling Jayhawks news and topics as well as some general Big 12 coverage.
While Joel is still getting his bearings and settling in, his debut post should be up in the next day or so. In the meantime, he was kind enough to quickly complete the same eight “biographical” questions that the rest of the staff did last week. Here are his responses.
How did you become a fan of the team you’re covering?
My parents took me to my first Royals game in 1977. I was hooked. While it was easy to cheer the Royals in those days, I have never wavered in my love for them during these barren past two and half decades.
As a kid, my favorite football teams were the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams (I liked their helmets). When I moved to Lawrence in the mid 80’s, the constant local coverage of the Chiefs just won me over and I’ve been a big fan ever since.
My family always cheered for KSU. I was a contrary child, so of course I decided to cheer for the Jayhawks. Simple as that. I do take credit though, along with Larry Brown, Roy Williams, and Bill Self, for converting my family to the Crimson and Blue.
Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
I grew up on a farm near the tiny town of Plevna, KS, about 25 miles west of Hutchinson. I moved to Lawrence in 1986 to attend KU and have lived here ever since.
What is your college/educational background?
I attended Hutchinson Community College for two years before finishing my education with a B.G.S in History from the University of Kansas.
What do you do for a living?
I owned my own small, local, retail business for many years but I am trying now to build a new career in the hospitality industry.
What is your family situation (wife, kids, etc.)?
I have a beautiful and supportive wife, although it is amazing she married me after I thoroughly drenched her by spilling a 32 oz. diet soda down her sweater five minutes into our first date. Now THAT is a comeback. We have a terrific 13-year old son.
What do you like to do for fun (sports related or otherwise)?
I recently retired from a 25-year long career in slow pitch softball. I play golf but not well. I play relatively often but I just have never improved and am thrilled on the rare occasion I shoot a 110 or less. I love to read (good historical fiction and sci-fi fantasy), music (Rock and Roll, 80’s), and movies. I watch way too much TV and am always trying to complete the impossible task of getting my DVR cleared.
I am a fantasy baseball junkie. I am in numerous leagues and I am commissioner of two. I study 12 months a year and spend entirely too much time on this part of my life. I can’t hep it – all of those beautiful numbers …
What is your favorite sports moment or memory?
As far as my teams go, the obvious choices are the 1985 World Series and the 1988 and 2008 National Championships for Kansas. I also was in Kauffman for Saberhagen’s no hitter and I was in Minute Maid Park for Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit.
I have to say though, my two all time favorite sports moments were when, in the 1992 Olympics, runner Derek Redmond pulled his hamstring during his sprint and his father jumped from the stands and helped his son across the finish line. And when, in 2008, Byron Leftwich’s Marshall teammates carried him downfield after a big pass play because he was too injured to run. These two are examples of what what is great about sports and I tear up every time I watch either video.
On a personal note, I once scored 21 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a high school game – my one big moment.
What are your least favorite team(s) and why?
The Missouri Tigers – 150 years of history can’t be wrong.