Over the weekend KC Kingdom welcomed a new knight to our round table. Ben Nielsen submitted a fantastic application and it was an easy decision to bring him on board. We’ve just started getting to know him but I think all of us are very excited to have him on our team and look forward to his contributions. In terms of content, Ben will be a jack of all trades for us bringing you content all over the map. That said, you can expect a good portion of what he publishes in the coming weeks to pertain to the Kansas City Chiefs and Missouri Tigers.
Ben has already made his site debut today with an article on the Chiefs signing Husain Abdullah and also took some time out of his day to answer the same eight “biographical” questions that the rest of us have done along the way.
Here are his responses.
How did you become a fan of the team you’re covering?
My Dad managed to scrape up enough money for Chiefs season tickets starting in 1993, so as a nine-year-old watching Joe Montana, Derrick Thomas, Marcus Allen, and Neil Smith lead the Chiefs to 13 wins and the AFC title game in person made it hard not to be hooked for life.
I don’t know the moment I started loving the Royals, but family legend suggests I had the Royals lineup memorized before I started walking.
Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
I grew up in Blue Springs, home of Jim Eisenreich, Brandon Lloyd, Ladell Betts, Brain McRae, Jon Sundvold, and, unfortunately, David Cook.
Life currently has me located in Lawrence, Kansas.
What is your college/educational background?
I attended Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and majored in Communications. SBU was awesome at tennis and solid in basketball, but for the most part could never compete in the loaded MIAA.
If you have never seen Sheldon Pace play basketball then you’ve never really lived. He was the Sherron Collins/Jacob Pullen of SBU basketball.
What do you do for a living?
My career started as an educator at a preschool for children with special needs. I enjoyed working there a lot and built some fantastic relationships. Since then I’ve been working on starting a writing career, which has seen a stop at the sports desk for The Kansas City Star. Rustin Dodd looks a lot like Sam Bradford to me.
What is your family situation (wife, kids, etc.)?
I have a girlfriend who appears to like me. I’ll take it.
What do you like to do for fun (sports related or otherwise)?
I play “designated beer drinker” on my softball team and try to play golf whenever I can find a few extra bucks.
I read books. The last book I read was “Room” which was incredibly depressing but very well written. “Unbroken” is next on my list, and I hear it is tremendous. I’ll let you know if the rumors are true. I also watch a decent amount of TV, and at the moment am plowing through “The West Wing.”
What is your favorite sports moment or memory?
I was too young to experience the Royals 1985 title, so KU’s 2008 title holds a high standing.
I was at Paul Molitor’s 3,000th hit game, the first Chiefs game after 9/11 against the Giants, the Joe Montana vs. Steve Young game in 1994, the game where the Royals batted out of order in the first inning, and Zack Greinke, Alex Gordon, and Eric Hosmer’s debuts.
I went to a Mets game in New York and watched Carlos Beltran rob a home run to preserve a one-hitter for Johan Santana.
I saw Adam Jones almost hit for the cycle in a blowout over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium before they blew it up.
I’ve disappeared into the corn at the Field of Dreams in Iowa.
I’ve hit many home runs in my backyard to win the World Series for the Royals.
What are your least favorite team(s) and why?
My dislike for various teams fluctuates depending on the time of year, but I just got done watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 on Bo Jackson again and now have a sudden intense hatred for Kevin Walker and the Cincinnati Bengals.