A Kansas Jayhawk Had A Whale of A Day


One of the better individual performances of Week 8 would probably fly under your radar. That’s no slight — I wouldn’t have caught it myself had I not caught this amazing exchange via the TuneIn Radio app’s broadcast of Kansas-Oklahoma State.

“Fish is playing more like a whale.”

“A killer whale.”

Local radio broadcasts are the best.

The Kansas crew rightfully fawned over the performance of safety Fish Smithson, who did indeed provide a whale of an effort despite the Jayhawks’ lopsided loss. Smithson recorded 16 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, forced a fumble and recorded a fumble.

A heckuva stat line to be sure, registered by a player with a heckuva name. And the moniker “Fish Smithson” is made all the better when you realize his brother is named Shaky. Both are nicknames; Fish’s birth name is Anthony. Still great.

Given Kansas surrendered 44 points in the loss — 27 in the second half — Smithson’s unlikely to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, though his numbers warrant it.

Then again, 44 points in the Big 12 are comparable to 21 in just about any other league.

As good as Smithson was on the field Saturday, the Kansas safety’s been better away from it. He dedicates his time to volunteering to help hungry families in Lawrence and the Baltimore area.

Another reason to love college football: Sometimes the best efforts come from unlikely sources.