Archive for July, 2017

By Brad Hallier

We all like cash, whether it’s the greenish paper in our wallet or Johnny.

A lot of us also like Branson, Missouri. Yeah, many places are tourist traps (or in the case of one place on the main drag, it’s literally a Tourist Trap). But hey, who doesn’t like fishing with their son on Table Rock Lake, eating the incredible finger food at Dixie Stampede, losing unexpectedly to their daughter in miniature golf, people watching at Branson Landing or attending one of the many tribute shows?

My kids never knew how much they liked Creedence Clearwater Revival, and my wife never knew they sang “Proud Mary”, until they saw the CCR tribute show.

To me, the highlight of our recent trip to Branson was The Jackson Cash Show. You won’t find much information on this show. Do a simple Google search, and you can’t find a darn thing on this show, where it is and when.

Jackson Cash used to have a regular show in Branson but he opted to try Las Vegas instead, according to a 2008 story in the Las Vegas Sun. It didn’t work out, and he returned to Branson.

We were enjoying from Wendy’s Frostys one night when my son, Landon, noticed a flier for Jackson Cash’s show. Since my kids were raised right, they thought going watch a dude sing like Johnny Cash was OK.

We showed up to the Wednesday 11 a.m. show but the tiny theater, which is adjacent to some Greek restaurant on the western part of the main Branson strip, on the north side of the highway (like I said, it’s hard to find any information out there), was already full. Disappointed, we left and tried the 2 p.m. show on Thursday. The theater doesn’t even hold 80 seats, and this show wasn’t nearly as full.

Yet, I can’t think it being possible that anyone sounds closer to Johnny Cash than Jackson Cash. He’s even not a bad lookalike.

But here’s what makes Jackson Cash’s show a must-see. He doesn’t charge to see his show. Jackson simply has a “Name your price” policy. Same deal with his CDs, awesome black hats that simply say “Cash” and other merchandise. He tells the audience that if you can’t afford one, just tell him and he’ll give you one.

Jackson was great during his show. He picked out my son and noted he was the youngest in attendance. He then changed the name of the little boy in the song “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” to Landon Charles (and after, he gave Landon and my daughter Josie an autographed CD). He brought up all U.S. military veterans and widows of veterans on stage and sang a song. He also let people know of his donations box, which he generally gives to those fighting alcohol or drug addictions, but on this night, he gave the money to a couple in attendance who didn’t have much.

He finished the great one-hour show with a typically spot-on match of “A Boy Named Sue.”

Jackson met with everyone after the show, signed autographs and asked questions in effort to get to know people. He’s a genuine dude. His talent is up there with anyone in Branson and he should be among the top money makers.

In a city known for making a ton of money, and for having endless entertainment options, The Jackson Cash Show should be attended by anyone visiting. Besides, if Johnny Cash’s sister can be moved to tears by Jackson Cash’s singing, you know it’s worth it.


By Brad Hallier

Let’s get this much straight: Bill Self isn’t basketball coach at the University of Kansas to satisfy fans. Bill Self is the Jayhawks’ coach for one purpose – to win basketball games.

Which takes me into the Border War, the most intense college rivalry in the country. At least, it was through 2012. That summer, Missouri left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference. All along, Missouri wanted badly to join the Big 10, but given its southern heritage, the Southeastern Conference probably made more sense.

Besides, “it just means more” in the SEC, right?

Since Missouri left, their administration – current and former – coaches and many fans (not all) have pretty much begged Kansas to continue the Border War, especially in football and basketball.

Given how awful Missouri has been in basketball lately, perhaps Bill Self should be scheduling Missouri. Wouldn’t help the RPI though.

Last week, Missouri made it clear for about the billionth time since leaving for the SEC that it wants to play Kansas. A former Missouri chancellor even called out Self’s “big ego” for the rivalry not continuing.

Self, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and most Kansas fans predictably guffawed at the notion.

Look folks, it’s not going to happen any time soon. It just isn’t. And then you hear the whiny retorts from many Missouri fans and some in the media. And I roll my eyes.

“You play Colorado! You play Nebraska! They left the Big 12 too!”

Yeah, but Kansas doesn’t hate Missouri. Few Kansas fans I know hate Nebraska or Colorado. Heck, I’ve always respected Nebraska. Good folks, good all-around fans. They don’t pretend to be fans in a sport they happen to be good at. Colorado … meh, who cares? Kansas finds it amusing hearing Missouri wanting to play the Jayhawks.

“It would be great for the fans!”

Would some non-conference football game at Arrowhead be fun? Maybe. But without any kind of conference implications, you might as well give it a stupid name like the “Braggin’ Rights” basketball game between Missouri and Illinois.

Neither Kansas nor Missouri is worth a crap in football right now. A game at Arrowhead might get 50,000 fans this year.

And now that Missouri appears to be improving in basketball, after being arguably the worst program in any power-five conference, Missouri again is pushing to play Kansas.

Missouri might as well shut up and stop talking about. Not. Going. To. Happen.

“Kansas (or Bill Self) is scared to play Missouri!”

Moving on …


Why is Bill Self not interested in playing Missouri? It probably starts with this – Bill Self wanted to coach Missouri in the late 1990s when Norm Stewart retired. He was even a finalist. But Missouri went with Quin Snyder. As confusing as this might seem, Self is good enough for Kansas, but wasn’t good enough for Missouri.

Missouri’s departure to the SEC was the single greatest moment in history of Missouri athletics. Missouri got something that many wanted – an out from a conference that appeared to be sinking. Good for Missouri.

With anything in life, there’s give and take, and that’s something Missouri doesn’t seem to realize. You leave for the stability and glitz and glamour of the SEC, and there’s going to be some anger from the Big 12, from Kansas in particular. Surely Missouri realized that.

Fact of the matter is this – Kansas doesn’t need Missouri and vice versa. Kansas basketball continues to be one of the nation’s elite teams annually. A game with Missouri won’t change that. And Kansas often has a tremendous regular-season schedule, filled with tough opponents. A game with Missouri doesn’t change that.

If anything a game with Missouri most years would hurt Kansas’ RPI.

Missouri is in the SEC, a pretty good conference in many sports. Missouri has found some success in minor sports, after a good run in football. Missouri has a talented basketball recruiting class and should be much improved next year.

Missouri needs to move on. Forget it. This ship has long sailed. It’s over for now. The Border War is not coming back in the regular season any time soon.