Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of columns delving into Netflix’s docuseries ‘Last Chance U,’ which recently released season 4, featuring Independence Community College’s football team and its trials and tribulations through the 2018 season.
The truth is, I didn’t even remember it happened.
Not until Dylan Sherwood, a follow Kansas sports reporter, tweeted at me did I even know my “interview” with former Independence Community College head football coach Jason Brown even made it into an episode of “Last Chance U.”
I had to go watch it to remember exactly what was said, but if you’ve seen the episode (episode 4 of latest season) you know why "interview" is in quotes. If you haven’t seen the show, well, here’s what happened.
I called Brown for a preview interview of the highly anticipated Garden City vs. Independence game in 2018 — a standard practice for preview stories of football games. He didn’t answer, but he called me back and I asked him if he had a few minutes to talk about the upcoming game
He responded with a string of expletives about Garden City and Hutchinson and not wanting anything to do with “you guys” — it’s unclear if he was talking about the colleges or sports reporters in those cities. It was and still is a bit confusing, and at the time the only response I could come up with was, “All righty.”
It was a verbal form of the “shrug emoji.”
Then he told me to take care, which was nice, I guess?
The funny thing about it is, the quotes he gave me were pretty much what I needed in order to give Independence’s perspective about feeling disrespected and Brown’s personal perspective of his hatred for Garden City — by the way, if a reporter calls you, and identifies themselves, everything you say could be printed until you formally ask to be “off the record” and the reporter agrees to it. A little tip for you.
It was no secret that Brown hated Garden City before then, and especially then-head coach Jeff Sims. And the feeling was obviously mutual, as viewers saw at the end of that particular episode.
It was, however, the first time that Brown had ever declined an interview with me. Up until that point, any time I wanted to talk, it was harder to get him to stop talking than it was to get him to talk.
I don’t know what changed there — maybe the Netflix show, maybe he confused me for being part of GCCC, which is an all too common misperception of newspapers.
Either way, I started getting texts and tweets about it, which is funny because the whole thing really lasts about 15 seconds — I guess that’s my 15 seconds of fame, getting cussed out by Brown?
I feel like I got short-changed.
Sports reporter Levi Burnfin can be emailed at email@example.com.