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Oct 19

A look back at my columns about the Kansas City Royals: Part 8 — Are Kansas City sports making you crazy? First published September 22, 2011, in The Examiner, an Eastern Jackson County, Mo., daily newspaper.

Are Kansas City sports making you crazy?

Sports is human life in microcosm.” – Howard Cosell

Is the sports world making you crazy right now? If you live anywhere around Kansas City, it probably is, even if you are not a big sports fan.

One thing is certain, do not write anything in ink about college football conferences, and you might need a big eraser for the Chiefs.

Perhaps, more than ever before, the stability of the world of sports in the Kansas City area is unpredictable, worrisome and uncertain at best, and that is about as similar to what happens in real life as one can get.

Victory, failure, loyalty, friends turning their backs, injury and pain, disappointment, happy surprises, unexpected success and dreams come true or shattered.

Yes, indeed, all human experiences and emotions are in sports, just as in real life, and they are all playing out front and center in Kansas City this fall.

Not everyone is a die-hard sports aficionado, granted, but it seems as though most people care a great deal about what happens to college football and certainly the Chiefs. Even non-fanatical fans are having plenty of ‘water-cooler’ talk about local sports these days.

Case in point. The day-to-day changes in college conference realignment are baffling to the average fan including conference names that are puzzling, such as: ACC, C-USA, MAC, MW, SEC, Sun Belt, WAC, PAC-12, Big XII, B1G (Big Ten) and Big East.

Furthermore, some conferences are creative with their math and actually have either more or less member schools than their names imply: Big XII has 10 but is shrinking, and the B1G (Big Ten) has 12. Apparently, the only conference that can count is the PAC-12.

More than a few ‘Monday morning quarterbacks’ are feeling mystified, bewildered and downright bamboozled.

Therefore, I decided to conduct my own unscientific survey to see what fans that are not particularly rabid think about the current state of affairs in the world of sports.

I limited my questions to two in the survey:

1. What do you think about college conference realignment that might leave some of our area teams virtually homeless, i.e. Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State?

2. And oh yes, of course, what do you think about the Kansas City Chiefs miserable beginning to the season?

Survey says:

–Big XII-Big East merger – NO!

–Could Mizzou share some of its 69 points from the Western Illinois game with the Chiefs?

–The Colts are the only hope Chiefs fans have to not be the worst team in football this year.

–Definition of leftovers: what is left of the Big XII and what is left of the Big East.

–Conference realignment: it’s like elementary school recess when the “non-cool” kids hope to be picked by the “cool” kids for kick ball.

–Season of the ACL, acronym now means: ‘Another Chief Lost’, not anterior cruciate ligament, since three Chiefs standouts tore their ACLs in a matter of a few weeks.

– A more hopeful definition of ACL—‘Andrew Chiefs Luck’. If Chiefs finish last, they could get Stanford star quarterback, Andrew Luck, so long as he doesn’t tear his ACL, too.

I give up. I am ready for spring baseball and the Cactus League.

My hope for a happy future for Kansas City sports rests with the Royals. Yes, the Royals.

On a recent perfectly gorgeous September night, I watched our Kansas City Royals beat Detroit soundly with excellent hitting, bring up an amazing new pitcher Mendoza from the minors, see Hosmer go 5 for 5 and a total of three team homeruns blasted out of the park in one game.


“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby