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Tag Archive: football

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

Feb 02

The Super Bowl is a mind-boggling American holiday

“Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season.
One word and one word only: Superbowl.”
– Bill Peterson, American football coach, known as the “Coach of Coaches”

Throughout most of America and in many places around the world, millions of us are thinking of one word right about now, well actually two, Super Bowl. We probably thought of it all season, too.

I don’t know if this is true, but a sports pundit said recently that more people would watch the Super Bowl this year than voted in the last presidential election.

The numbers from food consumed to the cost of television commercials become even more mind-boggling than the number of viewers.

Take a look at these numbers, for example:

  • CNBC notes that 1.25 billion chicken wings will be consumed this weekend.
  • SBNation.com explains that Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day for food consumption trailing only Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that is all about food. SBNation adds that the average viewer will consume 1,200 calories just during the game alone (I’m feeling fat already.).
  • According to the Nielson Group, Americans will consume 8 million pieces of pizza,
  • 46 million pounds of potato chips and 71 million pounds of guacamole.
  • I couldn’t find statistics on beer consumption, but seriously, if we are eating 8 million pieces of pizza, a lot of folks are going to get thirsty.
  • If you are going to order a pizza, call early. Last year, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and Papa John’s received twice as many takeout orders than on any other day of the year, that according to Bleacher Report.
  • As for total number of viewers–111 million last year.
  • The expected number of viewers in 2012, again according to Bleacher Report, should exceed last year with people watching in 232 countries speaking 34 different languages.
  • Television commercials will make up more than 45 minutes of the game-day broadcast. Ads will cost more than $100,000 per second with each half-minute spot costing 3.5 million dollars.
  • According to the online ticket price broker TiqIQ, the average price for a Super Bowl ticket in Indianapolis is $3,984.73.

Super Bowl Sunday with its mind-boggling stats is more than a game; it’s an American holiday that millions celebrate with their own traditions even though most of us don’t really have a horse in the race, if you will. More than likely, as in the case of Kansas City Chiefs fans, your team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl.

Still, we love to watch the game, the highly creative commercials and the unpredictability and pageantry of the half time show.

The Super Bowl is a holiday we look forward to all football season, and it is a day, admit it, that most of us do not want to spend alone. It’s depressing not to celebrate.

Some people prefer small gatherings of family and friends, fun parties for small children that nearly resemble birthday parties, or large, raucous parties.

One thing all these celebrations have in common is our outright love for chowing down on fatty, greasy, high-calorie food, when for one day at least, we do it without a shred of guilt. It is accepted. It is the norm.

In fact, a vegan told me she eats pepperoni pizza on Super Bowl Sunday without giving it a second thought and actually looks forward to eating it all year. She has to, she says, it wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without a pizza. It’s a national tradition.

And consider this thought from Americanfood.about.com as you consume your 1,200 calories during the game: “If you are wondering where all this festive frivolity leads to the following Monday, there’s a 20 percent increase in the sale of antacids and an estimated 7 million employees will not show up for work.”

Super Bowl Sunday only happens once a year, so buy some Tums, eat pizza, chicken wings, nachos, chips and salsa, fries, and of course, the guacamole.

Go for it, I say, but please don’t call me in the morning.

Sep 22

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

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